The global increase in ransomware attacks – both in the number of organizations targeted and in the severity of the attacks – is why organizations need a robust business continuity incident response plan. Hacking, malware, and phishing scams are also rife which further underscores the need for organizations to implement a comprehensive business continuity incident response plan in order to avoid disruptive events and, should one occur, to mitigate the damages/downtime. It also emphasized the value of incident management and business continuity. Organizations that invested in such a plan were able to avoid the bulk of the pandemic’s adverse effects. Unfortunately, research indicates that 51% of businesses globally did not have a business continuity incident plan.
What is a business continuity incident response plan and what is its purpose?
The main purpose of a business continuity incident response plan is to plan for disruptive events (e.g., natural disasters, security breaches and network failures) and ensure that organizations will recover from them. It outlines the steps that should be taken when responding to disruptive events and identifies the stakeholders within the organization as well as their roles and responsibilities during a disruptive event. The plan furthermore defines the triggers that would activate the plan based on the incident type and severity. Finally, a working business continuity incident response plan should be simulated at least once a year culminating in a post-incident review to document the lessons learnt which can enhance the plan’s response effectiveness for future disruptions.
How do you execute your business continuity incident response plan optimally?
There are generally 5 steps you can follow to execute your business continuity incident response plan:
- Identify the team that will oversee the plan in the event of a crisis or disruptive event and keep other employees and stakeholders informed of the progress/steps to take.
- Conduct a business impact analysis to identify the impact of a loss of business functions to create a business continuity incident response plan that prioritises mission-critical functions.
- It is also crucial to test your business continuity incident response plan and backups otherwise you will never know if your backups can be recovered and if your plan can help your organization withstand a disruptive event.
- Should a disruptive event occur, you should be ready to execute the business continuity incident response plan to get operations back to normal.
- Ultimately, you need to measure your business continuity incident response plan’s success to close any gaps that are uncovered during the testing/execution phases.
When revenue and reputation are at stake, it is essential that organizations are able to respond to security incidents and disruptive events swiftly. When done right, a business continuity incident response plan does so much more than just keep your business running during a disruptive event. It is a proactive tool that can help your organization identify challenges, weaknesses and potential threats that can cause operational disruptions.
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