Ensuring business continuity is one of the key aspects for the successful functioning of any modern company. A lot of attention is paid to this topic, including when creating a company’s information security system.
What Is Business Continuity Planning (BCP)?
BCP is a written plan or series of steps that a business takes to ensure business continuity. These plans are often put into action when a business needs to recover from a disaster or put in place new management to support future business operations. The steps required to create this plan are to start a meeting, conduct a business analysis, and develop a plan. There is no time frame in which a business must complete the business continuity planning process. In most cases, however, fully developing a workable plan can take several weeks.
Businesses need to be prepared for any issues that arise in the course of their normal operations. The company often makes a list of potential natural disasters that could affect its operations. Plans are then needed to determine how the company will maintain its natural resource reserves, protect its employees, and restore or repair physical facilities during and after a disaster. Different plans may be needed for different disasters.
Sustainability often depends on the different stages of business continuity planning. Owners and managers should be able to provide plans for how the business will outlast the current management team. This plan often outlines how the business moves from the current owners and managers to the next person to run the business. In many cases, this is the classic definition of business continuity planning. The plans and steps for this process are constantly revised as the company evolves in different business environments.
To start BCP, a meeting is needed between current owners, executives and managers. This initiation provides an overview of what should be included in the continuity plan. This first step is often associated with data collection and comprehensive reviews. Companies often have a breakdown of the plan for each department or group of activities in the company. Therefore, there are detailed plans that meet the needs of everyone in the business.
Business analysis requires an analysis of all internal and external factors that can affect a company’s business operations. The continuity plan looks for disruptions that can occur when external forces alter ongoing operations. Knowing these strengths can help a company focus its analysis methods during the analysis phase. It may even shorten the time needed to complete this step.
After completing the previous two steps, the company can develop a business continuity plan. This represents the actual written plan for implementation. Training employees on the plan is often necessary to avoid errors during implementation.
Development of a Business Continuity Plan
The essence of BCP is that any event that could affect operations is included in the plan, such as: Supply chain disruption, loss or damage of critical infrastructure (primary machines or computer/network resources).
Within the objectives of managing the continuity of processes and functions in an organization, different priorities can be defined, depending on the scale and scope of activities.
This process consists of three main components:
- Incident management is the operational level of business continuity. Its scope includes a range of internal and external incidents of high and medium probability: fraud, human error, equipment failure, etc. At this level, the damage to organizations is relatively small. Tasks and goals: security, availability, integrity, authenticity of information, fault tolerance.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery management is the tactical management layer. The scope of his duties is determined by incidents that can lead to the cessation of operation of the entire organization or its most important business processes, their probability is small – varies from low to medium, but the damage can be impressive, up to bankruptcy.
- Crisis and emergency management is a strategic level to ensure the continuity of business processes. The probability of a crisis event is extremely low, but the extent of the damage is not limited to a single company. Environmental and humanitarian catastrophes, destruction of infrastructure within the borders of the entire region are possible. For example, in the fuel and energy complex (exploration, production, processing of hydrocarbons, power generation), maximum business continuity is required.
Potential incidents are identified using a multi-level analysis, including impact analysis, threat analysis and impact scenarios.