Preparing for disasters beyond Covid-192 min read

01/Oct/2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change the face of business and of the world, it’s a good time to consider the future disruptions that you may be able to prepare for. Now, as we head into Q4, take time to synthesise all the business lessons you’ve learned from the pandemic, from heightened cybersecurity for remote devices to ensuring employee compliance with company policies to quickly adapting your supply chain. This will help your organisation create a new and improved disaster recovery plan for whatever twists the next few months and years bring.

Major disruptions, like Covid-19, are multifaceted. The initial response of most organisations was to send their employees to work from home, which had instant ramifications on cybersecurity postures as the attack surface was instantly widened by the introduction of home routers and other devices. Supply chains were disrupted, leaving organisations stranded as they struggled to quickly onboard new suppliers as quickly as possible. There was a myriad of other issues specific to each organisation, each with its own impact on the cybersecurity, compliance or overall performance of the business.

Looking to the future, disaster recovery plans need to keep all of these outcomes in mind. Departments are rarely truly siloed – even though that is how they are often managed – and third parties and suppliers can have a forceful knock-on effect if they suffer a breach or a disruption to their business. Keeping your organisation in mind, here are a few tips for rethinking your disaster recovery and business continuity plan:

Update your risk analysis regularly. If you’re not doing so already, update your risk analysis with all of the current risks that face your company to create a strong response plan. Without this, any recovery procedure is at best, irrelevant, and at worst, completely ineffective.

Create a specific, organisation-wide business continuity plan. With input from each department, create a disaster recovery and business continuity plan specific to your organisation, business and industry. Ensure that each department is aware of their specific risks, the potential effects of those risks and of their management responsibilities in terms of those risks.

Ensure executive buy-in. A disaster recovery strategy won’t be effective without buy-in from all parties, including your executive team. Even if they think they will be able to handle disruptions as they come along, it is much more efficient to have a plan in place that effectively manages the risks highlighted in your risk analysis.

Covid-19 is certainly not the first disaster in the business world, and it won’t be the last. However, with some consideration, your organisation can face their risks more confidently going into the future.

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