Business continuity plan
BCP is term that is used to identify organizations’ exposure to internal and external threats and the measures to be put in place so as to avert the same while upholding competitive benefit and value system integrity . This is normally a roadmap that aids an organization to continue with operations even at unfavorable conditions.
The main intention of BCP management is to provide a systematic means of business recovery in case of any sort of disruption and aids lessen the impact on the organization’s personnel, clients and reputation. Business interruption can be of any form regardless of size. The effects are same, potentially endangering business continuity.
Development of BCP can be organized into six stages:
1. Define the most likely causes that could disrupt your business
This involves definition of most likely crises that could affect the business and assessment of the likelihood of each crisis. Understanding the disruptions together with the type of crisis that could have detrimental effects on your business continuity is paramount when coming up with the plan . You need to take time and rank them in order of likelihood and importance.
2. Prioritize your business functions
3. Writing your plan
There are available templates to help writing of business continuity plans that can be customized to suit any business organization. This, if carefully written, guarantees a business organization preparation for worst case scenarios most likely to disrupt business running. To avoid complexity, the document just needs to contain critical business process. It is most important to protect those processes that will sustain your business while recovery process continues.
4. Communication and availability of your plan
After writing the plan:
- Ensure that all those involved in responding are aware of their responsibilities and what is expected of them.
- Make sure that those who have specific tasks have the resources to carry them out.
- Ensure a good understanding of the plan by those involved and the part played by others in implementing the plan.
- Make sure that copies of your plan are kept off-site and that those with specific responsibilities have their own copy
5. Put your plan to test
A simulated test is carried out after the plan is agreed written to ensure that it works . This also helps to reveal loop holes in the plan and ensure that the involved personnel understand their roles and obligations.
6. Update your plan regularly
Carry out periodic reviews of your BCP so as to be sure that only relevant and accurate information is kept in it and be sure to inform the key staff about the changes.
Importance of BCP
Through Business Continuity Plan implementation, your business is in a better position to recover from unexpected disasters. That means one is capable of making the right and informed decisions quickly, cut downtime and lessen financial fatalities.
Companies are prone to attacks form cyber criminals. These criminals target million of dollars from small to large companies. As a result companies are at risk of losing their trade secrets, business development plan, new product designs and other sensitive information . This is because these thieves sell the stolen information to the highest bidder for financial interests.
There are companies like Bank of America and BJ's wholesale which have been victims of cyber crime. This resulted in loss of vital information of the bank and the wholesalers. Their clients also lost trust in these two business organizations and necessary measures were quickly taken to recover their business operations into normalcy.
On July, 25th 2011, Cyber expert Parry Aftab, who lived in Wyckoff a suburb a few miles west of New York City, became a victim of cyber crime. She got a call, which according to authorities was purposefully targeting her. An anonymous gang of web bullies and hackers harassed the cyber expert with prank call by distributing her personal information and creating false online rumors . This resulted to investigations carried by the Wyckoff police, federal agencies including the FBI to assist the individual to trace the call. The call was believed to have been made using a computer.
Kenneth, F. L. (2004). Business Continuity Planning, a Step-by-Step Guide with Planning Forms on CD-ROM (3 ed.). (P. J. Rothstein, Ed.) Australia, Australia: Rothstein Associates Inc.
Ross, J. I., & French, J. L. (2009). Cybercrime: Criminal investigations. Washington DC: Infobase Publishing.
Thomas, M. H. (2007). Cybercrime: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim. New York: Universal-Publishers.