Business Continuity Planning: How to Protect Your Business And Your Employees

What is business continuity planning?

Business continuity planning is the process whereby businesses ensure the maintenance or recovery of operations, including services to customers, when confronted with adverse events such as natural disasters, technological failures, human error, or criminal actions.  The objectives of a business continuity plan (BCP) are to minimize financial loss to the company; continue to serve customers and mitigate the negative effects disruptions can have on a business’ strategic plans, reputation, operations, and ability to remain in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  In order to ensure that your business remains healthy through difficult and unforeseen circumstances, it is of paramount importance to have robust business continuance plan BCP.

How does a business continuity plan differ from a risk plan?

A risk plan is a plan that identifies and addresses threats that could affect the health of a business and its operations.  However, the content of a risk plan is then used to create an event dependent plan that has the ability to adapt to new threats in order to successfully overcome them.  A good BCP starts with a list of issues that needs to be addressed in order to have a correctionable plan in place.  Once the root causes of the issues have been determined, the scope of the issues related to that root cause is then addressed in order to devise a practical plan of action that will best address the needs of the business.  This process is then tracked over time and the progress of the project is assessed to ensure continual success.

A business continuity plan is then a formal plan that has been developed following the assessment and now needs to be implemented in order to see the business through difficult challenges.  The plan can then be evaluated and implemented in different ways according to the needs of the organization.

Why is it Important?

Often this type of planning and development is done internally on a much smaller scale.  The risks, however, are overlooked or not identified in the initial stages of the plan because the focus has traditionally been on accomplishing the business goals first and foremost.  However, when the internal risks are addressed in order to reach a more satisfactory conclusion, the additional benefits that a formal plan offers may be valued by clients and employees. For example, when an employee is let go from a job because they failed to produce enough to meet the standards expected, they will not be able to search for another job in a company they had signed up for.  They will also cause the company to lose revenue, which is deduced from the amount of work that has to be done to reach a conclusion.  An expert who is knowledgeable about international employment laws will be able to use the information in the plan to protect the company from charges of unemployment insurance fraud.

Automatic Clearing Service

A Clearing Service is another important service that can help with the process of reducing costs associated with a disaster.  Unlike a Clearing company which helps draft contracts and other paperwork, a Clearing company insists that companies send statements detailing anticipated publication dates and cancelations.  This prevents worthless entries from being added to a accounting machine and over time adds tons of paperwork that needs to be reviewed and updated.  Company representatives should be contacting clients to help them through this process and advise them on how to initiate the process.

Job Action Programs

Companies that have established their own policies regarding employee misconduct and other workplace issues should be Job Action programs for their employees.  Employees could be monitored remotely and would receive feedback whether they like it or not.  The actions could be taken by either the company or the employee and there would be no second guessing as to whether or not the action should be taken.  The Ground Rules for the Respectable Use of Electronic Devices can be set into effect and violations would be reported to higher authorities within the company.

What are Some Risks?

According to the FBI, there are several risks associated with the receipt and dissemination of unsecured electronic information storage such as floppy disks, CC’s, and hard drives.  These risks include security breach of the data and its storage.  Despite the risks, the FBI reports that companies are not choosing to invest in, or implement comprehensive policies for, data security and storage.

Compliance as it concerns digital data is a relatively new concept.  The Common Convention Requirements Act ( CRCRA ) was enacted to develop common set of rules of practice for the handling of information and related activities.  Although recently adopted, the CRCRA standards are only intended for a global standard and not for domestic United States policy.

The Risk Evaluation Tool (RELAX) which is a collection of commonly used tools and methods is intended for use by risk managers, software vendors, and others with risk-based decision-making capabilities.  Though developed for international use, the RELAX guidelines have been adapted for use by U.S. businesses and is supported by a number of federal agencies.

event_note December 15, 2021

account_box Carlo Delos Santos


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