2017 has already seen its fair share of cybersecurity threats, and when paired with the events of 2016, it’s clear that implementing a business continuity plan is more important than ever. Today, we’ll discuss what businesses need to do to ensure their continuity based on this year’s IT trends, as well as the challenges many face as they try to implement a strong continuity strategy.
How Today’s IT Landscape Is Shaping Business Continuity
In order to properly protect a business, it helps to have an impression of what threats and issues could potentially cause it harm. That way, you can establish what measures need to be taken, and what the true risks to your business are.
For example, the rise in the use of ransomware by cyber criminals should be of no small concern to businesses everywhere. When projections have estimated that $1 billion was paid in ransom in 2016 alone after almost 40 percent of businesses were targeted, it’s pretty clear that ransomware is going to be around for quite a while and will need to be accounted for in business continuity planning.
Additionally, there was the fact that phishing attacks and cybercrime were a major hot point for the United States in the 2016 election. If they were able to hold that much sway over an entire nation’s political system--and due to a typo, no less--imagine what they could do to an unprepared business.
Pair these with the fact that natural disasters are still very much a consideration when it comes to business continuity needs. When 7,200 businesses were closed last year due to the floods in Louisiana alone, it’s pretty clear that the ability to continue operations is a critical need.
Most alarmingly, some estimates placed the rate of businesses failing after major data loss events at 70 percent, significantly higher than the number that fail due to these natural disasters. The need for strategic and comprehensive business continuity planning is clear, however, acting on this need isn’t always so straightforward.
Challenges to Business Continuity Planning
Despite how clear the need is for this planning, many businesses find barriers from a variety of sources.
Lack of Investment
Unfortunately, many people have the tendency to assume that a disaster will never befall them until one is staring them in the face. As a result, many businesses will underinvest in their business continuity. However, if you want to ensure your company’s survival in the future, business continuity is not something that can be undervalued.
Maintaining and Updating a Business Continuity Plan
It’s no secret that running a business takes a lot of work, so it’s often hard to find time to do everything that needs to be done. There might be a temptation to let a few responsibilities slide, and periodically revisiting and reevaluating your continuity plan may be something you’d consider letting fall by the wayside.
This strategy is thoroughly inadvisable, simply because the threats to your business are constantly shifting and evolving. Just like your security solutions, without regular updates, your business continuity plan will quickly be rendered obsolete and ineffective.
Organizing the Team
While a business continuity plan may sound like something that falls on the shoulders of one person, it truly is a group effort that will require multiple employees to step up and rise to the occasion. However, there are multiple factors that often stand in the way of an SMB staff’s effort to put such a plan together.
First of all, creating a plan like this takes some time, which is something that many business owners simply don’t have much of to spare. On top of this, it can be difficult to organize different departments’ plans into a cohesive, unified strategy. Making sure your backup solution is working properly, backing up all the correct data, and that it’s always ready to spin up in the event of a disaster is another challenge your business will need to keep up on.
Ultimately, your business is only as secure as you’ve planned for it to be. Keystone has been doing IT consulting in Nashville for over a decade. We can help you create and implement the strategies you need to protect your business from circumstance. Give us a call at 615-826-3500 today or complete this form.