Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Good Business Continuity Plan Starts with Being Realistic About Disasters

Business continuity is something that far too many businesses aren’t implementing in a time when natural disasters are growing. But sometimes businesses get nervous thinking about planning for disasters and usually think of the worst possible scenarios first, says CRN. The right philosophy has to be brought to a business continuity plan rather than going in preparing for only major disasters.

Ultimately, businesses might not prepare enough when thinking only about scenarios they can’t measure in terms of what it could bring. How do you go about creating a smart business continuity plan so you’ll be sure it works for the proper disaster scenario?natural disasters are growing. But sometimes businesses get nervous thinking about planning for disasters and usually think of the worst possible scenarios first, says CRN. The right philosophy has to be brought to a business continuity plan rather than going in preparing for only major disasters.

Think of Plausible Disasters First

If your business location is prone to natural disasters, then you have a better idea of what you can do to prepare. However, if you’re in a place that doesn’t typically get natural disasters, it’s better to think first of disasters that are more plausible. During an assessment, you’ll have to scope out the most likely scenarios where you’re the most vulnerable. It might not have anything to do with the weather and more about cyber security or business equipment failure.

This can be determined through an audit where you can prepare accordingly. In the case of technology continuity, though, it shouldn’t necessarily be the first thing on your list to worry about.

Think of the Human Element to Business Continuity

There may be such a concern about keeping your database and office equipment safe that you forget about the human element when disaster strikes. Don’t forget that your employees are going to need special focus during disasters, because they’ll be the ones operating the technology to keep things going. They’ll also have problems of their own you’ll need to address, including finding ways to get to work during a disaster and dealing with the concerns about their own families.

You’ll need to think seriously about what your employees will do during certain scenarios. These things can be set up in advance, along with contingencies for employee backups if the others can’t make it in. You can also incorporate elements of your business that don’t require human beings so you can keep operating if a sizable portion of your workforce are unable to leave their homes. Additionally, implementing mobile solutions are a near imperative so your employees can work out of their homes if they can’t leave there.

With a business continuity plan plotted out smartly, you won’t have to worry about being caught off guard for disasters that are more likely. This isn’t to say you also shouldn’t plan for the unexpected. Here at Continuity Centers, we’ll help you plan for both the expected and unexpected. With our expert analysis, we’ll get you prepared for every possible scenario.

Contact us and we can set up a time for a business audit to assess what needs to be done. We’ll work closely with you and your business employees to craft a business continuity plan that won’t lead to confusion when the time comes to implement it in full.

Full Immersion Disaster Recovery Simulation Test

Released November 4th, 2013

Attention Financial Institutions
Test Your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan
Full Immersion Disaster Recovery Simulation Test

Regulatory agencies require all financial institutions to have a business continuity plan in place and, at a minimum, to test the plan annually. Regulators are most interested in a financial institutions planning and assessment of the risks involved in a wide range of business interruption events.

Continuity Centers and Agility have partnered with The Navis Group to offer this simulation to help institutions comply with their requirements and take their business continuity planning process one step further – making your table top testing a bit more realistic.

During the day, participants will be confronted with a simulated cyber attack impacting the region,including attacks on our basic infrastructure – power, telecommunications and the Internet. The simulation will incorporate elements of a developing and growing crisis, complete with “unknowns” and the need to react, respond and communicate. The role of military, intelligence and other essential government agencies will be factored in.

NOW you will have the opportunity to experience a disaster, without one actually occurring. Attend this one-of-a kind event at our Woodbury, NY facility on November 4th. Save your institution from being unprepared should a disaster strike!

This Simulation Event qualifies as an annual simulation or round table test for your auditing requirements.

Benefits Include:

  • Updates on regulatory expectations
  • Learning first-hand how to deal effectively with the paralysis brought on by an extended power outage
  • Improving your planning skills – a business process planning template will be provided as a “takeaway”
  • Gaining a better understanding of the impact a disaster has on employees, vendors and the community
  • All participants will receive post-workshop documentation for your Business Continuity Plan documentation

Register Here

Superstorm Sandy One Year Later: Businesses Are Still Vastly Unprepared for Disaster

What can be said when looking at the results of Superstorm Sandy one year later? The evidence is overwhelming that, despite a year, recovery still isn’t completed yet. While that might sound alarming, it’s not surprising when you consider so many other sites destroyed by natural disasters now take years before they can fully recover. Overall, there’s plenty of sobering statistics that show businesses were very much unprepared for Sandy and lost millions of dollars.

Unfortunately, there’s also emerging evidence that businesses still don’t bother to prepare for events like this, despite the lessons learned.

How Much Businesses Lost

A lack of business continuity plans made many businesses in the New Jersey and New York areas completely fall apart after Sandy hit. NBC News reported recently that there was $70 billion in damages, with half of that right in the U.S. regions hit the hardest. Imagine how much of a financial hardship that likely caused many families owning businesses that couldn’t re-open their doors.

Had they received business continuity services, they could have quickly gone to another location to resume their business. They also could have had equipment delivered to them, plus their database information restored through a remote cloud service.

Despite this being known by many people, there’s still a real frustration developing on the lack of preparation for other businesses in the New York area. In fact, it’s downright alarming at the lack of preparation for emerging threats from natural disasters.

What Surveys Are Finding

The above NBC News report indicates that half of 266 surveyed small businesses in the New York City area have no plans for disaster preparation. This isn’t to say some aren’t thinking about it more seriously. Awareness is beginning to happen about the importance of backup power with generators. That’s because the power grids were especially vulnerable in the New York area after Sandy.

Some businesses have even gone as far as installing submarine doors to keep water out. Moves like that give some glimmer of hope in not forgetting to prepare. Even so, some of those plans are merely concentrated on one thing rather than being comprehensive.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Continuity Plan

A business is very complex thing to run, and you’re going to need a comprehensive continuity plan if you want everything to run smoothly after a disaster. It’s why you should think about everything from extracting your data, equipment and relocation if need be. Thinking about those things on your own is essential, because it’s clear the government can’t help everyone immediately, including a year later.

Here at Continuity Centers, we provide a very comprehensive business continuity plan that you’ll be glad to have when the time comes for use. We not only provide instant recovery of your data from our cloud service, but we also provide workgroup recovery systems where we can deliver equipment or have it available for you in another location.

Taking the initiative in a time when natural disasters could be much too common is essential for your business, no matter where you live.

Contact us if you have any questions or comments about our business continuity services. In existence since 1999, Continuity Centers is one of the leaders in helping businesses stay on their feet when the unexpected strikes. Don’t end up being a statistic of financial loss as far too many businesses became after Sandy.