As 2021 comes to a close, it's time for companies to prepare their plans and budgets for the year ahead. It’s prudent to think about how to take your business to the next level while reflecting on the challenges you encountered the past year, particularly those concerning disaster recovery and business continuity.
Despite the myriad threats that companies continue to face today, many still aren’t prepared for emergencies or disasters. A Mercer survey reported that 51% of companies globally lack a business continuity plan, which is quite concerning. If you haven't already, it's crucial that you immediately put plans in place to minimize business disruptions and ensure that you can safely keep operating during a disaster.
A business continuity plan outlines the steps you need to take before, during, and after an unforeseen event. It should specify the business functions that need to be fully operational straight away, as well as the resources necessary to achieve such. Your business continuity plan can be formatted like a checklist so you can easily keep track of all the steps and ensure you don't miss any of them.
It’s especially important to consider these two key areas when creating your business continuity plan for 2022.
Functionality and price aren’t the only things you should look at when choosing a business software solution. You should also take into account the reliability of the software vendor. If you rely heavily on a particular software for your day-to-day tasks and the vendor fails to support their product or isn’t responsive, you will find yourself in a lot of trouble.
The solution is to set up a software escrow agreement. When the provider is unable or unwilling to support the software, software escrow protects your investment by ensuring you get access to the source code and any other critical resources used to maintain the software. This, in turn, enables you to keep your mission-critical functions running.
Before entering any software escrow agreement, evaluate the criticality of your business apps and how losing access to these can impact your operations. Take stock of the ones that shouldn’t experience any downtime when your users are likely to use them. Consider apps that are bespoke or highly customized and those that generate revenue, as these tend to be costly to replace.
Ultimately, a software escrow agreement is one of the best ways to protect your software assets from downtime and disruptions caused by threats like vendor failure or breach of contract.
Your business is bound to adopt more technology to stay competitive, which means it’s even more important for you to make allowances for cybersecurity to ensure your devices and systems are safeguarded against various cyberthreats. Cybersecurity is a critical component of a business continuity plan, and you must take into consideration policies and processes relating to core technologies and the protection of sensitive data.
Related reading: Steps to implementing a proactive cybersecurity strategy
You can implement regular vulnerability assessments and perform penetration testing yearly and after each major software update. Doing so will help you identify any gaps in your security and threats that may already exist in your systems and networks. This also lets you determine potential entry points for hackers to infiltrate your business, and consequently enable you to address and remediate any vulnerabilities.
In addition, holding regular cybersecurity awareness training and testing programs for your employees can help them identify and contain potential attacks. Security breaches today are often caused by social engineering activities like phishing, and those who are unfamiliar with these attacks are the ones most likely to fall prey to these. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen in your organization is to educate your users on how to properly engage with content online so they can identify scams, helping to prevent becoming a victim.
Having a solid business continuity plan will not only help your business overcome any crisis, but it will also prove to stakeholders that your company is resilient enough to handle any unforeseen challenge. If you would like to learn more about technology’s role in future-proofing your business, get in touch with one of our specialists today.