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With risks ranging from cyberattacks to natural disasters to human error, it is vital for an organization to have a business continuity plan to preserve its health and reputation.A proper BCP decreases the chance of a costly outage.
For more complicated functions, business continuity planning software uses databases and modules for specific exercises. The role of the business continuity professional has changed and continues to evolve.
As IT administrators are increasingly asked to do more with less, it is advisable for business continuity professionals to be well versed in technology, security, risk management, emergency management, and strategic planning.
For specific BCP testing steps, download the guide, There is help available to guide organizations through the business continuity planning process, from consultants to tools to full software.
An organization bases its investment in assistance on the complexity of the business continuity planning task, amount of time and budget.
Before making a purchase, it is advisable to research both products and vendors, evaluate demos and talk to other users.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's Business Continuity Planning booklet contains guidance for financial -- and nonfinancial -- professionals, delving into the BIA, RA, BC plan development and testing, standards and training. Department of Homeland Security, through its website, offers software in its "Business Continuity Planning Suite." Other business continuity software vendors include Clear View, Continuity Logic, Fusion, and Sungard Availability Services.Maintenance also includes a review of the critical functions outlined in the BIA and the risks described in the RA, as well as plan updating if necessary.A business continuity plan is a living document and should not sit on the shelf waiting for a crisis.The BCP should not be overly complex and does not need to be hundreds of pages long; it should contain just the right amount of information to keep the business running.For a small business, especially, a one-page plan with all the necessary details can be more helpful than a long one that is overwhelming and difficult to use.The test can be planned well in advance or it can be more spur-of-the-moment to better simulate an unplanned event.If issues arise during testing, the plan should be corrected accordingly during the maintenance phase.According to the British Standards Institution (BSI), the proposed ISO 22301 is very similar to British Standard 25999-2, the latter of which was published in 2007.The draft standard would introduce a requirement for metrics for business continuity management, as well as additional emphasis for BCMS operational planning and setting controls.A BCP decreases business downtime, and outlines the steps to be taken -- before, during and after an emergency -- in order to maintain the company's financial viability.Once the business has decided to undertake the planning process, the BIA and RA help to collect important data.