A Closer Look at Business Continuity Technology and Testing

Last month, our CEO Brian Brammeier presented on the importance of business continuity technology and testing at an Illinois CPA Society event. For a copy of this informative presentation in its entirety click here.

Some of the key takeaways from this presentation are:

What is a Modern BCP? – Backing up your files simply is not enough nowadays. Businesses of every size need to have a business continuity plan (BCP). While smaller businesses may think they can not afford to devote company resources or to outsource a professional to implement a strong BCP, simple mathematics sharply contradict this common misconception. When you quantify what downtime costs a small business in the event of a disaster, the truth is that many of them can’t afford to stay in business should a disaster occur. A modern BCP provides the most effective solutions to the constantly evolving threats businesses face.

BCP is Answering the “What If Questions” Before They Happen – What could possibly go wrong that could bring your business to a standstill? Viruses, ransomware, fire, flood, and theft are all common occurrences that could cripple your ability to conduct business as usual. Some of the lesser known causes are malicious employees and employees that divulge sensitive information accidentally.

Requirements for a Strong BCP – A BCP is a roadmap to navigate a crisis. Take a quick assessment of your current environment. Your business needs:

  • Two firewalls and two switches; keeping one in production and one in the box as a spare
  • A configuration plan to swap these out
  • Designated user roles and permissions
  • A lock on the server door and access control room
  • A written plan with assigned team roles and timing outlined and readily available

Analyze how your data is being backed up and the strength of the backup appliance you are using. Know where your data is being stored offsite and the necessary steps to restoring it. A strong BCP also requires continuous pressure testing and plan revision. You can also increase general security by installing cameras, having visitor’s sign-in on a log sheet, and password protecting phones.

Getting Started on a BCP – Pick a BCP relative to your company size and risk tolerance. The reality between taking several hours to recover after a disaster compared to several days could mean life or death for your business. Having a strong BCP helps your business stand out and ultimately adds value to your clients.