There are very few businesses that are not being negatively impacted by the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak. Businesses across the country, and around the globe are having to pivot and find not only new ways in which to remain solvent, but new ways in which to maintain business continuity.
Proactive business owners were more well-prepared for this event because they had a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan in place, which allow them to adjust quickly. They may have been blindsided by the pandemic, but their BCDR alleviated stress and helped them address the situation with a clear head because they had a strategy.
Mercer’s Business Responses to the COVID-19 Outbreak survey found that more than 50 percent of the businesses around the world didn’t have a business continuity plan in place. Let that sink in. More than 50% are not prepared for disasters – whether natural or manmade – or emergencies such as weather events.
How To Maintain Business Continuity During The COVID-19 Outbreak
As BCDR professionals who work with law firms, accountants and medical professionals and medical offices who understand the importance of being prepared, we have put together a list of strategies and tactics to help your business maintain continuity during coronavirus and other disasters.
What is your business’s risk profile?
Are you aware of where the potential threats lie for your business? What is its risk profile? Don’t believe that just because your business is “small” that it is under the radar of a cyberattack – it’s not. A hacker can hold your small business for ransom just as well as they can hold a large corporation’s business data for ransom.
Ask yourself this? How long can your business remain solvent during downtime? If you’re like many businesses your cash reserves may carry you forward for a week or two – perhaps a month, but what happens after that?
The IT professionals at WareGeeks Solutions can help you gain a deeper understanding of potential internal and external threats to your business and its data. We can also assist you in pinpointing which of your systems are most vulnerable to threats and which are most critical to business operations.
One way we help assess threats is to:
- Identify which systems are most crucial to be recovered in a disaster
- Which data is most necessary to your business’s survival
- We will then work with you to prioritize data and systems into recovery tiers
Is your team prepared for and equipped with tools to deal with the coronavirus outbreak?
Does your team have access to VPNs or cloud solutions to access information required to do their jobs in a remote location? Does your BCDR include where the employees will work? Will they work from their homes or in a different remote location? Is the potential remote site prepared to accommodate your staff during this emergency? Do they have the equipment they need to effectively work?
How will you communicate, and how often, with your staff?
The Coronavirus outbreak gave many business owners time to communicate with its employees. What if it were a weather emergency that came without warning? How would you have reached out to your employees and communicated with them and equipped them with the means necessary to work off site?
Your BCDR needs to have a component for external communications for staying in touch with staff, customers and business partners. Assuring your customers that you are in business and remain available to help will reassure them and ease their fears. You will also want to reach out and update your customers throughout the emergency and keep them apprised of what your business is doing in the midst of this situation.
Who is responsible for what?
The BCDR needs to spell out the responsibility each staff and company principle is required to address. Take all tasks into consideration and assure yourselves that nothing is left to chance.
When you consider that six months ago coronavirus wasn’t even on anyone’s radar, but now it’s front and center – this highlights the need to continually review and test your BCDR’s components.
When is the last time you and your team reviewed the BCDR plan?
Your business needs to be proactive
Coronavirus, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural or manmade disasters (a ransomware attack, for example) shows the need to be proactive. When you’re in the midst of an emergency it’s no time to be scrambling and wondering where the business continuity plan is, whether it’s still viable and if you’re prepared to recover company data.
Consider your BCDR as a living, breathing document; one that requires review and testing regularly.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based full-service IT solutions and service provider of cybersecurity, managed IT services and data backups protection. Our team specializes in Data Protection, specifically Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR). We work with medium and large companies, with a focus on law firms and the healthcare industry.
WareGeeks Solutions help organizations transform technology, operations and service delivery to meet business challenges. We first seek to understand your business needs and then apply our in-depth knowledge of Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR), Cyber Security whether in the cloud or your data backups center environments to drafting a roadmap for transformation.