Business continuity means keeping your business operations up and running despite disruptions: natural disasters, pandemics, cyber attacks, other technical issues, and more. Your business must always be operational for growth and sustainability.

Of course every business has its own unique operations and practices, and those traits influence your specific business continuity plan. That said, all businesses in the digital era do have an online presence – which means cybersecurity concerns must be incorporated into your continuity plan.

Every time your network or servers experience downtime, your business suffers an interruption in business continuity; and that can bring painful financial consequences. For example, when Facebook suffered a global outage for one day last fall, the stock price fell 5 percent and the estimated loss was $160 million. Every bounced request causes your SEO to drop, and every lost internet minute results in a quantifiable loss to your business.

Common Misconceptions About Cyber Business Continuity

Cyber security risks change rapidly, and business continuity plans need to evolve along with those risks to assure that your plans are useful. With such rapid changes, however, misconceptions and myths associated with business continuity planning could hamper your journey to success. Be wary of these common misconceptions before crafting the best continuity plan for your business.

Business Continuity Depends Entirely on Employees

Employees are indeed critical to assure smooth business operations. Without the necessary support, documentation, and infrastructure, however, you can’t count on employees to think of everything when faced with an unexpected business disruption.

Response plans and business processes developed in advance should clearly define actions, roles, and responsibilities for various types of business disruptions. This planning also enables the organization to identify infrastructure requirements to improve business resilience and to reduce the harm to stakeholders.

Insurance Coverage Is All You Need

Insurance coverage is helpful and may protect you from revenue loss directly related to the business disruption. It will not, however, cover long-term or intangible losses, such as missed opportunities in the future or damage to your reputation.

In addition, you can not depend on insurance alone to protect you from every possible vulnerability. Insurance policies can have a variety of coverage limits, so it should only be considered one part of your overall recovery plan.

Business Continuity Planning Is the Same as Disaster Recovery Planning

The two are closely related, but they differ in scope. Business continuity plans focus on continuing operations during a disruption or disaster. In contrast, disaster recovery plans are used to manage and control restoration efforts after an incident.

Key Components of a Cyber Business Continuity Plan

Understand that business continuity planning cannot be a business process isolated from the rest of your business operations, especially cybersecurity. Cybersecurity needs to be included as a critical part of your business continuity plans.

A cybersecurity attack may result in downtime that triggers your business continuity plan; or any type of business disruption could make your systems especially vulnerable to cyber risks. An effective continuity strategy recognizes this relationship.

Before designing and finalizing your business continuity plan, consider the following:

  • Include members from your information security team on your business continuity team.
  • Analyze your systems and conduct a cybersecurity risk assessment.
  • Audit all parts of your supply chain and identify risks associated with third party interactions.
  • Perform a business impact analysis (BIA) to categorize and prioritize potential threats and losses.
  • Test your systems to determine dependencies and vulnerabilities.
  • Set up a continuous monitoring process and maintain visibility to keep track of compliance and the overall cyber hygiene of your systems.

A business continuity plan with cybersecurity risk management considerations should include:

  • Defined roles and responsibilities specific to crisis management throughout the organization to reduce ambiguity and downtime.
  • A detailed crisis communication plan and processes for IT security that outline all reactive measures and control efforts.
  • Incident response actions required to keep your data safe and to avoid a data breach during a disruption.
  • Account for all IT-dependent applications, including the main website, intra-networks, social media accounts, shared drives, and all IT assets.
  • Instructions for secured access methods, security workarounds, and well-tested backup systems to ensure access throughout the disruption.

Integrate ZenGRC into Your Business Continuity Plan

Integrating cybersecurity with an effective business continuity plan should be a priority. ZenGRC is a cloud-based governance, risk, and compliance management solution that will make cybersecurity and business continuity planning simple, efficient, and cost-effective.

ZenGRC equips you with easy-to-use features for tracking tasks, managing workflows, and storing documents. Audits and compliance reporting are simplified with a single source of truth for all of your compliance frameworks.

Contact us today to discover the benefits of Zen GRC.