Business Continuity

WAN-resource The 21st century is distinctly marked by the increasing use of networks in all areas of business. Wide Area Networks (WANs) and/or the Internet has transformed the conventional work scenario into a Web-based cyber environment wherein information can be easily transmitted over the network. An effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP) can protect a network and associated systems against natural or man-made disasters. A Business Continuity Plan describes the methodology or mode of operations in which a business operates to ensure minimal or no disruption to day-to-day activity. Organizations that run mission critical applications and data transmission over the network, with crucial information stored in their storage systems, essentially require a Business Continuity plan to ensure the safety and accessibility of data and systems. The business continuity plan details procedures and processes for protection of data, hardware, software, etc. The major components of a business continuity plan include the documentation of policies and procedures, guidelines, standards, resource planning, business impact analysis,security/document/audit management, and many others. Business continuity helps businesses to safeguard and be prepared against potential business disasters and catastrophes of any kind. An effective business continuity plan is developed, maintained, updated, and adhered to on a regular basis by organizations, thereby ensuring normalcy of operations. While some disasters can be minimized or prevented, others such as earthquakes, floods, etc. are caused by extraneous circumstances and have to be dealt with. In such situations, an effective BCP will initiate steps that ensure that the disruption is handled in an effective manner. A business continuity plan in itself is meaningless unless and until there is an organizational “buy in.” It must have the full support of upper management, well disseminated across the organization with responsibility for critical functions pre-assigned and agreed to. Every person in the organization should be aware of his/her role in the event of a disaster. This would ensure minimal disruption and an organization that rapidly recovers. Therefore Business continuity plans and planning are not an option, but an imperative.