In 2023, businesses are facing a wide range of challenges, regardless of their sector of industry or scope of operations. There are some universal factors, such as high levels of inflation and an emerging cost of living crisis, that make day-to-day profitability and continued business growth harder to achieve.
Managers, owners, and leaders must look to a wide range of solutions to ensure that businesses remain successful during these difficult economic times. However, one challenge that is often overlooked in many firms is the need to plan for effective business continuity in the event of unexpected disruptions. A prolonged power cut can be devastating for businesses that do not have suitable backup plans in place.
In extreme circumstances, this can lead to the loss of data and an inability to undertake normal working duties across teams. In addition, the emerging threat of cybercrime can disrupt business continuity in an organization as well as have a substantial financial and reputational cost.
It makes sense for all organizations in 2023 to have a detailed cyber security policy that can minimize any disruption should an act of cybercrime occur. In this article, some key examples of how businesses seek to main business continuity in the event of various disruptions will be explored in detail.
Secure backup solutions
It is of paramount importance that any business that stores documents, data, and information has robust backup solutions in place. Today, almost all businesses will keep information electronically, whether it be on local hard drives or in cloud-based storage. When power outages occur or when servers go down, there is a risk of losing data and information if backup copies are not kept.
Therefore, every business should have access to secure backup applications and solutions that regularly store copies of important data. Modern backup applications can be programmed to automatically schedule the regular backing up of key locations and drives on IT systems so that the task is not overlooked as the result of human error.
In some circumstances, it may be beneficial to have backup copies away from the business premises (in other physical locations or cloud-based). This will help to ensure that if a fire or break-in occurs, the data is not permanently lost.
Plumbing and lighting maintenance
Every physical workplace needs to have heating, water, and lighting systems so that workers can undertake their daily tasks in comfort and the premises adhere to basic health and safety principles. Workers need suitable lighting in their offices, there must be access to sanitary facilities and running water. It is important to consider these utilities as part of a broader business continuity plan.
Put simply, burst water pipes and faulty lighting systems can stop employees from working effectively and may require the need to close the premises until the issues are resolved. Many firms choose to work with contractors such as Beehive Plumbing for their plumbing needs and will have agreed on suitable maintenance schedules to ensure that proactive action is taken on their water systems to minimize the risk of burst pipes, leaks, and floods.
This type of forward planning helps to ensure that utility infrastructures are kept in optimal condition at all times and reduces the risk of disruptions occurring due to problems with these services.
In short, any business that wants to manage the risks that are posed by faulty utility supplies (in terms of disruption caused by flooding or electrical issues) should have an ongoing contract with a suitable professional firm that specializes in the maintenance of these systems.
It is widely recognized that thousands of cyber attacks take place worldwide every day. Cybercriminals use a range of malware and hacking protocols to gain access to corporate systems. If they are successful in their hacks, they can disable systems and applications, infect other computers and IT equipment with viruses and even release ransomware programs that ask for currency to be paid to the criminal to reverse the actions.
Businesses need to take steps to protect their IT infrastructure from the actions of cyber criminals as far as possible. A successful attack can cripple essential IT systems and hardware, which can lead to the loss of business continuity.
Thankfully, there are a wide range of ways in which cyber security in a company can be improved.
Firstly, all companies must install the latest sophisticated anti-virus applications. These can monitor computers and ensure that malware is recognized and quarantined before it can disrupt key systems and services. In addition, the use of secure firewalls can help to monitor online traffic and deny access to malicious programs or users.
Password management solutions are also an important part of modern cybersecurity. In an age where staff needs to use many different passwords, there is the inclination to choose easy words that are simple to remember. These provide an “open door” for even the least skilled of hackers as they can be guessed or cracked using software with minimal effort and time.
Thankfully, password management solutions generate complex, strong passwords that are incredibly difficult to guess or crack and are stored securely via encryption.
Remote working and collaboration
In recent years, millions of employees have enjoyed remote and hybrid forms of working. For many staff, this became commonplace during the height of the recent covid-19 pandemic, where there was a need to work remotely to limit public gatherings and to slow the infection rate.
Today, remote and hybrid forms of working are still popular. Many employees seek jobs that offer these working methods, and many employers recognize the benefits of allowing workers to undertake their tasks away from corporate sites. In short, remote working can allow the employee base to improve their work-life balance, and many staff feels that they work more productively from remote locations.
However, all businesses that support remote and hybrid working methods must also ensure that there are systems in place that allow business continuity. For example, workers must be able to access key corporate systems and applications online from their home internet connections.
This requires encryption and password services to be incorporated to ensure that data is sent and received securely when remote access takes place. In addition, a key facet of business continuity is achieved by giving staff members access to collaborative platforms.
Online team project boards can help a remote workforce stay on track with key tasks and longer-term projects. In addition, the use of video conferencing software helps a business to conduct virtual meetings and presentations without the need for all staff and stakeholders to be present in a shared physical space.