For several weeks, companies have been affected by an event that no one could have predicted. However, the most far-sighted among them have been able to react quickly, by triggering their Business Continuity Plan. And this is precisely what BCP is for: to mitigate the effects of incidents on the activity of organizations.

This week we take a look at how the BCP responds to a pandemic situation.

The Business Continuity Plan in the face of ISO standards, regulations and viruses

In accordance with the ISO 22301 standard or with certain legal regulations (such as the regulations governing banks and financial institutions), companies can or sometimes must have a business continuity management system. Such a plan is essential to resist any type of disaster, minor or major, that could interrupt their activities in a lasting way or cause significant damage.

A major disaster includes, for example, a 100-year flood, a cyber attack, a terrorist attack or even a pandemic.

Continue operations during a health crisis

As of late 2019, China has been affected by the coronavirus identified by the name Covid-19, both in health and economic terms.

Gradually and rapidly, Covid-19 spread throughout the world, resulting in the only possible response in the absence of a cure or vaccine by most states: containment. This situation has impacted the activities of thousands of companies and caused a cataclysm in the financial markets and in the economy in general. Not seen since the end of the Second World War.

Faced with this global pandemic, companies have all triggered their Business Continuity Plans (BCP), ensuring their survival while protecting their employees.

The continuity solution best suited to this crisis has been telecommuting, where possible. On the same subject, read our article on Charlotte, a UX Designer on a work-study program, who had to adapt to remote integration. But overall, companies had to be both resilient and efficient to guarantee this backup solution for all their employees unable to benefit from short-time working. This responsiveness was only possible in companies that were well prepared.

But how do you reconcile full remote and collaboration? We tell you all about it. 

Business Continuity Plan: Measuring the impact to better prioritize

Business Impact Analyses (BIAs), established upstream and updated on an annual basis, are used by organizations to quickly identify priority and critical activities, key resources, critical suppliers, critical applications and maximum allowable downtime. In addition, rigorous risk control and mitigation measures will enable organizations to be efficient and meet their customers' needs in a timely manner.

Discover also 5 tips on Risk Management in times of health crisis.

This efficient organization, in order to maintain the vital activities for the companies, in degraded mode, to progressively increase the number of operating personnel, can induce an adaptation time.

Indeed, the computer network of some companies does not have the capacity to support a massive number of connections, and can be quickly saturated, and consequently, connections by batch at times defined according to the criticality of their activities, primary or secondary, are likely to be imposed on their employees.

In order to guarantee their viability and maintain the confidence of their stakeholders, companies must deploy all the necessary means, particularly around communication, and take into account the risks inherent in their activities, both social and economic.

Remote work and security

Faced with this solution of remote work proposed by companies, it is essential not to neglect the computer security, especially that of networks and servers, which plays a vital role in the survival of these companies.

In fact, the number of cyberattackssuch as bounce attacks and ransomware, which can be used to exploit data breaches, are likely to explode during this period of confinement.

This is why it is essential to make employees aware of "computer health" issues, in particular through an IT charter, so that they ensure that they respect the basic measures, i.e. regularly updating antivirus software, applications and the system in order to correct existing vulnerabilities, regularly changing their passwords, being vigilant with regard to attachments to e-mails and malicious sites, and finally giving priority to backups on the cloud or external servers.

Compliance with these best practices can reduce the risk of intrusion and therefore of data theft, including personal data such as customer bank details, and ensure a secure working environment, guaranteeing the reliability and availability of information.

Globalization, the interdependence of activities as well as the outsourcing of some of them, are forcing companies to work together in this unprecedented context. Adaptability and continuous improvement of the BCP, good communication between stakeholders, as well as strategic choices, will allow companies to gradually recover from this global health and economic trauma.

While countries that have gone through difficult periods of famine or war have managed to recover, the duration and magnitude of the sacrifices of the current health crisis are very difficult to estimate at this time.

This crisis will finally allow companies to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, to review their business continuity strategy by making it more robust with the imperative involvement of their employees and thus ensure the sustainability of their activities. Blue Soft through its Risk Management activity can accompany you in these questions and help you determine the best strategy.

Our subsidiary Blue Soft Empower supported its customers during the health crisis with collaborative working.. Want to find out more? Read our article.

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