When a natural disaster, cyber attack or any of the many other crises that can befall a business strike, organizations need to get back in business as quickly as possible - or better yet, not have business interrupted at all. Every hour your business is not serving customers impacts revenue, customer satisfaction and productivity.
The recent increase in cyber attacks has made business continuity an even more pressing concern. MasterCard company RiskRecon found that during 2020 and 2021, data breaches increased 152% at small businesses and 75% at large businesses compared to the previous two years.
However, business continuity isn’t achieved with a single action or technology. You need a plan that encompasses potential scenarios and the detailed steps needed to keep your business running or, worst case, to get your virtual and physical doors open again. The right technology can reduce the impact of issues that affect continuity and get your business back online quickly.
Focusing on these five areas of your technology infrastructure can help improve your business continuity plan.
Cloud technology gives companies one of the most important opportunities during a crisis—the ability for employees to work from anywhere on any device. When an organization’s apps and data are located in the cloud, everything employees need to access should be available and accessible even if the physical building is not operational.
- Unified communication platform (UCP)
During the early days of the pandemic, employees of organizations with traditional phone systems had to return to the office to change their outgoing voicemail or physically forward their phone calls. Customer assistance was often delayed until employees could get back to the office.
The voicemail system of a UCP provides complete digital access, so employees can work from anywhere—without customers noticing any disruptions. In the event of a disaster, your staff can immediately forward their phones and business can continue as usual.
Staff’s immediate availability can help reduce customer churn and build trust with customers who have concerns during a natural disaster or due to a cybersecurity incident. And employees are less stressed because they can continue their tasks without disruption in communication between co-workers and vendors.
- Reliable security partner
The IBM 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report reveals that from 2020 to 2021, the average cost of a data breach rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million. With the current cybersecurity skills shortage, finding talented staff with the specialized skills to defend against today’s increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks is a challenge.
A managed network security partner is the best option to ensure you will protect your infrastructure with a team of top experts specializing in a wide range of cybersecurity areas and provide your organization with access to skills that would not be possible to assemble on your own. A security partner continuously provides your organization with protection against threats, and offers the support needed to recover if an attack or breach happens. Because security partners focus on threats and regulatory compliance, your team can focus on growing your business.
- Backup and Recovery
If your business is affected by a natural disaster or cyber attack, the key to getting back up and running with the least amount of downtime is having an easy-to-access backup of all data. Maintaining a backup off-site, not connected to the network, with automatic regularly scheduled updates is the best way to minimize impact to your business.
- Broadband connection through SD-WAN
Downtime is costly. In one survey, 80% of SMBs reported that downtime costs them $20,000 per hour—and 20% said it costs them at least $100,000 per hour. Fiber is more secure than copper, which makes it less susceptible to cyber attacks. Having multiple broadband connections through SD-WAN provides businesses more reliable connection options—if one fails, the network automatically routes to another connection.
It’s easy to assume that disasters won’t impact your business and put off continuity planning for another day - but the stakes are just too high and are only getting higher as companies handle more and more data digitally and the risk of a catastrophic incident grows. By proactively building the technology, systems and processes that will help your business recover faster, you will be making an important investment in your company’s future.