Business Continuity is a hot topic! Companies should be prepared for situations that threaten business continuity. These can include anything from buildings becoming unavailable, to pandemics, and natural disasters. The availability and security of information and technology can also have a major impact on an organization’s operability. ICT is more interconnected with the business than ever before: it’s become increasingly necessary for business-critical processes. In addition, organizations need to ensure innovation capacity to maintain their relevance in a rapidly changing world.
Many organizations rely on ICT to support business-critical processes. Network, system, or application downtime is a major risk to the continuation of business activities. Data loss, data breaches, and compliance issues can also cause serious damage to organizations. Several causes are imaginable:
Read the news and you will see daily examples of organizations falling prey to malicious external parties. They can apply various methods to achieve their goals, including malware such as ransomware, spyware, or viruses. Companies also regularly fall victim to DDoS attacks and phishing.
Mistakes can easily be made. The biggest threat to IT security is an organization’s own employees. 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. This could involve an employee opening malicious attachments or clicking on unsafe links.
Sometimes problems simply come from within the ICT – bugs, network issues, synchronization issues, et cetera. Hardware can also be physically damaged by fire, for instance, leading to downtime.
Business Continuity approach
As an organization, you want to be prepared for the above situations in order to ensure the continuity of your organization. To do so, you can use the following steps.
Organizations first do this by establishing a secure ICT foundation, letting you create secure and flexible business processes. Ensure a proper permissions structure, timely updates, and security measures such as two factor authentication and vulnerability scanning. Training staff to use safe working practices is also an essential component.
In this phase, you need to be aware of unwanted activities in order to isolate and solve the problem: systems and processes will need to be set up for this. For example, security software, network monitoring, as well as clearly defined processes for reporting data breaches and phishing attempts.
Organizations benefit from creating the parameters needed to innovate. This includes structuring data analyses to keep track of the market, what customers need, and how satisfied customers are with your current products and services. You can also improve internal processes, for example, by using an ERP system.
In this phase, you will effectively respond to incidents, mitigate damage, and analyse the problem. This can be technical in nature, for example, by using anti-DDos solutions. Procedurally, things must also be in order. For example, you should have a plan in case of a data breach or lengthy and damaging downtime.
In the previous phases, incidents have hopefully been prevented, countered, or defused before it’s too late. Nevertheless, you should also be prepared for situations where actual damage has been done. These include restoring backups when data has been lost and implementing a disaster recovery plan.
Business Continuity is never finished: hackers are finding new ways to hurt organizations, organizations are changing their IT landscapes, and employee knowledge is becoming obsolete. Business Continuity is an ongoing process in which improvements are made continuously.
In our approach, we understand that every organization is different and we work our way through several phases: envision, on-board, journey. That’s how at Broad Horizon, we help our customers to lead, innovate, and continuously improve. We call this the Continuous Journey.
Business Continuity uses
Business Continuity is a broad term. Here are some examples of practical uses to help you protect business processes.
Security by design
Security-by-design is the counterpart of security-after-the-fact: instead of testing whether a system is secure later on, information security is built-in from the start. For example, by setting up the appropriate rules. One important aspect of this is the reliance on proven technology. Customization is much more sensitive to breaches than standard up-to-date applications.
Training and awareness
95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error. This could involve an employee opening malicious attachments or clicking on unsafe links. Employees must be aware of the risks and know how to work safely. Many organizations offer their employees training on safe working practices.
Cyber security software
A successful cyber security approach has several layers of protection. Three main entities must be secured: endpoint devices (such as computers, smart devices and routers), networks, and the cloud. This can be done, for instance, by using firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and e-mail security solutions.
Disaster Recovery is the process of resuming operations after a calamity, such as natural disasters, a hack, or ransomware attack. This includes regaining access to data, hardware, software, network equipment, power supplies, and connectivity.
Distributed cloud allows you to extend the infrastructure you use in the public cloud to local data centres. Many data and privacy laws specify that personal data must be processed within certain borders. Distributed cloud architecture makes it easier for organizations to process data in the user’s location.
Companies that don’t innovate lose relevance over time. But innovation is a broad term. In what field will you innovate? Data analytics is the solution. It helps you keep track of the market, customer satisfaction, the amount by which sales increased after certain actions, and so on. With these insights, organizations can make the best choices and stay relevant to their customers.
Landal GreenParks exchanges a lot of valuable data, such as bookings and customer data, through their website. In addition, over 70 of their bungalow parks store a lot of data locally. Landal GreenParks turned to DMP to ensure business continuity. They implemented a centralized backup environment and a new backup structure.
Communications agency Bravoure has developed a system for ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) festival-goers to see which activities their friends will attend. That means a lot of personal data will be exchanged on their site – hosted by True. True monitors site availability and data security.
We help customers navigate the process of resuming operations after a calamity, such as natural disasters, a hack, or ransomware attack.
Microsoft’s Dynamics365 Apps contribute to the optimization of business processes focused on, for example, Field Service, Manufacturing, and Logistics. Combining this with the IoT creates new opportunities to simplify business processes and improve the customer experience.
A stable, high-performance cloud environment for organizations that want assurance that data remains safely in the Netherlands.
The amount and importance of data is increasing. Therefore, make sure that your data is always safe and available. With Data Management as a Service, our data management professionals manage and protect your valuable business data.
The low-code/no-code Power Platform can be used to perform automated processes based on data from IoT, for example when exceeding a certain threshold. This can be applied directly to the work process via a PowerApp.
Protecting systems is becoming increasingly important. We have developed a service specifically for IoT contexts where large amounts of (user) data is stored that continuously monitors and optimizes security.
When the data connected to an IoT case is of great value, it is vital that you organize the back-up and recovery of that data well in advance. This way, you can always revert to a backed-up version if necessary.
You can create the most value by combining IoT data with data from other applications and (public) data sources. Connect Plus Integration Services is an Azure-based service bus that enables these links to be implemented and managed quickly and easily.
Pentests to expose critical factors in the application landscape. These are performed regularly (depending on licences chosen). After the test, the customer receives an extensive report with points for improvement.
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