Error, Error! System failure!
Małgorzata Motyl, Penteris
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” (George Patton)
Business Continuity Management (BCM) focuses on ensuring business continuity in the company management system. It is a comprehensive approach to organisational resilience enabling organisations to update, control, and deploy effective plans, accounting for organisational contingencies and capabilities, as well as business needs.
There are a host of regulations that mandate business continuity management across a variety of industries, including but not limited to the financial services, the energy sector, and healthcare.
Today, these three innocent-looking letters – BCM – have become hit the limelight due to most recent Google server breakdown.
Due to Covid-19, many companies have started to implement solutions based on cloud computing. Consequently, many employees have had the opportunity to work at home. This has been a saviour and relief for many, especially parents of nippers, ankle biters and small children.
Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite) encompasses some of the most popular cloud computing tools used by law firms, consultancies, and small companies across the world. What is more, this branch of IT is controlled only by a handful of US global players (https://data-flair.training/blogs/cloud-service-providers-companies/). This includes the popular Amazon, ServerSpace, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and of course Google. Their standardised technology can used everywhere. For now…
Any systemic breakdown can hit companies located anywhere on earth. We have are used to Facebook having small blips or failures while with the recent Google breakdown was the first serious failure of the technology we all use at work. Many companies faced complications not only with a failure to access Gmail but also to files stored in Google Drive.
Therefore, every company should have the capabilities to manage and deal with this operational risk and also ensure effective countermeasures. BCM is a critical process. It ensures that a company maintains normal business operations during failures, breakdowns, or even disasters with minimal disruption.
Some organisations have a regulatory duty to implement BCM procedures. For example, investment firms and investment management companies are obliged to ensure continuous and uninterrupted provision of their services.
Supervised companies are obliged to adopt internal procedures defining the steps to be taken in case of serious breakdown. Those entities are obliged to conduct yearly BCM tests to confirm that the provided solutions are adequate and secure daily business in case of such breakdowns. Moreover, similar regulations apply to financial institutions around the world. It is important to remember that major financial institutions do not operate in isolation. When financial institutions fail to operate, businesses fail, jobs are lost, homes are lost, and communities fail to prosper.
In summary, management boards are responsible for securing the uninterrupted provision of services and diversifying risk. Upon implementation of Business Continuity Management, organisations can defend themselves against, manage during, and resume quickly after a cyberattack, data breach, unplanned IT outage, interruption of utility supply, adverse weather, global economy shut down, to name just a few such ‘disasters’.
Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: Impact of Business Continuity Management (BCM) ([https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/AEJYBPWA) reveals that BCM programmes “can reduce the per capita cost of a data breach, the mean time to identify and contain a data breach and the likelihood of experiencing such an incident over the next two years”.
Therefore, the implementation of BCM should not only be seen as important but a critical priority in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Malgorzata MotylGGI member firm
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Published: December 2020 l Photo: Gorodenkoff - stock.adobe.com