Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, business continuity is an organization’s top-discussed agenda irrespective of the scale and complexity of an industry. Business continuity management is the process of implementing preventive and recovery processes in response to possible threats a business may face. Such risks include natural disasters, IT-related problems, service failure or disruption to the supply chain.
As we all know, COVID-19 has brought the company to halt its physical activity completely to avoid coronavirus spreading. In this case, the company needs to respond as quickly as possible to mitigate impacts and other related risks, while also preparing the enterprise for the continued creation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential scenarios. In this article, we will address what kinds of threats should be taken into account and how they should be handled to avoid the interruption of operations or services.
Corporate primary duty is to ensure the implementation of basic emergency measures as defined or recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the health authority of their country, which may include office sterilization, instruction of employees to maintain social distance, or travel restrictions, etc. The following threats are critical to determining, including the aforementioned initial fundamental steps.
1. Network Threats-First, the ability of all network components to accommodate the increased load of remote workers.
- Availability of bandwidth to link to services at Head Office.
- VPN or hardware Remote Communication.
- Hardware or licenses for Applications to allow remote access.
- Laptops/devices are available for remote workers.
- Availability of Hardware or Computer Assistance Maintenance.
- Contact mode and remote staff accessibility.
- The efficiency resources workers use to streamline productivity.
2. Data Risks – Whether users live in office space or remotely, data protection is always important.
- Ensure strict data security policies are documented.
- Could data sharing be limited to an individual or community level?
- Could users regulate Software access levels and rights?
- Integration of the technologies to eliminate data loss.
- Provide auto data sync capabilities to prevent the lack of data in case of hardware failure.
3. Cyber Risks – Threats are also on the increase with the emergence of the pandemic and organizations are being targeted. Therefore it is important to protect the IT properties.
- Monitoring of all incidents, and ensuring prompt deployment of security patches.
- Track all applications which are publicly released and maintain security controls.
- Ensure all sensitive locations are physically secure.
- Check if remote monitoring can be allowed.
- Prepare and hold crisis-related security-awareness sessions.
- Were updates to antivirus signatures reviewed periodically or not? Which steps should be taken if the updates are halted?
- All operating systems profiling before linking to corporate networks.
4. Employee Risks – The main stakeholders are workers. Their power can not be left to them.
- Take positive steps to inspire them and direct how to manage this kind of situation.
- Hold staff well-updated on all relevant details relating to COVID-19 country rules.
- Ensure sure only valid information is exchanged and informed when there is a dissemination of misleading information.
- Mapping of main positions and making their backup available in case of absence.
- Assess the likelihood that workers will work with reduced hours in shifts to preserve social distance.
- To streamline the workflow, the Hierarchical functions are clearly defined.
- Build contact media to communicate and arrange motivational sessions to inspire distant workers.
5. Business and organizational risks, For workers who need physical access, obtain work permits and other access-related permits.
- Drafts all future supply chain-related problems and countermeasures.
- Make strategic arrangements for closing office premises or establishing a new office to keep the social distance.
- Test all of those solutions closely from where costs can be minimized.
- Re-evaluate Business processes and resources to balance the enterprise to counteract its economic impact.
- Establish business operations plans and list all scenarios and their countermeasures that may impact business operations.
- Re-defining Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Operational Level Agreements (OLA) where appropriate.
In conclusion, while COVID-19 has had a significant impact on business continuity if timely and appropriate measures are taken, Business will reduce effects. Because of the growth of coronavirus, there are chances that some organizations may consider pursuing further approaches in the future to reduce the potential impact of COVID-19 or other related pandemics.