Tag Archives: disaster preparedness

Business Continuity in Challenging Times

It is never too soon to consider what your business will do in the event of a disaster–a cyber attack, a natural disaster, or an epidemic. In the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine, many businesses have still managed to continue operating with employees working from home. These times have been a test of any business continuity plan and have also proved the need to have a plan in place. Read on to learn more about developing and refining a plan for your business in these challenging times. 

Business Continuity Goes Beyond Data

A key element in any business continuity plan is handling data—storage, transmission and protection. Data is the lifeblood of your business, and must be readily available and kept safe from loss and compromise. Questions to consider include whether data will be stored on site, in the cloud, or both; which mission – critical data needs to be readily available; and how that data will be backed up. Also, how do you protect proprietary information with employees working remotely, under varying conditions? With employees working remotely, the risks are higher. If there is a cyber attack, who will handle it, and how? Another consideration is the human element — caring for employees and customers during the on-going quarantine.  

Caring for Employees and Customers

This pandemic–or any disaster–offers an opportunity for companies to become trusted leaders for employees and customers alike. According to CompTIA, one way to guide employees through a disaster situation is to communicate proactively with them. You can share both good and challenging news with them, in order to reassure them. Topics to talk about with them include when your business is likely to reopen and what safety measures will be taken. 

To remain vital to customers, CompTIA recommends a ‘serving’ over a ‘selling’ approach. One idea to consider in your plan is sharing resources (webinars, articles, or checklists) with your customers; these resources can help reduce stress and also to cement your business’s reputation as a trusted partner. Inspire trust by adapting to employee and customer needs, such as tailoring employees’ hours to their most productive times. An idea for serving customers is providing flexible payment arrangements. Long after the emergency and its stresses recede your customers and employees will remember your efforts.

This year’s experience with Covid-19 is an example of why a business continuity plan is needed. For help and developing or refining your plan, contact us today. 

Disaster Preparedness – COVID-19

The World Health Organization provides guidance for businesses and employers about the Coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19. Around the world, officials in government, education, and industry are preparing for a prolonged epidemic. That could include significant shifts to the day-to-day economy–school closures, remote work requirements, and sequestered populations are all possible. Just as we need to be prepared for hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, and fires, the workplace must be prepared for pandemics and epidemics like the coronavirus. Read on to learn about business considerations. 

Enable Your Employees to Work Remotely

No matter where you live or what industry you work in, it’s time now to prepare for telecommuting work from your whole team. Having an emergency telecommuting plan in place before a disaster strikes can keep your business functioning while your employees stay busy in the safety of their own homes.

Make Sure Remote Work Connections are Secure 

What supports remote work is the technology that makes it possible. Remote access software allows you to remotely control a computer from a different location and device (a laptop at home). That way you can access all your apps, files, and information, just like physically sitting at the office. In addition, VPNs (virtual private networks) can provide secure access to sensitive data housed on private networks. Using a VPN, your public Internet connection is encrypted and your online activity is shielded. However, home computers using a VPN to connect to an office network can still present cybersecurity problems—if a unprotected home computer happens to get ransomware, it can adversely impact your organization..

Can Your IT Provider Service you Remotely?

Consider Managed IT Services to keep you systems up and running. Proactive monitoring, and maintenance tools implemented remotely help prevent, protect and troubleshoot systems on premise and remote. MSPs provide comprehensive management, preventive problem resolution, security patch and software update implementation, and a 24/7 help desk design.

Test Your Backups to Ensure They are Fully Automated

If your regular data backup requires you or another employee to physically touch a hard drive, you aren’t fully protected. Fully automated data backup that can be a lifesaver for your business in the face of natural or man-made disasters. Off-site backups are securely transmitted and regularly and redundantly stored in multiple locations to account for the possibility of widespread power failures. In the event of an emergency, remote virtualization can get your business up and running in an alternate location as long as your backups work properly.

Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan 

Although it may seem too early to prepare for something that has just started, preparation is key in dealing with something as significant as coronavirus. Consider signing up with an emergency texting service that can immediately transmit emergency announcements and updated information. Employees should understand their work-from-home responsibilities. Once the emergency is over, everyone should understand their responsibilities for getting back to work in a safe and timely manner.

As your technology advisor we have extensive experience assisting businesses through disasters and we know how to leverage productivity and efficiency tools to keep everyone working in the office or from home. Contact us today to find out how we can help you prepare.