In creating business continuity plans, every organization completes a series of risk assessment exercises. Without this general risk assessment, it would be impossible to prioritize what BCM plans are needed. Which disruptive events are most likely to impact your business? Your employees? Your clients? Your suppliers? Research suggests the top 10 risks tackled by business continuity teams include:
- Severe Weather
- IT Issues (outages, breach, virus…)
- Power Outages
- Natural disaster (flood, earthquake)
- Physical Violence
- Product delivery/quality
Clearly some sub-set of these event types should be addressed in any business continuity planning effort. Today’s goal, however, is not to discuss this high level risk assessment process, but rather, to review best practices for evaluating a specific threat as it arises to determine if it merits activation of BCM teams and plans.
Monitoring Early Warning Signs
Effective event-specific risk assessment is to have some early warning detection in place. To best manage unplanned incidents, it helps to have visibility into the potential disruptions before they occur. Obviously, certain types of disruptive events are more easily monitored than others. Weather, for example, can be monitored closely via the National Weather Service, Accuweather and other sources. Most major storms are predicted in advance, enabling close monitoring by BCM teams. Similarly, floods and fire warnings are often weather-related and threat levels can be monitored closely....