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DRJ | The premiere resource for business continuity and disaster recovery

The Business Continuity Exercise: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

By Christopher Burton, Senior Consultant, Avalution Consulting
Article originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

Since 2005, Avalution Consulting has performed hundreds of business continuity exercises with organizations in every major industry and sector throughout the United States.  No matter the scope of the exercise or the level of complexity, several key elements enable the successful outcome of this important component of the business continuity lifecycle.  This perspective shares some of our lessons learned, highlights the importance of exercising and provides insight into our time-tested exercise methodology. 

Nearly every business continuity standards and regulatory body recognizes the need for exercises to validate and continually improve continuity plans, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the British Standards Institute (BSI), and even the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC).  Exercising is also one of the most visible activities in which a business continuity practitioner is involved; it’s where the rubber meets the road.

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Business Continuity Tools for Small Businesses – We Can Do Better!

By Susan Giffin, Managing Consultant, Avalution Consulting
Article originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

We recently published a perspective (Business Continuity for Small Businesses – We Can Do Better!) on how most small and medium-sized organizations escape the complexity of larger organizations and thus have the opportunity to implement streamlined business continuity planning processes, which should include:

  • Prioritizing departments and activities;
  • Identifying and classifying dependencies;
  • Establishing an approach to recover the critical departments and the critical dependencies;
  • Writing a plan to ensure a repeatable implementation of the recovery approach, along with details on how to ‘restart’ the critical departments; and
  • Testing the plan with an exercise, identifying lessons learned and building experiences.

A software tool can enable these key steps in the planning process and provide a more efficient process to collect, use and maintain data. However, while organizations of all sizes utilize similar processes when it comes to business continuity planning, the same cannot be said for the use of tools.

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Business Continuity for Small Businesses – We Can Do Better!

By Robert Giffin, Director, Avalution Consulting
Article originally posted on Avalution Consulting’s Blog

If you have less than 500 employees, odds are you don’t have someone working full-time on business continuity. And, unless regulations require you to perform planning in some manner, your organization may not have a business continuity plan at all!

Due to complex and distributed operations in larger organizations, business continuity is often a full-time position because the processes needed to establish recovery priorities and implement recovery strategies are often just as complex. Fortunately, most small and medium-sized organizations escape such complexity and thus have the opportunity to implement streamlined planning processes. In fact, I would argue their needs are pretty simple:

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College Secuity

Are we ever really safe from each other, from an insider, from one of our own? Colleges exist to educate people, and they must be open to their own students. Protecting all members of the college community from one of their own who "snaps" and decides to terrorize from the inside is next to impossible. One could easily bring a dozen Glock 19 pistols onto a college campus undetected inside a flat-top guitar case. A number of shots could be fired before anyone familiar with a crisis response plan could respond.

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