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Best practice #4 – How resilient is your supply chain?

In the previous blogs in this series on best practice in BC planning, I looked at identifying and mitigating the risks to your corporate environment, scenario planning and creating incident plans. The next step in your BC planning should be to consider your supply chain resilience.

In our ever more interconnected world, where we rely not only on third-party suppliers of materials and utilities, but also cloud-hosted data storage, outsourced IT help desks and many other outsourced services, our supply chains are becoming ever longer and more remotely spread. This trend brings with it many business benefits, such as access to highly trained professionals on demand. But it also leads to increasing risks of dependency on these stretched supply chains.

The BCI Supply Chain Resilience Report 2016 contains some interesting facts. 70% of respondents to their survey had experienced at least one supply chain disruption in the last 12 months. 41% of disruptions occurred at the Tier 1 level and, in spite of this, 66% of respondents did not have full visibility of their supply chains. 68% of companies affected by a disruption event suffered from loss of productivity, 37% lost revenue, 40% received customer complaints and, worst of all, 38% sustained damage to their brand reputation.

Major incident readiness is a duty for public authorities and private business

London is waking up today to the news of yet another tragedy and disaster on our doorsteps. A 24 story block of flats in Notting Hill, West London has been gutted overnight by a massive blaze, and there are many people injured and unaccounted for. Fatalities have been confirmed by the London Fire Brigade.

The tragedy will have life changing consequences for hundreds of people in the flats themselves, lost loved ones, lost homes. They will be impacted for years to come. But the impact of the fire is also being felt by hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in West London.

Smoke from the fire can be seen for miles around, the building itself is in danger of collapse and a major artery into London from the west, the A40, which is only a few hundred yards from the location, is completely closed. A number of underground lines that run close to the location have also been suspended during the morning rush hour. This all adds up to massive disruption for the hundreds of businesses in west London whose employees need to get into work this morning.

Crises Control launches new emergency notification solution

In the wake of the continued terrorist attacks in London Bridge, Manchester, Brussels, Paris, and many other places, Crises Control has launched a new Emergency Notification Solution. This will address the needs of security and safety professionals who have a duty of care to their employees, students, customers and other visitors to their business location or campus.

Following the recent UK attacks, we have been inundated with requests from customers who have been forced to consider how they would respond to events of the type we have tragically seen in Manchester and London over recent weeks.

In response to these requests for help, we have launched our new Emergency Notification Solution to meet the specific needs that customers have to notify, locate and assist employees, students, customers and others who might be affected by a critical event on or near to their premises.

Think the unthinkable, before it happens to you

On 7/7 2005 the first incident on the underground system, at Aldgate, was reported as a power surge. Within thirty minutes that report had been revised and it was acknowledged as the explosion of a bomb. Three other explosions followed in close succession.

One weekend, road workers put a jack hammer through the power supply to New Scotland Yard. It was quiet and most offices were empty, all continued as normal with the back-up supply. On the Monday morning the employees returned, on went the computers, copiers, kettles and all manner of electrical equipment. Seventeen minutes later the back-up generators failed and darkness returned.

Crises Control business continuity platform listed on G-Cloud 9 with partner UKCloud

Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution has just been listed on the latest government Digital Marketplace through the G-Cloud 9 framework, making it available to all public sector organisations. This means that public sector organisations can save time and cost on their procurement process by relying on the terms of use agreed under the framework.

Crises Control is an innovative award winning cloud based EMNS app combined with a sophisticated business disruption incident management platform, delivered through a mobile application, with a number of unique features of direct relevance to the public sector market.

Our cloud hosting partners are UKCloud, providers of a public cloud for the exclusive use of UK Public Sector organisations. They are dedicated to helping their customers gain value from the agility and cost savings of using a sovereign, assured cloud platform.

Cyber security is threatening our critical national infrastructure

This country has invested tens of millions of pounds in cyber security measures. We have a National Cyber Security Centre; Security Programme; Crime Unit; Security Strategy; Skills Centre; Security Academy; Security Alliance. Not to mention the activities of our various police forces and the National Crime Agency and, given the activities of Friday 12 May, GCHQ and the security agencies will have been working overtime.

Hundreds of millions of pounds have been invested in the name of "Cyber Security". We were told that these electronic foot soldiers were protecting the Critical National Infrastructure, preventing, detecting and resolving crime. In short, keeping us safe from both criminal and state sponsored intrusion.

And yet for all this investment it was a twenty two year-old freelance hacker, working with his own equipment in a small bedroom in his parents’ house, who apparently detected the weakness in the WannaCry ransomware and took action to halt it in its tracks and prevent further hundreds of thousands of computers from being corrupted.

BCI research confirms that social engineering is a top cause of cyber incidents

Research commissioned by Crises Control from the BCI for their annual cyber resilience report 2016 confirms much of what we already suspected about the changing nature of the cyber threat and the way that cyber criminals have found new ways past corporate perimeter security.

66% of respondents to the survey reported that their companies had been affected by at least 1 cyber security incident over the last 12 months. The costs of these incidents varied greatly, with 73% reporting total costs over the year of less than €50,000, but 6% reporting annual costs of more than €500,000.

The increased difficulty of breaching perimeter security and the increased human resources available to cyber criminals has combined to produce a new point of attack. This is focused on the weakest link in the corporate security chain, which is now human beings rather than technology.

Crises Control shortlisted for innovation in the BCI European Awards 2017

I am delighted to announce that Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution, has been shortlisted for the prestigious BCI European Awards, in the Continuity and Resilience Innovation 2017 category.

This is recognition of the hard work and design excellence that we have put into making Crises Control an innovative and unique solution in the field of business continuity planning. Our aim is to simplify the business of managing disasters and disaster simulation at a cost that every business can afford.

Fresh from winning the title of Most Innovative BC Product of the Year 2016, Crises Control has confirmed its reputation as the leading innovator in the crisis notification and response field with the recent release of two innovative new modules on its platform and a new Business solution aimed at the SME market.

Five ways in which you can cut down disruption to your business

More than 550,000 small businesses in the UK have been forced to halt trading due to a disruption in the last two years, according to 2016 research by small business insurer Direct Line for Business. The average cost of keeping a small business afloat while unable to trade for two weeks is estimated to be £8,775.

Of those companies that have had to cease trading due to business disruption, the period of shutdown lasted, on average, more than three months. This will be of particular concern for the one in five small businesses that claim that they would not be able to survive if they had to cease trading for more than a month.

Reduction in profit (48%), reduction in revenue (42%), loss of customers (39%) and putting personal money into the business (32%) were found to be the most common impacts of an interruption in trading on small business owners.

A 2013 study, by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), found that organisations without a business continuity plan in place had lost more revenue, more new business opportunities and more customers due to business disruption events than those with a plan.

Crises Control launches innovative new modules and Business solution

Fresh from winning the title of Most Innovative BC Product of the Year 2016, Crises Control has confirmed its reputation as the leading innovator in the crisis notification and response field with the release of two innovative new modules on its platform and a new Business solution aimed at the SME market.

The new Crises Control Task Manager Module is a leading edge task manager function that allows the delegation and tracking of completed tasks and the creation of complex task work flows using predecessor logic. This task manager has been created from scratch by the in-house development team at Crises Control parent company, Transputec.

The new Crises Control iSOP Wizard is a truly unique and pioneering module that has the potential to disrupt the BC planning market globally. The wizard module allows Crises Control customers to quickly create their own bespoke BC action plans, drawing on industry specific best practice and high value content from existing source material contained within the platform. Future versions of the module will allow for community sharing and rating of the content, reducing cost to the customer and spreading best practice.

Crises Control parent company awarded ISO 27001 certification

We are very pleased and proud to announce that Transputec Ltd, the parent company of Crises Control, has been awarded its ISO 27001 certification, at the very first attempt. Crises Control recognises the importance that its customers attach to information security, which is why we have sought to implement the highest standards of data handling security, as identified by ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 is the most widely recognised and internationally accepted information security standard. It identifies requirements for a comprehensive Information Security Management System, and defines how organisations should manage and handle information in a secure manner, using appropriate security controls.

Crises Control shortlisted for Business Continuity Awards 2017

I am delighted to announce that Crises Control, the mass notification, multi-channel, business continuity platform and crisis response solution, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Business Continuity Awards 2017, in the Cloud Based Services Category.

This is recognition of the hard work and design excellence that we have put into making Crises Control an innovative and unique solution in the field of business continuity planning. Our aim is to simplify the business of managing disasters and disaster simulation at a cost that every business can afford.

Posted by on in Business Continuity
We must be prepared at all times

The terrorist attack at the Palace of Westminster serves as a hideous reminder of the IRA aphorism that "You have to be lucky every day: we have to be lucky on one day". Fortunately, and predictably, the Palace of Westminster is one of the most secure establishments in the country. The fact that a policeman has been stabbed to death serves to emphasise the price that is demanded of those who protect us and our democracy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues at this time.

As, indeed, it does to the innocents on Westminster bridge who were mown down by the vehicle that crashed into them. They will be tourists, Londoners, visitors going about their ordinary business. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. May their God be with them and restore them to health.

The reminder is that we must be prepared at all times.

Information security tops list of concerns for BC professionals

Information security issues have topped the list of threats that business continuity professionals are concerned about for the third year running, according to the BCI Horizon Scan Report for 2017.

The threat of cyber attacks heads the list for the third year in a row, with 88% of respondents to the BCI survey concerned about being hit by a cyber attack. Information security concerns also fill the second place on the list, with 81% of respondents concerned about the threat of a data breach striking their organisation. Unplanned IT and telecommunications outages remains in third place among the threats that practitioners are most concerned about.

It's not just the big boys that get caught out

It's not only the big boys - Tesco, Talk Talk, Google, Camelot, PayAsUGym, Yahoo - that get caught out by cyber attacks, but also the small, medium size companies and organisations.

The Bellevue Place Education Trust, a Trust covering a chain of seven state primary schools in London and the South East, recently had their system infected with a virus that could have destroyed their financial records. The virus was removed after the trustees paid a "ransom" of hundreds of pounds.

The end that the criminals seek is to enhance their financial position and they will employ any means to achieve their end. Stealing and selling financial information, hacking personnel bank accounts, extortion and in this case blackmail. No opportunity is left unturned. No weakness left unexploited.

Beaming, an internet service provider, estimates that last year the average firm was subject to a cyber attack nearly 230,000 times. A mind boggling figure that will grow exponentially as technology advances and threat that cannot be ignored.

Best practice #3 - "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you"

In the previous two blogs in this series on best practice in BC planning, I looked at identifying and mitigating the risks to your corporate environment, and at scenario planning for your identified risk events. These two steps prepare the ground for the next task, which is to develop your response and recovery plans should the risk you fear actually materialise.

Once you have scoped out your risks and looked at the different scenarios that could develop, you are in a great position to plan your response. But you must now beware, because this is the stage at which most BC plans leave the real world and enter the fantasy world of policy, procedure and backside covering. Once you enter this fantasy world, then the end result is likely to be an amazing plan that keeps the policy wonks happy, ticks every possible compliance box, reassures the anxious bosses in the C-suite, but is actually completely useless when a real crisis takes place.

Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for yourself

The Public Accounts Committee has made it clear that the Government is moving too slowly in its actions to protect the nation against cyber attacks. At the same time the Secretary for Defence makes the threat more pertinent and makes it clear that we are under constant attack from state sponsored hacking.

The only conclusion we can reach is that the responsibility rests with each of us to protect ourselves and our own organisations. The Government cannot do it on our behalf. The alphabet soup of state organisations, committees, law enforcement and intelligence will naturally focus on the critical national infrastructure and not on your lists of customers, suppliers or employees. That is your responsibility.

Crises Control features in EMNS Software Report

Crises Control has featured once more in a leading Emergency and Mass Notification Software Report. The CIR EMNS Software Report 2016/17 is a market leading analysis of the top 13 global suppliers of emergency and mass notification software.

The EMNS Report for 2015/16 noted that the market for emergency and mass notification software solutions is predicted to expand rapidly over the next few years and that it is expected to grow from a value of US$3.81bn in 2015 to US$8.57bn in 2020. That would be an impressive compound annual growth rate of 17.6 per cent.

Who uses "Password" as a password these days?

There is an interesting farce being played out in the United States of America which is both amusing and disturbing at the same time. On the one hand is the incumbent President and on the other the President-Elect.

In the blue corner, the incumbent President, supported by the CIA, FBI, Senators, the media in all its forms and an assortment of those who are losing position, power and influence are accusing Russia of hacking the Clinton presidential campaign’s e-mails in an endeavour to influence the outcome of last November's Presidential election.

In the red corner the President–Elect and Wiki-leaks Assange, a man of impeccable integrity, deny it all and claim that they have evidence that Russia was not involved in the illegal activity.

Whatever the truth and outcome, both of which I doubt we shall ever know, it would appear that the security systems and protection adopted by the Clinton campaign was woefully inadequate. Who uses "Password" as a password these days? Not even silver surfers!!!

Crises Control is for life, not just for Christmas

Business disruptions happen at any and all times of year, but they seem to hit the headlines more during the holiday season. Here in the UK we have had the threat of postal, rail and airline strikes and in Germany this week we have the dreadful news about the terror attack on the Christmas market in Berlin.

There are a couple of very good reasons for this holiday season disruption activity and the high media profile it generates, both related to each other. The first reason is that any kind of disruption at this time of year is especially poignant. Families are travelling ahead of the holidays so that they can celebrate together. People are posting presents to each other. Religious communities are celebrating their faith through the festivals of Diwali, Hanukah and Christmas. At the same time the New Year is celebrated as a global festival.

This season of poignancy magnifies the impact of any disruption so that families kept apart by travel disruption or torn apart by terror attacks make bigger headlines than at any other time of year. And unfortunately this often suits the agenda of those who are responsible for the disruption, where the cause is human intervention.

Crises Control

We are very pleased to have the Crises Control Service, a quicker notification time allows maximum time for proper preparations, which minimizes life safety concerns and mitigates impact to our bottom line.
Jason Jackson
Jason Jackson
Director
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