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Business continuity planning

Business continuity planning. There's an app for that!

These days we are used to the idea that there is a mobile phone application for every problem presented by modern living. Need to pay a bill or transfer some money? There is a mobile phone banking app for that. Need to find your way to a new place? There is a mobile GPS app for that. Need to get some takeaway food delivered to your door. There is a delivery service app for that. Need to call a taxi late at night and pay on your credit card? There's an app for that as well.

Human error

Human error is inevitable when humans are involved

Technology is a great enabler that can multiply the efficiency of any organisation many times over. But that same power can also multiply the opportunity for mistakes to happen and the impact of those mistakes when they do take place.

incident response

Five steps to preparing yourself for a successful incident response

Research conducted with social care providers across England, into their business continuity planning and preparations for emergency response, has exposed a lack of robust planning for dealing with business disruption incidents.

Social care

Social care homes need to raise their game

Research that we have carried out with social care providers, published today, show s that hundreds of NHS funded social care homes across England will need to raise their game in order to meet their emergency planning obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Many of these care homes are currently not even aware that they are covered by the Act if they receive NHS funding for any of their clients. All of them will have to meet strict emergency planning guidelines, including the staging of exercise to test their business continuity plans every six months.

What to do when transport disruption strikes

According to figures just released by the ONS, there were 800,000 working days lost to strike action last year, nearly double the total for 2013. Although this figure is still way below the 1979 peak of 30m working days lost.

Insurance

Insurance industry told to conduct disaster stress testing

I freely admit to being something of a pessimist when it comes to foreseeing potential disaster scenarios everywhere. That probably comes as part of the job. But at least I am not as pessimistic as the Prudential Regulation Authority, the branch of the Bank of England that is responsible for ensuring the resilience of the financial system in the UK.

emergency communications

Think the unthinkable now with your emergency communications

Scotland Yard has just carried out the biggest anti-terrorism exercise in London’s history, deploying more than 1,000 officers to combat a simulated ‘marauding attack’ on the city. The simulation, code-named “Strong Tower” comes just days after a trio of deadly attacks in France, Kuwait and Tunisia, where 30 British tourists were killed. The current exercise was planned six months ago, in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and a siege at a Sydney cafe.

EMNS

EMNS is Your Flexible Friend

In my last blog I talked about the increasing importance, in the world of business continuity, of the emergency mass notification service (EMNS), which is focused on the electronic activation and management of notification messages to groups or individual stakeholders during business disruption events.

EMNS

What is this thing called EMNS?

If you work in the world of business continuity or disaster recovery, you will be familiar with the concept of acronyms, which populate our world in ever increasing numbers. In fact there are so many out there in business continuity circles that there is a website dedicated to them. 'BCM' and 'DRP' may be familiar to us all, but how about 'CBF' (critical business functions), 'MTPD' (maximum tolerable period of disruption) or even 'RTO' (recovery time objective).

hackers

Even White House connected systems are not safe from hackers

"If you are connected you take your chances"

underground

Who would predict an underground fire, in London?

There are many events that you can predict as a risk to your business operations, loss of power, loss of internet, severe weather, supply chain disruption etc. This is the purpose of your corporate risk register, which should be kept updated on a regular basis as your operational risks shift and change. But on top of your considered risk assessment planning, you must always make allowance for unknown events that can come at you out of a clear blue sky. Sometimes literally! There was just such an event in Holborn, Central London yesterday.

Business Continuity Planning

Five Things to Watch Out for in Your Business Continuity Planning

There seems to be a trend these days for spotting five things that we have learnt from any given event. I don’t know why five things rather than say ten. Maybe it’s because after that number people start to get bored these days.

Black Swan theory

Black Swan theory and organisational resilience

The expression ‘black swan’ derives from the mistaken medieval belief that swans could only have white feathers, since all known historical records of swans demonstrated that to be the case. That was until the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh discovered large number of black swans living in Western Australia in 1697. After that momentous event, the term came to represent a perceived impossibility that was subsequently disproven.

Cyber bank robbers

Cyber bank robbers steal $1bn

If you are a regular follower of this blog then you will know that cyber crime is one of our hottest topics. There is literally nothing of more concern right now to business owners than the prospect of having their IT systems penetrated, their data stolen and their servers corrupted. You might on occasion be tempted to think that this is all another IT scare story designed to frighten people into spending money on cyber security consultancy and anti-virus software, just like the so-called ‘Millennium bug’ that failed to materialise on the stroke of midnight at the turn of the century.

snow storm

Be careful what you wish for

You might recall that my blog last week talked about children hoping for a Snow Day so that they could get out of going to school for a day. Well, they say you should be careful what you wish for because yesterday I found myself at the centre of a massive snow storm in Boston, Massachusetts that they are calling ‘Snowmageddon’. The snow is three feet deep here, with all 36 inches falling overnight on Tuesday.

Snow Day

Hoping for a Snow Day?

Do you remember as a child looking out of the window at darkened skies at this time of year and praying fervently that the snow would begin to fall, and fall so hard that school might be called off? Leaving you to happily go sleighing in the snow with all of your friends for the day. Well, that dream seems to be coming true for quite a few children around the UK at the moment. In fact, there might even be a few teachers out there hoping for the same thing!

Sony hack puts business continuity at top of every CEO’s in-tray

The hacking of computer systems at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Hollywood started out as an unusually interesting security breach story that involved leaked e-mails about celebrities including Angelina Jolie and the script for the forthcoming James Bond film, Spectre. It developed into what seemed like a comical tale about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but then rapidly escalated into a narrative about free speech and possible all-out cyber war between the United States and North Korea.

Business Continuity plans

Bringing your Business Continuity plans to life

Crises Control have recently collaborated with City Security, the magazine that promotes security issues nationwide. In issue 54, I got the exciting opportunity to write about Crises Control, and bringing business continuity to life. The most important thing you can do is to make your business continuity plan salient, so that it is more likely to be directly relevant to the incident in hand.