News & Blogs

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.

Crises Control

Crises Control just got easier and faster

Our development team is proud to announce the immediate availability of new Crises Control features to improve the overall performance and the user experience. This update to Crises Control includes many new features, including massive improvements and enhancements to the performance reports, with fully custom and interactive reports on the fly.

How quick is your trigger finger?

The Business Continuity Institute has just published the results of its 2014 survey into Supply Chain Resilience. The survey, which is the latest in an annual series, generated 525 responses from 71 different countries. A couple of key findings from the survey caught my eye.

FCA

FCA mega fine is a game changer for business continuity

Last week the Financial Conduct Authority made an announcement that should be of great concern to business continuity managers everywhere, but especially those working in customer facing financial services. The announcement was that the FCA were issuing a fine of £42 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest Bank and Ulster Bank for IT failures which occurred in June 2012 and meant that the banks’ customers could not access banking services.

Is your continuity team responsive and ready for action?

In September 2014 the new British Standard in Crisis Management, BS 11200, was officially launched by the UK Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution at the second annual Crisis Management Conference held in London. A distinguished programme of speakers considered pivotal trends for the future of crisis management thinking under the theme ‘Coherent Crisis Management; Preparedness, Response and Communications’.

Don't let planning for a crisis become a crisis

Controlling a crisis: We all think we get it but do we know what to do with it?

Work-From-Home

How robust is your Work-From-Home policy?

The earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand on the 22 February 2011 resulted in the loss of 185 lives, the displacement of workforces, widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure and sustained disruptions to critical services. The February 2011 earthquake alone resulted in disruption to over 6,000 businesses and 52,000 employees for sustained periods of time.

weakest link

The weakest link

The recently uncovered theft of data from 76 million households held on the web servers of the largest bank in the United States, JPMorgan Chase, has once again highlighted the massive issue of cyber-security. The bank reportedly already spends $250 million a year on its security defences and is now considering doubling that spend in further efforts to protect their information systems.

Social media

Social Media and Reputation Management in a Crisis

A recently published report looking into the effect of social media on breaking news has some findings that should be of concern to all those who share responsibility for the reputation of their organisation.

Hurricane

Mind the gap

There is a yawning gulf between perception and reality when it comes to managing a crisis. Make sure you can bridge the divide without complicated formulae.

business continuity

Moving from business continuity to organisational resilience

There is a change of language and focus currently taking place amongst business continuity professionals that is much more than just semantics. It originates from the organisational driver for business disruption planning and has the potential to demonstrate to senior managers the value that such planning can to bring to the whole business. This new language substitutes ‘organisational resilience’ in place of ‘business continuity management’ and ‘adaptability’ in place of ‘response’.

Supply chain

Handling supply chain business disruption

Have you ever thought about the significant crossover between best practice in procurement strategy and best practice in business continuity planning? If not, then consider that a core principle of both is the need to ensure that as a business you have quick and reliable access to secondary suppliers of key goods and services that will keep the business running in the event of a break in your normal supply chain.

plan fail

UK small businesses fail to plan for business continuity

Research published last week by Databarracks highlighted the growing gap between large and small organisations when it comes to preparing in advance for the impact of business disruption incidents. The survey of over 400 IT professionals in the UK revealed that only 30 percent of small organisations had a business continuity plan in place, compared with 54 percent of medium and 73 percent of large businesses. Only 40 per cent of the small organisations without a business continuity plan intended to implement one over the next 12 months.