How to create a business continuity plan for your Florida business

 

Did you know that 54 percent of companies have experienced downtime that lasted for more than eight hours in the past five years?

Power outages, hardware failures, malware attacks — all of these events can seriously impact your business in Florida. That’s why it’s so important to have a proper business continuity plan in place.

A business continuity plan provides you with a safeguard in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. The result? Less downtime, so you can carry on with your day-to-day business operations. Here’s how to create a business continuity plan of your own.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a strategy that minimizes future risk to your business. Think of it as a protective shield that defends your company against threats like malware attacks, hardware failure, and even human error.

For all Florida businesses, a BCP is incredibly important. Here’s why:

  • Adverse Weather: Floods, tornadoes, and storms can damage your business premises and IT infrastructure, especially here in Florida. A BCP will help you plan for these events, so you can minimize downtime and optimize business operations.
  • Malware: The average cost of a malware attack on a business is $2.4 million. You can minimize the risk of a third-party attack with a comprehensive BCP. For some cities in Florida, like Tampa and Orlando, this risk holds even more weight.
  • Human Error: Insider threats are just as damaging to your business as external ones. Human error, for example, can jeopardize the reputation of your brand and result in downtime.

Related: Your 5-part guide to everyday data disasters

What should you include in your BCP?

You should refer to your BCP in the event of an emergency or disaster. Your plan will outline the procedures that you’ll need to follow to reduce downtime in your business. You can also use your BCP throughout the year to test your disaster recovery procedures and plan for the future.

Here are some of the things you might want to include in your BCP:

  • Cloud Migration: Migrating your data to the cloud will help you prepare for a disaster. During an emergency, IT infrastructure might become inoperable, which could impact your business operations. Cloud storage, on the other hand, will let you access data wherever you are in the world. Include details about cloud migration and data protection in your BCP.
  • Antivirus Protection: Cybercrime is becoming a bigger concern for Florida business owners, and protecting your company against malware and other threats should be a top priority. Include information about antivirus protection in your BCP.
  • Alternative Premises: If a flood or fire impacts your business premises, you might want to transfer your business operations to an alternative facility. This will help you execute business tasks with minimum downtime.
  • Customer Operations: Malfunctioning hardware or a cyber attack can result in downtime, which impacts customer operations. To improve the customer experience in the event of an emergency or disaster, think of alternative ways to engage with your customers. Include these details in your BCP.

Don’t forget, a reputable managed services provider in Florida can take care of these tasks for you. This partnership will give you confidence and allow you to focus on other areas of your business.

Related: 3 huge data breaches from the last 12 months

How to optimize your Florida BCP

There are a number of ways you can optimize your BCP for more effective disaster management.

For example, you should distribute your BCP to all members of your staff, so employees know what to do in an emergency. And don’t forget to review your BCP on a regular basis, either. Internal and external threats evolve over time, so it’s important to update your policies and procedures when you can.

You should also list the resources you need in an emergency situation. These might include vital records, inventories, and third-party services. Make sure you can access these resources when your IT infrastructure fails.

Your BCP will outline recovery strategies to help you deal with a disaster or emergency situation. If you haven’t developed a BCP yet, it could be one of the most important things you do this year.

For more assistance with your BCP and disaster recovery planning, download our 2018 Hurricane Technology Preparedness Checklist.