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Business continuity is the activity organizations undertake to ensure that all critical business functions remain available to customers and suppliers despite any potentially disruptive events. The goal is to maintain service, consistence and recoverability under any conditioons. Business continuity activities are activities performed before a disaster actually occurs. Business continuity tasks include activities like project management, system backup and change control.
Andrew Hayward, Managing Director of London-based software supplier m-hance, said that “Security and continuity is a huge concern for businesses at any time… But, if disaster does strike, of those without a plan 43% never re-open, 80% fail within 13 months, and 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut within two years.”
What’s troubling is that as many as 90 percent of small businesses don’t have a business continuity plan, and when businesses of all sizes are considered, that number is closer to 50 percent. The Janco Disaster Recovery website echoes the problem saying that “Despite the number of very public disasters since 9/11, still only about 50 percent of companies report having a disaster recovery plan. Of those that do, nearly half have never tested their plan, which is tantamount to not having one at all.”
Sheldon Hand, Symmantec CTO for emerging regions, said that “Our approach to the problem used to be to throw more hardware at it – bigger SANs, more network upgrades, and so on/ But the improvements in infrastructure are not keeping up with the explosion in data and the costs are prohibitive. Backing up all this data is placing major strain on IT systems and processes at many organisations.”
When it comes to business continuity, all units within an organization need to be involved. Chris Lawrence, chairman of the British Security Industry Association’s Security Consultancy Section, said that “Business continuity cannot exist as an independent function. We always advocate thinking about security, information management and business continuity as interdependent and requiring a fully integrated solution.”