Security for business continuity is an often overlooked aspect of organizational management, especially in a country like ours – Nigeria. Perhaps the lackadaisical attention given to business continuity in Nigeria as part of an organization’s strategic management best practices is responsible for this.

Despite the obviousness of the role of security for business continuity, most organizations often downplay its strategic function in ensuring the continuous survival of the company. Rather than consider it as an investment for the future, most management team regard it as a luxury expense that can be avoided.

But reality proves otherwise; no business is immune to danger, disaster or disruption that can arise from her operating environment. As a result, every forward thinking company ought to be making strategic plans to ensure their continuity in spite of these obvious threats.

So in this article, we would be sharing 5 insights on the importance of security for business continuity. Or what better measure is effective for preventing potential threats, dangers, or disasters than security?

Let’s go deeper!

What is Business Continuity?

Business Continuity (BC) is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident. (Source: ISO 22301:2012)

Business Continuity Management (BCM) provides organisations with the capability to respond to and cope with disruptions to their business. (Source PwC)

Business continuity is a proactive plan to avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations. It details steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the financial viability of an organization.

Business continuity is about building and improving resilience in your business. It is about devising plans and strategies that will enable you to continue your business operations and enable you to recover quickly and effectively from any type disruption whatever its size or cause. It gives you a solid framework to lean on in times of crisis and provides stability and security.

Because unforeseen events do happen, in order for organizations to return to business as usual after an event, they must be resilient and responsive and have an effective business continuity management program. This will play a key role in guiding the organization through a crisis or disruption to their business.

5 Reasons Why You Need Security for Business Continuity

According to the chairman of the Security Consultancies section of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Chris Lawrence;

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.”

“In particular, [business continuity] plans should focus primarily on preventing incidents from occurring, and diminishing their impact on business activity once they occur; security measures can play a crucial part in both cases.”

The following 5 critical areas of managing a company’s business operations are the reasons why your organization needs security for business continuity.

  • Information Security

In a previous article, we discussed the need for cyber security since we now live in a digital age with everyone and almost everything being connected.

Organizations are more prone to cyber threats that can negatively disrupt their entire business operations in a matter of seconds. Such crippling impact on your business is why you need security for business continuity.

Integrating an effective cyber security and IT disaster recovery measures as part of your security for business continuity plans will greatly empower your organization to be more resilient against unforeseen dangers, threats and disruptions.

  • Physical Security Policies

It’s essential to get all security personnel within an organization on the same page about security. This is the role of a documented physical security policy that will contain simple action plans that outline the steps security personnel should take in any given scenario.

These should include after-hour, weekend, and emergency scenarios within each action plan, and they should be incorporated into your organization’s official security policies and procedures.

Having this physical security policy in place will help strengthen your security for business continuity plan.  In the event of an unforeseen occurrence, your organization’s security team will not be thrown into a state of panic or confusion as they will already have a contingency plan included in the physical security policy.

As part of your security for business continuity plan, the following action plans should be included in your organization’s physical security policies and procedures. This is not an exhaustive list, they are basic physical security plans your organization can begin with.

  • Acts of violence in the workplace
  • Bomb Threat Event
  • Burglary
  • Elevator Entrapment
  • Fire Outbreak
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Natural Disaster
  • Medical Emergency
  • Hostage Situation
  • Building Collapse
  • Safety Programs

Workplace disasters stretch across genders, age groups, industries and geography. They affect every business of any form. And serious workplace disaster can disrupt the continuity of any business. This is why security for business continuity should include creating safety programs.

Safety programs are security measures taken to help protect the business from danger, disaster or disruption. A structured, deliberate and effective safety program for business continuity comes with the following:

  • Commit to workplace safety
  • Identify hazards and assess risks
  • Develop written programs and processes
  • Educate employees.
  • Investigate/report all accidents and incidents
  • Evaluate safety processes each year.
  • Risk Management

Nigerian businesses are exposed to various threats on daily basis. Ranging from armed robbery to terrorism. Preparing for and responding to these security threats is a fact of life for businesses and governments around the world. Tackling these risks requires an approach known as risk management.

Risk management provides the resilience to mitigate a wider range of risks. Meaning, it is concerned with minimizing the probability of and destruction caused by negative events.

This shows the reason why security risk management is essential for business continuity. Because it provides the level of resiliency your business must achieve in light of the uncertainty that exists. Achieving such resilience will help reduce uncertainty and promote a more stable operating environment for your company.

  • Crisis Management

Potential threats, risks and dangers to your business are not always predictable and come in many forms, such as hostile physical or cyber attacks, political conflicts, health alerts and major accidents. And these crises could make it difficult or even impossible to carry out your normal day-to-day business activities.

Having processes in place to anticipate and be ready whenever crisis or incidents occurs as indicated above is paramount for your business continuity. And this process is known as crisis management.

Crisis management is the identification of threats to an organization and its stakeholders, and the methods used by the organization to deal with these threats. Meaning, planning and supporting the response to crises, as well as rehearsing plans and teams.

Implementing an effective crisis management as a security measure for you business continuity can enable you take steps to minimize the potential impact of a disaster – and ideally prevent it from happening in the first place. These steps include identifying potential risks, making preparations for emergencies and testing how your business is likely to cope in a disaster.

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