Is your company fully equipped to survive a disaster? A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the unexpected and get you back on your feet quickly.
Are your company’s digital financial records protected in the event of a fire? What about an electrical outage or cyber attack? How about the sudden death or departure of a staff member? Preserve your intangible assets with these four strategies.
Regularly back up and lock up your information assets.
In today’s digital world, your backup strategy should start by moving as many of your assets as possible to an electronic form. Pay special attention to sensitive or proprietary material like financial data, business documents, and customer information.
Check all your systems and make sure your important files are backed up to the cloud or secure remote hard drives. Many devices and tools include features that back up files for you automatically. Cloud software and data storage systems like OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive store data in the cloud. They are inexpensive and easy to use.
Pay attention to data security by requiring strong passwords—changed regularly—to access sensitive documents, especially for financial services like accounting software and online banking. Always use encrypted storage and transmission routines.
Digitize your legacy and paper files.
Cloud software may back up your files automatically, but what about your legacy backup files and paper documents? Some businesses may have to keep contracts, customer service records, technical specifications, and financial documents for years. Don’t let unfortunate circumstances or criminal activity prevent you from answering a customer’s question, satisfying an audit, or complying with a legal request.
Scan and convert old paper files to electronic format, wherever it’s worth the cost to do so. Move old backups to the cloud or to media that won’t degrade. Store remaining records in a separate, secure location, like a third-party storage facility.
Create a contingency plan.
Developing a contingency plan can help your business recover quickly in the event of an emergency. Have a recovery plan if the unexpected occurs. How will you get day to day operations up and running? Outline the steps you’ll need to take until the crisis is resolved. If your plan involves bringing in a firm to investigate or resolve the issue on your behalf, make sure you can reach them on a moment’s notice.
What happens if a key executive suddenly leaves the company? What if a personal emergency keeps you from running the business? Owners usually have a plan in place to transition their business to a successor when the time is right, but a catastrophe can trigger this transition unexpectedly. If you’re forced to take a temporary leave of absence, your advisors—your lawyer, accountant, or business coach—can help you find ways to keep the business running smoothly.
Purchase data breach and cyberfraud insurance.
Data security breaches are on the rise and can threaten any business. While it’s important to take steps to protect your software systems from intrusion, these safety measures may not stop sophisticated cybercriminals.
Smaller businesses are especially vulnerable, as they often lack the capital to recover quickly. Even major corporations with top-notch security protocols have been compromised.
Investigating and mitigating an intrusion could involve notifying vendors and customers, forensics, paying for customer credit monitoring, and crisis management, on top of hefty fines.
Data breach and cyberfraud insurance can help free you from these significant costs. What aspects of your business would you want protected following a cyberattack? Employee, customer, and partner privacy? Intellectual property loss? Violation of customer protection laws? There are policies covering all sorts of risks. Find one that’s right for you.
McGriff offers a wide range of risk-management products, including cyber insurance for businesses of all sizes. Its proprietary process, Client Focused Risk Solution®, uses a risk assessment process and third-party resources to develop strategies to avoid and coverage forms to reduce the impact of cybercriminal activity so you can keep operations running smoothly.
Have a plan to get up and running again quickly.
Having a recovery strategy on hand is critical to getting your business back on track after the unexpected happens. An updated plan for navigating a crisis means you can respond quickly and minimize disruption. An effective disaster response plan includes outside firms that can aid your company’s investigation and recuperation. Be sure to educate key staff members on your recovery strategy. What are their roles? What actions should they take in your absence?