From Prevention to Recovery: Why You Need a Business Continuity Plan 

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It’s a worst-case scenario: A cybercriminal shuts down your internet. They are getting their hands on your servers full of sensitive data. What do you do? How do you get your business back up and running quickly? We all know time is money, and the longer your business is down, the more money it is costing you. You may think the disaster recovery plan is enough to get back to business. While that type of plan is important for IT infrastructure recovery, a business continuity plan is an all-encompassing approach designed to get your business back on track quickly. 

There’s no need for business continuity plan development to cause you even more stress. A managed service provider is a great resource for tackling this key task. 

Why a Business Continuity Plan Is Essential 

If a disaster strikes, are you prepared? Do you know that close to half of businesses that experience a major disaster do not reopen? If you have a business continuity plan, that does not have to be your story. This plan is your guide to navigating all sorts of disruptions from cyber attacks to natural disasters.  

Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity 

These terms are used interchangeably quite often, however there is a difference. A disaster recovery plan usually focuses solely on recovering IT infrastructure. A disaster recovery plan also restores any data or software used to run your business, including servers, data centers and other IT infrastructure. Every business should have a plan for mitigating the effects of a disaster. 

By comparison, a business continuity plan includes the disaster recovery plan, but goes beyond it by covering the steps necessary to restore other critical areas of business in the wake of an incident. 

Steps to Create a Business Continuity Plan 

Here is how to get started on your business continuity plan:

  • Identify vulnerabilities and threats through a business impact analysis (BIA). Your BIA estimates how likely the disaster is to happen.
  • Clearly define roles in your disaster recovery team. When everyone knows their role, the plan will be carried out efficiently. 
  • Regularly update and refine the plan. Your business changes throughout the years and so does the threat landscape. Plan for at least a yearly read-through and update of your business continuity plan. 
  • Lastly, practice the plan! You can plan and plan and plan, but when disaster strikes the procedures need to feel like second nature to your team. This ensures a smooth restoration of your business. 

The Three Pillars of a Strong Business Continuity Plan

Your business continuity plan is a long, extremely detailed document. There are layers of procedures that need to be followed. Your business continuity plan should also contain different procedures for different types of disasters. The same procedures probably will not work for cyberattack and a fire. There are three main areas that every procedure should have: prevention, mitigation and recovery. 

Disaster prevention is the first step in any business continuity plan. For every critical area of your business there should be steps and systems in place to protect them from any disasters. By proactively taking a few extra steps you may save yourself in the event of a disaster. 

Mitigation should be done as soon as it is safe to do so. Set up a process that limits the impact of a disaster when it occurs. What are the first things you need to do? That could be protecting your servers, moving data to more secure locations or contacting your disaster recovery team. 

Lastly, restoring your operations as quickly as possible is the last step in the process. In every strong business continuity plan there is a list of protocols for restoring every critical part of the business. 

Actionable Items to Include

Besides the many different procedures and protocols your business continuity plan has, there are other important sections your plan needs. One of the more important sections is contact information for key players in your business. This can include employees of the business and any relevant vendors. 

The contact section should also include a communication plan. How will you communicate with employees, vendors and customers? Is there an emergency text alert, call tree, etc. set up?

In order to effectively create a business continuity plan, you need to have risk assessments done and in the document. These should be updated regularly and listed in order of how likely the disaster is and how much it would impact your business. Once you have this information, categorize the procedures for each type of incident. 

Included in your risk assessment should be areas of improvement. Is the stair rail a little rickety in your emergency exit? Do you need to upgrade cybersecurity systems? These are the sort of things that should be in this section along with a plan to fix them. This section needs to be read and updated often. 

The next section of your business continuity plan should be contingency information. This includes extra procedures to plan for anything that may happen. It should also include any sort of extra assets and locations for off-site meetings if necessary. 

Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan

The initial setup of a strong business continuity plan requires significant effort however, if disaster strikes, you will be glad you put the effort in. 

Disasters are expensive enough on their own, now add in the cost of the downtime spent trying to come up with a plan to get your business up and running. If you had that plan there would be significantly less. In addition, having a plan to prevent or quickly address damage from a cyberattack can save you money on lawsuits, loss of customers or penalties.

And consider the emotional impact, as well: A detailed business continuity plan can reduce panic and doubt.   

Do Not Wait Until Disaster Strikes

Your business is important, and planning for business continuity in the event of a disaster is critical. Don’t waste time dreading the tasks involved: Book a call with us to help set up your business continuity plan today.



OrlanTech is a managed service provider (MSP) that was founded in 1995 and is now the market leader in delivering technology-as-a-service to small and medium size businesses (SMB) in the central Florida area.

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