In the modern digitally interconnected world, business continuity planning is key to the survival of IT-reliant organizations. Nowadays, digital threats come from the most unexpected places, causing severe disruptions and losses that pack an increasingly devastating punch. But even so, many organizations are still lagging in developing a solid disaster recovery plan. In the recently released State of Disaster Recovery Preparedness 2020 Report, only 42 percent of the respondents felt prepared for IT disasters.
Although disaster readiness among businesses has improved over recent years, many organizations still lack a mature continuity plan. Many entrepreneurs focus their disaster recovery plans on the wrong business processes or ignore some critical IT components. So before planning for external disasters such as supply chain and market disruptions, cultivate continuity closer to home by ensuring secure communications and workflow.
Why communications and workflow?
Digital communication is the backbone of modern e-commerce. Business communication stretches far beyond exchanging information; it also involves transferring mission-critical data, remote collaboration and interactions, and enabling automation via machine-to-machine synchronization. Communications and workflow go hand-in-hand. Digital workflows depend on data and signals delivered across various communication channels. In short, a secure communications infrastructure means secure workflow.
Vital and sensitive information is sent through communication mediums such as emails, web forms, and even voice calls. As a result, cybercriminals frequently target corporate communications infrastructure to steal valuable data. Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, Eavesdropping attacks, and birthday attacks are just some of the common cyber threats facing communication lines.
Workplace collaborations are rapidly shifting to contactless interactions. And more employees now opt for flexible workspaces and a healthy work-life balance. The COVID-19 pandemic has also pushed for remote working culture in many business sectors. As a result, communications and virtual workflows sit at the center of most business operations. In a scenario where virtual interactions make part of your workplace, you need a failproof communications platform to maintain and secure workflow.
How to bake continuity into your communications and workflow
Certainly, we cannot overemphasize the importance of communications in business operations and workflows. Here are three tips to ensure your communications and workflow infrastructures remain resilient, secure, and dependable.
Invest in a versatile telecommunications platform
There are hundreds of enterprise-level communication solutions in the IT market. So analyze your current and future communications needs to figure out the most suitable platform for your business. More importantly, select the right platform with business continuity in mind. Ensure that employees and clients can stay connected and critical business processes can run normally even after severe operational disruptions.
Secure all communications networks and endpoints
Extend your cybersecurity across all communications channels, including emails, voice calls, instant messaging, and even social media. Secure communications systems have low data loss and data breach risks. Take a holistic data security approach, starting with vulnerable endpoints and access points such as apps and user devices before fortifying external networks, IoT networks, and internal data transfer lines.
Train your staff to communicate securely
According to research findings, most data breaches result from employee error. Simple careless mistakes, negligence, and disregard for security protocols in the workplace (virtual or physical) can have catastrophic ends. A continuity plan is completely useless if employees have no idea how to use digital resources securely or react to a disaster. And the problem only worsens as more employees work remotely without direct supervision while handling sensitive data and apps. Bring your staff on board with disaster recovery planning through regular security training sessions. Doing so should help minimize human error and insider threats.
A business continuity plan considers all the critical assets and processes that power an enterprise’s core operations. Although these resources vary between businesses, communication is crucially worth preserving to maintain workflow during a disaster. Keep in mind that communication covers a wide range of business processes, including data transfers, collaborations, automation, customer interactions, and even marketing. The point is, secure communications and workflow are fundamental pieces of any business continuity plan.
Make sure your business can stay up and running even in the event of a disaster. If you need help creating a strong business continuity plan and determine what should be included, reach out to KME Systems for guidance.