The threat that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents has put everyone on high alert, as governments, regulatory agencies and health professionals offer guidance and potential measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
In response to a pandemic, businesses are encouraged to rethink their business continuity plans and prepare for disaster recovery. We have highlighted key areas that should be covered in your business continuity plan to help mitigate business disruptions due to COVID-19. This guide should be read in conjunction with the latest applicable guidance from the regulatory and government agencies concerned.
Review Your Business Continuity (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Plans.
Your business must review its existing business continuity and disaster recovery plans to address a myriad of contingencies, including possible pandemics, that could disrupt business operation.
These plans should be versatile enough and should represent the size, complexity and business activities of the company. To address COVID-19’s unique challenges, the business continuity and disaster recovery plans of your company should provide for:
- A proactive program to reduce the likelihood that a pandemic occurrence would significantly affect the company’s business activities, including monitoring of possible outbreaks, preparation of staff through training and continuous communication and coordination with critical service providers.
- A structured and written Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan ensuring the structure and procedures of the company are established and implemented during a pandemic.
- System for addressing business locations and/or facilities to ensure the ability of business operations and activities can continue when its primary physical space is inaccessible.
- Testing the plan to validate the business continuity efficacy and the operational recovery procedures. Testing supports the company’s readiness to respond to an unexpected business interruption such as COVID-19, facilitates continuous improvement, and ensures the availability and reliability of critical processes and supporting resources of the business. Tabletop exercises should include the preparation for a wide range of possible situations, including but not limited to workplace closures and quarantines, as well as delays to public transportation and critical service providers.
- Management team oversight and accountability to ensure the company’s business continuity and recovery plans for disasters are kept up-to-date and maintain ability to sustain its business operations.