Because so many businesses rely deeply on their technology today, it can be scary to think about what would happen if it stopped working! But this is a topic worth spending some thought on – if your business lost access to its data and systems, what would your business do, and how would it be impacted? The answers of businesses without a continuity plan in place will certainly be graver than the ones that do have one.
IT support providers can help your business to create a solution that enables it to continue its operations and recover its data and systems fully and rapidly, greatly mitigating any damages caused by disruption and ensuring it can get back on the road as quickly as possible. In this blog, we guide you through how IT support providers can help you to achieve business continuity.
What Is Business Continuity?
Business continuity is like having a well thought out backup plan for your business, just in case things don’t go as smoothly as you’d expect. You can think of it as a safety net or a spare tyre, that ensures your company is able to keep going, even when a significant disruption occurs. So, what can this look like in the realm of IT?
- Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: These solutions involve backing up your data regularly and storing it in other secure locations, so that whenever it’s needed, it can be quickly and reliably recovered.
- Remote Working Capabilities: Covid-19 provides an example of how having remote working capabilities can empower a business to keep operating seamlessly. They can also be helpful in the event of a significant power outage or any other event that necessitates working away from the office.
- Incident Response Planning: This entails creating plans for different scenarios that can disrupt business continuity, enabling a coordinated and effective response.
What Can Compromise Business Continuity?
While a lot of things can cause your business to lose access to its data and systems, like hardware failures or natural disasters, the chief technological threat that businesses face, is cyber-attacks. A popular method used by cyber criminals, is ransomware attacks. This is where a malicious software gains access to your company’s network and starts to encrypt your data, preventing access and effectively shutting down operations.
The attackers will try to get you to pay a ransom under the promise that access will be restored – this is never guaranteed, so we never recommend this. A business continuity solution can be effective against ransomware, as your business will be able to side-step this threat and recover its data and operations, while other measures, such as an incident response plan, can help you to address the threat itself.
Now that you understand what business continuity is and how it can be invaluable for your business, let’s look at how IT support providers can implement business continuity planning in your business.
They Map Vulnerabilities
One of the first steps that a provider will take, is a comprehensive audit of your IT environment and your network for vulnerabilities that could cause your operations to grind to a halt. Knowing these vulnerabilities, they can take steps to eliminate them entirely, or create response plans that mitigate them as much as possible.
An IT support provider will survey the breadth and depth of your IT environment for these vulnerabilities, including your servers, devices, applications, network infrastructure, and cloud systems. With this knowledge, they get to work creating plans to respond to these threats.
Developing and Testing Disaster Recovery Plans
Now that the provider has a thorough awareness of your IT environment and the vulnerabilities that it has, they get to work patching them up. Of course, there will be some vulnerabilities that cannot be resolved completely. To address these risks, the provider will create disaster recovery plans that address a range of potential scenarios that can knock your systems down.
They will also work with your business to define recovery objectives, including recovery time targets, and how the recovery should be carried out. This way, they ensure that these plans align with your business.
The IT support provider will also test these plans regularly to ensure that they work in practice. They will also create failover mechanisms to ensure that even if aspects of the plan do not work as intended, alternative routes and mechanisms will be in place to restore your data and systems.
Implementing Robust Security Measures
Business continuity and cybersecurity go hand in hand. Cybersecurity measures can be the difference between a minor incident and a catastrophic breach that brings your business offline. IT support providers can implement a range of solutions that protect your business continuity, that also can empower other important goals for your business, such as compliance.
These solutions include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), email filtering and spam protection, user awareness training, and much more. In combination, these solutions shore up a solid cyber security posture for your business, providing peace of mind and helping to support business continuity.
Monitoring and Incident Response
We cannot respond to what we are unaware of, which is why monitoring and incident response is a crucial aspect to ensuring business continuity. Without the ability to detect threats and respond to them swiftly and effectively, a business will ultimately risk having its continuity disrupted by issues such as cyber threats, or even just an unforeseen network issue.
IT support providers will implement monitoring tools that provide oversight across your IT environment. These tools are equipped with smart features that can detect unusual events and anomalies that could indicate a cyber threat. With specialist cyber experts supporting your business alongside these mechanisms, they can respond swiftly, and ensure that your business continues to enjoy uninterrupted and productive operations.
Regulatory compliance is a critical aspect of business operations, especially in sectors like finance, healthcare, and other data-driven industries. An IT support provider can help your business to align its IT with your compliance efforts, making the implementation and demonstration of compliance much easier. This support can include implementing controls to ensure requirements are not breached, creating and documenting procedures, and reporting tools that make it easier to provide evidence to regulators.
We believe every business should have some form of continuity solution in place that ensures they can stay on track, even when the unexpected occurs. IT support providers can help you to build a comprehensive continuity plan and solution that helps you to secure the corners of your digital perimeter, the nodes in your IT environment, and ensure they are flexible enough to keep working for your business, no matter what challenges come your way.
Zia Networks: Providing Game-Changing IT Support in Santa Fe, Alburquerque and New Mexio
Ready to experience a new kind of IT support that is truly tailored and dedicated to empowering your commercial success? Look no further! Zia are here to make a difference for businesses across New Mexico, with IT support services that go above and beyond expectations. Want to see the Zia difference in action? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation. We’d love to hear about your technological challenges and needs, and will gladly provide personalized and actionable guidance, all delivered with a personal touch and a friendly smile.