Do You Know Where Your Business Continuity Plan Is? Now is a Good Time to Look

Business continuityThose of us in the risk management and compliance profession read the news a little differently than most optimists do.  We tend to ask ourselves, “How could this news have a negative impact on our business and our clients, and how severe would that impact be?”  Recently a few themes in the news have caught our attention at Oyster and caused us address business continuity plans a little earlier this year than we routinely do on our compliance calendars.

Too many firms think of business continuity plans as an IT problem.  While equipment failure or connectivity issue is certainly a major risk to how we serve our clients as financial services professionals, the core function of a good business continuity plan is to serve clients during a time of crisis.

On January 23, 2020, FINRA sent a notice to members describing heightened terror threats and risk.  Cybersecurity threats are always a key risk, but the United States Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin related to the activities of Iran and its partners as they seek to respond to the actions of the US Government.  Denial of service attacks, ransomware and physical terrorism continue to be major threats.  But there’s more.

As the impacts of the Coronavirus on global markets continue to make headlines, have you asked yourself the obvious question – what will you do in the event of a pandemic where you are?  Are you ready to provide the critical services to your clients if you must respond like Apple and close your business during a quarantine?  What if 20% of your employees can telecommute, but are sick?

There are no boiler plate approaches to business continuity planning that will work like one designed for your business.  So, spend some time soon reviewing your plan.  Ask yourself if it will work or not and amend it, as necessary.  And if you want to be truly ready, practice it.  It is much easier to resolve gaps in a test than during a time of crises, and clients will remember if you are able to serve them well during their time of need.

Oyster professionals have first-hand experience as firm leaders in business continuity management, business continuity plan design, development and implementation, incident/event management, technology infrastructure resilience and recovery, and operations management. Oyster understands how to help identify and prioritize activities and mitigate the impacts of business disruptions. Our solutions are practical and tailored to your firm’s business model.

Oyster provides free resources such as podcasts and blogs, as well a team of consultants and software to help you organize and automate your compliance program. Oyster Consulting has the knowledge and experience to support your efforts to achieve compliance. To receive assistance with the design or implementation of your business continuity plan, please give us a call at (804) 965-5400 and a Relationship Manager will be glad to connect you with an Oyster expert.

 

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