IT Resilience Preparing: Ensuring Business Continuity in the Face of Disruptions


Statistics show that over 400 million people across the globe have been affected by cybercrime, says Astra (2024). This disruption is further reinforced by the fact that the world has seen an incredible total of almost $6 trillion of inflicted damages throughout 2021, Cyber Crime Magazine (2020). As these costs are high, they are only said to increase. The projection is that these disruptions will cost up to $10 trillion by 2025. If there is a failure to protect data and insufficient disaster recovery processes. These disruptions can affect everything from operations and business practices to reputation.  

Given the world’s climate, IT resilience planning is essential for any business. To put it simply, IT resilience planning is the ability to protect your data and applications from problems. Building this type of resilience is done by adopting several plans to help overcome threats. These programs can include business continuity, cyber security and event response.

The right IT resilience plan is vital for any growing business. Any IT professional or business owner knows how detrimental not having a plan in place can be. With the integration of the right plan, businesses can stay operational if the worst were to occur. When a robust resilience plan is in place, expect to see advantages like minimized downtime and increased customer confidence in services. 

The Threat Landscape:

Like with any situation, understanding the threats of these disruptions will enable you to prepare and equip yourself and the business for the worst-case scenario. 

Cyber-attacks are one of the more well-known disruption threats that companies can expect. As identified by IBM (2024), a cyberattack is “An intentional energy to grab, reveal, alter, eliminate, or destroy data, applications, and other assets through unauthorized access to a system , pc program or digital device.” Regarding an IT infrastructure, that risk can have substantial ramifications, including downtime and information loss.

Human error, on the other hand, has the potential to impact the IT infrastructure as well. Otherwise, unintentional actions that are taken by team members across a business can lead to a breach of security. Human error can also refer to data entry mistakes and mishandled software updates, all of which could be avoided. These errors can impact businesses, like cyber-attacks, with increased downtime and financial implications.

Power outages have also become a point of concern within various industries. No matter what side of the world you are based on, energy is becoming immensely high in demand, leading to increased power outages.  Power outages can also refer to natural disasters, equipment failure, or surges, to name a few. All of which can lead to the corruption of files or data integrity. 

Natural disasters are another cause for concern with IT infrastructure. They are more prevalent in a few nations than the others . Natural disasters like power outages have a tremendous structural effect on infrastructure. They can also cause communication disruptions, leading to the need for disaster recovery. That can lead to data reduction and status damage.

Building Your IT Resilience Plan:

With business continuity in mind, always. As a business owner, you must look at every worst-case scenario. A solid IT resilience plan will also alleviate any concerns about future risks that could be out of your control. 

Imagine IT resilience in this situation. Disaster strikes and the business has been hit with a cyber-attack. Inevitably, this could go one of two ways. The first scenario would include the worst. A cyber-attack focused on destroying the very cornerstone of your business, the data. In this case, data loss, downtime, and financial implications are all on the outcome cards. In the second scenario, your business has prepared adequately. It is using time to construct IT resilience plans . This time is well-spent as it has set the company up to face adversity in a cyber-attack with an appropriate response and recovery plan: minimizing data and financial loss. 

This is how you can construct your IT resilience program:

Step 1: Conduct a Company Influence Evaluation (BIA):

A BIA, usually known as “Organization Impact Analysis”, can be referred to as the method applied to identify the potential influence that disruptions may have on your company operations. This is understanding different business functions’ reliance on IT for safeguarding business continuity. 

Here are some questions that can be asked to guide the BIA process: 

1.)   What happens if system X goes down for Y hours? 

2.)   What is the maximum tolerable downtime for every business function before it impacts the business negatively? 

3.)   How will this downtime affect customer experience (satisfaction, service and retention)?

4.)   How dependent are the critical business functions on third-party operations (If they are impacted, how would it affect business operations)?

5.)   What would the financial implications of one of these disruptions be? (Including recovery costs, any penalties or revenue loss)?

6.)   What would the recovery point objectives  (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) be for the IT infrastructure?

Step 2: Develop Recovery Strategies:

Once the BIA has been conducted, it is essential to focus on developing recovery strategies. When looking at these strategies, you can expect to review the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). The Recovery Time Objective is the goal your business should set as the maximum time to restore any operations from disruption. Recovery Point Objective refers to the maximum amount of data a company is willing to lose in a disruption. Disaster recovery strategies are an essential part of the resilience planning process.

Various recovery strategies for the IT and data infrastructure should be in place—backups, redundancy and failover. 

When backups, it includes ensuring that there are copies of any data stored in another location. To prevent the loss of data entirely in a disaster. This is often done through cloud storage. 

Redundancy refers to duplicating information technology systems that can be harnessed in a disaster. The redundancy strategy involves hardware as well as network and data strategy. 

The failover strategy essentially includes being able to transfer all operations to a “standby’ system if failure occurs. This does not affect any day-to-day operations and should allow a seamless transition without service disruption.

Step 3: Implement & Test the Plan:

When looking to implement and test the plans in place, it is essential to understand the importance of adequately documented procedures, clear roles and responsibilities, and employee training. If the wrong processes and structure could be very costly, they must be reported correctly. This will allow less room for error when implementing the methods. The correct employee training will also empower employees within the business to take action when needed. Clear-cut roles and responsibilities within these processes will also ensure that everything is evident at all stages and that there are no gaps.

As the resilience plan is in place, ensure regular testing is ongoing. Keeping current with these processes will help you and your team ensure that if disaster strikes, everyone is prepared. 

Additional Considerations:

While many things need to be considered when building around resilience planning, one factor that needs to be considered would be the different cloud-based solutions available. When evaluating the various cloud solutions available for your business, you will come across solutions like cloud backup and recovery and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), with cloud security and compliance, cloud-based high availability, and load balancing, 

As a business, it is a good idea to get in touch with the right professionals to help implement the solutions your unique business needs. They will reinforce how important it is for businesses to conduct risk assessments and plan updates regularly.

In an ever-evolving world, ensure you have equipped your IT infrastructure to be resilient to any disruptions. From cyber-attacks to natural disasters, you need to be prepared for everything. The right IT resilience plan will protect a business from losing precious data and income.

Contact the Ignition IT team today to schedule a consultation to discover how we can help your business prepare for any disruption. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *