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Cyber resilience has to be integrated into a broad business continuity plan

When developing cyber resilience strategies, organizations must not neglect the need for a complementary work area recovery strategy, says Innes le Roux, GM, Resilient Office Services at ContinuitySA.

"When ICT systems are down or compromised, companies cannot trade and government entities cannot deliver services. Equally, though, if their premises are unavailable, they cannot use those same systems," argues Le Roux. "Cyber resilience has to be integrated into a broad business continuity plan, and that has to include work area recovery."

Le Roux says cyber resilience was chosen as the theme for this year's Business Continuity Awareness Week in recognition of ICT's importance in business, but it must not be seen in isolation.

Setting up a work area recovery facility that is kept up to date and will actually perform during a crisis can be daunting. Many organizations are opting to work with specialist work area recovery providers in order to avoid the management hassles and capital costs of setting up their own work area recovery facilities.

Work area recovery services can be procured as dedicated seats to remove all risk, or syndicated seats. The latter are obviously less expensive as the costs are shared with other organizations, but the risk is increased because if one of the other members of the syndicate has invoked a disaster, the seats might not be available.

"The key point to remember here is that business continuity has to be approached holistically. Every part of the organization has its specific role to play and, similarly, needs to be prioritised and integrated into the plans for responding to, and recovering from, a disaster. It is thus very important that a proper business continuity plan, based on a business impact analysis, is completed and kept up to date," says Le Roux. "Only then will cyber resilience be properly integrated into the overall resilience programme, along with work area recovery, to ensure that, in the event of a disaster, employees will have the desks and the systems needed to keep the organization up and running.

"Now that's really peace of mind," he concludes.

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