Business Continuity Testing

8 Feb

 

 

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This image was taking out of a slide show that from Manchester city council in preparation for the scenario that a major flu pandemic could take place. It summarizes the three stages of business continuity.  In order for the three stages of business continuity to be effective which are risk reduction, incident and recovery to be effective, adequate business continuity testing needs to take place. If the testing is a success then there should be no reason why a company should not be able to continue operating after a major event.

There is numerous business continuity testing techniques that can take place in order for a company to continue operating. One such technique is the mock emergency scenario concept. The purpose of the mock emergency scenario concept is to “provides additional criteria with which to evaluate the plan and associated documentation by use of role playing against a hypothetical emergency situation. This role playing concept will also be used for subsequent live testing.  All portions of the recovery plan which cannot be “live” tested (ex. damage assessment) rely heavily upon the role play concept (2). When implementing this scenario concept each employee within the firm will be giving a job to partake in, while the emergency scenario is taking place. Each employee will more than likely be part of an assessment team to evaluate the health of the company in the post emergency stage. These jobs may include personnel role call to ensure no employee is missing and that everyone will be accounted for. Another job an employee may be apart of is a damage assessment team. In this case the employee would be part of a team which would assess the impact that the emergency scenario and how it has impacted of the buildings infrastructure.

Another testing method an IT company may try to prepare for is a power failure scenario. A company may try to prepare for this scenario while essential maintenance on the facility may force to power to be turned off. In this case “contingency plans are executed/tested concurrently. If the production infrastructure is going to be off-line due to maintenance that is predetermined, use this opportunity to test your planning and response mechanisms to their fullest”(3). In this case employees will again be assigned to teams and will be asked to carry out specific objectives for the company to ensure to power outage has not crippled the company’s I.T infrastructure.

In order for a company partake in business continuity testing a lot of planning needs to take place. For instance testing scenarios should be thought out well in advance so it will give employee’s enough time to prepare for the event. The benefits of business continuity testing can be great as employees will gain enough knowledge to know exactly what to do in the event of a minor or major disaster.

 

Ref:

1)      http://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=business%20continuity%20testing%20scenarios&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&ved=0CFcQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.manchester.gov.uk%2Fdownload%2F5591%2Fbusiness_continuity_plan_exercise_template_pandemic_flu_scenario_ppt&ei=lN0TUdq7A8W7hAeC8ICACA&usg=AFQjCNF4MF3nkP4ZCU-yE7CrTj56ko8JYg&bvm=bv.42080656,d.ZGU

2)      http://www.fin.ucar.edu/sass/bc/BC-TestPrep.pdf

3)      http://www.opscentre.com.au/blog/business-continuity-test-scenarios/

 

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