How Business Continuity, Information Security and Risk Management Collaboration Bolsters Business Performance

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The Value

The Value of Convergence and Common Terminology in Effective Crisis Management

The positive effect of convergence between a business continuity model (BCM), security and risk management is that a broader view of risk is understood and a system for monitoring and managing risks can be derived. Collaborative teams form a better understanding of the most important activities in an organization, the resources that support them, and on-the-ground challenges they face. As a result, an integrated approach provides better risk identification, analysis and prioritization, more pragmatic risk treatment, and efficient investment in remediation.

Each new technology brings with it both new opportunities for creating value, as well as new threats and attack vectors that bad actors may exploit, as well as complexity that may lead to a failure or outage. It is critical for executives to understand this evolving threat landscape in order to set appetites, thresholds, and decide on policies that will both protect critical business processes and sensitive information. Increasingly, organizations are being asked to collaborate and cooperate on issues that may affect national security or the critical infrastructure that may be involved in an incident.

By Yo Delmar, vice president GRC Solutions at MetricStream, and Harvey Betan, associate principal at Risk Masters Inc.

Business continuity programs are often considered on a standalone basis, but recent incidents that involve security breaches highlight how business continuity, disaster recovery, security and risk management teams are compelled to work more closely together in order to understand the true likelihood and impact of potential disruptions to the business. Let's consider the situation, for example, when an IT infrastructure is compromised or made unavailable (e.g., DDoS attack) to an online banking site or an online retailer. Companies that have been impacted by these types of incidents have experienced, in some cases, dramatic effects on their business operations and revenues. To ensure that the business sails smoothly, more and more organizations are beginning to converge IT security, risk management and business continuity teams in order to establish and agree upon a common framework and processes for crisis management.

Today, business continuity planning and management goes beyond the physical continuity of the business, encompassing areas such as e-continuity, as well. We live in an era of e-business, with a growing percentage of business transactions moving through the Internet, extranets, virtual private networks and cloud service providers. The complexity of this ecosystem has given rise to a larger threat surface, with a higher number of threats to digital information and traffic flows. Over the last two to three years, the rise in cyberattacks has driven an integration of security with operational and enterprise risk management. More recently, business continuity and disaster recovery teams have become an increasingly key partner in these collaborative teams as a natural fit in the larger concept of a 360-degree risk management.

 

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