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

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Best Practices Continued

Priorities for Best Practice in Convergence of Business Continuity, Security and Risk Management

  • Leverage asset information across teams: When there is a need to determine the criticality of assets and the effect of a disruption on business, leverage baseline or detailed risk assessments from other teams that are looking at risks due to confidentiality, availability or integrity or other factors that can be leveraged in a common framework.
  • Leverage social media for situational awareness: Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, etc., can be used in a positive way for seeking and sharing information that can be used as data in risk management. This data can be correlated to organizational assets, facilities or risks.
  • Leverage a common governance, risk and compliance (GRC) platform, with an asset inventory and risk and control framework and nomenclature. It is important for organizations to collect and develop better information and evidence about attack vectors, and the impact achieved by adversaries and threat agents. Organizations should perform a shift in security controls to accommodate emerging threat trends and integrate tests and exercises with business continuity and disaster recovery programs.

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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