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How Seasonal Factors Affect Business Continuity Planning

ivan walsh /
How Seasonal Factors Affect Business Continuity Planning

In an ideal world, after you write your Business Continuity Plan, you could put it away and move on.

However, while Business Continuity Planning (BCP) concerns are generally constant throughout the year, you need to consider some seasonal factors.

Here's a breakdown of the regular concerns and how they might change slightly depending on the time of year:

- Risk Assessments and Business Impact Analysis (BIA): These are crucial for understanding vulnerabilities and prioritizing critical operations. They should be reviewed and updated regularly, regardless of the season.

- Employee Preparedness: Training and communication with employees are essential for an effective BCP. While training can happen year-round, communication might be more crucial during specific times. For instance, if your business is in an area prone to hurricanes, revisiting evacuation plans and communication protocols before hurricane season is important.

- Security Threats: As social engineering becomes more sophisticated, staying updated on the latest threats is vital. There might be specific times where certain scams or attacks are more prevalent, so seasonal awareness can be helpful. For example, around the time of major IT conferences where staff are working outside the corp. firewall.

- System Outages: These can disrupt operations significantly. While outages can happen anytime, certain times of year might see more strain on IT systems due to holidays or year-end processes. Create a backup plan for critical tasks during peak times.

- Natural Disasters: The likelihood of some disasters can vary depending on the season. Climate change is increasingly a factor. If your businesses or data center is in a flood-prone area, make sure to heighten preparedness during spring months.

- Schedule Regular Tests and Updates: Test and update your BCPs regularly to ensure effectiveness. Scheduling tests throughout the year is ideal.

As mentioned, seasonal awareness can help prioritize communication and focus on potential threats more likely during specific times.

If you’re concerned about this, download the following MS Word and Excel BCP templates. You can adapt these to your requirements and share with your teams online.

As always, reach out to us if you have any questions.

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