Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Safety at Home

Each year, we provide items that will help you and your employees ensure that your families are safe in winter at home, in vehicles, and outdoors. Please share this issue with your employees and colleagues so everyone will be prepared for the challenges that winter weather brings and can stay safe throughout the season and afterward.

Follow these safety tips to stay safe if you’re stranded in your vehicle. (Item #1) The CDC provides valuable winter weather health and safety information. (Item #2) Here are some tips to help keep the kiddies safe. (Item #3)

Kids love sledding... here are some tips on sledding safety. (Item #4) Keep the home fires burning... safely! (Item #5) Power outages usually take us unaware, so it’s best to be prepared, just in case. (Item #6)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Weather

Wintry weather brings with it many seasonal threats that can result in business interruption, from a flu outbreak that decimates your staff to flooding caused by frozen pipes that explode to an ice storm that knocks out your power. Don’t be caught by surprise... if you haven’t already done so, start now to make a plan to keep your business operating, despite the worst of winter weather. This week’s articles can help you write or update a winter preparedness plan.

Don’t let early snowstorms catch you by surprise - prepare now! (Item #1) Advance preparation can help to mitigate winter weather impacts on your operations and business continuity. (Item #2) Small businesses also have winter weather challenges. (Item #3) 

Plan now for inclement weather... not after the snow falls. (Item #4) Here are some tips on how to minimize the effects of winter storms on your building. (Item #5) Share this article from FEMA with your employees so they will be prepared at home. (Item #6) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Testing, Training & Exercising

What would you say if someone called and asked if you had tested your business continuity plan yet? If you wouldn’t be able to say “yes,” you should be starting right now to figure out how to exercise your plan. Remember, as this week’s quote implies, your plan could fail if it is not tested (and you don’t want it used for the first time in a real disaster). You have to be sure everyone knows what to do and how to do it and is able to get that experience without being under fire.

These tips, lessons and recommendations can help you develop and facilitate BC exercises. (Item #1) Exercises should be done on a regular schedule to ensure it works and to learn from what doesn't work. (Item #2) Testing & exercising can help train employees so they are competent in their roles if a disaster occurs. (Item #3)

Here are some testing tips and a suggested schedule for exercising the plan. (Item #4) This article covers the entire testing process, from setting goals to completing the post-test report. (Item #5) FEMA offers help on how to design an exercise that provides the greatest value in the most cost-effective way. (Item #6)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Parties... or Not?

Thanksgiving and Christmas are almost here, and many offices plan holiday parties at this time of year... or at least try to figure out how to recognize employees for their hard work, loyalty, etc. If you're looking for ideas other than the typical office party, articles #1 and #2 may interest you. If you're still going to hold the annual bash, you may want to take a look at the rest of this week's articles to help avoid liability that could damage - or close - your business.

Here are several suggestions for festivities that don't need to involve alcohol. (Item #1) Perhaps you'd like your holiday celebration to reflect the austerity of the times but still be fun. (Item #2) If you're going ahead with the big bash, some tips on limiting liability. (Item #3)

Here's an office party risk assessment checklist for managers. (Item #4) There are several types of liability you need to look out for. (Item #5) Don't let party incidents destroy the goodwill the event was designed to create. (Item #6)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

After the disaster...

First of all, we want to say that our thoughts and hearts are with any of you who have struggled through - or may still be struggling with - the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The devastation from Hurricane Sandy is massive, and it certainly should cause us to think about what we need to do AFTER the disaster. Following your plan is important, but perhaps there were things you didn't prepare for... what do you do now? This issue can help you review your disaster recovery plan to see if more preparations were needed.

The effects of a hurricane like Sandy should be a reminder to all businesses of the importance of disaster recovery planning. (Item #1) Take this advice from a business owner who recovered. (Item #2) Managing after a disaster presents unique challenges. (Item #3)

Here's a guide for the small business owner regarding working with your insurance representatives. (Item #4) If your home also is affected by a disaster, here are some steps to take to get your home and your life back in order. (Item #5) Here’s some guidance from small businesses on how to get back to business as soon as possible. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What would you do?

It's Halloween and time for our unusual disaster issue. Everything here could happen... even if there's only a small chance (we hope). The question is what would you do to prepare for and deal with these disasters – and get your business up and running quickly. Several of these incidents had consequences no one could have imagined; maybe they should have been more imaginative.

London has been beset by Great Plagues and Great Fires, but did you know about the Great Beer Flood that killed eight? (Item #1) How can a sailor in a rough dockside bar tell a story about how his ship was almost destroyed, not by a hurricane or pirates but by an enraged dessert? (Item #2) Fire and an explosion kill more than 500, destroying the business district in Texas City, Texas. (Item #3)

70 city blocks were destroyed by this out-of-control fire and some 2,500 businesses were displaced. (Item #4) Some Minneapolis residents thought the world had ended when an explosion destroyed the Washburn A Mill. (Item #5) A shipment of liquid nitroglycerin led to one of the greatest industrial accidents of early California. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning

Developing business continuity and disaster recovery plans require a lot of time and effort to develop and test so they can be implemented immediately when needed. The goal, of course, is to prevent as many disruptions as possible and to be able to get up and running quickly if a disaster does occur. How well can your BC and DR plans meet these goals? Check out this issue for information that can help you improve and update your current plans.

These business issues are likely to have impacted (or will impact) business continuity planning. (Item #1) The legal issues involved in corporate contingency planning are some of the most misunderstood and confusing aspects of the entire process of creating a disaster recovery plan. (Item #2) Your ability to ensure the continuity of your company also depends on your willingness and ability to communicate your continuity wishes to those who will be affected. (Item #3)

Four reasons IT executives charged with business continuity planning, risk management and disaster recovery must consider their employees and operations heavily in their plans. (Item #4) A remote access solution must be intuitive and must take into account the increased need for security under business continuity conditions. (Item #5) Disaster recovery planning is affected by social, mobile, virtualization and cloud services. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Terrorism today takes many forms, but perhaps the most common are bombings, shootings, and kidnappings. You never know what terrorists will do next, so you have to make sure you understand your organization’s specific risks. You also have to know how you might be collateral damage from an attack on another organization. Take a look at this week’s articles and determine if you have to rethink some of your business continuity plans for terrorism.

Diligent companies must take heed of new terrorism realities and prepare accordingly. (Item #1) Two ways corporations are involved in counter-terrorism is in their development of security plans and engineering and retrofitting facility designs so that security is built in rather than bolted on. (Item #2) Business continuity needs to be part of the equation in managing terrorism risk. (Item #3)

Terrorists may be home-grown, but their reach is global. (Item #4) Building evacuation in terrorist times isn't an easy decision. (Item #5) The combination of detection, investigation and intelligence lets the user know exactly how to respond to an attack. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crisis Communication

Crisis communication, a critical piece of crisis management, is an area often neglected when developing a business continuity plan. When you are writing your plan, make sure you have covered all the possible aspects of this area, everything from how to communicate with your employees to what to say to the media, who's going to do the talking, and getting control of the message. This week's articles can help you fill out the missing parts of the crisis communication plan.

Don't forget the importance of social media in crisis communication. (Item #1) These lessons from a communications specialist shed light on some things to consider. (Item #2) You have to practice your crisis communications plan just as you would a fire drill. (Item #3)

Are you really prepared to communicate in a crisis? (Item #4)  How does risk communication fit into the war on terror? (Item #5) When Kony 2012 burst on the scene, it was quite a crisis communications challenge; the organization behind the video offers lessons in this article. (Item #6)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fire Prevention Week

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association. According to the NFPA, from 2005-2009 more than half of all non-residential structure fires occurred in workplaces. Almost 20 percent of those workplace fires occurred in office settings. This week's articles provide lots of fire safety tips that you can use in your fire prevention plan.

Check out NFPA's resources for Fire Prevention Week. (Item #1) Workplace fire safety is OSHA's principal focus. (Item #2) In high-occupancy buildings fire safety and effective evacuation strategies are particularly important. (Item #3)

If you don't have a fire safety plan (or have it in your BC plan), you need to start on one. (Item #4) Don't forget that employees need to be trained in fire safety, beyond just knowing where the exits are. (Item #5) Use this fire prevention checklist to see how well you're doing with fire safety. (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meetings and Events

If you take all precautions possible when planning your meeting or event, you shouldn't have any of the moments mentioned in this week's quote. While you cannot plan for every contingency, you can prepare yourself to deal with any disruption if you follow the advice in this week's articles and do everything you can to manage risk.

A risk management plan can help you with many of the contingencies that could arise. (Item #1) Since you can't do away with all risks, you do ensure that you can manage them should they occur. (Item #2) Start with this checklist, add your own items, and then use it when you're planning. (Item #3) 

Liquor at meetings is always a concern; see these steps to limiting your liquor liability.(Item #4) Your organization, and even individuals, could be at risk of liability exposure if you're not aware of all the laws that could land you in trouble. (Item #5) Meeting planners need to be risk managers. (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mass Notification Systems

If a disaster or disruptive event occurs, a mass notification system (MNS) may be the one thing that can keep your organization off page one. This week’s articles cover many aspects of planning, buying and using a mass notification system.

A mass notification system is not the same as a fire alarm system; it requires far more flexibility and offers a lot more options. (Item #1) Here is a list of best practices recommended by campus protection professionals, emergency notification equipment manufacturers and other subject matter experts. (Item #2) New communication technologies and formats call for increased scrutiny of the behavioral factors that impact their effectiveness and define their role in specific alerting and mass notification applications. (Item #3)

Does risk analysis provide real value when planning an MNS? (Item #4) Check with your cell providers to make sure they aren't blocking your SMS/text alerts. (Item #5) Here are 10 factors to consider when buying an MNS. (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting Management Buy-In

The lucky ones among you already have management buy-in for your business continuity plans. Was it easy? Probably not, but there are ways to make it easier for the rest of you. This week's articles provide many tips on what you need to do to get management to understand that BC is not just a cost center but the path to survival.

Here are four tips to gain upper management attention. (Item #1) How to give the board a message it needs to hear. (Item #2) The first step in deciding how to sell BC investment to a difficult manager or director is to determine what kind of boss you have. (Item #3)

Much has been written about getting "senior management buy in" for business continuity, but what about everyone else? (Item #4) You have to tie BC to the bottom line to get top-level support. (Item #5) How do you ensure that your business continuity plan, disaster recovery plan and risk assessment get the required support from the top level of the business? (Item #6)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Employee Issues & Business Continuity

Employees may be your greatest asset, but they could also be your downfall if you aren't careful. Issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of privacy and others can put your business at risk if you end up in court on the wrong end of a lawsuit. This week's articles give you some information about issues that could help you prevent problems with employees.

There are a number of laws you need to know about to avoid legal issues with employees. (Item #1) Background screening too expensive? You have no idea the cost of not background screening. (Item #2) Do any of these problem employees sound familiar to you? (Item #3)

Here are some examples of employee relations issues. (Item #4) Employees and other insiders can wreak havoc with your digital assets. (Item #5) Make sure you're familiar with these privacy laws so you won't run afoul of the law. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Online Reputation Management

Your good online reputation is a critical component of your ability to stay in business... if it's damaged beyond repair, you may not survive. If you haven't made online reputation management (ORM) a part of your business continuity plan, the articles below can help you understand ORM and figure out how to protect and/or defend your reputation.

Every user is a critic and every brand is fair game; you need to manage your reputation. (Item #1) Do you know your reputation's weakness? (Item #2) Your good reputation is your greatest asset and needs to be protected. (Item #3)

Damage to an organization's reputation is often regarded as the most important risk. (Item #4) Reputation is a major risk issue for all organizations and needs to be considered alongside all the other major risks. (Item #5) Being left in the dark when it comes to your online reputation can be compared to collecting customer comment cards at a brick and mortar store and tossing them in the trash without reading them. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and, if you haven’t thought about it yet, there’s still time to think about what you need to do to prepare. Maybe you have a plan for your business and your home; if not, below are some articles to help you increase your readiness for a disaster – and your ability to recover from one.

Take a look at the 2012 Ready toolkit from FEMA for all you need to know to participate in National Preparedness Month. (Item #1) Here’s a quick rundown of what businesses need to think about in developing a preparedness plan. (Item #2) Think all you have to do in an emergency is call 911? Think again. (Item #3)

Do you know what documents you would need in your 72-hour supplies? (Item #4) The most critical step in being able to recover from a disaster is being prepared for one in the first place. (Item #5) Shock and denial are typical responses to traumatic events and disasters, especially shortly after the event; how do you deal with them? (Item #6) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning

There are so many disasters and disruptions that can happen to any business, it would be foolhardy not to have a plan to deal with them. Sure, many of them may never happen to you, but some probably will – and one of them could be your downfall. We hope this week’s articles will encourage you to get busy on your plan, or, if you have one, to make sure it’s up to date and includes everything it needs to.

Despite the close attention paid to the details of methodologies and best practices, business continuity programs are not as successful as they should be. (Item #1) This survey provides answers to questions we may not have thought of asking with regard to business continuity planning. (Item #2) In a recent survey, protection of brand out-paced other top reasons for business continuity. (Item #3)

New technologies and trends can create new challenges for IT, information security and risk management executives. (Item #4) Disaster recovery planning is a crucial component of today’s network-based organizations that determine productivity, and business continuity. (Item #5) Building a business continuity plan is an ongoing job, but mature technologies exist that meet the range of key requirements. (Item #6) 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cyber Crime

According to security experts, the threats of cybercrime and cyber terrorism are real and need to be taken seriously. No business is exempt from these attacks, so you need to ensure you take all precautions possible. The articles below provide usable information on what to be aware of and how to protect your organization.

Today's attackers are better at sharing real-time intelligence than their targets, and fixing this should be a top priority in 2012. (Item #1) Seconds matter in cybercrime investigations, but it’s nearly impossible to contact Google, Facebook and others by phone. (Item #2) If your security isn’t up to par, you’re vulnerable to cybercriminals. (Item #3)

Whether sophisticated or low-tech attach, cyber terrorism may be a greater threat that any physical attack. (Item #4) Businesses must constantly be on the alert to outwit cyber criminals; a number of simple procedures to enhance IT protection can help to fend off attacks. (Item #5) Here’s a link to a site where you can initiate a complaint about cybercrime. (Item #6)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Workplace Violence

In addition to the chaos and physical impact of workplace violence, it takes a toll on productivity - absenteeism and impaired job performance are just the tip of the iceberg. You may not be able to prevent every incidence of workplace violence, but, with some knowledge of how and why it occurs, you should be able to see the signs and possibly prevent some incidents. This week’s articles should help with that endeavor.

Acts of workplace violence can be reduced and many costs can be avoided with forethought, strategic planning and progressive action. (Item #1) It’s the responsibility of leaders and administrators to be aware of the potential for violence and to know how to deal with it. (Item #2) To help understand the potential for employer liability, you first have to understand workplace violence and its signs. (Item #3)

What happens at home doesn’t always stay at home. (Item #4) Employers know that personal, “real life” problems affect job performance, and that job performance affects the bottom line. (Item #5) This article summarizes the findings of a workshop on workplace violence held in Washington DC. (Item #6) 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crisis Communication

Communicate, communicate, communicate... it's one of the most important things to do in any crisis situation – with staff, with the public, with the media and with any other stakeholders. Communications is one area where a lot of organizations fail when they test their plans. This week's articles can help change that "fail" to a "pass."

It's been said that everyone's IQ drops in a crisis... here are some rules that can help minimize this problem. (Item #1) Here's an explanation of how your crisis communication plan can work to protect your organization. (Item #2) Branding experts give their best tips on how to handle public outrage resulting from a crisis. (Item #3)

There's no question that emotions run high in a crisis; here's how to handle yours and everyone else's. (Item #4) In today's 24-hour news cycle, you have to be prepared ahead of time to deal with a crisis. (Item #5) It's no overstatement to say that communicating risk to public audiences can seem like a tricky business. (Item #6)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Testing and Training

One of the reasons that disaster recovery and business continuity plans fail is they often are not updated, tested, or employees are not trained in how to use them. Don't be one of those organizations that only becomes a believer in testing after a disaster in which plans didn't work. Heed the advice in this week's articles and rest assured that your plan will do what it's designed for.

If you want to be ready for a disaster, you must test your plan. (Item #1) Can your organization take a lickin' and keep on tickin'? (Item #2) Testing your plan requires management support, time for preparation and execution, funding, careful planning... here's how. (Item #3)

Simulations are not a science. In fact simulations are, for better or for worse, an art. (Item #4) Hurricane season is upon us, and you should be asking yourself if your Disaster Recovery (DR) plan can help you recover if needed. (Item #5) Disaster recovery planning is an ongoing, never ending process that should include quarterly reviews and annual tests. (Item #6)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Social Media and Business Continuity

There are many pros and cons of using social media in business, including the concern about what to do if things go wrong. Many businesses today, however, are integrating social media into their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans and activities. Read on to learn more about this evolving trend.

The use of social media as a business continuity tool is a trend on the upswing. (Item #1) HR professionals, should update their business continuity plans to include social media. (Item #2) Today’s consensus is that it is now a “smart practice” to include SM in BCP and COOP programs. (Item #3)

Twitter allows users to quickly and efficiently interact with one another 140 characters at a time through what is called a “tweet.” (Item #4) There’s a wrong and right way to handle a social media disaster. (Item #5) Two women in Missouri got on Facebook and helped after the Joplin tornado. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Identity Theft and Phishing

Most people today are aware that they need to protect themselves from identity theft, phishing, and other scams that run rampant online. A lot of businesses, however, are unaware how vulnerable they are to these same crimes. Even if you take precautions, your employees – and even the state offices that hold your business information – can increase your vulnerability. Discover some eye-opening information about business identity theft and phishing.

Identity thieves are taking advantage of the fact that so much more business is done online these days. (Item #1) If your employees have access to confidential information that can be used for identity theft they may decide to use this information themselves to make purchases, or obtain other lines of credit – and you could be liable. (Item #2) In many states, the business information held by state governments is no more secure – and as easily edited – as Wikipedia. (Item #3)

Many small and medium-sized business owners feel their businesses are too small to be valuable to identity thieves; that’s not how a criminal sees it. (Item #4) Businesses today should not only be aware of the risks of business identity theft, but should also take steps to try to catch it as early as possible to avoid the damaging consequences. (Item #5) Your Web site could be host to illegal activity right now… or maybe you’ve been hijacked. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Business Continuity and the Economy

Hurricanes, tornados, flash flooding, fires, power outages... all of these can close your doors for periods from a couple of hours to several days. Over the years, business continuity studies have shown that companies that experience a computer outage or other disruption lasting more than 10 days will never fully recover financially and half of them will be out of business within five years. Given this information, and with the current state of the global economy, investing in a disaster recovery/business continuity plan may be the only way to ensure you’ll still be around when the economy recovers.

Unless you’re expecting not to be around next week, continuity planning should still be on your agenda. (Item #1) Bring the issue of business continuity management higher up the boardroom agenda and prepare for the potential fall outs from political instability, social unrest and economic meltdown. (Item #2) A modular approach to continuity planning could be the answer in a slow economy. (Item #3)

If you want to avoid high disaster recovery costs, providing your business a dependable safety net will do you a lot of good. (Item #4) A strong business continuity environment provides assurance to the organization’s executive management that in the event of a disaster, the organization is in a superior position to survive. (Item #5)  Unsettled economic conditions can cause numerous business continuity challenges. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meetings & Events

If you fall into the trap of thinking nothing can go wrong with your event, remember Murphy’s Law. Because it is true that anything that can go wrong will... at any time. You may have been lucky up to now, but that luck won’t hold forever if you haven’t done everything possible to mitigate your risk and planned for something going wrong. Take a look at this week’s articles for some good hints on what to do to help prevent Murphy from prevailing.

Do you have a plan B for each of your events? (Item #1) Explore two of the vital 10 steps to safety. (Item #2) Do you have these five aspects of event safety under control? (Item #3)

Here are steps you can take to keep your attendees from overindulging and to reduce liquor-liability risk. (Item #4) Read about the best solutions to avoid branding or public image risk and payment risk. (Item #5) If you’re not already taking the steps in this checklist, you should be. (Item #6)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cyber Crime

Cyber crime covers a broad area, everything from hacking government web sites to cyber terrorism, but some of the most common cyber crimes are committed against businesses and individuals. Many organizations simply have not made cyber safety a priority. If you read the articles below, you’ll see that this should be moved way up the “to do” list, and you’ll also find some ways you can begin to protect yourself against cyber crime.

Cybergeddon is a huge threat facing us today. (Item #1) Cybercrime is among some of the most insidious—and profitable—of crimes. (Item #2) Social media networks are playing a role in cybercrime. (Item #3)

Cyber crimes can be thwarted through a comprehensive prevention and detection strategy. (Item #4) Small businesses must create a culture of security among their staff/clients/customers. (Item #5) We now face organized attempts to steal intellectual property in whatever form it may take. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

National Safety Month

National Safety Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council, is an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Remember that your employees' safety is ultimately your responsibility and that failure to guard that safety can result in problems and/or lawsuits that can damage both your reputation and your bottom line. This week we look at some types of incidents that could be prevented with proper awareness and planning.

Employee safety is a critical part of any business. (Item #1) Are you too complacent about workplace safety? (Item #2) Even if you don't realize, an office can be a dangerous place. (Item #3)

Workplace violence is a huge threat to everyone's safety. (Item #4) Electrical safety should be every organization's concern. (Item #5) Use this checklist to see if your safety measures are up to par. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

While the hurricane season is officially June 1—November 30, there already is a tropical storm off the southeast coast. Alberto is the earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic basin since Ana in 2003. In its 29th year of issuing Atlantic Basin hurricane forecasts, the Colorado State University forecast team has predicted a below-average 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season due to a cooling of the tropical Atlantic and the potential development of El Nino conditions. The CSU team calls for 10 named storms during the hurricane season. Four of those are expected to become hurricanes and two of those major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. Time to prepare!

Check out NOAA’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week site. (Item #1) Know the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane? Now you can find out... and get prepared as well. (Item #2) The Red Cross offers a resource you’ll want to know about. (Item #3)

Don’t forget to plan for your pets... even the government is now urging that pets figure in your disaster plans. (Item #4) Use this checklist from the Red Cross to be sure you’re prepared just in case. (Item #5) If you’re not up for putting together your own kit, check online for sources of ready-made kits. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mass Notification Systems

Ever since such events as the shootings at Virginia Tech and the sniper at Ft. Hood, there has been increasing interest in mass notification systems (MNS). Do you have one or are you thinking of implementing one? If so, you will appreciate the information in this week’s articles.

Everything you didn’t know you needed to know about MNS solutions. (Item #1) There are many different types of MNS solutions; here is some info about them. (Item #2) All types of organizations are now using MN systems. (Item #3)

Here’s how to use a MN system for full fire protection. (Item #4) Take a look at mass notification via social networks. (Item #5) Find out where and how code plays a part in MNS, as well as the many different types of systems and applications. (Item #6)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Business Continuity Planning

"Expect the best, but prepare for the worst." We've all heard this before, but, as I look at it now, I see how appropriate it is for business continuity planning. After all, we do all the planning and preparing hoping we'll never have to use it. If your plans aren't quite up to snuff, this week's articles should help make you "better safe than sorry."

This article gives you a look at the role of HR in business continuity. (Item #1) The most effective organizations will be able to leverage highly available services to improve service uptime, improve the organizational climate for IT staff, and better serve the organization's stakeholders. (Item #2) Here are 10 tips to help you be a more effective business continuity planner. (Item #3)

Business continuity planning is really a form of insurance to minimize the danger of losing your business. (Item #4) How do you calculate the real cost of business downtime? (Item #5) Business interruption insurance should play an important role in funding business recovery. (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Testing, Exercising & Evaluation

We’ve said it before... if you haven’t tested your business continuity/disaster recovery plan, you could be in for a big surprise when it doesn’t work. Do you really want the continuation of your business - and possibly the lives of your employees - to rely on a plan that’s never been tested? We think not. Take a look at this week’s articles to see what you can do to see how well your plan works and whether you will be able to count on the plan working when needed.

Here are 19 tips for great desktop exercises. (Item #1) Look your plan over - is it time to dust it off and see if it works? (Item #2) If nobody understands what to do, the plan will fail, no matter how good you think it is. (Item #3)

There are many ways to test the plan, but it must be tested. (Item #4) See what the experts have to say about why plans aren’t tested and how we can improve this situation. (Item #5) Always remember that the people are the most important thing. (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting Management Buy-in

No matter what the project, management buy-in is critical to its success, and it’s no different with your business continuity plan. A champion on the board or in the executive suite can help keep things on course and make it easier for a project that essentially is viewed as overhead. This week’s articles contain some tips on how to make getting buy-in easier.

Here are some tips on how to persuade execs to consider BC more carefully. (Item #1) When it comes down to it, the bottom line is always the best argument. (Item #2) Buy-in is critical to getting the funding you need for business continuity. (Item #3)

What should management’s role be beyond buy-in? (Item #4) Here’s how to frame BC issues in order to persuade the Board support them. (Item #5) Your management champion can make it much easier to initiate and maintain plans. (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Social Media

Do you know the potential benefits and dangers of social media? How they can help in your continuity of operations efforts? How do you deal with the risks? This week's articles can help bring you up to date about this phenomenon that isn't just for kids anymore.

You have to understand and be able to manage social media's role in your organization. (Item #1) Only 25% of businesses currently use social networks as a tool; here's why you should use them. (Item #2) If you're not one of the businesses already using social media as a BC tool, you should be. (Item #3)

If you're going to use social media, then you need to make sure to include it in your plan and test it before disaster strikes. (Item #4) You do have to be able to control the use of social media in your organization in order to minimize the risks. (Item #5) The use of social media guidelines can help prevent problems. (Item #6)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crisis Communications

With the JetBlue incident last week and a number of other crises in the recent past, we should be thinking more about crisis communication. Do we have a workable plan? Have we tested it? Have we covered everything we should? Whether you're just starting to work on a plan or need to review yours, this week's articles should help your efforts.

What you don't do about crisis communications will surely come back to haunt you. (Item #1) Don't wait for that communications crisis to take place before planning for how you'll handle the fallout when something bad (inevitably) happens. (Item #2) Here are some steps to improve your crisis communications. (Item #3)

A business must be able to respond promptly, accurately and confidently during an emergency in the hours and days that follow. (Item #4) Here are some tips from branding experts on how to handle the public's outrage with grace and style. (Item #5) Have a plan so you can communicate in a quick, credible and effective way with media and other stakeholders affected by the crisis. (Item #6)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facility Safety and Security

There are so many aspects of business continuity planning, sometimes one gets overlooked. Business continuity teams sometimes forget that ensuring the organization's continuity of operations should include the safety of the facility itself. This week's articles talk about the importance of coordinating with facility managers to support your BC plan.

How can your company ensure that it will have priority response following an incident? (Item #1) Internal partnerships help achieve a comprehensive business continuity program. (Item #2) Implementing a comprehensive contingency management plan may seem daunting, but it is simply an exercise in commitment—with continuous assessment and revision. (Item #3)

The best course of action is to start with a multi-hazard facility risk assessment performed by a qualified security professional. (Item #4) Knowledge, speed, and flexibility are valuable tools for emergency response. (Item #5) The job of the Facility Security Officer is challenging. (Item #6)

Check out back issues of the NewsBriefs at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Online Reputation Management

Most organizations understand the importance reputation has on their bottom line and do their utmost – through marketing, member/customer relations, and other methods – to protect the value of that reputation. But what about their online reputation? This is a critical component of reputation that often is not given the same amount of attention as off-line reputation. This week’s articles can help you put the focus online to ensure your reputation is protected there as well.

When prospective customers, clients or employees search for you online, what do they see? (Item #1) Favorable search engine results are no accident. (Item #2) Online brand reputation management is complex business. (Item #3)

Here are some good tips for ways smaller organizations can manage their online reputations. (Item #4) It's important to understand the ways your business reputation is fostered or attacked online – and to know what to do about it. (Item #5) Use these tools to help you manage your online reputation. (Item #6)

Sign up for free email delivery of the NewsBriefs at

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Risk potential is everywhere around us... do you know the potential risks to your organization? Identifying risk is the first step in mitigating it, and it should be the first step you take in your business continuity efforts. If you haven’t done so, you can still assess your organizational risks and adjust your plan accordingly. This week’s articles should help.

One of the most prevalent risks in the 21st century is reputation risk. (Item #1) How secure is your IT and, therefore, your ability to function as an organization? (Item #2) If you haven’t done a thorough risk assessment, there are some techniques to help you through this process. (Item #3)

Here are some steps in identifying business risk. (Item #4) If you’re at a loss as to where to begin, these top 10 methods for identifying business risk should help put you on the right track. (Item #5) Determining your risk from natural disasters can be tricky, but this article can help you out with this. (Item #6) 

Back issues are available at

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Shelter in Place

There are any number of circumstances that may require you to shelter in place (SIP) at work, at home or at school. Chemical spills are typical situations requiring sheltering in place, but weather and other dangers also may require you to stay indoors. If you don’t cover shelter in place in your disaster response or business continuity plan, it’s time to include it. The articles below can make preparation easier for you.

Can you handle an SIP situation that will keep employees safe? (Item #1) This Red Cross guide to SIP is especially informative. (Item #2) SIP is more than just staying inside… it has to keep everyone safe. (Item #3)

This article addresses some specifics for sheltering in place for small businesses. (Item #4) Building managers have many considerations in an SIP situation; this Q&A can answer many of your questions. (Item #5) This site is just one example of where you can obtain supplies and kits you will need if you have to shelter in place. (Item #6)

Sign up to receive the NewsBriefs by email at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Workplace Violence

There are an estimated 1.7 million incidents of non-fatal workplace violence reported each year. Many of these are in convenience stores and hospitals, but no workplace is immune from such violence. From 2000 to 2010, more than 500 work-related homicides occurred each year. This violence costs an estimated $121 billion each year in the U.S. Costs could include lost productivity, counseling, contract/sales losses, cleaning and refurbishing, increased insurance costs, lawsuits and settlements, and more. If workplace violence isn’t on your radar, perhaps it should be.

Workplace violence can and does happen anywhere – are you prepared? (Item #1) Here is comprehensive information for employers on all aspects of workplace violence. (Item #2) Physical violence isn’t the only form in the workplace; here are some tips on preventing injury in many forms. (Item #3)

Does your incident management plan cover everything it needs to in order to address the potential sources of workplace violence? (Item #4) Employees may recognize potential violence but won’t tell you; why not? (Item #5) If you’re ever in a situation with an active shooter, this article can help you figure out what to do. (Item #6)

Sign up to receive the NewsBriefs by email at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Testing and Exercising

It's the beginning of a new year, and you should be thinking about whether your business continuity plan is still viable... has it been tested? Have you had major personnel changes? Are you sure you've covered all possible risks? If not, you definitely need to schedule a test of the plan to see if it still has everything you need and to ensure everybody knows who's doing what when. This week's articles should be of help.

Here's help for conducting successful desktop exercises. (Item #1) What makes a good test scenario? (Item #2) How would you handle the crises in this article? (Item #3)

Testing and training help ensure the safety of your employees. (Item #4) There are some new ways to test and validate your BC plans. (Item #5) The more your business relies on IT, the more you need to ensure your plan will work. (Item #6)

Back issues are available at

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Data breaches, hacking and other types of cybercrime are becoming more prevalent, and the perpetrators are becoming more and more inventive. There are steps you can take to prevent your organization from becoming a victim of cybercrime or to lessen the impact of any attacks. This week's articles cover a range of topics that can help.

A new report identifies the specific cyber issues that are expected to cause the most issues in 2012. (Item #1) Cybercrime costs businesses some $388 billion each year. (Item #2) Here are some tips to help protect small businesses/organizations from cybercrime. (Item #3)

This article tells you all you need to know about corporate account takeover. (Item #4) Don't forget that staff training can help prevent some forms of cybercrime. (Item #5) What does today's cyber criminal look like? (Item #6)

Stay informed with our weekly NewsBriefs at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

While some folks say the economy is improving, it’s improving slowly. For many organizations, this means cutting back on spending on business continuity and disaster recovery. You might want to think again, however, once you read this week’s articles. It seems that the right way to approach this economic impact is to recognize that BC is more important than ever in these difficult times and to learn how to maximize the impact of what you spend.

Slashing the BC budget can result in serious damage to your organization in the long run. (Item #1) Instead of cutting costs, focus on how to get better return on what you’re already investing. (Item #2) Upgrading plans and testing procedures are the right things to do in a recession. (Item #3)

Greater security for your networks can improve productivity. (Item #4) You can’t only spend on the most glaring weaknesses; hackers will find the lesser ones you thought you could live with. (Item #5) How do some BC pros stay relevant, even in tough economic times? (Item #6)

The full issue, as well as, back issues are available at

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meetings & Events

If your job includes planning for and/or running meetings and events for your organization, you might want to pay careful attention to these articles. If your continuity plans don't cover everything they should, your organization could find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Even worse, its reputation could be seriously damaged.

It's a new era for contracts & liabilities. (Item #1) Remember that a misstep for your nonprofit may damage not only your revenue stream, but also your fine name. (Item #2) Evolving business gives rise to new ethical dilemmas. Be sure you're not saying one thing and doing another. (Item #3)

Liability issues should be of very significant concern to all planners and suppliers. (Item #4) The safety and security of attendees is your responsibility; here's how you can reduce risk (Item #5) Identifying and assessing the numerous risks involved in an event can be an overwhelming prospect. (Item #6)

This issue, as well as past ones, are available at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Management Buy-in

Almost everyone has had the experience of having to convince senior management – or worse – the board of directors to spend money on business continuity or BC testing. Some of us failed to make the case, so this week we are looking at different tactics you can use to win the buy-in of the folks at the top to your project. If you have ideas of your own that worked for you let us know and we might just include them in a future issue.

Perhaps these three steps can help you generate buy-in. (Item #1) How do you convince management to get 100% behind BC planning? (Item #2) Here’s some help for getting the boardroom buy-in you need. (Item #3)

You have to do your homework to get the management support you need. (Item #4) Here are three different perspectives on getting management buy-in. (Item #5) Is executive buy-in enough? (Item #6)

This issue as well as our archives are available at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Business Continuity Trends for 2012

What's in store for us in 2012? Many experts feel it will be more of the types of disasters we saw in 2011, but with some additions and differences. This week we're looking at trends in business continuity, regulatory compliance, security, etc. If you are updating your BC plan this year, you might want to see what's new that you should plan for in the revision.

This annual survey uncovers the latest trends in disaster recovery and business continuity. (Item #1) Continuity Central makes five predictions for the big issues that may impact business continuity in 2012. (Item #2) Regulatory compliance could be the top issue for information security. (Item #3)

Social engineering and data mining are huge security concerns in 2012. (Item #4) These info security trends represent challenges to meet this year. (Item #5) Some of the hottest trends in the cloud data space will affect disaster recovery. (Item #6)

Video special: If business travel is a big part of your organization's business, this video may be of interest. (Item #7)

Get these NewsBrief delivered for free by email. Subscribe at

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lessons Learned from the Crises of 2011

What lessons – if any – have we learned from the crises that have occurred in 2011 and earlier? Do we have new knowledge we can carry forward and incorporate into our business continuity plans in 2012? From the use of social media, to communicating effectively in a crisis, there are lessons for all of us in how various disasters were handled – or mishandled. We trust this week's articles will help you determine if you need to make any changes in your plan.

If you haven't updated your plan recently, some of these lessons learned might be worth considering as you update. (Item #1) Have you considered what role social media might play in your crisis plan? (Item #2) What financial lessons have we learned in 2011? (Item #3)

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have taught us many valuable lessons. (Item #4) Although an association's governance issues don't usually make the front page, you never know; here are some governance crises that you might learn from. (Item #5) These crises from 2010 can point up gaps in your communication plan. (Item #6)

View the entire issue of subscribe for free at