You may not think this is the right time to think about rebuilding your law firm’s business continuity plan, but there is no time like the present.
Why every business needs a business continuity (BC) plan
Your company’s business continuity plan is the document that your company principles would have referred to during the COVID-19 forced company shut downs. This plan would have (if you have one, did it work as you’d hoped it would?) helped keep your business up and running even if you had to quickly move your staff to work-at-home positions.
Having your BC plan written down, printed out and put in a binder in your office is the first step. Working that business continuity plan when it’s needed is the true test and we certainly hope you tested it before you were forced to implement it because of coronavirus.
Theory does not always live up to practice – or the implementation of a written down business continuity plan. We’ve created a Business Continuity Self-Assessment Checklist to help you assess your company’s risks, download it here.
What are the basics needed in your business continuity plan?
Keep in mind, even if you don’t have a business continuity plan or if it didn’t work as you’d imagined it would have there is no time like the present to fix, or implement, one.
Bottom line: Business continuity is just that – keeping your business running. In the case of coronavirus, that was nothing that any business owner could have predicted, but they could have planned for what would happen if they were forced to move to a remote workforce (if they’d had a BC plan).
Here are some of the basics your business continuity plan should include, or at least uncover the answers to.
What do you consider a disaster?
- A flood?
- Having to send your employees home to become remote workers?
- An employee who either inadvertently or maliciously deletes critical files?
Every situation is unique and every situation (and more that are unique to your industry) should be planned for and addressed in the business continuity plan.
Your business continuity plan will/should address ANY situation that poses a threat to your business, its operational integrity and its ability to continue to remain viable.
Here are some of the elements we help our clients craft when building their business continuity plan (at a minimum)
- Staff responsibilities that outline who is responsible for what and what the hierarchy of responsibility and contact are.
- Names, addresses and contact information for the individuals who have access to your BC plan. Have more than one form of contact for the principles named.
- Off-site recovery and work locations. Where will your staff work? What equipment and inventory will need to be moved there. Is the location you’re planning to relocate to ready and available to house you and your staff at a moment’s notice? If there is a natural disaster – fire, flood, hurricane, etc. – is the off-site location outside of the impacted area?
- The business continuity plan includes the action plan detailing the step-by-step process necessary for returning each element of business to its pre-disaster functionality. The BC plan should outline what happens in the first hour, the first day, first week and for longer-term disruption (such as coronavirus has caused)
- How will your company receive supplies necessary to operate? Do you have a backup supplier? Your vendors are a critical component to company recovery.
- Where are you housing and how can you access customer data? How will you communicate with your customers that their personal and financial data is safe and remains uncompromised? If the data has become compromised, what is your plan to safeguard customers? The way in which you interact with clients will go a long way in protecting your company reputation and retaining your client base.
- Where is company documentation stored? The business continuity plan? Insurance policies? Financial records, etc.?
- What technology will be needed if employees need to work from home or if you need to relocate staff to a new location? How will that technology get transferred there? Are employees equipped with the software and hardware they need or will they be forced to use their home computers and laptops? If that’s the case you need to prepare for:
- Data protection, password protocols and Internet safety.
- Where and how is your company data backed up? Do you have data storage redundancy? All digital assets need to be backed up and backed up regularly in order to restore company assets. Don’t rely on the cloud for all of your data storage – if your cloud account is compromised you run the risk of losing all your data. You must have data storage redundancy.
This list is a very basic outline of the details you will need to include in your law firm’s business continuity plan. Schedule a call with us, let’s review your BC plan.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based full-service IT solutions and service provider of cybersecurity, managed IT services and data backups protection. Our team specializes in Data Protection, specifically Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR). We work with medium and large companies, with a focus on law firms and the healthcare industry.
WareGeeks Solutions help organizations transform technology, operations and service delivery to meet business challenges. We first seek to understand your business needs and then apply our in-depth knowledge of Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR), Cyber Security whether in the cloud or your data backups center environments to drafting a roadmap for transformation.