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Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

One example of contingency planning is Business Continuity Planning. It is an "ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies and plans, and ensure the continuity of operations through personnel training, plan testing, and maintenance."

The process of preparing a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) usually includes readiness assessment, prevention, response, and recovery/resumption.

The major readiness tasks include: 1) Assign Accountability, 2) Perform Risk Assessment, 3) Conduct Business Impact Analysis, 4) Agree on Strategic Plans, 5) Develop a Response Team.

A threat matrix should be created that categorizes and assesses risks. The threats or triggers should be evaluated in terms of likelihood, impact, onset speed (slow --> fast), forewarning (1sufficient --> insufficient), duration (short --> long) and intensity (low --> high).

Prevention should emphasize 1) Compliance with Policies, 2) Mitigation Strategies, 3) Avoidance, Deterrence and Detection.

Response involves the following tasks: 1) Recognize Crisis Potential, 2) Notify the Team(s), 3) Assess the Situation, 4) Declare a Crisis, 5) Execute the Plan, 6) Expand Communications, 7) Manage Resources.

Recovery and Resumption involves developing policies, procedures and plans to bring the organization out of the crisis, recover/resume critical processes, and finally return to normal operations.


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