At the beginning of the year we tend to review company objectives and personal development plans. What are less frequently reviewed though, are crisis communications plans or business continuity plans. At this point if you think I am about to say communications plans should be updated to reflect social media, fine, that should happen. Only what if after putting all those plans in place, the technology needed to execute those plans is not available?
Back in October the government described the threat of a cyberattack as a tier 1 risk to national security. Attacks on organisations like Google and Wikileaks during 2010 demonstrate this is no longer something we might watch Jack Bauer deal with on 24. It would be naïve to think that it is just governments and large organisations that are threatened. In November the charity organisation I help had their website entirely corrupted. On a daily basis at work I delete spam messages that get through the company firewall. So what if it all went dark? If the company website, email, and operating systems were out of action, what’s the contingency communications plan? Is your business now so technology dependant that it would grind to a halt?
A while ago, as a result of business continuity planning in the event of swine flu this was a subject of discussion. Uses of traditional mediums like the telephone, setting up a dedicated helpline with voice message, site tannoy systems and more were reviewed. What would you expect of your organisation if say 50 per cent of operating systems or personnel were unavailable because of a virus? Can you even remember the way to someone’s office instead of emailing?