Business Continuity Threats: Mother Nature and Mother Russia

February 12, 2019

By Rich Tehrani - Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC

A week after a polar vortex that caused power outages in more than five states, power outages have affected almost a quarter of a million users throughout the country thanks to continuing bad weather.  In Kalamazoo, Michigan, blowing snow, strong winds and ice resulted in at least 229,000 customers losing power.  In Summit County, Colorado, Xcel Energy said it was working to fix an issue with a natural gas line, which caused more than 17,000 customers to lose power.  Finally, just under 2,000 lost power in upstate New York.

What business can learn from these outages is cyberattacks are not the only threat to watch out for.  Business continuity risks can come from Mother Nature or Mother Russia. To be fair, however, nation state attacks are also coming from North Korea, China and Iran among others.

Businesses face billions of dollars of damage annually from email attacks and a solid business continuity plan can protect from such threats.  The good news – if there is any – is that much of the spending can help protect against hacking as well as power outages or storms that can destroy data centers.

Companies should deploy a bottom-up plan, starting with UPS systems for all important devices, as well as top-down, where they map out the threats and determine what the risk appetite is.  From there, they can decide how to allocate budgets to the lowest hanging fruit first.

The business environment in the U.S. is stronger now than virtually any other time in history.  This means, people are busier than ever growing their businesses and may not think about these issues.  As they say, there is no time like the present, and this is more applicable today than ever, as there is more at risk than ever.

Every company should remember it can be held hostage by weather or hackers at any time.  Now is the time to prepare for a more stable future where technology – the engine of every business – keeps running, even under pressure.

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