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Contingency Planning Definition

1 min read
Nov 30, 2021

All businesses are vulnerable to some amount of risk. Contingency planning can be effective in mitigating these risks.

Contingency planning is defined as a course of action designed to help an organization respond to an event that may or may not happen. Contingency plans can also be referred to as ‘Plan B’ because it can work as an alternative action if things don’t go as planned.

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There are seven steps outlined for a contingency plan which are as follows:

Develop a Contingency Planning Policy Statement: This will provide the authority and guidance necessary to develop the plan.

Conduct the BIA (Business Impact Analysis): The BIA will help to identify and prioritize information systems and components that are critical in supporting the organization’s mission/business functions.

Identify Preventive Controls: Preventive controls are measures taken to reduce the effects of system disruptions. They will increase system availability and reduce contingency life-cycle costs.

Create Contingency Strategies: These are thorough recovery strategies that ensure the system will be recovered quickly in case of a disruption.

Create an Information System Contingency Plan: This should contain detailed guidance and procedures for restoring a system after emergencies occur. These procedures will be unique to the system’s security impact level and recovery requirements. Each third-party vendor must be prepared for working within the bank’s contingency plan during and after emergencies.

Provide Plan Testing, Training and Exercises: Testing your plan will ensure that recovery will be successful while training prepares personnel so that they know how to act in case of emergency and with regards to putting the plan into effect.

Ensure Plan Maintenance: The plan should be updated regularly to remain current with any changes made within the organization.

When you run a business, risk comes with the territory and can occur in the form of accidents, natural disasters, financial risks, IT attacks and more. Be sure you are prepared by providing comprehensive contingency planning in your workplace.

Learn about business resiliency.


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