Regulatory and Compliance landscape of business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity regulatory compliance will have a significant impact on the construction of your business continuity plan. Furthermore, while Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery requirements may not be applicable in every business context, any organization implementing a Business Continuity strategy will benefit from a general awareness of legislation governing data security, availability, and compliance.
Establishing a contingency plan, on the other hand, is far from optional for many others. Essential organizations, particularly those in the healthcare, financial, and government sectors, are frequently obliged by legislation to be able to weather any storm while maintaining their operations and data, or they will face severe penalties from federal, state, and local authorities. The issue is that some business experts are unaware of the laws and regulations requiring them to develop a credible and executable Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
While the continuity landscape is always changing, the primary goal remains the same: to keep your organization going in the event of a disruption. To keep your organization secure (and keep out of legal trouble), look into whether any business continuity rules require your organization to comply with advanced disaster planning.
Healthcare and Business Continuity Compliance
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning techniques are required for healthcare enterprises under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and failure to comply can result in high financial penalties.
First of all, healthcare institutions need a quick-to-implement backup plan for operating and maintaining an emergency base of operations in the event of a disaster. Healthcare companies can continue to evaluate and treat patients during an emergency by preparing a fully stocked and operational backup facility ahead of time.
Furthermore, because healthcare information is deemed vital and sensitive, comprehensive data management tools are needed for health information systems and databases, incorporating disaster recovery and reliable backup.
The following are some of the functions of a BCP for healthcare institutions:
- Establishing an Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
- Creating guidelines for crisis management, emergency notification, and media relations
- Keeping a physical copy of local backup strategies and important vendor information
- Putting together teams to deal with recovery, logistics, and personnel
- Defining roles and responsibilities crucial during contingency operations
Regulatory authorities and government regulations are also obligated to the financial sector to ensure that all important financial data is kept and banking centers may continue to operate in the event of a catastrophe. The retention of data across the entire system is a major emphasis of financial sector business continuity planning.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requires that all financial institutions have a clear and executable BCP that fulfills their needs. While the details may differ from one organization to the next, they must all have appropriate provisions for the following:
- Backup and recovery of data (hard copy and digital)
- All mission-critical systems
- Assessments of the financial and operational aspects
- Customers and the firm, as well as the firm and its personnel, should have a variety of ways to communicate
- Employees can work from a different location
- The impact of a key business component, a bank, and a counterparty
- Regulatory reporting
- Consultations with regulators
- How the organization will ensure that consumers have fast access to their funds and assets if the firm is unable to resume its operations
Government centers and activities require business continuity plans in the event of a catastrophe to keep them open and running. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published Special Publication (SP) 800-34, which is the Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems, in June 2002, which outlines particular standards for governmental Business Continuity Planning, that includes:
- Policy and procedures for contingency planning
- Contingency plan
- Contingency training
- Testing of the contingency plan
- Contingency plan update
Furthermore, as highlighted in the Executive Order on Critical Infrastructure Protection in the Information Age, 16 October 2001, and the Federal Information Security Act (FISMA) of 2002, Title III of the E-Government Act of 2002 (PL 107-347, 17 December 2002), the need for governments to establish BCP and DR. The public sectors use Continuity of Operations (COOP) to prepare, response, and recovery from disasters, when the private sectors use Business Continuity Planning (BCP) methodologies.
Although, this article on regulatory and compliance landscape of business continuity and disaster recovery addressed some of the significant impact on the development of your business continuity plan, keep in mind that risks are always changing. Therefore, current innovations in business continuity solutions will continue to emerge. However, the overarching goal of business continuity remains unchanged. Today’s enterprises must take a 360-degree strategy to minimize downtime and recover quickly after a disruption to limit risk and effect.