Business continuity management significantly improves cyber resiliency

By: Laurence Guihard-Joly


The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Impact of Business Continuity Management, sponsored by IBM, surveyed 1,900 individuals from 419 companies in 11 countries to determine how enterprises facing data breaches can benefit from a robust business continuity management (BCM) program.

According to the study, 95 percent of companies said using BCM had a significant impact on mitigating the effects of a data breach. The study also found that BCM can significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach over the course of two years. In addition, resiliency orchestration provides an innovative and cost-effective approach to reduce the cost of data breaches.

Companies are experiencing larger and more frequent data breaches in general. The material disruptions data breaches cause have extensive effects on executives, investors and end users who have a stake in a service or application’s availability and consistency. No government or business can tolerate the downtime from cyber-attacks like the WannaCry ransomware breach for any significant length of time.

IBM stats

Evolving disaster recovery (DR) plans

Disaster recovery (DR) automation and cloud-based resiliency orchestration drive new efforts to transform BCM programs. The average data breach cost per day is estimated at $5,064 in this year’s study. Companies that have a manually operated DR process experienced an estimated average cost of $6,101 per day. In contrast, businesses deploying an automated DR process that provides resiliency orchestration experienced a much lower average cost per day of $4,041. In addition, the average time to identify and contain a data breach decreased by 78 days, resulting in a total average savings over that time period of $394,992.

At this stage in the evolution of business continuity programs, 35 percent of companies surveyed are currently deploying an automated DR process, with just 16 percent of them actually delivering resiliency orchestration as part of that process. The survey predicts the coming years will bring even greater cost savings, compelling more companies to prioritize resiliency orchestration across their business applications and hybrid cloud environments.

Harness the full power of your core business applications

The growing implementation of resiliency orchestration means more than simply protecting IT assets from cybercriminals, natural disasters or technical flaws. Automating and orchestrating DR and business continuity programs (BCP) will ultimately lead to increased productivity, stronger competitiveness in the marketplace and greater return on investment. And as one CIO at IBM agreed recently, resiliency orchestration is also a key to reduced blood pressure among teams!

Applying business continuity management

Consider these five key steps your organization can take today to coordinate BCM and security responses to a data breach and boost cyber resiliency:

  1. Confirm your organization has a robust BCM governance and execution.
  2. Establish cross-representation on business continuity and cybersecurity teams, and appoint crisis management representatives to coordinate efforts.
  3. Conduct joint cyber-attack simulation testing, and increase overall testing activities.
  4. Align budget to risk posture.
  5. Consider implementing and/or expanding resiliency orchestration that is “application aware” and embraces any type of hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Related topic: Business Continuity Consulting

In depth: business continuity topics

Understand how to plan for and react when business disruptions are happening.

Adapt and respond to risks with a business continuity plan (BCP)

How to defend against cyber attacks

Do you have your disaster recovery plan (DRP)?

Defend against ransomware attacks?

What is data breach and how to defend against one?

What is a recovery time objective (RTO) and how does it affect disaster recovery for your enterprise?

What is an RPO (recovery point objectives)?

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About The Author

Laurence Guihard-Joly

General Manager, Cloud Migration, IBM

Laurence Guihard-Joly is GM, Cloud Migration, leading the Global Cloud Migration Factory, accountable for strategy, business performance, delivery excellence and client satisfaction, and covering of all type of migration from anywhere to anywhere, for projects small to large, across all geographies and all industries. From Data Center relocation to Cloud migration for Infrastructure, Data and... Read more