BSI British Standards has issued new guidance on business continuity.
The best practice code aims to help firms keep IT working during unexpected circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions - including including the snow earlier this month - or even terrorist attacks.
The code of practice, BS 25777 Information and communications technology continuity management, aims to help businesses take the right steps to protect their data and network access, and in turn prevent the reputational damage that could result from a temporary inability to access IT systems.
It also aims to help IT departments, in the event of disaster, to return technology to full functionality within timescales agreed with executive management.
Key issues addressed by the standard include the competence of IT staff, raising the awareness of business continuity in the IT department and understanding critical IT services.
A BSI survey conducted two years ago found that two thirds of businesses considered themselves “very well prepared” for major IT failure. But Mike Low, director at BSI, said the standards were necessary because severe weather events, terrorism and other events could take place at any time.
IT continuity was “an absolutely crucial element of an overall [business continuity management] strategy”, he said.