Securing premises: advice to keep your business safe

In recent years an increasing chunk of companies’ corporate security or business continuity budget has been spent on maintaining back-up sites where data can be stored or from which the business could be run in an emergency.

However, security consultants point out that risk management begins at home with measures to safeguard company headquarters, branches, factories and greenfield sites.

For new buildings, once the nature of the risks to the business has been assessed, this means careful planning of the layout and configuration of the site or office and security professionals should be part of the process.

7/7 Phone network performance examined and explained


Following the explosions on the morning of 7th July hundreds of thousands of people used their mobile phones to contact their families and work colleagues. Mobile networks are designed to cope with significant peaks in volumes of calls, and a safety margin is also built in so that even major events do not overload the system. Call volumes on 7th July far exceeded normal levels, and the O2 network alone carried 67% more voice traffic in central London than normal, while text message volumes increased by 20% on the day across the whole country.

The O2 network was not damaged by the attacks and we took steps to manage the demand. The large number of calls did mean that there was network congestion in parts of London, but most customers were able to make calls after several attempts.

Risk Scenarios ... how well are we prepared?


The Cold War may be history, but with threats ranging from global warming to terror cells, Britain's emergency planners are now struggling to prepare for a greater range of potential disasters than ever before.

Since the outcry after the poorest citizens of New Orleans were left marooned in their ruined city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, emergency planning has been thrown " harshly " into the spotlight.

The Strategic Emergency Plan London's co-ordinated response to a catastrophic incident.

Comprises synopses of the key plans on which London's resilience is based - for example the Command and Control Protocol, the Communication Protocol, the Mass Fatalities plan, the large-scale evacuation framework and the Site Clearance plan.

The full plans, which have been agreed by the London Regional Resilience Forum, are held by the departments, agencies and organisations involved in delivering them, but have not been made public because the nature of some of the detail is operationally sensitive.

The Strategic Emergency Plan is a blueprint for effective handling of any disruptive incident in the Capital. It is an example of collaborative working across all those in the London Resilience Partnership, including the substantive work of LESLP, who are committed to making London a safer, more resilient place.

To access the Strategic Emergency Plan you will need to be LOGGED IN!



Guidelines for GP's from RCGP and BMA

The document sets out guidelines for business continuity planning within a General Practioners practice.

The document sets out guidelines for business continuity planning within a General Practioners practice.


BCM for Beginners cont'd...

How to develop a business continuity plan

Who is responsible for business continuity management?

BCM has grown out of the need to provide IT disaster recovery. While this has focused on IT systems and networks, business continuity management is broader in its scope and encompasses crisis management combined with business, as well as IT resumption. Drilling down from this top-level it will involve identifying key business functions and revenue sources as well as the need to maintain the reputation of the organization as whole.

Together, these factors make business continuity management the shared responsibility of an organization’s entire senior management, from the chief executive through to the line-of business managers who are responsible for crucial business processes. Although IT remains central to the business continuity process, IT management alone cannot determine which processes are critical to the business and how much the company should pay to protect those resources.

It is important that business continuity management has the full support of an organization’s most senior committee to ensure the initiative does not stall. One member of this committee should be made the overall sponsor with responsibility for initiating BCM across the entire organization. With this top level support it should be possible for the undoubted difficulties that will be faced in putting together the plan to be overcome.

An overall BCM co-ordinator should then be appointed to report directly to the senior committee member responsible. This person is ideally someone who understands the business structures and people. They require good programme management, communication and interpersonal skills and need to be a good team leader. In addition a budget must be allocated for the initial stages of the process. For larger organizations matrix team management is the best method to approach business continuity management. The team will be drawn from existing managers within key divisions and or locations.

It is expected that they will not be full time members of the team but will need to dedicate appropriate time to the BCM process.

Business Continuity Management principles

The Business Continuity Institute recommends that the following principles are utilized when devising and implementing a BCM plan:

· BCM is an integral part of corporate governance
· BCM activities must match, focus upon and directly support the business strategy and goals of the organization
· BCM must provide organizational resilience to optimize product and service availability
· BCM must optimize cost efficiencies
· BCM is a business management process that is undertaken because it adds value rather than because of governance or regulatory considerations * All BCM strategies, plans and solutions must be business owned and driven

Bearing these in mind it becomes easier to develop your BCM plan.

Overview of the BCM life-cycle

There are five steps that should be followed when developing a business continuity management plan:

1. Analyze your business
2. Assess the risks
3. Develop your strategy
4. Develop your plan
5. Rehearse the plan

Due to the rapidly changing nature of business conditions the process is not static, but cyclical.

Once you have worked through and completed step 5 it is necessary to go back to step 1 and review the whole process again to ensure that any external or internal changes have not made elements of the plan redundant.

Analyze your business

This is the first stage of the business continuity management life-cycle as it is necessary to understand at the outset exactly where your business is vulnerable. You will need the fullest possible understanding of the important processes inside your organization and between you and your customers and suppliers.

This stage of the process will also help to gain the involvement and understanding of other people and departments and will also help identify if any parts of the organization already have plans or procedures in-place to deal with an unplanned event.

Assess the risks

There are two aspects to every risk to your organization:
1. How likely is the risk to happen?
2. What effect will it have on your organization?

Business continuity management will provide a framework for assessing the impact of each one. Many organizations usually define their assessment in terms of cost. For example:

· How much could you afford to lose if an emergency prevented you from doing business for days, weeks or months?

· How would suppliers, customers and potential customers react if your business received adverse publicity because you were unprepared for an incident?

There are three ways to work with the information you have gathered to provide an assessment of the risks.

1. Ask ‘what if?’ questions.
2. Ask what the worst-case scenario is.
3. Ask what functions and people are essential, and when.

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BCM Advice for beginners cont'd

Why organizations need business continuity planning

The speed with which modern business is transacted means that a disruption of only a few hours can have a catastrophic impact on the profitability and reputation of the affected organization.

Although this will have an immediate and adverse impact, it can also damage the long term viability of the organization as well.

BCM Advice for beginners

Business Continuity for Beginners

The Continuity Forum is pleased to share with you a brief overview of the business continuity management process for those new to the subject. 

Advice and Guidance on the use of Consultants



New Pandemic guidance for Doctors announced

The guidance says sensible preparation now will make the difference between just ‘getting through’ a pandemic and maximising the number of lives that can be saved. There were three pandemics in the last century which caused public health emergencies and many experts believe another one is overdue.

It is, however, impossible to predict its timing. The BMA/RCGP guidance is intended as a practical guide for GPs and practice managers. It details how GP surgeries will be expected to adapt from their usual method of working and gives information and guidance on the following:


New CCA Good Practice Guidelines announced

Category Business Continuity legislative and regulatory

CCS support delivers further support for Category 1 and 2 responders

The Cabinet Office has published a set of Good Practice Guidelines for the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and further supports the Resilience Capability Programme.

Business ignoring pandemic risk ... planning apathy highlighted in latest study

All organisations in the public and private should have created plans to curb the effects and mitigate the impact of the disruption caused by a Pandemic yet our study shows 73% do not have proper plans to protect the business or its employees.

This stark finding comes after the National Risk Register produced by the Cabinet Office highlighted the threat of a pandemic as the most serious threat to the UK.

Department of Health boosts resilience through BS25999

Category Business Continuity New Products - BCM & Risk Management - BS25999 - General

NHS resilience project embraces standard

The Department of Health and BSI British Standards today announce a new initiative designed to increase resilience to major incidents and disruption across the National Health Service.
This will begin with the implementation of BS 25999 Parts 1 and 2, BSI British Standards’ code of practice and specification on Business Continuity Management. The NHS has a good record of responding well to ‘big-bang’ major incidents, which produce sudden influxes of casualties.

National report highlights Flu pandemic as top risk

The National Risk Register shows Pandemic Influenza as the most serious threat to national security

The National Risk Register aims to clarify the level of risks and their potential impact on the UK. Local Risk Registers have been produced for some time, but this is the first time that a national version has been made public.

Enhancement Programme to the Civil Contingencies Act announced

While the CCA regime provided a robust and effective mechanism for responding to all of the disruptive challenges that have occurred since 2005 (e.g. floods, Bluetongue disease, foot and mouth, and the Buncefield fire), these events and the subsequent reviews (particularly the Pitt and Newton Reviews) provided much new evidence which indicated that there are various aspects of the CCA regime which would merit a more thorough review.

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