Title agency owners are largely optimists – or they wouldn’t be in a business that is cyclical, highly regulated, ripe for cybercrime, and crying out for increased automation.
Now, add in the fact that, for those who have embraced automated workflows, even the best technology can flame out from time to time.
The wise optimist will have a backup plan. That backup plan should start with a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).
What is a Business Impact Analysis?
According to ready.gov, a BIA “predicts the consequences of disruption of a business function and process and gathers information needed to develop recovery strategies.”
The first step in putting together a BIA is to sit with your management team to come up with every possible scenario that could cause a disruption to your business. Even more specifically, consider what could take down any aspect of your tech stack. Here are some scenarios to consider:
- Natural disaster destroys your physical location, including servers and computers
- Utility outage, short term or long term, shuts down all systems
- Software provider fails, locking you out of critical systems
- Ransomware holds your systems hostage
- Virus corrupts your data or systems
- Key internal IT personnel are absent due to illness
Once you have identified possible threats to your systems, begin the process of crafting your backup plan for each scenario.
Elements of a BIA
Begin by assessing what the impact of each scenario would be from the standpoint of the potential duration of the disruption, lost sales and income, increased expenses, customer impact, and regulatory impact.
Next, looking at each type of incident and craft a backup plan, including:
- What backup power supplies can you access?
- If the disaster affected one location, how quickly can you get up and running in another location?
- What backup plans do your technology, application and software providers offer, so you know what to expect should their systems be impacted?
- If hardware is destroyed, do you have your data protected in cloud storage so you can quickly access what you need with new hardware?
- Is your staff cross-trained for redundancy, should a key IT employee be unavailable temporarily?
- Have you reviewed all scenarios with every member of your staff, so they are ready to spring into action to minimize disruptions?
This last item may be the most important. When disaster strikes, you want your employees to be ready to leap into action. Communication is key, and they need to know who will be leading the recovery efforts and what their role is in each scenario.
PDS has helped numerous title agencies with their managed IT services, cybersecurity and consulting on best practices for their technology. We can help you get started with a BIA. Let us know how we can help!