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When developing cyber-resilience strategies, organisations must not neglect the need for a complementary work-area recovery (WAR) strategy, says ContinuitySA, Africa’s leading provider of business resilience and continuity services. “When ICT systems are down or compromised, companies cannot trade and government entities cannot deliver services. Equally, though, if their premises are unavailable, they cannot use those same systems,” argues Innes le Roux, General Manager, Resilient Office Services, ContinuitySA. “Cyber resilience has to be integrated into a broad business continuity plan, and that has to include WAR.”

Mr le Roux says that cyber resilience was chosen as the theme for this year’s Business Continuity Awareness Week in recognition of ICT’s importance in business, but it must not be seen in isolation.

Setting up a WAR facility that is kept up to date and will actually perform during a crisis can be daunting. Many organisations are opting to work with specialist WAR providers in order to avoid the management hassles and capital costs of setting up their own WAR facilities. For example, ContinuitySA’s WAR Services offering provides a fully functional, alternative office area at one of its state-of-the-art data centres. More importantly, the facilities are integrated into the organisational business continuity plan. Upon invocation, employees would arrive at the WAR facility to find that their PCs would be already conforming with the correct software, while the back-end systems and data would already be mirrored in the data centre as part of the IT disaster recovery programme. The same is true for specialist employees such as call centre agents and treasury staff. All employees would become productive with minimum delay.

WAR services can be procured as dedicated seats to remove all risk, or syndicated seats. The latter are obviously less expensive as the costs are shared, but the risk is increased because if one of the other members of the syndicate has invoked a disaster, the seats might not be available.

“The key point to remember here is that business continuity has to be approached holistically. Every part of the organisation has its specific role to play and, similarly, needs to be prioritised and integrated into the plans for responding to, and recovering from, a disaster. It is thus very important that a proper business continuity plan, based on a business impact analysis, is completed and kept up to date,” says Mr le Roux. “Only then will cyber resilience be properly integrated into the overall resilience programme, along with WAR, to ensure that in the event of a disaster, employees will have the desks and the systems needed to keep the organisation up and running.

“Now that’s really peace of mind,” he concludes.

The concept of cyber resilience is being more fully explored during Business Continuity Awareness Week (15-19 May). Visit for further details and to see when ContinuitySA will be presenting webinars. In addition ContinuitySA will be hosting open day site visits at all of their sites during this week where clients can make an appointment to visit the sites and view the disaster recovery facilities.

For more information please contact us on +27115548000 or register online via the link provided