Business Impact Analysis & Risk Analysis for BCP
BUSINESS IMPACT ANALYSIS (BIA)
The first stage in the business continuity process is normally to consider the potential impacts of each type of disaster. This is a critically important step: How can you properly plan for a problem if you have little idea of the likely impacts on your organisation of the different scenarios?
At its most basic level, BIA is a mathod of systematically assessing the possible impacts resulting from various events or scenarios. Usually, impacts resulting from other incident types (eg: loss of confidentiality or data integrity) are examined at the same time. Although this need not be the case, there are certainly some advantages to undertaking a comprehensive and wider focused exercise.
The BIA, is intended to help you understand the scale of loss which could occur. It will cover not just direct financial loss, but many other issues, such as loss of stakeholder confidence, reputational damage, and so on.
Having determined the various impacts, it is now important to consider the the risks which could lead to these. This again is a critical activity. It will determine which of the identified scenarios are most likely to occur, and therfore, which should attract most attention during the business continuity planning process.
The good news is that over the years a method has emerged to significantly simplify these tasks. The COBRA method and software tool was launched in the early nineties. Since then it has evolved into a fully comprehensive solution for both BIA and risk assessment, amongst other tasks.
The sites and portals below provide detail on BIA, a risk analysis method and indeed the above product/software:
An Introduction to Business Impact Analysis & Risk Analysis
This site outlines the theory in reasonable detail
Practical Risk Analysis
This site describes the benefits of employing a risk analysis method, and introduces the method itself
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