Is your business continuity strategy in place for the 2012 Olympics?

It is now less than one year until the 2012 Olympic Games begin and, amidst the excitement, it is time for businesses to establish how they will adapt their Business Continuity Strategies to cope with the huge influx of traffic London can expect next summer.

The way in which organisations manage the challenges presented by hosting what some are referring to as ‘the greatest show on earth’ contributes towards the overall success of the London Olympics. Physical security tops the agenda; however, executives must also prioritise the effective protection of their business interests and information assets.

This is an opportunity to review, refresh and promote Business Continuity Plans to ensure the smooth running of events throughout the inevitable disruption. It’s likely that companies will face temporary business closures, increased levels of absenteeism and requests from employees to allow them to work from alternative locations.

A flexibility exercise

As IT consumerisation continues to boom, flexible working options will be well-received by employees who may or may not wish to attend the Olympic events. Adopting and raising awareness of agile working policies will ensure employees are informed and prepared to deal with unfamiliar circumstances.

Early employee communications will reinforce organisations’ defences against the loss or compromise of information meanwhile, collaborating with suppliers will warrant minimal disruption throughout the period of distraction.

Businesses may be asked to reduce onsite presence at this time to support the Olympic Delivery Authority’s ‘Keep on running’ campaign, which aims to decrease background daily traffic in and around London by 30%.

Promote advice and guidance on how employees must maintain responsibility for confidential information and enable secure remote access to IT infrastructures to minimise the amount of data employees need to store or carry on mobile devices.

Playing to your strengths

The recent corporate hacking attacks by groups Anonymous and LulzSec suggest organisations can anticipate their vulnerability to cyber protests and cyber terrorism while the public focus shifts to the Games.

The human element remains weak to phishing and social engineering attempts, particularly Olympic-related content, when it might be assumed technical solutions render a business impenetrable. Instilling secure habits now will help to minimise the risks later.

Knowledge is power; spreading the word amongst employees will enable them to make the right decisions upon encountering a security threat. Encourage these messages to go viral amongst family and friends who are equally susceptible to online scams and malicious activity. There’s no room for losers in the reputation game so protect yours and boost the UK’s status as a secure place to do business.

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Hannah Tufts has been a Communications Assistant with The Security Company (TSC) for one year. She is responsible for internal communications within TSC in addition to managing client communications campaigns and providing marketing support. Hannah graduated in July 2011 from the University of Reading with a 2:1 in English and American Literature. Whilst studying Hannah was a regular contributor to the Travel, Comment and Debate sections of the university newspaper. Hannah has gained experience in the Communications field through her time spent with a variety of organisations including WEXAS Traveller Magazine, Penguin Group and CSC, where she developed her writing skills and in-depth understanding of different target-audiences.