*****Business Continuity Strategies: Protecting Against Unplanned Disasters, Third Edition. By Kenneth N. Myers; published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; available from ASIS, item #1752, 703/519-6200 (phone), www.asisonline.org (Web); 203 pages; $55 (ASIS members) $61 (nonmembers).
The complexity and speed of modern business—both due almost entirely to technology—have increased the importance and challenge of maintaining business operations amid natural or man-made disasters. In the past two decades, but especially since 9-11, many companies have acknowledged the need for continuity planning. Responsibility for continuity planning is often assigned to an organization’s security department.
In Business Continuity Strategies, Kenneth N. Myers, a renowned specialist in contingency planning, has written an excellent reference on a complex topic. He describes what he calls a “new contingency program paradigm,” emphasizing a forward-looking approach. Successful organizations, he writes, have turned over continuity programs to the human resources department—even transferring budgeted IT funding for disaster recovery.
This is an interesting concept, but responsibility for continuity planning stretches across all units of an organization and all levels of management. Regular consultation within an organization is critical, as is testing of a plan. No manager should, in the face of a disaster, be sitting down to read a manual drafted by another department.
The book discusses the 30 recommendations presented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology after an extensive investigation of the 9-11 World Trade Center attack and collapse. The recommendations cover seven areas, including improved emergency response, improved procedures and practices, and education and training.
Workplace violence is also discussed in this book. The author emphasizes prevention and identifying red flags that management and rank-and-file employees alike should watch for. As security professionals should all be aware, this is a critical area of concern. Additionally, there is a guideline for strategies involving multiple locations and facilities.
Business Continuity Strategies contains a comprehensive index and a useful glossary. It is highly recommended for anyone remotely responsible for business continuity programs. It will assist in enhancing current programs and definitely be an asset in developing new ones.
Adrian A. Barnie, CPP, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), CAMS (Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist), is with the anti-money-laundering unit of Key Bank’s financial intelligence unit in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of ASIS International.