Business communications continuity

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Against a backdrop of mounting risk, financial regulatory authorities are increasingly focusing on the operational resilience of financial service organisations. What does this mean for your firm and how can financial operators incorporate enterprise communications into their business continuity plans to help achieve operational resilience?

Operational resilience

Resilient firms and organisations are able to continue their business-critical processes in the event of disruption, from outages, cyber attacks, natural disasters and more. Business resilience safeguards the firm’s customers, suppliers, and shareholders as well as the organisation’s reputation.
Business continuity planning is a vital part of achieving resilience, including understanding potential impacts and producing detailed plans for the management of disruption.

Relevant regulation

In March 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) finalised rules and guidance for operational resilience. This policy states that firms should:

  • Be able to prevent disruption to services where possible
  • Review and adjust existing processes to be able to provide service continuity during an incident
  • Be able to restore services to normal post-incident
  • Be able to report, iterate and improve on processes post-incident

Part of this requires that firms identify their important or critical business services, impact test against them and define impact tolerances.

Enterprise communications platforms, upon which firms now rely for business-critical activities, should be included in this business continuity planning.

Communications in a crisis

In the current climate of accelerated risk, incidents of any scale are an inevitability. At best this could be a minor service outage; at worst, a cyber breach or natural disaster which leaves systems compromised. Firms must urgently consider what the impact of such an incident would be if it rendered their primary virtual communications service unavailable. This could vary from internal communications shutdown to the inability to communicate with customers and suppliers. It could also hamper incident response teams in their efforts to resolve a situation as well as cause long term financial and reputational damage.

Weathering the storm

To achieve steps towards operational resilience, firms must include a failover plan for their critical business communications in their continuity plans.

StarLeaf Standby is a unique real-time communications failover service that delivers secure collaboration during and after any situation that renders your primary platform unavailable.

The service offers a suite of failover enterprise communication tools that can be activated instantly, including unique capability to failover all scheduled upcoming video meetings, as well as messaging and calling, to a completely secure and out-of-band communications platform.

StarLeaf Standby helps organisations to manage an effective incident response, maintain business-critical communications, and to achieve regulatory compliance.

Built on the resilient StarLeaf platform, StarLeaf Standby offers a world-leading 99.999% uptime guarantee, robust security, and ISO/IEC 27001 certification.

*PRA Final Policy Statements PS 6/21 and PS 7/21 and Supervisory Statement SS 2/21
FCA Policy Statement PS 21/3