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Natural disasters, fires, supply chain issues or cyber-attacks are just some of the many unexpected yet possible threats to the smooth running of any business. Consistent and robust business continuity planning for what to do when disaster strikes is the best defence.

Uncertainty has never been more certain, and business disruption is a key area of concern for most executives, but, managed well, the benefits and opportunities are many. Having effective business continuity plans and capabilities in place is key to restoring operations if anything goes awry. 

ISO 22301, Security and resilience – Business continuity management systems – Requirements, is the world’s first International Standard for implementing and maintaining an effective business continuity plan. It enables an organization to have a more effective response and a quicker recovery, thereby reducing any impact on people, products and the organization’s bottom line.

The standard has recently been updated to remain current and relevant and continue to meet market needs. James Crask, Convenor of the ISO group of experts that developed the standard, said it brings together some of the world’s best practice to help organizations of any kind respond to, and recover from, disruptions effectively.

“A resilient organization is one that is able to adapt to change, is aware of where its vulnerabilities lie and has plans in place to respond should things go wrong,” he said.

“Recovering quickly from a business disruption requires a deep understanding of what is important to an organization, easy-to-follow response plans and staff that know their role in an incident.

“ISO 22301 helps organizations do all of that, thereby providing reassurance to their clients, suppliers, regulators and other stakeholders that they are not only prepared for disruption, but in shape for the future.”

Key improvements to the latest version include clearer structure and terminology to foster a better understanding of what is required and updates to remain in line with all other ISO management system standards.

ISO 22301 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 292, Security and resilience, the secretariat of which is held by SIS, ISO’s member for Sweden. Learn more about the committee on its dedicated Website.

Related information

  • ISO 22301 - Business continuity
    A free publication about ISO 22301, the International Standard for implementing and maintaining effective business continuity plans, systems and processes.

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