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Built-in resilience can be the difference between success or bankruptcy when a company faces hardship. But how does one prepare the company for the unforeseen? One way is taking an enterprise-wide perspective, combined with software that supports threat evaluation and automated distribution of information. 

Power cuts, devastating fires, cyberattacks hitting the core IT systems, or a terrorist attack. When companies or organizations traditionally prepare to be resilient to disasters or other unwanted events, the focus is often brainstorming different scenarios and later developing action plans for each specific one. 

– The fundamental problem with such an approach is that the organization risks being unprepared for the unforeseen, says Tracy Reinhold, Chief Security Officer at Everbridge. 

Twin towers on 9/11, the financial crisis in 2008, and Covid-19 are only three examples of events that impacted millions of organizations. Big and small, from the floor up to the boards and stakeholders, and from civilians to countries. 

– The common denominator of these three examples is that they all were nearly impossible to foresee, causing long-term consequences.  

Avoid hidden threats to grow

This pinpoints that in order to achieve long-term resilience, protect human life, company assets, relations to customers, and minimize the time needed to recover full operability; the approach must be from an enterprise-wide solutions perspective. 

– In traditional organizations, departments for physical security and cyber-security are handled in two separate “silos”. The problem is that threats can, figuratively speaking, hide and grow in-between, especially in a digital world where traditional borders between areas of responsibility are becoming blurred. 

Gaps like this need to be closed and “new threats” must be handled. E.g., social engineering where individuals at “target companies” are attacked using a wide range of intricate methods from cybercriminals.

Holistic approach needed

Tracy Reinhold, with experience from the financial sector and 20 years in the FBI, advocates a holistic approach to crisis management and achieving resilience. 

– Everbridge´s enterprise software solution for Critical Event Management, CEM, provides information about critical events to help with personal safety and business continuity, he says.

The concept behind CEM is – during a critical event – keeping people and assets safe while keeping the business running. Through automated processes, information about threats assembles from third-party or internal sources. The solution helps customers evaluate risks and take actions quickly based on solid information. 

Automation can save lives

The CEM solution can, for example, help organizations rapidly derive information on the physical position of employees and damages of assets. The creation of these processes involves company-specific templates to deliver fast, correct, and relevant noise-free information based on an employee’s function, location, and communication equipment. Some actions can also be fully automated when time is essential to save lives. 

– Delivering consistent and correct information outside the organization is crucial to building trust and protecting reputation and stock value.

Tracy Reinhold sees that management, board members, and stakeholders are beginning to understand the true value of building resilient organizations.

– Generally speaking, in the past, traditional security was seen as a cost. This broader understanding of resilience is now considered a company asset. It is indeed.

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