“I was asked by my management to relate Business Continuity Management to a Stress Test in a Financial Institution. Can this be done?”
Stress Test is a phrase commonly used in the Financial Services industry to describe a simulation exercise. This means you can “stress test” your plan by running an exercise.
One method you could use in your exercise is to increase the volume of a critical element, until failure or an acceptable volume is reached. There are many different elements of your plan you could stress test; staff numbers, server capacity, call volumes (see below for more detailed examples).
If you are planning an Exercise for your business – check out this blog which contains guidance and a cheat-sheet: “Top Tips for running a Business Continuity Exercise”.
- A remote work (or work from home) strategy often requires access to enterprise systems. There are at least a few potential bottlenecks to slow down or prevent access.
- 1. VPN capacity
- 2. Firewall throughput
- 3. A limited number of ports opened to external traffic
- Exercising the remote work strategy with a large number of people and traffic volume will stress test those potential weak points. It is better to know in advance if your systems will crash with a large volume of people trying to access your server from home.
- Similarly, computer processing systems, phone systems, automated notification systems, and local WiFi systems, etc. can be stress-tested.
- You could also exercise low employee volume (e.g. pandemic plans). However, this kind of exercise should only be short-term.
- Validation of cross-skill training is important when considering Staff Contingency Plans (e.g. Back-office/ support staff can be trained to perform more critical tasks.)
The above examples have been sourced from a conversation with BCP Builder Community on LinkedIn.
If you want to increase your Organizational Resilience, start with preparing a Business Continuity Plan and check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates.