Business Impact Analysis (BIA) | Overview | the Importance of Information Security Policies

72. What is Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and why are information security policies so important?

A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is actually a subset of one’s overall business continuity and disaster recovery planning (BCDRP) initiatives that includes assessing and prioritizing all business functions and processes, their interdependencies, along with identifying the impact of actual business disruptions unplanned events. Additionally, BIA seeks to estimate downtime, accepted loss levels, along with recovery time objectives (RTO), recovery point objectives (RPO), and other critical issues. Additionally, according to The Federal Financial Institution Examination Council (FFIEC), formal federal interagency body, “Once business functions and processes have been assessed and prioritized, the BIA should identify the potential impact of uncontrolled, non-specific events on these business functions and processes”.

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Important Components of Business Impact Analysis (BIA) | Management Leadership is Crucial
Furthermore, the following critical issues should also be noted:

  • Management is to not ignore potential risks (i.e. environmental) evident for an organization’s particular area, such as being in a tornado region of the country, earthquake zone, etc.
  • Management should consider all legal and regulatory compliance issues and concerns - for example - to breaches of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), etc.
  • Management should estimate the maximum allowable downtime for critical business functions and processes, along with acceptable - if any - loss levels.
  • Management should establish clearly defined recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).
  • When determining an organization’s critical financial, operational, technical and security needs, management should comprehensively analyze all functions, processes, and personnel, etc.
  • Upon completion of the BIA, management is to include it as a subset of the organization’s overall business continuity and disaster recovery planning (BCDRP) initiatives.

Security Policies | A Vital Component for Compliance and Cyber Security
BIA initiatives are extremely important for organization’s who truly care about the continuity of operations, along with the safety and security of critical systems resources, much of them containing highly sensitive and confidential information. What’s equally important for today’s security conscious businesses is having a comprehensive set of well-written, enterprise-wide operational and information security policies and procedures. Regulatory compliance demands them, it just makes sense from a best practices perspective, and they’re essential for defining various roles, responsibilities, access rights, and other important elements.

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