Insurance carriers recognize the need for having a business continuity plan in place, according to a survey recently conducted by IVANS, however, much work still needs to be done in the area of disaster recovery to be completely prepared.
According to the IVANS survey, more than 82 percent of insurance carriers have business continuity plans in place. However, only 25 percent include natural disasters; 19 percent, acts of terrorism; 20 percent, cyber terrorism; and less than 15 percent take into account biological/public emergencies.
The survey was conducted in May 2006 during the ACORD/LOMA conference which was held in Las Vegas.
Last year’s hurricane season, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the concern over the avian flu have changed the way businesses operate, and the insurance industry is no exception. Keeping a business operation up and running after a catastrophic disaster depends heavily on being able to access company data and resources, IVANS executives contend.
“Prior to recent disasters, carriers were not prepared for their buildings to be inaccessible for weeks or for employees to be unable to reach their offices, so the approach to business continuity planning is shifting,” said Clare DeNicola, president of IVANS. “To be fully prepared, companies need to assess their network infrastructure and develop a disaster recovery solution/business continuity plan that includes redundant and reliable Internet connections, and ensures all corporate locations are connected 24/7.”
DeNicola added, “With more and more insurance companies supporting remote workers and branch offices, a sound business continuity plan includes a comprehensive remote access strategy so employees can gain immediate access to company resources. Since many insurance carriers store data at offsite locations, cost-effective connectivity into those facilities also should be established in the event something happens to the physical hardware or building. Whether the solution is dedicated or shared, it is important that offsite data access be granted quickly and economically, and that remote workers have the ability to instantly retrieve company applications during and following a disaster.”
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