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Training Tips to Stay Prepared for Disaster in 2018

Almost everyone likes to feel that they are in control, especially when it comes to their business. Unfortunately, there many issues that are simply beyond our reach. So, how do you prepare for the unknown?

Your company is only as strong as its employees. Having resilience professionals – who can react in adverse situations – working for you is the first step in preparing for unknown events that may come your way.

Resilience professionals are characterized by their ability to face and overcome situations of high demand and pressure. Therefore, if disaster was to strike in the form of a natural disaster or cyberattack, these are the people you would want around to handle it.

Having the ability to react and recover from unexpected disasters is key to the survival of any organization. Although there are many potential threats that can affect a business, resilience professionals feel that they are the most involved when it comes to “planning response to natural disasters, man-made disasters, IT failures, and pandemics (DRI).”

With this in mind, the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) has made 10 practical predictions in their Third Annual Predictions Report for issues that will most likely impact resilience professionals in 2018.

In this report, DRI addresses Information Security/Cyber, Stricter Data Protection and Privacy Regulations, Technology Failure, Supply Chain Disruption, Flooding and Extreme Weather, Terrorism, Social Media, Natural Disaster, Financial Disruptions and Political Instability.

Based on DRI’s predictions, we have put together a helpful guide with suggested training topics that will help your company prepare for potential threats in 2018.

Information Security / Cyber 

A variety of high-profile cyberattacks occurred last year due to weak data security, exemplified by the ongoing Equifax digital disaster. These threats are expected to continue into 2018 creating a need for businesses and individuals to secure their computers, phones and more.

DRI predicts that in this upcoming year medical facilities will be a target of high profile cyberattacks as more medical devices become IoT (Internet of Things) enabled. 

How can you prepare?

Cyberattacks are very threatening to the integrity of companies and large organizations. The best way to prepare for potential data breaches is to ensure that your devices and information systems are as secure as possible.

Enrolling in a cybersecurity training course is a great way to learn about the challenges of designing a secure system. Understanding key principles, best practices and concepts around electronic attacks will help you recognize your weaknesses and make the appropriate changes to ensure a secure data system. 

Stricter Data Protection and Privacy Regulations

In May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become law across the EU. This essentially effects the whole world since it applies to all EU countries along with all third-party countries who do business within the EU or with EU companies.

DRI predicts that a number of major global technology companies will fail to comply with GDPR requirements, resulting in negative media coverage and large financial penalties. 

How can you prepare?

In order to avoid the harsh penalties that result in not complying with GDPR demands, companies need to educate themselves on the new requirements. On EUGDPR.org you can access information on the GDPR regulation, including the main changes that you need to be aware of. 

Technology Failure

Due to tight IT budgets combined with the rapid development of new technologies, developing nations are reverting to earlier and less secure products to meet their needs.

The use of older devices is expected to continue to grow, with companies using phones, laptops and tablets in creative ways to get their work done. In addition, large companies are likely to use the cloud and centralized services to modify computing power.

Due to this, DRI predicts that a basic IT failure will cause a leading international company to suffer an extended and expensive business disruption. The source will be inadequate training, human error, or lack of risk awareness by management.

How can you prepare?

Arm yourself against the threat of an IT failure through IT training. Develop a better understanding for the technology that you are using in your company and learn the risks of using outdated systems. Human error cannot always be avoided, but educating your employees can help reduce the chance of a mistake.

Supply Chain Disruption

The nature of global supply chains has transitioned. Companies are more connected and dependent on each other, leading to an increase in new risks. Large disasters now have the power to affect entire sectors, rather than just a single company.

DRI predicts that in the upcoming year a severe weather event will affect a vital part of the electronics supply chain.

How can you prepare? 

The best way to prepare for a potential supply chain disruption is through risk management continuity training. Risk management training will teach you how to identify threats, perform risk assessments and reduce vulnerabilities in your supply chain.

Natural disasters cannot be predicted, but learning your weaknesses will help your company protect itself in an emergency situation. 

Financial Disruptions

With debt levels continuing to rise, economists are worried that the current financial state is reaching the level that was seen directly before the 2007 financial collapse. Many fear that if a crash was to happen in 2018, the world won't have the resources to handle it.

DRI predicts that a global financial crash will not occur in 2018, but that Europe will experience some retrenchment as Brexit nears. 

How can you prepare?

Financial disruptions are challenging to predict. No one can be 100% prepared for a financial collapse, but you can make plans that will reduce possible damages.

The best way to arm your company against financial problems is to undergo financial risk management training. Learning how to effectively conduct a risk assessment of your financial operations and better understand the impacts of various risks will help you prepare for future problems. 

If you want to read the rest of DRI's predictions for 2018 and see how their predictions for 2017 turned out you can download the full report by clicking on the link below.

Read DRI’s Full Predictions Report for 2018

Last updated: 28 Feb 2019

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