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Top 10 reasons why organizations need to have critical communications

Is your business resilient? It leaves us puzzled with no correct answer to reply to it. The impact of COVID-19 has us struggling to cope with the evolving situations, whereas we already have some familiar critical events like severe weather, supply chain disruptions, workplace violence, and lots more to cause business disruption while exposing our people and assets to potential threats. Business crisis communication plans are the key to prevent future threats. But, without a robust business-critical communication tool, organizations cannot activate this strategy.

What are critical communications? What is their importance before, during, and after critical events?

Critical communications are the ability to communicate appropriately with your people when you need it most before, during, and after critical events like a pandemic, supply chain disruptions, bad weather, flood, cyber-attacks, or any other industrial events.

During these evolving times, a legacy system falls short of delivering reliable, consistent, secure, and easy-to-use critical communication flexibility.

Critical communications that easily allow businesses to leverage the advanced level of mission-critical communication flexibilities along with data visualization can help emergency response teams communicate with people in the field or onsite in a much better way. However, not only the emergency response team, chief security officers, chief information security officers need critical communication in IT departments, no matter what the verticals are.

Hence, your critical communications can become faster and your recovery process can deliver expected results.

A critical communication tool must have lots of solutions and features to solve problems arising from critical events on the ground, office, or anywhere.

Zsuite, a comprehensive CEM or Critical Management platform is designed to process threats, analyze their nature, and foster ways to handle your business crisis communication plans to mitigate threats on time.

As a leading CEM tool, Zsuite takes an initiative to advocate for the importance of critical communications for businesses and encourages why businesses should not overlook this critical matter. Here are 10 reasons why organizations need to have critical communications.

Data intelligence

Today, critical events are fast evolving, frequently occurring, and complicated too. Different types of critical events can be coincidental, creating challenges to review data using legacy systems. In most organizations, emergency response teams still follow the manual process of data gathering. This process is rigid and making assessment and validation of information is tough. As a result, organizations cannot visualize threats and add context to emergency communications. There is a high chance that key intelligence would go haywire.

Zsuite CEM platform is a critical communication enabler with a granular level of focus on data intelligence, making your critical communications much more efficient and reliable at times of emergency.

Scalable decision-making

Most organizations still rely on siloed systems to handle crisis communications. Although security teams or emergency response teams are available 24×7, they do not have an integrated communication tool to enable crisis communications and keep everyone informed about changing situations. This is in fact leading to more gruesome challenges as organizations fail to identify exact business threats and take measures for risk handling. Lack of coordination between teams gives rise to confusion, impedes situational awareness, and delays appropriate decision-making.

Many crisis communication tools like Zsuite help you make efficient emergency plans and tackle immediate pressure with scalable decision-making.

Message fatigue

A crisis communication plan must include an integrated and unified communication system. This kind of orchestration not only improves communication and collaboration but provides visibility into who has been reached out, when they have been connected, how has been that person contacted, and what feedback has it received. Also, it provides the capability of leveraging pre-built message templates which are consistent and do not cause message fatigue.

As with fragmented communication channels that are omnipresent in many organizations, they can be subject to message fatigue.

Administrative overhead

Critical events can never be limited to a certain region. The reason is the advancement of digitalization. The information erupts as fast as wildfire through social media, personal messages, emails, news, and different entities among others. Messages can be voluminous, repetitive, and incessant resulting in wrong interpretation of certain messages and add to panic buying. Organizations need to coordinate with their people to give them real-time and fact-filled critical information to keep them informed so as to avoid unintended consequences.

Zsuite CEM enables two-way communication via multiple channels and improves organizational response.

Direct communication

Critical communication is always direct, consistent, and contextual. But, when your legacy system does not allow you to nurture the advantage to edit and approve of messages to be used as pre-built critical messages, you tend to impede human intelligence to take charge and act more responsibly. Using a Zsuite CEM platform, you can build your emergency response to help avoid ambiguity while also keeping everyone informed. This can be the most effective means of critical communication that enables a faster recovery process.

Better coordination

The right crisis communication plan can focus on coordination strategy. Having the right tool that allows you to enhance your critical communication can help you collaborate easily with all your stakeholders internally and externally and your people. Zsuite enables you to collaborate and communicate effectively so as to allocate resources better and act as necessary. This can add to better organizational resiliency.

Multimodal communication channels

Before, during, and after critical events, stakeholders must ensure their assets should not be in harm’s way. To ensure your people are safe, you must reach them at an incident site at the right time. No matter what device your people use, the idea is to reach them, so they never miss critical information. However, connecting does not always mean it is over. People receiving the message have to understand it and make a reply. Critical communication tools that integrate multiple languages allow communicating at ease while two-way communication brings feedback at a lightning speed, ensuring plans are being strategized as designed.

Contextual and location-awareness

Not all CEM is built to derive location intelligence to help reach people in harm’s way and save them. Zsuite CEM enhances its critical communication ability by leveraging the power of location intelligence and contextual awareness.

Zsuite relies upon location data it fetches from its contact centers, which helps provide visualization and analysis of geographical data. Also, by drawing spaces in the smart map in the dashboard and integrating it with demographic, traffic, and weather data, you can gain location awareness and add context to your critical communication so that you can predict the potential of threats, take appropriate action, and help save your people.

Accurate analysis

Powerful crisis communication can provide visibility into the incident’s nature, its causes, and its effects. Which part of your organization was badly damaged? How is it impacting spaces and life outside of your organization? Using Zsuite, your crisis management or incident management team can gain a better understanding of loopholes and prepare a better version of internal and external recovery plans with necessary inputs from stakeholders. It improves your monitoring of the factors impeding your recovery strategy and lessens the impact of disasters.

Plan and test your recovery plan

Critical communications enabled by a CEM platform such as Zsuite can help you run drills and evaluate the scope of your plans and their efficacy before a disaster happens. As you practice with simulations of critical events such as earthquakes, IT Incidents, terrorist attacks, or hurricanes, your emergency response teams can enhance their crisis communication plans, be prepared for the next disaster, and be more proactive to mitigate its threats.

Critical communications are the backbone of business resiliency. In the event of a crisis, crisis communication tools scale and give robust communication flexibility that can narrow the gap between life and death.

Are you prepared to handle critical events? Schedule a demo today.

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How CSO or CISO need to prepare for physical and digital security threats

How CSO or CISO need to prepare for physical and digital security threats

Cyberattacks, once an underrated topic to discuss, suddenly evolved into a huge concern for organizations after the COVID-19 pandemics forced businesses to stop their operations. With so many uncertainties still doing rounds, especially the ongoing second wave of the pandemic and the probability of the third wave, cybersecurity is capturing high attention to meeting agendas across the board for CSOs/CISOs. The continuous challenge to meet the safety and security standards that could ensure network wellbeing, employee mental and physical health, and business resiliency is becoming more exacerbated. Adjusting to the new normal of hybrid work culture needs to pay more attention to protecting high confidential corporate data while encouraging safer work from home environment. Meeting these high expectations can help CSOs and CISOs keep up with employee productivity, business continuity, and revenue generation.

Cyber threats- an evolving challenge for CSOs and CISOs

Home workspaces were the only devices made available to most workforces as soon as the lockdowns began. Organizations with little to no adequate resources at hand quickly nodded to these norms without measuring their effects. But, the saddest part, many organizations, especially small-scale organizations failed to provide a cyber-safe telecommuting ecosystem. The sudden scenario exposed the organization’s security at risk and led to cybercrime inadvertently.

As per reports from National Cyber Security Center, there was an increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic. WFH was the leading cause of this concern because of the lack of inherent protective home devices.

On top of it, telecommuting is a critical step towards making public health measures effective to curb the virus outbreak. Organizations encouraging this protocol have been facing novel challenges due to the more complex nature of employee health safety standards. Also, not being able to work in a centralized environment, employee communication took a hit, impacting their mental health and also decreasing productivity.

Classification of physical and digital threats organizations are facing

As businesses reopen after months of lockdowns, organizations face dual challenges-

  • Maintaining COVID-19 compliance to ensure the physical security of their people.
  • Maintaining digital security to prevent cyber threats like scams, phishing, and more.

Physical threats

Physical threats are those components that pose risks to mental health or overall wellbeing. In between reopening and reclosing of businesses, the most grueling challenges for organizations or security officers are to maintain social distancing norms at office premises, maintain a proper screening process to identify COVID-19 symptoms so as to be alert, and aid in preventing the transmission risks. The incapability to maintain the basic norms can result in so many issues-

  • Transmission of infectious disease at large
  • Mass infection of employees
  • The shutdown of business operations
  • Revenue losses

Apart from the pandemic threats, bad weather, natural disasters like floods, cyclones, or man-made disasters like terrorist attacks, or active shootouts cause the same consequences for businesses.

Digital threats

Digital threats are information shared online via websites, emails, or landing pages, or social media can deliberately cause risks to physical or information security risks.

One of the key digital threats that invited risks for CSOs or CISOs during a pandemic-

Social engineering

Social engineering scams are proliferating during the pandemic. Many novel tactics of social engineering have surfaced in the wake of COVID-19. Employees are an easy target for cyber intruders to infringe data or steal important credentials.

  • Video conferencing led to data breaches for more than half a million people.
  • A phishing scam shouldering on the key interest of people to get updates of coronavirus related news also deceived.
  • False emails containing malware caused disruptions to IT systems.
  • Phishing emails with malicious links siphoned off millions of dollars.
  • Phishing-related data breaches related to WFH are likely to cause $137,000 worth of losses.

Due to these evolving situations, organizations need to boost employee cyber-security training more than ever, which is a growing challenge for them too.

Threats to concentrate on while an employee is working from home

So, due to the changing norms of work culture in society, we have a reduced workforce, putting more pressure on the employees. Not able to comply with the new work from a home ecosystem, employees tend to compromise their mental health. Away from a supervised environment like that of an office system, mindlessness may crop up. Additionally, working from home does not offer the similar degree of cybersecurity that the office follows. Besides, there are a lot of threats to home devices-

  • Absence of regular anti-virus or anti-malware scans
  • Lack of sophisticated cyber threat prevention measures
  • Weaker Wi-Fi networks, which is susceptible to cyberattacks

All these are a great opportunity for hackers or cybercriminals to prey on personal devices to steal corporate files and data and pose threats to organization reputations.

However, be it physical or digital threats, a CEM platform provides organizations with capabilities to implement immediate critical communications, keep everyone informed of the evolving situations, and prevent the risks before it becomes a huge organizational risk.

How CEM helps CSO / CISO during uncertain times and how it improves response times during physical and digital security threats

Zsuite CEM platform is built to handle critical information in a more flexible way that helps organizations with IT incident management, disease prevention, and business continuity. Some of its sophisticated features guarantee a great level of flexibility and agility to curb major incidents or critical events quickly.

Critical Communications

To simply put, critical communications give organizations the ability to communicate before, during, after critical events. Zsuite features robust crisis communication features to help CSOs/CISOs design their recovery plan to mitigate threats that stem from physical or digital threats.

Two-way communications, multi-channel message delivery, mass notifications, critical alerts, comprehensive contact center along with powerful pre-built message templates make handling crisis communication effortless and efficient. Leveraging these tools can speed up the communication process for CSO/CISOs, keep stakeholders, partners, and employees informed, and give them much-needed resources to communicate at the right time with the right person. Hence, critical communications can improve response time, thus accelerating the recovery process.

Situation awareness

Zsuite unleashes the power of data intelligence to identify risks at granular levels. As this CEM platform helps capture unstructured data from different sources, CSOs can have data relevancy and therefore, enjoy the flexibility of connecting dots, and find missing links. This is probably a faster process to gain situational awareness of the evolving situations, which gives the organization a competitive advantage in identifying risks and opportunities, allocate resources, and communicate efficiently with everyone exposed to risks.

Common operating picture

In-depth visibility into how the critical events can evolve with the changing time or location is an ideal mechanism that provides a common operating picture. It is situational awareness that improves understanding of the critical events for every emergency response team or CSOs/CISOs. Based on what organizations see on the system improve their action plan. It becomes easier to predict threats to physical or digital assets, determine ways to mitigate risk, improve future plans, and help boost business resiliency.

Zsuite CEM is pioneering ways to combat the growing challenges of COVID-19 threats or familiar critical events to businesses. Whether you move to hybrid culture or still follow the traditional operating model, you need the expertise of Zsuite CEM to prevent business threats. Schedule a demo today.

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Zapoj CEM- Inspiring Leaders to Come Back to Work or School Effortlessly 

Zapoj CEM- inspiring leaders to come back to work or school effortlessly

Zapoj Critical Event Management or CEM strives to lessen the impact as aggravated by the rush to get back to the normal pattern of life as before. The COVID-19 pandemic is still unleashing its grudge with double the power to infect people and push them back to the standstill point.

Today, businesses, organizations, and schools are building new compliances so as to maintain new guidelines that elaborate on safety and precautionary measures to help reduce the spread of the infection. As people from these sectors are striving to reopen safely, they also need a powerful weapon to support the compliance requirements for monitoring vaccination and health status. Zapoj CEM orchestrates a network built on a powerful command center that uses risk intelligence, situational awareness, and epidemic capability in assisting the most crucial operational objectives every leader needs right at this time.

 

Fighting COVID-19 to achieve performance

Starting with schools, government organizations, and businesses, end-users want assurance that safety compliance is well in place that is built to keep everyone safe whosoever comes in contact with these establishments as well as ensuring employee wellness and health.

Integrated with the Epidemic tool, Zapoj CEM gives you a common operating picture through the Command Center. Its flexibility to pull in information in real-time helps you carry out COVID-19 tests and schedule vaccination for your employees.

If any potential exposure is found, you can take action well in advance, preventing your operations from being shut for a temporary period that can impact your productivity and scalability.

With COVID-19 testing, as well as vaccination, becoming more widespread, Zapoj with its expanded capability can ensure that you can easily cross-check with the vaccine status of individuals at your organizations and also track their health conditions in between the first and second dose and post-vaccination.

Two-way communication is an efficient way to build a database. Zapoj integrates into its alerting system- the power of geo-targeting capabilities that easily enables you to send map-based notifications to your employees, school children, and other officials by their specific geographic locations or zip codes if any vaccine or pandemic related emergency occurs. As you build up your database with contacts based on their locations, Zapoj CEM provides a faster way to draw a map on the command center and they appear as dots on the screen. During every step of the vaccine administration at work, if any emergency takes place, you can send out a targeted message without having to panic other people in the same facility. So, tracking is simply a message away, which is contextual and specific to people who really need it.

Customization is another great capability of Zapoj CEM which is flexible to tailor your message templates meant to target a specific group or skills at work locations. Individuals know who to reply back or ask a question when a certain query arises. Mass notifications here simplify sending and receiving messages end-to-end among large people, clarifying ambiguities, and laying the foundation that promotes a healthy work culture.

Moving forward, Zapoj is a CEM tool we need to strengthen the compliance to maintain vaccine management, supply chain accountability, and employee management.

Built with risk intelligence and visualization, Zapoj CEM relays information in real-time via its Command Center where you can verify which of your employees has been administered with the vaccines, essential vaccine results of recipients, and also health status, including fever, temperature among others.

As the vaccine is administered, the individual would receive an SMS that verifies its credibility. Besides this traditional method, Zapoj escalates messages in different regional languages and delivers via multi-channels including social media, voice calls, and even emails. It would be great that your organization can communicate in a flexible manner and encourage your people to share the information that has end-to-end data encryption, hence reducing the probability of rumor while building trust and credibility for your organization.

 

Contact tracing alerts

Now along with the vaccination, every data is crucial to keeping with the business resiliency.

As 100% vaccine efficacy is not established yet, the risks associated with vaccine side effects and resurgence of infection are highly likely. All crucial precautions- social distancing, health monitoring, reporting back ill healths, tracking victims- all remain unchanged for now. If we need to reopen, we must monitor every activity to avoid any cross-contamination of COVID-19 infections.

 

Zapoj CEM utilizes AI-based risk intelligence to ease the whole process of monitoring.

Offices, especially schools have tough managing sitting arrangements or routes critical to avoiding the high risk of exposure – close interactions or contaminations.

At the base of all things COVID-19, communication is crucial to mitigate interactions and avoid further risks. The reopening of the workplace or schools is putting emphasis on how we can track locations that are contaminated by a staff tested positive with the disease so that sanitation gets underway accurately and precisely.

Zapoj gives us dynamic capabilities of location awareness and visualization. Zapoj provides real-time monitoring of its people around a facility or within a building where contact contamination can become highly predominant. Given all possibilities, robust communication or contact tracing alerts are significantly getting information across to your people with ease and prevent them from being in touch with people who have been infected or come in contact with them.

We can achieve a broader level of visibility into which we can monitor movements, tracks, locations where employees, school children, or students enter. Based on the inputs we get from Zapoj, contact tracing alerts can be sent to people who have violated social distancing norms inadvertently. With transparent communication between our people, we can decide which places are sanitized or scheduled for sanitization. More so, we can design seating arrangements compliant with social distancing norms.

So when we communicate; managers, students, and employees will be able to know which locations they should avoid in the facility, reducing the probability of the spread of the disease, ensuring wellbeing for everyone while encouraging efficient performance at all levels.

Zapoj is a true leader in critical event management, which gives significant value to the organization leaders, institute authorities, and everyone who is keen to reopen its facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Using its situational awareness, location tracking, contact tracing, and communication capabilities, we can achieve a high level of accuracy, performance, and efficiency that helps us move forward.

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Enhancing Employee Outreach in the Time of COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 vaccines are out now, raising hopes for organizations to return to work safely to the traditional workplace from the phase of WFH normals. However, until vaccines help develop herd immunity or deliver 100% efficacy, employee wellbeing and safety is the major concern for every business leader.

Amidst this situation, employers are looking to optimize hybrid working practices- where physical presence at work and remote work will blend together to yield employee efficiency, productivity, and create value for every stakeholder.

For employers and HR directors, this new work model is nothing less than a challenge because health-vulnerable employees cannot enter the physical workplace, instead, they continue working from home. The other way around, field workers or frontline workers also need protection from their employers. Since all norms remain unchanged to help eliminate the transmission of the disease, organizations must comply with new regulations to strengthen employee safety as well as wellness.

Organizations need to bring the best practices that provide situational awareness with the ability to locate and communicate with their employees whenever they are exposed to vulnerabilities.

 

Leveraging risk intelligence and contact tracing

Creating a unified emergency response helps bring your employees to the same platform and tackle unforeseeable emergencies in an efficient manner. Zapoj Critical Event Management or CEM empowers organizations and employees to adjust to the safe return to the office by leveraging the power of risk intelligence and contact tracing.

With contextualized data at your fingertips, it is easier to detect potential threats in real-time, thus escaping the impact well in advance.

Risk intelligence can better work in conjunction with location intelligence or geographic information systems to enhance data collection, visualization, and better understanding. Pulling together all data, Zapoj Command Center provides situational awareness through a comprehensive dashboard where business leaders can identify data associated with employees, assets, and facilities.

Situational awareness also identifies which of the employees are present in the facility at a specific time along with details of their locations. Also, employees provide data to Zapoj Command Center about when they will be available in the facility. Accurate data mapping leads to organizations or HR recruiters make informed decisions – who to continue work at office premises or continue from home. The comprehensive data also helps manage social distancing norms at the office.

Depending on the location analytics, Zapoj CEM makes capturing location data easier and efficient for your organization and enables flexibility with government regulations. As a result, any organization can intensify end-to-end contact tracing and establish a comprehensive employee wellness program to proceed with operations without any disruptions.

  • Conduct wellness checks for employees on a regular basis
  • Conduct surveys to verify COVID-19 vaccinations and health status, and also employee needs
  • Know employee readiness to return to work
  • Enhance efficiency by providing access to employee data repository asset

Enhancing employee reach out

Zapoj CEM leverages geofence-based notifications and alerts. So, organizations can set up zones to identify location-specific risks and boost recovery. When the system detects a specific event related to COVID-19 using its situational awareness capabilities, it alerts an operator. Built-in flexible workflows can escalate rapidly when pre-defined requirements are not met and warn employees of potential threats. Notification and alerts reach the right employee at the right to keep them safe and keep them ready to tackle any health emergency. Employees can be notified for

  • Identifying the nearest testing locations
  • Getting the latest information about COVID-19 infections
  • Self-reporting COVID-19 symptoms

Zapoj CEM is designed to adjust to the current situation at organizations where employees can feel safe. With end-to-end contact tracing and risk intelligence, business leaders can communicate critical information in time should there be any COVID-19 infections, and help them avoid getting infected or spread any transmission. The goal is to keep up with the business continuity while also helping your staff stay safe and healthy.

Zapoj CEM helps you reimagine your current work conditions and maintain compliance with the regulations promoting employee safety and wellbeing. The key is enhancing employee outreach in times of pandemic so that organizations can limit the transmission, restrict employees from getting infected and take appropriate steps to keep up with business operations.

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Zapoj Empowers Businesses to Implement Infectious Disease Tracking

Today’s business needs to be resilient at all levels all while ensuring disease is far beyond the reach of your employees and people to give them a safer experience. Infectious disease tracking is key to staying ahead of infectious disease risks, preventing your employees from being exposed to infection, restricting transmission, ensuring employee wellness, and boosting their readiness to join offices. Zapoj CEM platform is a powerful end-to-end infectious disease tracking or contact tracing software helping business boost their confidence to facilitate the return to work as seamlessly as possible.

 

Zapoj CEM platform keeps businesses ahead of the COVID-19 vulnerabilities

Zapoj critical event management software harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to deep understand the source of the infection so businesses can hurriedly get insights into where is the risks generating from, how’s the impact going to be, and finally it simplifies decision making.

Leveraging this critical event management tool, it will be 10x easier to identify risk patterns related to COVID-19 in real-time which means you can take immediate action that restricts the spread of the disease and keep with government compliance.

 

How it works?

Zapoj CEM is more capable than Bluetooth-enabled contact tracing mobile apps.

The data accuracy is not always at par standard with what governments or organizations actually need to handle disease efficiently using Bluetooth contact tracing apps. To pull information from people being in the proximity of infectious persons or personally infected, apps must require people to give consent to use it. Owing to this fact, privacy becomes a concern for these people, limiting the collection of adequate information.

Harnessing the CEM capabilities of Zapoj; businesses and individuals can get better versions of infectious disease tracking flexibility.

COVID-19 tracking means you have risk intelligence in place to help your business keep track of contact events that may cause infection. Based on the fact of this information, businesses can immediately notify the person who has been in contact with the infected person. On a broader scale, organizations can identify potential threats to their employees, notify them to be extra cautious, suggest tests, and respond accordingly to ensure their wellness.

Without having to violate employee privacy, Zapoj gives every organization an opportunity to use location intelligence or awareness of their employees to accelerate the process of infection disease tracking.

 

Comprehensive location-tracking with Zapoj

Zapoj flexibly adapts to your organization’s contact management system which you’ve built for different purposes. On the other hand, if you don’t have such contact management, Zapoj CEM allows you to create a contact database that works in tandem with your organization’s compliance policy.

Location-based infectious disease tracking becomes much easier with available data such as GPS signals, addresses, contact numbers, Wi-Fi location. Zapoj dashboard provides situational awareness into identifying the person through an in-depth route mapping where the COVID-19 positive person may have moved about and uncovers other contacts with potential threats. With all tracked contacts being identified and notified, you can easily strategize isolation, wellness programs, and restrict the infection from spreading.

An advantage with Zapoj CEM is that it has built-in mass notifications and emergency alerting systems. So, not every end-user has to download it. With an accurate COVID-19 infection update in your hand, you can automate notifications or alerts right through the Zapoj dashboard which reaches the right person at the right time via a multimodal delivery path. It can be social media alerts, texts, emails, voice calls – so anything that your employees use which ensures every critical message works effectively with real-time feedback.

Geofencing and location tracking – these two intelligent tools embedded in Zapoj gives efficiency in density management in shared paces like conference rooms, cafeteria, and other places. This is a way forward to keeping you ahead of all potential threats, making risk assessment easier. It also ensures you embrace the return to work rapidly and provide a safe place for your employees to mobilize your operations.

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Importance of Critical Event Management to Business

Building organizational resilience

In 2020, business operational resilience is the utmost important aspect of worldwide business, be it small or global enterprises and no matter what part of the world they operate from. Defined as the emergent property of an organization exhibited when it continues to carry out its mission after disruption, that does not push it beyond its operational limit. Never in modern history, organizations have taken serious thought and investment in making their business operations resilient to disruptions. The organization meets its overall mission only when every individual high-value service in the organization meets its mission. Each service constitutes people, information, technology, and facilities – a critical event can disrupt any one of them impacting the service and eventually overall organization mission.

A Critical Event can be anything that causes a business disruption, from operational disruptions like IT outages and supply chain disruptions to catastrophic man-made events like active shooters or natural events like earthquakes or severe weather or Pandemic like Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19). In fact, these events have been on the rise for the last 10 years, on any given day some part of the world has always had some critical event impacting Business in that area. With a deeply interconnected Global Economy, the impact of Business on one side of the world can cause business disruptions all across the world, even if they were not directly exposed to Critical Events. The cost of inaction or poor preparation remains steep, results in lost productivity, eroded corporate reputation, instability in supply chain management, and lowered revenue.

In highly complex worldwide risk events, reliance on humans to collect data, connect modules, interpret threat data is impossible to manually visualize, track and process all information affecting your organization. Without technology, you cannot be proactive in mitigating the risks and impacts;  at best one would just react. Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on manual processes of collecting data, trying to implement business continuity based on a very narrowed understanding. This is where Critical Event Management (CEM) comes in handy in helping various roles in an organization such as security, operations, risk management, crisis management, and IT professionals to be proactive than reactive during critical events.

This guide will help you better understand, How CEM Works, How it helps business, How to initiate the CEM strategy, and finally how to quantify business resilience.

How_CEM_Works?

How CEM Works

Critical Event management addresses both the strategic side of business resilience which starts with identifying business risks, business continuity planning, forming crisis management teams, and the tactical part of implementing business continuity, which starts with situation awareness of global risk events, assess which assets get impacted, launches response teams to implement business continuity plans, crisis communications, response team collaborations, and post-mortem analytics. Zapoj Critical Event Management product- Zsuite is an AI-powered comprehensive end-to-end critical event management platform that enables organizations to predict, act, orchestrate, communicate and collaborate during any critical disruptions to business operations.

 

Following are the 5 pillars of Critical Event Management

  • Risk Intelligence Risk intelligence provides thousands of data feeds across weather, protests, social media, dark web, and hyper-local safety feeds to curate, filter, and categorizes risk events. Data is visually organized to easily understand risk event location, type of risk, data source, and severity so that security teams can take a faster response to threats in order to avoid false positives and make better decisions.
  • Correlation of assets and threats CEM software aligns risk events to assets using a dynamic correlation engine that combines static location, expected location, and last known location of people and assets. CEM can take this a step further by considering time elements to determine who or what is impacted by threats, in order to reach them faster and more decisively.
  • Orchestration of business continuity plans and incident management Automated workflows ensure that even when you or your team is not watching for threats, the system is going to do for you. SOPs, communications, and action plans can be automated and orchestrated during a crisis in order to speed up response and ensure that the appropriate action is taken for a particular threat.
  • Unified communications and collaboration The unified communications component of the critical event management system allows front-line workers to collaborate and communicate via chat rooms, web conference war rooms, securely share relevant documents and update task status.
  • Data-driven analytics With CEM, metrics are built-in throughout the process to ensure the right action is taken by the right people, at the right time, and to understand how effective actions implemented were and how you can do better in the future.

How CEM Adds Value to your Organization

  • Reduce losses from business interruption.
  • Lowered costs from IT downtime.
  • Decreased losses from property damage.
  • Averted costs of lost employee productivity.
  • Global risk events situation awareness and their impact on business operations.
  • Increased security team productivity through freed up time for higher-value tasks

 

How to Initiate the CEM in your organization

  • Leadership Initiative Build alliances across the chief security officer (CSO), chief information security officer (CISO), and chief information officer (CIO) at the very least. Combining the experience, insights, and intelligence from across the organization makes it possible to quickly understand the root cause of an event and ensures a rapid response and operational continuity.
  • Identify key assets and risk areas During every event, a resilient organization will know where employees, travelers, visitors, offices, manufacturing facilities, and other critical assets are located. It’s also critical to know how they are interconnected and the dependencies between them. Beyond knowing the location and interdependencies, organizations also need an idea of how much it will cost if these assets are impacted by an event. For instance, perhaps a critical business application goes down resulting in thousands of dollars in losses every minute. It’s important to calculate losses based on the overall use case, such as how many employees are going to be impacted.
  • Risk Intelligence data sources It’s time to pull all of your risk information together into one place to streamline your threat assessment process. Align sources, information, and evaluate the risks and the impact to your organization across five key asset types: People, Buildings, IT Systems, Supply Chain, and Brand/Reputation. Your data sources should be vetted and verified, involving geo-targeted intelligence related to weather, terrorism, and other potential disruptions. Verified sources and analysis eliminate the noise and enable you to generate the most impactful information while eliminating false positives.
  • Communication and Training The primary goal of business continuity planning is to efficiently restore operations through predetermined, systematic processes and procedures. However, in order to minimize the impacts and rapidly respond to operational hindrances, companies must ensure business continuity communication methods and procedures are clearly defined and functional. Communication planning is an intricate part of preparedness and any continuity process. Clear and effective communication channels must remain available in order to disseminate information to employees, assess and relay damage, and coordinate a recovery strategy.

 

How to quantity CEM outcomes

If you can’t measure something you can’t improve it, this is applicable to business resilience also. Since CEM is all about improving the business resilience of organizations, the capability maturity model in place quantifies where organizations stand now, identifies gaps, assesses what needs to be done to improve it, provides a timeline for improvements, and tracks the progress with data-driven metrics. CEM-CMM positions operational resilience in a process improvement view. Let’s talk about CEM capability maturity model stages

 

  1. Adhoc Stage:  As part of organizational Security –  Business continuity , Crisis Management and IT ops are silo managed with individual tools and processes. No CEM software is used to implement, all tasks are manual and paper based, teams have limited knowledge of important assets for successful business operations. At this stage any business operations disruption response is slow , uncoordinated ,unstructured, eventually leading to revenue loss and brand value at stake.
  2. Reactive stage: At reactive stage organizations would have started using basic CEM technologies like emergency notifications, aligned with all teams responsible to implement Business continuity and crisis management under CEM practice. Assets (People, Facilities, supply chain , IT infra and services and Information) needed for business services to meet their goals are defined as well . But identification of risks and correlation of assets is still a manual human task. Technology is used only to alert response teams and the implementation scope is still at the departmental level.
  3.  Managed stage: At this stage organizations have taken CEM seriously, more and more business units started implementing CEM strategies. Most importantly end to end CEM software is used to replace manual operations with automated risk identifying but the limited correlation with assets, alerts are multi-channeled with escalations and audits at every stage.
  4.  Proactive stage: At this stage organizations are matured with CEM and implemented best practices for all business services. All identified risk operations are automatically correlated with assets and alerts are sent based on staff schedules. Mobile devices are used to send alerts based on context and location awareness.
  5. Optimized Stage: At this stage organizations should have implemented CEM across organization wide with dynamic altering , automation with orchestration , data driven analytics to understand gaps and continuous improvement.