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Resilience versus Resistance: How to proactively protect your business in an increasingly disruptive

Businesses are increasingly at the mercy of disruptions – both targeted and incidental. In the last week alone in Australia, we have witnessed almost half of the Australian population without internet and phone service, along with stevedores nationwide closed. The ripple effect of these events can be catastrophic – from hospitals without connectivity, to public transport operators unable to communicate across their networks, grinding services to a halt; business and the public unable to access their savings, and; supply chains dealing with a piling backlog. What can we learn from these events? And how can we build businesses that can not only withstand these events, but thrive despite them?

Optus Network Outage

The recent Optus Network outage demonstrates how the supply chain systems and procedures which organisations rely on, can be disrupted by factors outside of out their control. The network outage affected over 10 million customers across Australia, including medical facilities, public transport operators, the hospitality industry, retailers, and private customers. Initial investigations indicate the outage may have been caused by an Optus router, which controls how data is shuttled across the internet, and which receive instructions via regular updates to their internal databases, known as routing tables. As well as the November 2023 Optus Network outage, the Optus network also experienced a cyber attack in September 2022 resulting in a significant data breach. While the Australian Government has called for a number of reviews into the Optus Network outage, the result will likely be a log of lessons learned and a plea to Optus to do better. But where, and what, is the lesson for other businesses?

DP World Cyber Security Incident

DP World, Australia’s second largest port operator, shut down operations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Fremantle last Friday due to a cyber security incident. The shutdown continued over the weekend and is expected to last several days. DP World manages 40 percent of Australia’s maritime freight. DP World can unload or load ships, however technology systems that share data between trucks and the stevedore were turned off, meaning trucks could not communicate with DP World’s terminals to collect or drop off containers. The Commonwealth Government is currently assisting DP World to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

The lesson for business: build your resilience now

What these events show us is that businesses are increasingly exposed to a myriad of events and attacks. Not only is it harmful to the reputation of your business and your pipeline, but the flow on effects across other areas of the Australian and indeed, global, economy is far reaching and potentially catastrophic. Building a resilient business is essential if you are to succeed and thrive in the current climate. Business continuity planning and exercising to ensure your business understands and has mapped possible disruptions – big and small – is our specialty. Get in touch with Elysium EPL today, and let us help you build your business continuity plans so you can guard against and ensure your business thrives in an uncertain and volatile world.

 

Timothy Bell (TJ) is the Business Resilience and Protective Security Practice Lead at Elysium EPL, an Australian-owned professional services firm that helps business and government realise transformation and deliver comprehensive solutions with enduring value. TJ has gained expertise across his career as an Intelligence Officer, Transport Security Director, and a consultant to both government and commercial organisations. He is skilled in identifying, mitigating, and planning for risk and business continuity – providing strategic and operational advice, critical infrastructure, and security risk strategies. TJ and his team of specialists can help manage high risks to ensure protection for your business and make it safe. 

If you would like to discuss business resilience and continuity planning, please email enquiries@elysiumepl.com.au.

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