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Continuity management of information technology service processes should minimize adverse effects caused by disastrous and unpredictable events while focusing on sustaining core business processes. Specifically, major management tasks should include defining requirements and strategies for information technology continuity, setting measures and continuity plans for information technology services, managing continuity procedures as well as managing continuity and recovery in an emergency. Service continuity controls ensure that when unexpected events occur imperative operations continue without interruption or are promptly resumed, and critical as well as sensitive data remain protected.

A well-planned, properly structured audit program is essential to evaluate risk management practices, control systems, and compliance with policies concerning information technology-related risks at institutions of every size and complexity. Effective audit programs are risk-focused, promote sound information technology controls, ensure the timely resolution of audit deficiencies, and inform the board of directors or highest-level oversight committee of the effectiveness of risk management practices.

During this webinar, Dr. Davis will give an overview of Business Continuity and what a business continuity audit encompasses. Dr. Davis will also discuss considerations when developing and implementing a business continuity audit program. Moreover, Dr. Davis will address information gathering associated with a business continuity audit during audit program construction. Lastly, Dr. Davis will respond to all questions posed during the live webinar.

• The ability to identify issues associated with business continuity planning
• Factors that differentiate the types of business continuity plan assurance services
• How to develop an effective and comprehensive business continuity audit plan
• Available procedures for studying and evaluating a business continuity plan
• Methods for testing and evaluating business continuity controls
• Critical business continuity audit reporting considerations
• How to determine the appropriate amount of procedures for business continuity audit follow-up

Business continuity is a comprehensive managed effort to prioritize critical business processes identifying significant threats to normal operations that permit planning strategies for ensuring effective and efficient organizational responses to challenges arising during and after a crisis. Consequently, business continuity planning encompasses processes for developing advance responses to service interruptions in such a manner that critical business functions continue at expected levels. Sub-categorically, disaster recovery planning typically ranks as a crucial business continuity component referring to technological aspects of planning and organizing necessary to minimize potential losses and ensure critical business functionality if catastrophic circumstances materialize. An effectual business continuity capability is essential. However, for most organizations, being able to recover IT is fundamental.

Arguably, establishing a robust preparedness capability is one of the best investments an enterprise’s manager-leaders can pursue. Nonetheless, auditors should assure (based on a thorough risk assessment) the firm’s resiliency efforts are operationally ready to respond when required. Beneficially, IT audits of business continuity and disaster recovery plans can assist in ensuring the proper attention to information assets supporting an enterprise’s operations.

Cost-effective strategies should be designed to prevent, detect, or mitigate the impact of potential crises. The reduction of system vulnerabilities typically prerequisites delineating then remediating single as well as combined configuration failure points. Various resources that can contribute to the remediation process are continuity enablement factors. These resources -- including essential personnel (and their roles and responsibilities), information, applications, and infrastructure -- are necessary plan documentation that demonstrates a commitment to continuity. Covered areas in the session encompass:

• Challenges of business continuity planning in today’s volatile threat landscape
• Critical elements of crises management response
• How a business continuity plan differs from a disaster recovery plan
• Significant components for developing a business continuity audit plan
• Acquiring appropriate business continuity audit evidence
• Recommendations for analyzing a business continuity plan
• Communications development before, during, and after a business continuity audit

Considering information systems are generally critical to enhancing productivity, it is imperative deployed IT provide availability with service responsiveness while meeting user utilization demands, even during a crisis. An enterprise’s susceptibility, as well as IT operational resiliency, impact speedy and systematic redress for fulfilling efficiency, effectiveness, availability, and compliance requirements. Furthermore, neither business nor IT resides within static environments. Thus, environmental dynamics can generate changes altering system activities that require timely response and restoration to ensure continuous service delivery.

Threats to an enterprise’s existence manifest in diverse forms, including disruptions, emergencies, crises, or disasters. Any of these incidents or events can jeopardize data processing services sustaining mission-critical operations. When business integrated information systems are unavailable, efficiency diminishes, effectiveness erodes, compliance hinderance occurs, and employees become idle. As a result, enterprises should regularly examine their business continuity, disaster recovery, as well as back-up plans to ensure adequate operational requirements forecasting for service restoration.

Managers, especially information security management, cannot establish an adequate safeguarding posture unless root expectations are understood and potential threats, weaknesses as well as opportunities have appropriate responses. Towards this end, enterprise oversight committee members — mainly non-executive directors — should ensure they are satisfied that effective, efficient, as well as compliant processes deployment for business continuity and IT availability.

• Auditors
• Operations Managers
• Vendor Managers
• Disaster Recovery professionals
• Call centers
• Business Continuity Team members
• Information Security personnel
• Chief Security Officer
• Risk Managers
• Chief Information Officer
• Chief Operations Officer
• Information Security Managers
• Technology Managers

Dr. Robert E. Davis obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Business Law, a Master of Business Administration in Management Information Systems, and a Doctor of Business Administration in Information Systems Management from Temple, West Chester, and Walden University; respectively. Moreover, during his twenty years of involvement in education, Dr. Davis acquired Postgraduate and Professional Technical licenses in Computer Science and Computer Systems Technology. Dr. Davis also obtained the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certificate — after passing the 1988 Information Systems Audit and Control Association’s rigorous three hundred and fifty multiple-choice questions examination; and was conferred the Certified Internal Controls Auditor (CICA) certificate by the Institute for Internal Controls.

Since starting his career as an information systems (IS) auditor, Robert has provided data security consulting and IS auditing services to corporations as well as other organizations; in staff through management positions. Before engaging in the practice of IS auditing and information security consulting; Robert (as a corporate employee) provided inventory as well as general accounting services to Philip Morris, USA, and general accounting services to Philadelphia National Bank (Wells Fargo). Furthermore, he has prior experience as a freelance writer of IT audit and information security training material.

Dr. Davis received recognition as an accomplished, energetic auditor, author, and speaker with a sound mix of experience and skills in monitoring and evaluating controls. Based on his accomplishments, Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management Alumni Newsletter, as well as The Institute for Internal Controls e-newsletter featured Dr. Davis. Furthermore, he is an Advisory Board Member of The Institute for Internal Controls, the first and inaugural Temple University CISA in Residence and a founding Temple University Master of Science in IT Auditing and Cyber-Security Advisory Councilmen. Last, he accepted invitations to join Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honour Society, the Thomson Reuters' Expert Witness List, the IT Governance LTD expert panel, as well as the International Association of IT Governance Standards honorary membership group.

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