3 Essential Steps to Prepare Your Crisis Management Plan for the Digital Age

Modern businesses face myriad threats in the digital age. From growing issues like climate change and cybersecurity to established threats like supply chain faults and safety breaches, you must have a robust crisis management plan if you want to survive. 

However, putting together a crisis management plan can feel daunting if your business isn’t ready for crises. After all, modern threats like cybersecurity breaches and climate-induced blackouts are constantly shifting the meaning of responsible risk management. 

The fluid nature of modern risks means that you must take steps today to start preparing for tomorrow’s problems. Even small changes, like revising your strategic communication plan, can help you embrace the era of constant change and increase your operational resilience. 

Future-Proof Your Plans

Building a resilient organization is the best way to bounce back after a crisis. Foregrounding resilience will future-proof your plans and ensure that you always have enough resources available to overcome a disruption like a power blackout or a fault in your supply chain. You can start future-proofing your operations today by: 

  • Gathering Feedback: External and internal stakeholders have a better understanding of your business's vulnerabilities and weaknesses than you may think. Even survey-style feedback, like Net Promoter Score forms, can help you determine whether or not customers will stick by the business should a crisis temporarily halt operations. 
  • Competitor Collaboration: Rather than keeping risk management data to yourself, start collaborating with competitors in the same industry. No one benefits from a blackout and folks may be more willing to collaborate if it increases their operational resilience. If collaboration isn’t your thing, search for public-facing information related to risk management success stories in the past. 
  • Audit and Update: Monitoring and revising your risk management strategy is crucial when preparing to face today’s modern crises. Instilling simple changes, like ensuring that all employee devices are automatically updated via a device management service, can tighten up your security and minimize the risk of a breach due to outdated software. 
  • Partnerships: Risk management requires you to reconsider your existing partnerships while forging new ones with more reliable stakeholders. If you’re worried about the reliability of a supplier or the compliance of a software provider, make a switch to a more reputable partner. 

These changes will increase your operational resilience and help you bounce back from setbacks. By building strong partnerships in your industry, you’ll learn about threats and emerging issues quicker, too. 

This increases your operational agility and ensures that you are amongst the first to get back up and running after a supplier folds or a regulation change impacts your operations. Making these connections is crucial in the digital age, as industries move quicker than ever thanks to the web, meaning you don’t want to be left behind. 

Revise Your Security Systems

Modern security threats threaten to undermine your operational efficiency and may lead to hefty fines and losses if you don’t respond appropriately. Today, the average cost of a data breach exceeds $4.4 million. A cybersecurity breach will lead to long-term losses, too, as folks are less likely to trust your brand if you are unable to keep their sensitive information safe. 

Rather than relying on rigid rules, embrace an adaptive response to security. Adaptive responses ensure that you are up-to-date with the most common threats and will help you adapt to changing cybersecurity conditions. The key principles of adaptive responses include: 

  • Continuous Monitoring: Rather than waiting for a breach to flag on your systems, utilize software that constantly monitors your systems for unusual activity. 
  • Contextual Analysis: The best adaptive cybersecurity systems are able to identify suspicious behavior based on contextual information. This reduces the risk of false positives and may help you identify weak points in your current systems. 
  • Machine Learning: ML is the backbone of effective modern systems. You can’t expect to catch cybercrime quickly without an AI-driven program that sifts through massive data sets in real time to protect sensitive data within your business. 

These principles improve your response time and increase the chances of your team catching a threat before it has a chance to damage your organization. Modern cybersecurity programs feature testing programs, too, meaning you can identify risks and teach your team better habits based on experiential data. 

Improve Communication

Employees are any organization's most valuable asset. However, teams of people present a real risk to your firm, too. Some folks will refuse to update their passwords regularly, while others will open spam emails without a second thought. Rather than lamenting these employees, consider revising your communications plan accordingly. 

You can improve the effectiveness of your communications plan by explaining the “why” behind your changes in an all-hands meeting. Folks are far more likely to embrace change when they understand why they need to adapt their current practices and will be far more receptive if your changes feel urgent. 

After laying out your new crisis management plan, reinforce the changes by celebrating the folks who champion your changes. Following up on changes is crucial, as failing to follow up means that employees will forget about the shift and return to their usual habits. You can also follow through by providing visuals for those who prefer graphics, as these images will reinforce best practices and further minimize the risk of a human error resulting in a breach. 


Adapting your crisis management plan to the digital age is all about taking adaptive, preventative steps to minimize risk. However, this doesn’t mean you should turn your back on well-established principles like collaborations and partnerships. 

Instead, empower your external and internal stakeholders by creating a risk management plan that increases the speed of communication and alerts folks to threats quickly. This improves your operational resilience time and may help you maintain business continuity even when responding to a threat. 

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Indiana Lee is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

You need to be a member of Global Risk Community to add comments!

Join Global Risk Community

    About Us

    The GlobalRisk Community is a thriving community of risk managers and associated service providers. Our purpose is to foster business, networking and educational explorations among members. Our goal is to be the worlds premier Risk forum and contribute to better understanding of the complex world of risk.

    Business Partners

    For companies wanting to create a greater visibility for their products and services among their prospects in the Risk market: Send your business partnership request by filling in the form here!