Who should you notify first in a major incident?
by Dan Simms, on Oct 17, 2019 2:01:25 PM
Those who are currently affected by the incident should be notified immediately when a major incident occurs, so it's key that you have a process that can identify groups of contacts and quickly communicate to them. This might be grouped by location, by the technology they use, the department they are in - and there needs to be an easy way for you to specify this group of people when a major incident happens.
It's also important to remember that even if a major incident happens and you don't have the full details, resolution or work-around - you should still notify your colleagues, team members, pupils or clients immediately.
Clearly, anyone who is affected by the incident should be notified of a major incident but consider also those who could be affected but are not currently so, on the basis that proactive communication is generally considered preferable to reactive communication.
"Also consider those who could be affected by the incident but are not currently so."
Depending on the incident, let's say your firewall solution is experiencing downtime at your Manchester branch - why not also notify your Leeds brand too so that they are aware and can let you know should anything happen in their location. This also helps to avoid siloed communication.
Although it's beneficial for you to notify those who might be (but aren't yet) affected by downtime, or another major incident - this rarely means everyone, and no service provider wants to promote a major incident to those who will not be affected because of the reputational impact. Remember not to hit the "send to all" button, which will ultimately cause more damage to your reputation and alert fatigue.
No longer is it as simple as broadcasting the circumstances of the incident, a fit-for-purpose major incident communication policy should also reference:
- Who should be told?
- What information should be provided?
- What medium should be used?
- When should updates be issued?
- How to validate, confirm and notify closure?
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