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How does the ISO 22316 standard cover resilience?

Definitions for business continuity and resilience sometimes clash, but both processes help an organization stay on its feet. A new ISO standard tackles the latter.

The International Organization for Standardization has published an ongoing series of standards for business continuity and resilience. The most recent addition to the ISO 223xx series is ISO 22316:2017 Security and resilience -- Organizational resilience -- Principles and attributes.

ISO approved and released the new standard in 2017. ISO 22316:2017 provides guidance to enhance organizational resilience for any size or type of public or private organization. While it is not specific to any industry or vertical market, it can be applied throughout the lifecycle of an organization. Resilience is defined in ISO 22316:2017 as "the ability of an organization to absorb and adapt in a changing environment."

The Business Continuity Institute's Statement on Organizational Resilience describes resilience as "a quality within organizations [that] allows them to manage crises and disruption to operations, resist sudden shocks and adapt to changes." Other definitions include having resources to effectively recover and restore operations, a plan for responding to an unplanned event and employees who are trained and ready to respond to an event.

Resilience is often juxtaposed with business continuity, and there has been considerable debate in recent years whether BC results in resilience or vice versa. The traditional view is that each addresses the organization's ability to recover and restore operations following a disruptive event. Some feel BC is the process and resilience is the end state.

ISO 22316:2017 helps clarify the nature and scope of resilience, itself a somewhat difficult condition to evaluate. The standard identifies key components so that an organization can assess its resilience; define, implement and measure improvements; and identify and recommend good practices for ensuring resilience based on existing standards and disciplines. This is where an organization may make reference to ISO 22301:2019 Security and resilience -- Business continuity management systems -- Requirements and ISO 22313:2020 Security and resilience -- Business continuity management systems -- Guidance on the use of ISO 22301.

Additional reference standards to complement ISO 22316:2017 can include ISO/IEC 27001 (information security) and ISO 31000 (risk management). In addition, one relevant non-ISO standard is ASIS SPC.1-2009 Organizational resilience: Security, preparedness and continuity management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use.

Resilience and business continuity
One approach to the relationship between BC and resilience.

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