Why Everyone Should Stress-Test (Not Just Big Banks)

“You’re wanted upstairs.  Now.  As in, immediately.”

There’s nothing quite like these words to kick off a relaxing day at the office.  You head up to the executive suite wondering what fire-drill, or firing offense, awaits.

As you walk in, the Wall Street Journal flies across the room and lands at your feet.

“Our biggest back office vendor has been hacked.  It’s a disaster.  Apparently it happened a week ago.  So why am I finding out about this in the Journal?  What’s our legal position?”

You pause.  You think.  Where is the contract?  Did I negotiate that one?  Was there an obligation on them to report incidents like this as soon as they occurred?  What’s our obligation to notify affected customers?  How much time have we got?  What if the vendor goes under?  Can we terminate and switch vendors?  Or was this exclusive?  Can they hide behind capped liability?

So many questions.  So little time.  So many angry executives.

What happens next depends in large part on how well you stress-tested your contracts before an event like this.  If you planned ahead and created a trusted source of operational contract data, you can probably answer many of these questions quickly and with confidence.  If you did nothing to prepare, you will likely spend the day (or the week) running around like a headless chicken, looking for contracts, scrambling through paperwork, and wondering how to say “I don’t know” without sounding like an idiot.

And this is just one stressful event.

There can and will be many others: corruption scandal, currency crisis, regulatory investigation, product recall, patent litigation, credit crunch, and more.

But don’t stress out.  Stress test.  Get ahead of the problem.  If you stress test ahead of time, you can fix the weak links.  If you wait for a crisis, it’s too late.

Join us for a free webinar on Thursday, October 29th at 11am EDT to find out how to best prepare for a crisis and protect your company and your job. Click here to register or to learn more.

Jamie Wodetzki is Exari’s Co- Founder & Chief Product Officer. Reach out in the comments or @wodetzki

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