The Role of AI in Crisis Management and Business Continuity

An opinion piece by the senior director of IT, Continuity Management Department, at Halkbank, a majority state-owned bank in Turkey.

Hakan Kantaş, Senior Director of IT, Halkbank

June 8, 2023

5 Min Read
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Almost everyone has now heard of artificial intelligence (AI), but let us give a quick definition to make sure we're talking about the same thing. AI is the discipline of designing computer systems to exhibit human-like intelligence and behavior through a combination of techniques such as information processing, data analysis, and machine learning.

Developments in AI have accelerated, most especially in recent years, in parallel with robust growth in other fields such as data management, cybersecurity, as well as natural and artificial disasters.

In this regard, AI can help by offering significant benefits toward business continuity, IT continuity management, and crisis management. AI techniques such as big data analytics, machine learning, and deep learning can help organizations sustain and respond to crises faster, more effectively, and more predictably, making organizations more resilient to disruptions.

However, it is important to pay attention to issues such as ethics, privacy, and security of AI systems. Organizations need to establish appropriate policies and guidelines and manage risks when using AI systems. There is no regulation on this issue yet. However, the European Commission continues to work on the Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Framework and aims to announce compliance as a mandatory regulation in 2024.

Here is how AI can be used in business and IT continuity and crisis management:

1. Business continuity

Business continuity includes measures taken to enable an organization to continue its activities without being affected by unplanned events or crises. AI can be used in the following areas:

- Risk assessment: AI can be used to identify business continuity risks using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms. For example, by analyzing historical data, it may be possible to predict risk areas or potential problems and take preventive measures.

- Prediction and analysis: AI algorithms can be used in business continuity planning to predict future events. By analyzing data and building models, potential crises or disruptions can be identified in advance and action taken.

- Anomaly detection: AI algorithms can be used to detect anomalies in business continuity processes. For example, by detecting anomalies in network traffic or system logs, problems such as potential attacks or system failures can be predicted and action taken.

- Planning and optimization: AI can be applied to business continuity planning and optimization. For example, big data analytics and machine learning algorithms can assess an organization's business continuity scenarios, prioritize risks, and create the most effective continuity plans. It can also use resources efficiently by optimizing business continuity processes.

- Automated workflows: AI can be used to create automated workflows in business continuity processes. For example, it can use business continuity scenario and incident management algorithms to determine what steps need to be taken in a given scenario and automatically take those steps. This ensures that processes are executed quickly and consistently.

2. IT continuity management

IT continuity management aims to ensure the continuous and secure operation of an organization's IT infrastructure. AI can be used in IT continuity management processes in the following areas:

- Fault detection and monitoring: AI algorithms can continuously monitor networks and systems for faults and detect anomalies before they occur. This enables rapid intervention.

- Automation and autonomous systems: AI can be used in the development of these systems. For example, AI-based autonomous management systems can monitor infrastructure traffic, automatically correct errors, and optimize capacity as needed.

- Threat analysis and prediction: AI can analyze and predict security threats. Using big data analytics and machine learning algorithms, it can detect anomalous activity or vulnerabilities. AI-based systems can predict attacks and provide real-time alerts for rapid response.

- Incident management and automated response: IT continuity management includes strategies to quickly respond to potential outages or incidents. AI can monitor, analyze, and match events with automated response processes. For example, when a network attack is detected, AI-based systems can automatically take action and redirect critical workloads to other resources to ensure system continuity.

- Data recovery and backup: AI can also be used in data recovery and backup processes. AI-based systems can automate data backup processes and perform fast and accurate analysis in data recovery processes. This ensures business continuity without data loss.

3. Crisis management

Crisis management enables organizations to respond effectively to unexpected events or emergencies.

- Emergency prediction: AI algorithms can predict emergencies with data analysis. For example, by analyzing social media data and news feeds, it may be possible to detect potential crises early and prepare response plans.

- Decision support systems: AI can support decision-making processes during crisis management. Data analytics and algorithmic decision models can help make fast and effective decisions.

- Data analysis and monitoring: AI can detect trends and patterns by analyzing data collected in crises. In this way, crisis management and intervention processes can be made more effective.

- Automatic incident detection and response: AI-based systems can automatically detect certain events and give automatic responses in line with the rules determined accordingly. For example, AI algorithms that detect network attacks or system errors can automatically block attacks or reboot systems.

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- Natural language processing and chatbots: In crises, AI-powered chatbots with natural language processing capabilities can provide users with information quickly and effectively. These bots can answer questions about crises, make referrals, and provide information about crisis management processes.

- Data security and threat analysis: AI can also be used in data security and threat analysis processes. By using AI algorithms to analyze and detect attacks and threats, vulnerabilities and weaknesses can be identified in advance and preventive measures can be taken.

- Automated reporting and visualization: AI can support crisis management processes with automated reporting and visualization capabilities. For example, snapshots can provide detailed information about events and their impact, providing data-driven information for managers to make decisions. In addition, AI-powered visualization tools can help manage crises by presenting complex data with clear and interactive graphics and visuals.

- Continuous learning and improvement: AI can be used in crisis management processes with its continuous learning and improvement capabilities. Feedback loops can be used to continuously update systems and algorithms. This allows the system to perform better and make predictions that are more accurate.

In summary, AI can be used in various areas of continuity management, disaster centers and crisis management processes. Techniques and tools such as big data analytics, machine learning, natural language processing, automated event response, data security, and visualization can make crisis management faster, more effective, and more reliable. As the ethical, security, and privacy issues surrounding the use of AI are resolved, we will all see this technology used more widely and actively than it is today.

About the Author(s)

Hakan Kantaş

Senior Director of IT, Halkbank

Hakan Kantaş is the senior director of IT, Continuity Management Department of Halkbank, a bank majority owned by the government of Turkey.

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