Do you think you’ll be able to function as usual if something goes wrong with your IT system or you were to lose access to business-critical data? Would your organisation be able to come back on its feet as quickly as possible or would your in-house team be wondering what should be done next?
It doesn’t matter whether your business has endured a software crash or malware infection, having a robust business cyber attack recovery plan is extremely crucial.
Moreover, you need to ensure that your IT disaster recovery checklist covers any and every scenario that can derail your business and that your employees know how to execute the plan whenever required.
Why is Business Disaster & Continuity Planning So Important?
As per studies, the attack dwell time has been falling, but the median time in 2019 was 30 days. This means, on average, a cyber criminal dwells within your IT system for one whole month, that too without getting noticed.
However, in order to fight such advanced cyber attacks, your business can follow the “1-10-60” rule.
As per this rule, your team should be able to identify the attack within 1 minute, analyse and scope the threat in 10 minutes and retort and remedy the situation within or under 60 minutes.
That said, if your organisation doesn’t have a robust business continuity plan in place, then you might fail this entire process every single time.
What Should Be Included in Your Business Continuity Plan?
Add Business Impact and Risk Assessment Analysis
When it comes to business continuity plan, the first thing you need to include in it is a business impact and risk assessment analysis.
This is an important part of your contingency plan because with the help of risk assessment analysis you can not only discover the most common cyber threats but also calculate its perils on your organisation.
Set Continuity Goals
In order to lower your system downtime and the expense of data loss, it’s crucial that you include this step in your disaster recovery checklist.
By setting key RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) and RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives), your business can create an optimal and effective business employee monitoring tools continuity and recovery plan.
Include Your Staff in the Plan – Assign Duties and Responsibilities
Figure out the important members of your organisation and get them involved in your recovery plan. This could include both your external and internal members.
Once you’ve identified the members, prepare a list mentioning the first person to be contacted in different cyber threat situations. Ensure that you’re keeping that particular member informed at all times and providing the right training on how to tackle the threat, should your business face it.
Take Additional Care with Business-Critical Information
Business-critical information security is another vital step that every business continuity plan must account for. This is extremely important because, currently, every other organisation is dealing with the storage of crucial data.
Additionally, in the face of a cyber attack, it’s quite possible for an organisation to endure a huge loss of important data – recovery of which is not only challenging but also expensive. However, if you store important information off the map, you unintentionally save the company from massive disruption.
Be Aware of Technology Must-Haves
Prepare a list of all the equipment and technology that you’ll require should your business face a cyber threat.
Along with this list, make sure you’ve got an already-approved budget for technology and other resources. In doing so, you can easily build a robust business contingency plan.
Create an Off-Site Backup for Mission-Critical Data
Every successful disaster recovery plan needs to focus on the backup of your organisation’s mission-critical information, especially if it has been hacked or destroyed.
Many businesses carefully create a backup of all their data but end up storing them in a server room. If you’re also one of those organisations, then you could lose all your critical data (usually irreplaceable) if a flood, bomb or tornado is to destroy your office space.
That said, it’s best to create an off-site backup of all your data and save its copies in various physical locations or on some unbreachable server.
On top of this, all your key personnel need to be informed about where the data is being stored and should be given all the necessary passwords, keys, etc. This way, you can easily restore all the data and ensure your business is up and running!
Inform All the Key Stakeholders
There are a lot of cases wherein a company has endured an attack but hasn’t informed the key stakeholders.
If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you could lead your business to reputational damage and massive payouts. In some cases, you might even make the headlines (for the wrong reasons, of course!).
Therefore, it’s crucial for you to steer clear of this ruckus and ensure that every stakeholder is informed about the ongoing situation.
Have an Alternative Site for Business Operations
Your disaster recovery checklist must have a plan in place to help you set up your business operations at a different site, should your office space be rendered unusable or destroyed because of an attack.
This is why it’s best to have access to an alternative site where you can shift your workplace in no time. Ensure that it’s less expensive and more practical, especially if you own a lot of office spaces. What’s more, the contingency plan needs to include a rough estimate of the expenses that you’re likely to incur when moving and setting up your functions in the new space.
Frequently Update Your Contingency Plan
No matter whether you’re a small-scale beer mat printing company or an already-established eCommerce firm, it’s crucial that you have a business continuity plan in place.
Moreover, it’s important to ensure that you’re regularly updating the plan since it allows you to not only identify a breach but also make sure your organisation isn’t affected. It also helps you gain the trust of your customers, clients and key stakeholders.
Test the Plan Regularly
With the advancement in the technological realm, cyber criminals have also started to up their hacking game!
To ensure that you’re a step ahead of the attackers, conduct regular tests on your disaster recovery plan. In doing so, you can make sure your employees are up to date with the plan and know what needs to be done during or after an attack.
The Bottom Line
While a lot of businesses think of it like this, a disaster recovery plan is more than a fancy phrase for “data backup”.
An all-inclusive disaster recovery plan offers you a roadmap to easy business-critical data restoration both during and after your organisation has faced a cyber threat. That said, your plan needs to be well-written and assigned to all the employees and key stakeholders so that they’re aware of their responsibilities beforehand.
Moreover, you need to keep the plan up-to-date to ensure that it’s in line with the latest technological developments!
Author By-line – Aishwarya is the Content Head at Redpalm and loves all things technical. When she’s not writing articles on the latest technological developments, she’s busy exploring every nook and cranny of the world!