Cyber security, business continuity go hand in hand

Businesses, government agencies and individuals across the world have been suffering more frequent and severe cyberattacks than any previous generation, and for many decision-makers, cybersecurity remains a weak link in their strategies overall. While organizations are quick to leverage secure file transfer and firewall solutions to protect their infrastructures, there is an alarming lack of focus on the business continuity side of the coin when data protection is brought up in the boardroom.

Leaders in every area of the enterprise environment must recognize the risks they face and bring their recovery and continuity strategies in step with the rest of their security outlooks. Without a well-rounded approach to IT backup and recovery, vulnerabilities may come back to haunt an organization down the line, resulting in data breaches, leaked information and the eventual loss of client confidence. Cyber security should be an integral part of a company’s continuity blueprint, not a burden to its data protection goals.

Think two steps ahead
When it comes to ensuring a complete continuity profile, preparation is paramount. This means examining every aspect of an organization’s IT infrastructure and putting the necessary backup and recovery measures in place. From email exchange applications to cloud-based collaboration channels, a business can’t fall short of any recovery objectives, especially with cybercriminal organizations targeting more specific components of corporate networks. Even one weak link can lead to a large-scale breach of massive proportions. This is a risk that no organization should have to take.

According to a recent article from Forbes, waiting until the occurrence of a cyberattack is far too late for companies to create an effective continuity strategy, particularly organizations with a wide range of IT assets to account for. The source spoke with corporate risk management expert Brian White, a principal at premiere global advisory firm The Chertoff Group, who explained that by the time an intrusion attempt is launched, an organization is already a step behind the curve. Decision-makers must recognize the importance of preparation if they want to execute an effective response.

“With this in mind, it is essential for business executives to conduct a strategic review and analysis of their most vital assets and make investments to create a more resilient enterprise,” White told the source. “It’s not about what they should do at the time of an attack, but rather how they implement a response and recovery plan. The biggest risk a company faces in today’s uncertainty of cyberattacks is not being prepared.”

Navigating crisis mode
Even if a company has a comprehensive recovery strategy in place, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the chaotic atmosphere brought on by a cyberattack. This is the time in which decision-makers must keep a cool head and rely on their continuity blueprints to direct them to calm waters. Forbes pointed out that by rigorously and regularly testing backup and recovery systems, organization leaders will be much more confident in an emergency situation, knowing that their IT assets will be able to fully support any restoration or continuity needs.

“Practice is everything,” White told Forbes. “In today’s world of cyber uncertainty 100 percent protection against a cyberattack is not possible, even with the strongest of security measures in place. Therefore, creating an effective risk management and response plan is a key mitigation activity.”

What’s the best way to perform a comprehensive systems test? Teaming up with a dedicated service provider can be a good place to start. By allowing expert recovery engineers to establish recovery point objectives and orchestrate a trial scenario, a company and its stakeholders can rest assured demands will be met in a worst-case situation.