Continuity Centers

Disaster recovery demands security and compliance

Organizations tend to focus on the obvious, visible components of their disaster recovery plans – and for good reason. Facilitating strong recovery point and time objectives, prioritizing application restorations and creating reliable archive systems are practical efforts that actively bolster a company’s ability to bounce back from a business interruption. Not all aspects of disaster recovery are about moving parts, however, and organizations need to recognize that promoting resilient security and compliance standards are just as important in achieving a well rounded continuity strategy.

Recovering securely 
As the digital environment becomes more vulnerable to cybercriminal efforts and regulatory organizations crack down on compliance, companies need to make sure that their disaster recovery plans also defend their information from malicious groups lurking across the Web. As a recent article from Bank Info Security explained, security is a multi-tiered effort, and organizations can’t overlook any aspects of their IT environments when shoring up defenses in this generation of digital hazards.

In addition, the monumental cyberattacks of the past several years prove that there is no such thing as being over prepared.

“What we’re learning from Sony is what we’ve supposedly learned from Target and [others],” said Alan Berman, president and CEO of the Disaster Recovery Institute, according to the source. “We really do need better security. We need better sharing of knowledge, which doesn’t take place. Did they have the backups they needed? How do you run with limited technology?”

Many organizations have internalized the lessons of the Sony breach as they evaluate the strength of their security acumen, but decision-makers must remember to look at the big picture when fortifying their network defenses. This includes securing recovery environments and promoting security best practices even when navigating a business outage scenario.

Moments of vulnerability
Cybercriminals will stop at nothing in their malicious quests to infiltrate networks and come away with valuable digital assets, and unfortunately, a company is at its most vulnerable when its attention is focused on overcoming interruptions. Business leaders must consider security breaches as not only a potential cause of network downtime, but also as an additional concern during the recovery process itself. Attackers will leap at the chance to infiltrate a network when its guard is let down.

In other words, network protection must remain a priority during restorative phases if organizations want to develop a disaster recovery plan that ensures complete resilience to risk. Rather than viewing IT strategy as a series of isolated discussions, organizations must take a panoramic view of their network environments and gauge security in a variety of contexts.

Promote total continuity
While strengthening the security of a disaster recovery plan might not be an intuitive task for IT leaders, regulatory parameters put forth by organizations such as the Payment Card Industry can help guide decision-makers toward a more complete standard of protection, TechTarget recently explained. With the release of PCI DSS 3.0, companies have a reliable framework on which to build a recovery plan that prioritizes security as well as speed and precision.

“The new version of the standard [will] make sure merchants ingrain PCI compliance with a lot of the changes that are often made in an environment,” Greg Rosenberg a security engineer with Trustwave, told the news source. “The idea is to have IT staff ask the question, ‘How will this change impact security, compliance and risk?'”

Because more than 100 adjustments and additions have been made in this latest PCI DSS iteration, organizations would be wise to seek the guidance of a dedicated disaster recovery service provider to ensure that they stay on top of these complex compliance demands.

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