Why is it important to have a cyber-crime business continuity plan? Well, as the old saying goes: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Having a strategy in place so that you’re ready to go should mean that your organisation is in a better position to recover quickly and with minimal disruption if the worst was to happen. However, if there is no agreed procedure in place, a company’s ability to bounce back may be severely compromised.
What’s the worst that could happen?
The fallout from a cyber-crime attack can be devastating. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey for 2019, £4,180 was the average amount of money lost by businesses following a cyber attack or breach. For charities, the average amount lost was £9,470.
Of course, the true long-term cost can be difficult to measure – what’s more, for some, the short-term financial impact can be considerably higher. If your organisation has suffered a ransomware attack (a form of malware which encrypts files and only restores access in exchange for money) then victims at the mercy of a hacker may stand to lose a great deal indeed.
Then there’s what happens if you find your business at a standstill while you attempt to clean up your IT systems and identify if any vital data is missing. The same report revealed that in 19% of cases where there had been a breach or attack, staff had been stopped from performing their daily tasks.
How long would you be able to sustain a total halt to day-to-day operations?
There are legal implications too. Under the terms of the GDPR, a business may face heavy penalties if data protection measures are found to have been lacking.
Finally, the damage to customer confidence in the event of data loss or data theft can continue to have an effect on business health long after a cyber attack has taken place.
What should a cyber-crime business continuity plan include?
A plan should set out what procedures will be set in motion in the event of a security breach, who is responsible for doing what and a timetable of action. It should describe how an organisation can continue to operate while also outlining how to clean up potential security problems in the aftermath of an attack.
It doesn’t only apply to incidents of cyber-crime, and once it’s written it can be adapted for other scenarios. A business continuity plan can be used in the case of disasters including fire, physical theft or the collapse of a supply chain. The important thing is that your organisation is prepared which is essential in the ability to recover quickly.
Meanwhile, access to a secure backup of your business-critical data should be central to your continuity plan. Why? Because at the click of a button, you can restore whole systems or even line-by-line data if required. It’s like turning back the clock.
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