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How to effectively prepare a business to mitigate consequences of an aggressive cyber-attack?

3 Mins read

After a series of malicious cybersecurity incidents in 2017 surfaced affecting large companies and private organizations all over the world, cyber – security alerts have become the norm. However, the worst is yet to come. Last week, the United States and Britain issued a joint warning regarding a new wave of cyberattacks, most likely aimed at governments and private organizations, but also on individual homes and offices.

Unfortunately, security incidents happen in all organizations. The only way to improve your company’s resilience, ensuring your customers’ and stakeholders’ confidence, as well as continuing to operate your business as normal, is to invest in incident management processes, such as DraaS. Such solutions help your business mitigate the harmful impacts of cyber – attacks.

Read below how you can prepare to fight possible business disruption caused by an aggressive cyber – attack.

Carrying out cyber security incident threat analysis –  For thousands of people living in the UK, the word – “ransomware” became comprehensible, when they were turned away from NHS hospitals last year, due to the malicious WannaCry attack. There is nothing unusual about this, as only recently businesses and private users around the world can see what cyber – crime means in practice, and what disastrous consequences to business continuity it can bring. One of the main stages for protecting your business from cyber – security incidents can be considered as a very epistemological one, that means, it will involve deep understanding what you might be dealing with and what is the level of threat to your organization.

Providers of Disaster Recovery as a Service help firms to contextualize cybersecurity threats by looking at key business processes and system interdependencies that might be targeted by hackers. It is important to channel all your worries to the investigators at this stage, to help them better tailor their services to your business operations.

Consider shifting the responsibility with service level agreements –  Building your own Disaster Recovery Team might be problematic, especially when you are running a small business. However, research shows, that formal cybersecurity incident teams are invaluable for dealing with disruptive events, as very often they are the only people who have the technical expertise needed to advise on business decisions quickly. It makes sense for small and medium organizations to often fully, or partially shift their responsibilities for creating and managing disaster recovery programs to Disaster Recovery Providers.

Transferring ownership can be done by signing service level agreement, which gives you the guaranty that aspects of the service to which you both agreed to, will be delivered. This essentially means that in the event of a cyber – security incident, an external Recovery Execution Team, not you, will be responsible for one or all of the following: identifying, investigating, taking appropriate action, or overseeing all the recovering processes.

Applying changes – When looking at vulnerabilities in your system, it’s highly likely that security investigators will recommend applying changes to your IT services within your company. Configuring your systems and networks, transferring mission-critical data to safe data centers as well as implementing adequate monitoring processes is crucial for eliminating single points of failure, that are often enough to compromise your infrastructure.

Securing and retaining your data is critical – These days companies run on data, so it is essential you take the proactive approach to properly recover not only your applications and servers, but ensure they are also working, and the data they store is recovered. Disaster Recovery providers can help you to identify data that needs to be protected, as well as where it is stored, and how it can be recovered, without the need to rely on outdated data deduplication.

Depending on your business objectives you might either choose replication services that create a fully working, ready – to – use, copy of your environment (this is especially important for companies with strict RTO ) or traditional back-up and vaulting methods, which are recommended for platforms that can afford being down between 4- 12 hours.

Continuous Review of your state of readiness –  Once you have realistic scenarios based on the conducted threat analysis, you might want to see if the changes you have applied to protect your infrastructure and data work properly. A good testing method usually involves initiating a fictional, yet very probable attack internally, and verifying how well you ( or your security provider)  can respond to it. This stage might also involve undergoing recovery exercises, that could prepare you even better for an actual disaster.


Guest Author: Matthew Walker-Jones

Specializing in content covering topics including data driven marketing, online data protection, data recovery and cyber security. With a passion for all things data, Matthew is constantly staying up to date with the latest news on data security information.

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