As we embark on a new year, many of us will set personal goals for ourselves or renew commitments to objectives that may have eluded us over the last year – and if you are a business owner you probably have a whole other list of initiatives to conquer in 2015. But before you dive into a new campaign, product launch or acquisition, take a moment to reassess your business’s disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Doing so could save you from unforeseen financial hardships that could devastate your bottom line.
From eBay’s server breach early in 2014 to the recent Sony Pictures hack, this year major U.S. companies found out that even the best defenses cannot guard against attacks carried out by a determined hacker (or hackers). And if these large-scale businesses are vulnerable, how is your small to midsize business expected to recover? In addition to building up a solid defense to these types of threats by employing firewalls and antivirus software, businesses with a solid business continuity plan are more likely to recover if (and when) a disaster does strike.
Plan For The Best – Expect The Worse
Could you recover from a cyber-attack or data breach? Do you have a plan in place to not only shield yourself from threats, but to swiftly respond and recover? The ISACA, an organization that engages in the development, adoption and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems, encourages business owners to take a proactive stance when guarding against disasters – online and offline. If you are unsure whether your business could recover, ask yourself these questions.
- Do you have a thorough understanding your business’s activities, including which ones are critical to support your overall operations while satisfying your customer’s expectations?
- Do you know what data you need to support your business’s critical operations and do you know where this data is kept?
- Do you have a clear understanding of the effects of downtime within your business and, using this information, are you able to identify where you are most vulnerable?
- Do you have current infrastructure in place to protect your business and data against hackers and viruses?
- Do you consider business continuity to be a priority to your business?
- Do you have a documented plan in place to guide all aspects of your business through a major emergency? How about smaller disruptions like organizational, process and technology changes?
- If a disaster were to strike today would you be able to recover quickly while protecting the best interests of your customers and business stakeholders?
If you answered no to any of these questions your business may find itself susceptible to risk and unable to recover from a cyber-attack or data breach. Make business continuity a priority in 2015. Email Rea & Associates for more information on how you can protect your business against countless internal and external threats.
By Joe Welker, CISA (New Philadelphia office)