In the event of a cyberattack, does your IT department have a plan to minimize operational disruptions? While certainly an emergency, a cyberattack doesn’t have to cripple every element of your operations. Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place an attack occurs allows for quicker response, remediation, and recovery time for your processes and systems. When an incident occurs, reducing downtime and outages is critical to containing costs and damage to your reputation.
Components of a Cyber-focused Business Continuity Plan
The goal of your BCP is to identify, contain, and eliminate the cyberattack as quickly as possible, and ensure that all systems are recovered. Due to the nature of the wide-reaching effects of cyberattacks, special consideration must be made in the form of a cybersecurity disaster plan. Your plan should include:
- Business impact analysis
- Identify the impact a cyberattack would have on operations, finances, and data. Keep in mind the many applications both on your network and off that may be impacted.
- Identification of critical business functions and processes
- What are the most critical elements of your business, and how can you safeguard them first? Work as a team to brainstorm as many what-ifs as possible. Make sure your team is focused on IT and its impact across the organization.
- Dependencies between areas of business and functions
- A cyberattack could impact one area of your business but not another. The impact will depend on the size of your organization and how your departments collaborate. Testing all backup systems is essential so you can recover every aspect of your business.
- Determination of acceptable downtime for critical business functions
- Consider the downtime caused by an incident and the impact that downtime will have on system recovery, third-party relations, and other relevant audiences.
- Plan to maintain operations
- Create a comprehensive plan that allows your business to resume normal operations as efficiently and securely as possible. Bringing all networks, operating systems, and applications back online after an attack is no easy feat; testing your recovery is vital.
Bottom Line: Test Your Plan
Cybersecurity experts from STS continually work with companies to conduct structured walk-through or disaster simulation tests to ensure they are prepared and appropriately protect their business when a disaster or security issue occurs. Regular testing and reviews are the most telling way to determine what elements of your Business Continuity Plan need to be adjusted, in addition to providing your team with the experience, knowledge, and preparation before an actual cyberattack. To learn how to build a BCP and incident response plan, watch this on-demand webinar.