Did Your Company Rehearse Its business continuity and disaster recovery Plan during the COVID-19 Shutdown?
If anyone still believes that business continuity and disaster recovery aren’t important, they haven’t been paying close attention to current events. Businesses are changing to a new normal as we take shape from the COVID-19 pandemic, which will undoubtedly be more off-site, virtual, and cloud-based. To keep up with growing business conditions, disaster recovery strategies will likewise need to develop.
Furthermore, disaster recovery requirements for businesses have increased substantially. There was a period when measuring recovery time in hours or days was reasonable. It is only a matter of minutes now. In other circumstances, business units are asking that in the event of an unanticipated outage, there be no downtime.
So, during the COVID-19 shutdown, did your organization rehearse its business continuity and disaster recovery plans? If it did not, here are the fundamentals of a cutting-edge business continuity/disaster recovery business continuity and disaster recovery strategy for 2021 and beyond.
The Fundamentals of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
1. Make a Complete Data Protection Plan That Includes Cybersecurity, Intrusion Detection and Response, and Disaster Recovery
The first purpose of a disaster recovery plan for chief information security officers (CISOs) is to prevent the crisis from occurring in the first place, which is getting increasingly difficult. For starters, data no longer resides safely in an on-premises data center. It is spread over on-premises setups, clouds, and software as a service (SaaS) application.
Second, the pandemic moved millions of employees from corporate offices to their homes, where Wi-Fi is less secure, and employees may be exchanging sensitive information on collaboration apps. Third, hackers noticed the new attack methods and unleashed a storm of new and more focused ransomware attacks.
CISOs should focus on revamping endpoint security for remote employees, implementing VPNs and encryption, securing data at rest no matter where it resides, and ensuring that collaborative tools do not become a source of threat risks in reaction to these changing conditions.
2. Perform a Business Impact Analysis
Organizations must do a detailed business impact analysis to determine and assess the financial consequences, regulatory compliance, legal responsibility, and employee safety implications of disasters.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to secure everything. Servers that do nothing but perform a standard back-end business function once a month, or perhaps once a year, are commonly found by organizations conducting similar exercises. Organizations must prioritize apps based on their business criticality and determine all business process requirements, particularly for apps that have been virtualized across several physical servers, are operating in cloud containers, or are in cloud-based environments.
3. Discover, Identify, and Categorize All Data
Similarly, you do not need to safeguard all data, only the data necessary to keep the business running. You must go through the process of discovering, identifying, and categorizing data. Customer information, clinical information, financial data, intellectual property, private conversations, and other data that fall within regulatory standards should all be protected. The good news is that data categorization and identification can be automated using software tools.
4. Create a Strong Communication Strategy
It is pointless to get servers back up and running without everyone understanding their duties and responsibilities. Do employees have the right phone numbers and email addresses to exchange information? Do the parties involved have a roadmap that outlines how to contact law enforcement, external legal teams, utility companies, important technology and suppliers, and so on in the event of a crisis?
Networking groups may need to construct new lines of connections for remote employees and modify traffic flows based on the nature of the disaster.
5. Make Irreversible Backups
Backup repositories, specifically in the cloud, are being targeted by ransomware attackers. They are also after SaaS applications. As a result, businesses should preserve a single, unalterable copy of data.
Companies could also look into standalone recovery environments, such as air gaps, where one copy of the data is kept apart from the production environment.
6. Make Long-Term Plans
Given everything that has happened in the last 12 months, now is an ideal time to change from reactive to proactive thinking regarding business continuity and disaster recovery. Cyberattacks and disasters appear to be occurring more frequently and with greater severity. Therefore, business continuity and disaster recovery strategies must foresee dangers rather than simply respond to them.
In areas including remote connection, networking, SaaS apps, and ransomware, the COVID-19 pandemic uncovered shortcomings in corporate business continuity and disaster recovery planning. Companies must follow these fundamentals to have a good business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, as it also gives them the opportunity to be creative and imaginative in order to keep the business operating in the event of a disaster.