When it comes to cyber security, the ability to recover from a breach is arguably much more important than your ability to prevent one. Statistics show that, over a business’ lifespan, that business WILL be the victim of a cyberattack. Recently, professionals have become concerned about the vulnerability of our country’s infrastructure – such as our power lines and internet connections – to acts of cyber-terrorism. Considering this new threat, we must consider how prepared we are to recover from attacks like these. Generally speaking, your company’s preparedness will vary based on your needs and IT setup. We will go through a few different setups and scenarios and discuss the benefits and pitfalls of each.
Let’s say that, as a result of a cyberattack, there is a large-scale power outage in your area.
If yours is a company with IT services, with personal desktops and an on-site data server, there’s not much that can be done. Provided your servers are equipped with backup power supplies, they can continue running for many hours and continue to provide your customers with the services they need. Your priority at this point should be backing up any work that you can and preparing to shut down the servers if the outage lasts longer than your power supply. If your employees are able to access their work remotely via personal laptops or their desktops at home, then work can continue until the backup power runs out. Otherwise, almost everything will grind to a halt until power is restored. In the event of a power outage, the ability to work remotely and maintaining backup power for your servers is paramount. Otherwise, there’s really nothing else you can do.
In another scenario, a cyberattack has rendered internet infrastructure in your area largely unusable. This means you will not have access to your off-site cloud servers if you have any set up, and it means that if you have any on-site servers your customers will be unable to access the services that they provide. Depending on the services your company needs to continue working, this can be very problematic or nothing more than a mild annoyance. If your employees rely on the internet to work remotely, they’ll be sadly out of luck. If your company relies on cloud services from a third party to continue working, you’ll be similarly disabled. However, if you have an on-site server and most of your employees work on-site, then your internal network should still be functional and you should still be able to get some work done, even if major services like your website and communication with your customers will be disabled until the outage is fixed. Similar to the previous scenario, your goal will be to run damage control. Back up what you can and be prepared for a loss of productivity. Depending on your setup, your employees may be able to continue working, but some services and capabilities will be seriously hampered until the outage is finished.
In the event of major service outages, as a result of cyberattacks or otherwise, things can get pretty difficult for any company that relies on IT services to provide for their customers. However, you can be prepared to minimize the damage and recover quickly.