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How to Develop an Effective Cybersecurity Recovery Plan

Cyberattack damages are going to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 predicted the 2017 Cybercrime Report from Cybersecurity Ventures. Without a proper cybersecurity recovery plan, most companies will not be able to survive. Even with the glaring statistics, when it comes to protecting critical business assets, having a recovery plan is often overlooked.
While there are many rigorous preventative compliance regulations, no federal compliance regulations focus on specifically recovering from a data breach or a cybersecurity incident. It is up to an organization to develop an effective recovery plan to guide business back into safe waters.
Countless organizations are lacking a current cybersecurity recovery plan, or any plan for that matter. Let’s discuss how enterprises can test, develop and implement an effective cybersecurity recovery plan in case of disaster.

What is a Cybersecurity Recovery Plan?

A cybersecurity recovery plan is about information asset protection and often requires detailed root cause analysis, evidence collection, preservation and a coordinated response.
Experts recommend having multiple plans in place. You wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, so why put them all into one recovery plan? Different plans can be layered with complementary policies and procedures to adapt to any environment.

Cybersecurity Recovery Plan Goals

Defining what your recovery goals and priorities are is the first step. Whether you’re an international enterprise whose goals may include recovering information systems in backup location or a local business who may need to preform standard operating procedures in alternative ways.
There’s not just one single goal, so focus on the specific needs of the business to create a customized plan. Here are general goals to keep in mind when creating a cybersecurity recovery plan:

1. Get Comfortable with the Recovery Phase

The number of U.S. data breach incidents tracked in 2017 hit a record high at 1,579 breaches with 179 million records exposed according to Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-End Review.
Most companies are stuck in a preventative mindset, so when a breach or attack occurs, the recovery phase is disjointed and under prepared. The desirable option for most is to avoid a cyberattack in the first place, yet some breaches simply cannot be avoided.
Focusing solely on prevention is a negligent approach. Companies must plan for all cyber incidents. To become comfortable with the uncomfortable recovery phase, start developing a plan with the following in mind:

  • Identify alternative data hosting locations and cloud services.
  • Solidify an internal and external communications plan in the event of a cyberattack.
  • Identify vulnerabilities or gaps in the recovery phase and fix them.
  • Train employees and go through simulated cyberattack exercises to understand how policies and procedures hold up in the event of a real breach.
2. Document, Document, Document

Having detailed records of compliance regulations, policies and procedures will help to improve current recovery planning. Documenting cyberattacks, large or small, and how the company responded is also critical.
With updated records and a comprehensive recovery plan, organizations are more likely to withstand an attack.

3. Learn from Mistakes

Whether a company learns from their mistakes, or the mistakes of another, there is always room for improvement. Training employees on proactive and reactive cybersecurity actions is essential. According to the 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-End Review, 81.5 percent of the breached records was due to employee error, negligence and improper disposal of information.
Another common mistake is not updating a cybersecurity recovery plan after changes are made to internal systems or after major software updates, explains Mark Jaggers, a Gartner research director focused on IT infrastructure strategies. A recovery plan is not current or effective if it doesn’t consider all technology in use.

4. Don’t Wait

Cybersecurity prevention and recovery planning are both necessary in today’s environment. Being underprepared in either category can be fatal to a business. Continue to invest in more resources that help remedy the issue and create a customizable recovery plan that meets specific business needs.
Security, compliance and control is LightEdge’s main priority, and is the backbone of every service that we offer. In fact, LightEdge goes as far as accepting compliance risk on behalf of our customers. If you would like to learn more about LightEdge’s cybersecurity offerings, get in touch with one of our compliance and security experts. Contact us here to get started.


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