The Gulf Coast is an amazing place to call home. Gorgeous beaches, golfing, hiking, and plentiful sunny skies. It’s also a great place to do business with low taxes, a solid transportation system, and a nicely diversified economy. However, it is not without its challenges, when it comes to storm threats which can cause a slew of unique IT challenges.
Where we live (as beautiful as it is), we should all be in a constant state-of-emergency frame of mind. Disasters can strike at any time, and organizations need to be prepared with secure IT solutions. Disaster planning is a must-have, not a nice-to-have, for Gulf Coast businesses. Your customers are counting on you to have your IT management affairs in order.
Threats Are All Around Us
Decision-makers need to be up to date about the many ways that a business and its information security can be compromised.
Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Ivan. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria. The Gulf Coast is no stranger to natural disasters.
Natural disasters aren’t going away. Since 1990, there has been a tenfold increase in the number of them. With our coastal location, natural disasters are an unfortunate reality for Gulf Coast businesses.
Data breaches continue to increase, year over year. In fact, having a good percentage of the workforce transition, almost overnight, to a work-from-home environment provided opportunities galore for cybercriminals.
Varonis shares a slew of statistics that paint a picture of this growing and evolving tech-based disaster:
- Data breaches in the healthcare industry increased by 58%.
- $3.86 million is the average global cost of a data breach – in the U.S. this number is $8.64 million.
- Human error is responsible for 23% of data breaches.
Not only did the work-from-home mass migration bring a smile to the faces of cybercriminals, so did the huge spike in online shopping and the opportunities for credit card hacking that came along with that.
Ransomware is just what it sounds like: a nasty little piece of software which the cyberattacker uses to hold data hostage in exchange for ransom. Over half of businesses were impacted by ransomware last year, so it is a cyberthreat that simply cannot be ignored. 65% of ransomware attacks are delivered via phishing emails, which brings us to our next cyber menace.
Phishing incidents have been doubling every year. 96% of phishing attacks come via email, and these emails are downright sneaky. When you take a gander at these top 5 phishing email subject lines, it’s not hard to understand how well-intentioned employees get taken in:
- IT: Annual Asset Inventory
- Changes to your health benefits
- Twitter: security alert – new or unusual Twitter login
- Amazon: Action Required | Your Amazon Prime Membership has been declined
- Zoom: Scheduled Meeting Error
Your Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist
The good news is that your technology can be protected with the right IT management solutions. First up – a disaster recovery plan (DRP).
So, what exactly should be included on your disaster recovery checklist?
Your Initial DRP Audit
Schedule a DRP audit (managed services provider AGJ Systems can help you out there). Part of this audit will include determining your organizational recovery point objective (the amount of data that will be lost or need to be re-entered after an outage) and recovery time objective (the duration of time between loss and recovery).
In preparation for the audit, you’ll need to gather all relevant network infrastructure documentation (critical asset inventory, warranties, services agreements, etc.).
The DRP Planning
With the initial audit out of the way, it’s time to drill down. Key elements of this stage include:
- Identification of the most serious threats (natural, cyber, employee error)
- Undertaking a review of the history of unplanned incidents and outages and how they were handled
- Identifying the incident response team
- Incorporation of cloud solutions and backups
- Failover business continuity plan
Leadership Review & Test
Management needs to review and approve the disaster recovery plan (DRP). This critical step includes testing your IT solutions and then adjusting and updating it based on testing outcomes.
How AGJ Systems Can Help with IT Solutions
There is no one-size-fits-all disaster recovery plan. Your DRP needs to be customized, based on your business and customer priorities. This is where AGJ Systems comes in. As the Gulf Coast’s leading IT consulting and managed technology provider, we have a deep understanding of disaster planning and network security. Call us today for a disaster readiness assessment. Let’s have the conversation now, not when that next category 5 hurricane is coming our way.
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