Why Planning for a Cyber Attack Is Your BEST Defense and Will Save You From Bankruptcy

Zachary Kitchen
August 10, 2022
Why Planning for a Cyber Attack Is Your BEST Defense and Will Save You From Bankruptcy

In the disaster preparedness world, acting “as if” is a mantra. This means acting as if a certain crisis incident is bound to happen. For example, acting as if your small or mid-sized business will definitely be attacked instead of assuming you’re too small for a hacker to bother with.

50% of small businesses that don't have a plan to get them up and running within 10 days of a successful cyberattack will file bankruptcy within a year or less. This means that a ransomware infection or business email breach could end up causing the demise of your company.

The costs of being hacked keep rising. For example, between 2020 and 2021, the average total recovery cost from a ransomware attack more than doubled, from $761,106 to $1.85 million. And the average ransomware paid by companies trying to restore operations is $170,404.

Why can being unprepared for an IT security incident put your company on the brink of extinction? Because it costs much more to remediate when you’re not prepared. Here are some of the costs you can face:

  • IT costs to remove the infection
  • Ransomware payments if you don’t have a quickly restorable backup
  • Extended downtime costs
  • Loss of sales & business opportunities
  • Productivity losses
  • Customer communications and remediation costs in the case of a data breach
  • Legal and reputation costs 

The largest cost from a data breach (38%) is lost business. (IBM Security)

Not convinced yet that your business is at risk of bankruptcy if you don’t prepare with strong cybersecurity safeguards? Here are a few more statistics from IBM’s
“Cost of a Data Breach Report”:

  • The average cost of one breached customer, patient, or employee record is $180.
  • Businesses that use a zero trust approach see $1.76 million less in data breach costs.
  • Security AI deployment reduces the cost impact of a breach by 80%

Your best defense against the high costs of a data breach is to be properly prepared with a strong business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

How Can You Protect Your Business & Be Prepared for a Cyber Attack? 

Statistics show that those that are prepared with strong IT security, automated systems monitoring, and recovery planning pay less when they fall victim to a cyberattack. They also recover faster and have a better chance of moving on from the incident without potentially losing their business.

Here are some of the things you should ensure an experienced IT provider puts in place to protect your organization.

Efficient Backup & Recovery System

Your best defense against a ransomware attack or any other attack that compromises your data is to have all of it backed up securely. You want to back up all data from devices and cloud platforms (SMBs often forget to back up solutions like Microsoft 365 or Salesforce).

The second part of this preparedness is the recovery. Make sure your backup system can recover your data fast and completely. You should know exactly how long it takes for data recovery from going through drills with your IT provider to test this.

Zero Trust Security Measures

Zero trust security is becoming the industry standard. This isn’t a single system, it’s a methodology and collection of measures designed to better secure a network. It doesn’t assume that just because an entity is inside your network that it is approved to be there. 

One example of this approach is the use of application safelisting. This is a list of approved applications to run in your system. If an application that is not on the list tries to execute a command, it is blocked automatically. This is more secure because the system does not have to identify the “bad guys” (which are many and growing), it only has to know the “good guys,” and stops any others by default.

Multi-factor Authentication

One tactic in zero trust deserves its own call out. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can block up to 99.9% of fraudulent sign-in attempts, helping to keep your network safe from the largest cause of data breaches – compromised credentials.

Disaster Recovery Planning & Drills

If you want to recover fast from a cyber attack or any other type of outage, you and your team can’t panic. You need a plan to follow that you’re familiar with. This will include working with your IT provider to isolate the cause of the incident and quickly remediate the problem.

Put together a step-by-step disaster recovery plan and ensure your team is drilled on it at least once or twice a year. This will help ensure they can react fast when it needs to be done for real.

24/7 Network Threat Monitoring

The faster you can detect a network incursion of any type, the more damage you can avoid. It’s vital to have 24/7 threat monitoring in place on your network so you can be alerted to the first sign of trouble. Reacting fast saves you money and can save your business from ruin.

Need Help With Disaster Recovery Planning?

Digital Crisis can help your Houston area company put together solid security and a strong disaster recovery plan to ensure your business continuity.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 713-965-7200 or reach us online.

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