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Fending Off a Cyber Attack: The Five-Point Plan

A cyber attack can occur at any point in time and could lead to your company’s demise. That’s why it’s especially important to have a comprehensive IT security framework in place to keep your digital assets locked up and guarded. Your mission-critical data is the heart of your operations – without it, employees can’t carry out their duties and be productive, which means your company can’t thrive.

A good way to kickstart your cyber security plan is with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. Since releasing the framework last year, NIST has been educating a broad audience – organizations ranging from multinationals to SMBs – about the use and value of a strong IT security framework.

The bottom line of the framework addresses five basic functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover.

1. Identify and Prioritize Your Assets

This first step is crucial to carry out. By giving priority to your most valuable assets and identifying which are more vulnerable to a cyber attack, you know which parts of your infrastructure need greater protection. There are two major things to consider when ranking your assets: probability of attack (POA) and consequence of breach (COB). Understanding these key elements will help you begin optimizing your IT security.

2. Protect Your Data

Protection means preventing intruders from breaking in and getting past your front door. By designing and deploying appropriate IT safeguards, your business can deflect cyber criminals from accessing your network. Investing in high-quality backup software and data recovery services helps ensure business continuity and also cushions the impact of a cyber attack.

3. Detect Cyber Criminals

Detection is key when it comes to recognizing potential threats and intruders. By implementing the right IT solutions to identify the occurrence of a cyber attack, you’re able to intensify your IT security framework and prevent the same type of cyber attack from striking again.

4. Respond to Risks

Once someone breaks in, you need to know what steps to take to fight off the attacker. Having a plan that defines how you respond to cyber attacks makes the whole event less scary and more manageable. The response function is highly action-centered and forces you to strategize against intruders. After the breach, you also need to analyze and understand why your protection failed you and how you can optimize your security infrastructure for the future.

5. Recover Your Business

Recovery is essential for your business to get up and running after a cyber attack. By making your IT infrastructure resilient to hackers, you need to implement disaster recovery solutions that save your precious data.

To learn how you can ensure the best business continuity and IT security plan for your company, contact G6 Communications for a free consultation!

What’s Included in the Best Backup Software?

Nobody wants their business to suffer data loss from a malicious cyber attack or unforeseen natural disaster. These threats can destroy your company’s reputation, diminish the quality of your customer service, and even run your business to the ground. That’s why having the best backup software to protect your business-critical data and files is an essential part of any effective backup and data recovery plan. Just as you would pay close attention to the safety features on a new car or perhaps a new stroller for your child, you should also maintain a detailed eye when choosing the best backup software for your business.

There are two ways you can go about backing up your data: installing data backup software or using cloud backup. The main difference is that data backup software saves a copy of your entire computer – including your programs, files, and applications – on local drives whereas cloud services back everything up to a remote location.

Relying solely on external backup devices is not as safe as you think. A hard drive is just as vulnerable to ransomware as the rest of your system, so that’s why many companies are moving to the cloud for their data backup. Because the cloud runs on a remote location, it’s less likely to be infiltrated by external threats. The cloud also allows proactive monitoring and data management, so you’re in better control of your systems.

But what other features should you look for when choosing the best backup software for your business? And why are these features important in keeping you fully protected? Effective backup solutions should address these three points: easy-to-use functionality, ability to restore lost data, and timely scheduling capabilities.

The best backup software should be easily navigable and allow you to do a complete system backup or individual backup of certain files and folders. The backup process should be relatively simple and completely automated to save you time and energy. It should also be in compliance with HIPAA, PCI, and other regulation requirements.

Restoring and recovering lost or corrupted data is just as important as having an efficient backup plan in place. When choosing the best backup software, look for something that not only copies your data files and folders, but also has the ability to restore all that information automatically – adding an extra layer of protection to your critical data.

Lastly, the best backup software should allow you to choose when you want the backups to take place. This ensures that your data backups occur during times that least interfere with your work schedule – so you can cut downtime while still keeping your systems safe.

These three key features are what make up the best backup software. Keep your business running smoothly and securely with quality backup solutions.

What Makes Up a Quality Data Backup Plan?

How does your company manage its data, and what is the plan to protect it? Chances are your data is not as secure as you think. Sure, you have an external drive, you back-up at the end of the week, and you make sure every file saves properly, but that is not enough to protect your business and its clients. G6 has tips for drafting a quality data backup plan.

 

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a Data Backup Plan

Before you tackle the actual plan itself, you need to reflect for a moment. This is a critical stage in the creation of the plan.

  1. What type of data does my business gather?

How important or sensitive is the data your company acquires? Data can be accounting figures, customer information, tracking information, and vendor information. If your company inputs or access it on a daily basis, it is data. You need to understand what type of data your company acquires, how sensitive it is, and which files are essential for swift recovery.

  1. How often does data change?

Does your company need immediate backup, or can some files wait until the end of the week? You need to understand the frequency of data collection to create a schedule that best suits your company and its recovery efforts.

  1. How safe is your current system?

If your company acquires sensitive data and houses sensitive company information on its systems, frequent and safe backups are critical. Consider all types of losses that threaten the data: weather, fire, security intrusion, theft, lost device, and user error. You need to ensure the sensitive data housed on the system is secure and easy to retrieve if the company experiences a loss.

 

3 Features of a Quality Backup Plan

Now that you have decided what type of data your company has and needs, you can begin braining out the data backup plan. A quality backup plan has three important features.

  1. Backup is disconnected

If you rely solely on external backup devices, you are not as safe as you think. The USB-connected external hard drive at the other end is susceptible to ransomware, just as the rest of your system is. Many companies are moving their backups to the cloud. The cloud backup system runs in the background, which makes it unlikely for a threat to infiltrate the cloud. Plus, employing cloud services comes with data monitoring, threat prevention, and support for effective data management if you work with the right service provider.

  1. Backup is automated

A good backup system is an automated and encrypted one. To ensure the integrity and reliability of your data, your plan must include automatic backups. Automated backups do a couple of things: provide the most updated data, and they work without relying on human interaction to get the job done.

  1. The plan is rehearsed

A quality backup plan is one that is rehearsed often. Your company must perform regular audits and data recovery drills. The company’s data backup plan must be adjusted as you recognize flaws, as the nature of the business changes, and as the company grows.