Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cyber Attacks in the News (Again)

Cyber Attacks are in the news again. Last week domain registrar Network Solutions suffered a denial of service attempt impacting the websites of their customers. Cyber attacks like this are high profile and always in the news. This raises the questions, are small business vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Small business are Targets of Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attacks are as likely, or more likely to occur on small businesses. Cyber attackers know small businesses may have less protection, thus making them easier targets for cyber attacks. Larger companies may have entire departments dedicated to cyber security. Harder to hack and quicker to detect, larger organizations may be tougher to penetrate and exploit with a cyber attack. Meanwhile, small businesses may have less protection against a cyber attack, leaving them more exposed and less likely to detect a cyber attack.

Small Businesses may be Less Resilient from Cyber Threats

Larger organizations not only are likely to respond quicker to a cyber attack, but have stronger brands and deeper pockets to withstand the impact of a cyber attack. When a cyber attack occurs there may be financial penalties for non compliance with industry regulations (e.g. PCI regulations). What’s more, the impact of a cyber attack may also cause loss of brand equity as a result of the negative publicity related to a cyber threat. In most cases a cyber attack may be too much for a small business to recover.

How do I Protect my Business from a Cyber Attack?

Consider contacting your IT Service & Support specialist to conduct an IT security assessment.  By performing an IT Security assessment you will gain a better understanding of  your internal security policies and procedures, exposure to vulnerabilities, adequacy of your internal security training plans and overall readiness to respond in the event of a cyber attacks.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

Business continuity and disaster recovery come to mind as hurricane and fire season is upon us.   This week meteorologists are reporting that Tropical Storm Chantal is looming over the East Coast and will potentially flood the southern United States.  Last year we all saw the terrible devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  We are also reminded of the destruction of Hurricane Dennis in 2005.  Earthquakes, which can not be predicted, can also pose a threat to your business continuity.   If you’re not worried about Hurricanes, keep in mind there are wildfires raging throughout the West this fire season.  If you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world outside this business continuity and disaster recovery window, be thankful.  Either way you should ask yourself if your business continuity and disaster recovery plans are in place.

Here are a few considerations for your business continuity and disaster recovery plans:

Business Continuity and Application Data

Assess what data is mission critical to your business.  Focusing on the most important assets to protect and provide rapid restore capability will aid you in getting your business up and running quickly.  It is not practical or cost effective to have all of your data available immediatly following a disaster recovery scenario, therefore prioritizing is key.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Policies and Procedures

Review your policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date with your current needs.  In addition to data backup and recovery policies, review your emergency response policies as well.  In a disaster recovery scenario it is important to know who to call to get your data backup online and where employees should meet if you need to evacuate.

Review Onsite and Offsite Data Backup and Recovery Systems

Cloud backup and other offsite backup technologies are more affordable than ever.  These systems supplement tape, network attached storage and media services that provide you with on site backup.  In the event of a flood or fire at your primary location, your onsite backup may not be immediately available to you and your off site or cloud backup may save the day.  Make sure Onsite and Offsite Data backup and Recovery Systems are working properly to eliminate any potential IT headaches.

Test Your Backup and Recovery Procedures

Your data backup is only as good as your ability to rapidly recover data.  Test your data backup to ensure your process works smoothly.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning are an essential element to avoid data loss and downtime due to a natural disaster.  Contact your IT support professional to review your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans before a disaster turns your uptime in to downtime.