What comes to your head when you read or hear the word “Cyber-Disaster”?

If you think about compromised data and money going to the drain – then you’re not far.

According to Accenture, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves. Scary enough, Hiscon insurance-carrier reveals that these incidents now cost $200,000 (on average).

You may not see the importance of a cyber-disaster recovery plan until it’s too late.

Let’s find out what are the most common Cyber-Disaster Situations (and its consequences).

 

9 Cyber-Disaster Situations and Its Consequences

1) Phishing Attack – How powerful would a criminal be, if capable of disguising successfully as a trusted individual? Very. This can be seen in identity theft, stealing of funds, or unauthorized purchases that make their way in news headlines.

Email is often the most common method of execution, although SMS and even phone calls are being used as alternative communication methods, once again.

Phishing is also divided into two categories…

a) Spear phishing: is an email aimed at a particular individual or organization, desiring unauthorized access to crucial information.

b) Whale phishing: When it’s focused on high-profile employees (CFOs or CEOs) with unlimited access to the company’s sensitive data. 

 

2) Ransomware Attack – It’s basically to capture the victim’s data, and hold it until a ransom is paid (hence its name).

Cybersecurity Ventures forecast to reach $20 Billion by 2021 and predicts that ransomware attacks will target businesses every 11 seconds.

No guarantee paying a ransom will regain access to the data. 

 

3) Trojan Malware Attack – Trojans are frequent ransomware carriers, but they are capable of much more than that.

This software program misrepresents itself to appear useful (but it’s harmful).

As you can guess, this backdoor access to the machine allows the attacker to change settings (on devices and network connections) and erase or destroy anything at its will.  

Trojans can also be used to control home networks and create botnets… 

 

4) Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) – Now that we talk about Botnets, Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at shutting down a network or service, causing it to be inaccessible to its intended users.

The goal is to overwhelm the target with traffic until it crashes, denying access to customers, employees, and stakeholders.

Both DoS and DDoS attacks may cost victims a lot of money.

 

5) Password Cracking –  There are several ways to decrypt a user’s password. Sniffers and other cracking programs work by exporting stored passwords.

More often than not, login credentials are stuffed in large databases published online (forums mainly) or dumped automatically at mass by trying different combinations until it discovers the real one.

The FBI is one of the many entities that have their eyeballs over password cracking cases. Besides all the money that gets stolen through this attack, they (FBI) suggest that data breaches result in $6 million in cost, every year.

 

6) Brute-Force Attack – There’s no simpler attack than going through the online front-door of a business.

Brute-force occurs when you force a system through repetition. This applies to password cracking, as it does with CAPTCHA bypassing and dictionary software.

No subtle guesswork. The outcome is always the same: open gates to whatever is on the hacker’s mind.

 

7) Eavesdropping Attack – Also known as snooping or sniffing, is the way to steal someone’s information through the capitalization of network transmissions.

The cybercriminal becomes the man-in-the-middle between you and your client/company to intercept all data sent.

Confidentiality is immediately lost. All business secrets communicated between the included parties are leaked and reputation gets severely damaged.

 

8) Cross-site scripting (XSS) – It’s the term used when an attacker sends malicious scripts into a reputable site’s content.  The code gets bundled together (in pieces of Javascript and other languages) into the web browser applications.  

XSS attacks bring devastating consequences (which you can learn more about here). But thankfully, they’re considered relatively “simple” to prevent.

 

9) SQL Injection – Malicious code it’s not only injected into web browsers but also backend databases.

What’s the purpose behind it? Stealing vital, undisplayed information, like customers and company member’s personal and banking details.

A successful SQLI attack is capable of deleting the entire records of a company, causing multi-million dollar losses and even bankruptcy.

 

All of the previous situations can happen to you, regardless of your company’s size.

So, I’m hoping there are no more reasons left to argue why you urgently need a cyber-disaster recovery plan. And because hackers don’t care if you are ready or not… 

Here’s one you can take and use for your business.

 

6-Steps Cyber-Disaster Recovery Plan

 

A Recovery Plan for cyber-disastrous situations doesn’t have to be hard to create and run.

Instead, your business and its critical data can only be protected by leveraging a comprehensive, multilayered approach. This one must be regularly practiced and updated. 

Don’t worry, we have brought  6-steps guidelines to put your foot on the pedal as soon as possible. 

First and foremost…

 

  1. Establish a Leader

The IT department is the one everyone thinks of when we talk about cybersecurity. And while this is not a bad thing, it’s not entirely secure to depend only on one department. 

If possible, assign the role of disaster recovery to one core, capable worker. He/She must be comfortable with the creation, organization, and maintenance of the digital infrastructure.

  1. Divide Representatives from Each Department

Every department area of your business must be part of the recovery plan.

This is why you should always keep a leader of a team prepared to prepare its team members. Essentially, this preparation would include the selection of tools, data, and actions that only they can access and execute (when permitted). 

These representatives should also document who come and go inside the installations, and what gets moved where. As well as participating in “what if” test scenarios (before is needed). The brainstorm of possibilities will help to timely mitigate risks. 

  1. Specify Most Critical Data, Tech Tools, and Physical Assets 

Each department has data and systems they need to function. And, in the event of a disaster, the business owner can’t fix everything at once. 

That’s why the disaster recovery team members must keep an updated inventory of all the data and equipment used daily. That way, it’s possible to determine how much the business can survive in the worst-case scenario – and how fast can it come back. 

 

  1. Set-up Critical Data Backup Strategy 

Do you want to guarantee every file is secured and restored? Then don’t forget to add this one up to your Recovery Plan.

For that, you have to guarantee the protection for every computer inside your installations. After all, almost all data it’s saved on local hard-drives and databases.

And what’s not saved physically, it’s saved on cloud systems: fast and simple user-driven recovery, managed almost entirely by the service provider (although not 100% unbreakable).

Either way, make sure that your data backup strategy can run automatically in the background without requiring any or almost no action by the users. 

 

  1. Create a communication plan

How can you guarantee all the previous and following steps are successfully achieved?

Easy. By identifying what could occur in many situations and having not one, but many ways to notify representatives and employees of everything that happens. 

For example… 

  1. Alternative communication channels (in case the main ones get intercepted)

  2. Assign responsibility to someone who can handle media questions. 

 

  1. Don’t Forget to Practice 

Be it with “What if” test scenarios or any other method that comes to your mind… Having already everything in place doesn’t mean you have to keep it forgotten, for the time something bad happens. 

Even the companies best-protected with cybersecurity measures can present unseen loopholes that could turn their businesses into ashes.

So, my point here is, to make it a habit to take different tests now and then, to get new opportunities to question if everything is alright. 

 

  1. Bonus!: Get Help from Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)


    The reality is, that after the increase of remote work and organized cybercrime trends, you’re more scared and paralyzed than ever before.

    It’s a terrible feeling, but it’s a common one in 2020. But it doesn’t have to be.

    Our team of IT and cybersecurity experts will manage all work for you in case an emergency occurs. This extra hand guarantees prevention (to let your business run smoothly) and second-life opportunity, if the unthinkable gets to happen.

Top-tier Disaster Recovery as a Service applies both the technological and personalized-service focus needed in emergencies (considerably common).