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Disaster Recovery

IT Disaster Recovery – How to Rebuild After an IT Disaster

30 Mar 2022
Author: Sarah G

Having formalised and multifaceted incident response processes in place is vital in the quick recovery from an IT disaster.

We’ll give you a minute to get your head around that sentence. It was boring even to write.

In simpler terms, you need to back up your business’ processes and data in preparation for a cyber attack. By saving your data on a server separate from your network, you’re guaranteeing that you can return to business as usual much quicker than you would be able to otherwise.

It’s business continuity 101. So, why is it that most businesses still haven’t made adequate planning for dealing with an IT disaster?

According to the most recent government survey, just under two fifths of businesses (37%) and two-fifths of charities (41%) have comprehensive measures in place for when they experience a cyber security incident.

Maybe businesses are confident in their IT security? Or it could be a simple case that they don’t have the resources or expertise to formulate an IT disaster plan. But risk acceptance shouldn’t be a thing when it comes to matters of data security.

What does a solid IT disaster plan look like?

A disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, the best plans are often the simplest ones in the case of disasters. 

While the technical work that goes into carrying out the recovery can be, well, technical (that’s what IT support partners are there for), the plan itself should be straightforward.

Let’s look at an example of a step-by-step IT incident response process:

1. Contain the breach

Damage limitation should be the primary objective. So, first things first, you need to quickly work out how the incident happened. Once you’ve identified the vulnerability, you need to close it up.

2. Assess the risks

Once the breach has been contained, it’s time for the scary bit: assessing the extent of the damage. 

Data has varying levels of sensitivity. Was the stolen information encrypted? Has it been backed up? Are items salvageable? Every IT disaster is different.

3. Get business back online

If you’ve had to disconnect the affected systems from the internet in order to contain the breach, this might have brought business to a halt. What can be done to ensure affected employees can safely begin work again?  

4. Begin the rebuild

At the same time as firefighting, you need to think about the longer project of rebuilding. This might require a new server, migration of data, updating policies; anything that leaves your IT infrastructure in better shape than how it was found. Build back better, as they say.

The rebuild process is made significantly more efficient by having your data backed up in advance of any cyber attack.

5. Notify regulators and those affected

Under the GDPR, data breaches need to be reported if they “pose a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural living persons”.

This generally refers to the possibility of affected individuals facing economic, social or reputational damage, or financial losses.

Even if the data breach (thankfully!) doesn’t fall into that category, you may still want to notify those individuals whose information has been compromised.

Preventing an IT disaster with Nebula

While it’s vital you have a solid IT disaster plan in place, ideally, it’ll never see the light of day.

We may have made it look like you can recover from a data breach in five easy steps, but rarely is it that simple.

Prevention is much better than cure, as they say. And that applies here. But a documented IT disaster recovery process should be part of every business’s continuity plan. 

Without a fixed IT disaster plan in place, the financial and reputational damages will be far more in the event of a cyber-attack on sensitive data. 

At Nebula, we have developed a fully managed security solution designed to shift the responsibility from you to us. We can manage all of your business IT procedures for multiple machines and sites, including monthly vulnerability reports, fully-manned cyber security and much more.

Get in touch today and we can arrange a friendly chat to discuss what is best for your business.

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