As the role of Information Technology continues to grow and evolve within business, the potential risks associated with accessing, storing, sharing and protecting information are similarly increasing. In order to better equip themselves to adjust to these kind of threats, businesses need to consider the various risks they might be vulnerable to and implement a reliable strategy to deal with these effectively and efficiently.
Firstly, let’s consider a few threats. In each of the scenarios below, vulnerability can result in a serious risk to your business:
- A hacker obtains access to your website and remains undetected until the damage has been done. Maybe they have maliciously updated something on the website creating misinformation or they have defaced it to deliberately generate negative public opinion
- Attacks have resulted in your internal and external communications getting blocked, or perhaps your domain name has become blacklisted
- Multiple hardware failures or even a single hardware failure (in an infrastructure without resilience) is exacerbated by the lack of an up-to-date DR plan to provide fast and efficient recovery
- You recently discovered that a disgruntled employee who left the company a few weeks ago used their high access privileges and deleted or updated some critical internal data
- An environmental problem (e.g. flood, fire, power failure) means you have no access to your server room, and all the kit is powered off
In order to try and stop these kind of threats from resulting in disastrous consequences for your business, here are three areas you should review, consider and action if you haven’t already done so.
As the classic idiom states, “prevention is better than cure”. Try and prevent attacks from happening in the first place by utilising network and software technologies that detect and block threats while allowing appropriate traffic to proceed with minimal performance impact. This is an area that most of us have already thought about and implemented. Firewalls, proxy servers, spam filters, web filtering and isolated DMZ’s to name but a few.
Next, consider how you would react to these threats if they were to actually happen? Are you able to roll back your applications and critical data or restore entire systems? Maybe you can go back to last night easily, but what if you need to go back 3 weeks? Is that data residing on some tapes in an offsite location? How quickly can you get those back and then reinstate the systems as they were before the incident?
Plan for the worst but hope for the best. Have you got copies of all your critical servers, services and data in an offsite location, away from the incident? If so, have you tested that you can actually recover that data? Is it part of your regular DR tests, or do you not even have an up-to-date Disaster Recovery plan?
As IT continues to evolve within business, companies are exposed to more risks than ever before and it’s essential that they remain robust and agile to cope with them. Utilising cloud services is an effective way for an organisation to safeguard itself from a number of critical threats facing businesses today. By implementing secure cloud backup, unified endpoint management and efficient cloud-based disaster recovery, companies can become less reliant on hugely complex disaster recovery plans and are no longer faced with significant upfront expenditure to ensure they’re protected.
Nevertheless, one thing that has remained unchanged is the need to choose the right service delivery partner and the right technology for the job. No two businesses are alike and the same can be said for a reputable cloud provider. It’s important that business owners consider their individual needs and choose a service that can be customised to fit those needs.
About the author: Chris Sigley is responsible for the day to day running of the UK division of Redstor, his remit encompasses sales and marketing, service delivery and finance. Chris joined Redstor in September 2004 and has progressed through numerous sales and management roles and has overseen its growth and evolution into a provider of key services and solutions.