How to Create a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery Plan

Any organization can be the victim of a cyberattack, and these attacks are growing more sophisticated and damaging. A successful ransomware attack can cause permanent data loss and degrade a company’s ability to do business for days or weeks. A successful data breach carries the risks of reputational damage, regulatory penalties, and the loss of competitive advantage as well as the costs of recovery.

Responding quickly and correctly is essential to minimizing the cost and impact of a cybersecurity incident. By having a cybersecurity disaster recovery plan in place, an organization has taken steps to prepare to maintain operations during the incident and restore business as usual as quickly as possible.

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What are the Goals of a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery Plan?

A cybersecurity disaster recovery plan should provide an organization with a roadmap for managing a disruptive cybersecurity incident such as a data breach or ransomware attack. Some goals of a cybersecurity disaster recovery plan include:

  • Maintain Business Continuity: Full recovery from a cybersecurity incident can be time-consuming, and the interruption in operations incurs significant costs for the business. A cybersecurity disaster recovery plan should include strategies for maintaining operations throughout the incident and recovery process.
  • Protect Sensitive Data: A breach of sensitive customer or corporate data can dramatically exacerbate the cost and impact of a security incident. Ensuring that data is secure throughout the incident is essential to protecting the business and its customers.
  • Minimize Impacts and Losses: Cybersecurity incidents can carry costs in the millions, and, if left unmanaged, can drive companies out of business. Disaster recovery plans should include strategies for minimizing costs and losses by maintaining operations, protecting critical assets, and containing the incident.
  • Communicate with Stakeholders: Cybersecurity incidents require communication with stakeholders both inside and outside the organization, such as the incident response team, leadership, regulators, and customers. Defining clear lines of communication is essential to effective incident management and meeting legal and regulatory deadlines.
  • Restore Normal Operations: The end goal of any disaster recovery plan is a return to business as usual. Cybersecurity disaster recovery plans should describe the process of moving from business continuity to full recovery.
  • Review and Improve: Throughout the disaster recovery process, team members should document their activities and record information about the incident and how it was managed. These logs and metrics can be used retrospectively to improve incident prevention and streamline recovery procedures in the future.

How to Develop a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery Plan

A cybersecurity disaster recovery plan should be targeted at maintaining business continuity and restoring normal operations in the wake of a cybersecurity incident. Some key steps toward the development of a cybersecurity disaster recovery plan include:

  • Choose a Plan Owner: Finding out during a security incident that the plan doesn’t exist, is out of date, or is lost is not ideal for business continuity. A cybersecurity disaster recovery plan should be owned by the person who will lead the recovery process and who will be accessible when needed.
  • Identify Critical Assets: Business continuity is about ensuring that the assets that are needed to maintain operations are online and available. Identifying critical assets is essential to developing plans to protect and restore them.
  • Determine Risks: Different critical assets may face different risks, ranging from ransomware attacks to power outages. Identifying and documenting these risks enables a business to develop plans for addressing and minimizing them.
  • Develop Strategies: A disaster recovery strategy should include plans for backing up critical assets, protecting them against risks, responding to an incident, and communicating with key stakeholders. With a clear understanding of what needs protecting and what can go wrong, a team can develop strategies for managing these risks.
  • Practice and Test: Practice makes perfect. Running through the disaster recovery with all key stakeholders and participants before an incident occurs can help to ensure that everyone knows what they are supposed to do and to identify and correct any gaps or errors in the plan.

How Check Point Can Support Disaster Recovery Planning

Cybersecurity incident management includes both minimizing the probability that an incident occurs and restoring operations in the wake of a disruption. Check Point’s free Security Checkup is a great starting place for incident prevention because it can help identify the security vulnerabilities in your organization’s system that are most likely to result in a cyberattack.

If your organization is currently suffering a cyberattack, Check Point can help. ThreatCloud Incident Response offers 24/7 support. For assistance, email [email protected] or call our hotline.

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