As a critical piece of your business continuity plan, IT remediation and disaster recovery (DR) should include measures that will minimize, identify and aim to mitigate risk factors and the impacts of natural disasters, security breaches, and/or human error.
That’s why when it comes to effective IT remediation and recovery, it’s important to understand why you need a plan in place.
Whether you’re looking to revise or implement an active plan, or create one if you don’t have something thoroughly documented and published, it’s best to partner with a managed services provider (MSP) that understands best practices and has hands-on experience with disaster recovery planning, documentation, and remediation.
Learn more from LincolnIT technical experts on why it’s beneficial to have an IT remediation and recovery plan for your organization.
Should an issue occur such as a ransomware attack, an active IT remediation and recovery plan—including data backups—can save time, business impact, and money. According to a 2020 report by online industry information hub Security Boulevard, just one phishing attack can result in an average loss of $1.6 million.
“It’s easier than you think for a business to become infected,” says Marc Hiller, LincolnIT Director of Applications. “With an active plan, you can understand what your rapid Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is and still be operational. If there’s a DR plan in place, you have an explanation. Without that plan, then you’re simply scrambling to figure out what to do next.”
This assessment is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way most businesses work and communicate. Earlier this year, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, warned that cloud-related breaches “frequently occurred when victim organizations’ employees worked remotely and used a mixture of corporate laptops and personal devices to access their respective cloud services.” As a result, the agency recommended that organizations develop a mitigation plan. This includes educating and training employees on how to spot these threats and how they’re delivered, among other solutions.
“There’s not much you can do in this situation without an effective plan,” says Joe Allocco, LincolnIT Vice President of Services. “I have heard of situations where an organization will be completely out of commission, the data is gone, and they had no recourse. At this point, they’re just hoping to get the data back. You definitely do not want to leave your critical data with a strategy of “hope.” Having a well-documented and tested plan is a smart business move that should be prioritized.
According to a 2020 report by online industry information hub Security Boulevard, just one phishing attack can result in an average loss of $1.6 million.
No Business Is Too Small (or Large)
Regardless of your organization’s size or industry, having an IT remediation and DR process is critical—it’s not just for large enterprises with multiple locations.
“There are no exemptions when it comes to having a plan,” Allocco says. “Whether you are a small business or large corporation, you are just as vulnerable. Even more so for smaller organizations because they might not have as many safeguards in place, whereas larger enterprises might feel immune because they do have additional precautions.”
To Allocco’s point, small businesses are especially vulnerable to these attacks, making it even more critical to ensure an accurate DR plan. These types of instances are on the rise and can affect employees—as well consumer confidence—should a breach occur.
According to the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (2020 DBIR) as cited on Small Business Trends, 28% of data breaches in 2020 involved small businesses.
The report also addressed how business owners, especially SMBs, must be even more prepared than ever when it comes to data protection.
With potential disasters and threats occurring at any moment, organizations must be prepared to handle the after-effects and hold themselves accountable.
“The statistics don’t lie,” Allocco says. “If you’ve heard about businesses that have experienced breaches, compromises, or attempts, then you want to educate yourself and your staff, and show your customers you have something implemented."
Creating the Plan
Once you've decided to move forward with creating and implementing a plan, it’s best to partner with an experienced MSP to assess your data and accompanying risks.
“The first thing we would do is a complete evaluation of the organization’s environment,” Allocco says. “There’s really no cookie-cutter solution to this. There’s the base—and the foundation you’re going to adhere to—but that also depends on variables such as the size of the customer and their individual business processes. We will work with them to determine the most affordable, yet effective solution—it’s never a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.”
The customer-MSP relationship is critical because assessing the environment and understanding the organization’s tolerances and budget are all necessary for active implementation.
“Knowing the customer’s Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are really the drivers [of the plan],” Hiller says. “It’s critical to determine backup frequencies and recovery times that fit the organization’s specific needs.”
Communication Is Key
The relationship is also built on tailored recommendations and consistent communication. Understanding, defining, and prioritizing what is important to the customer, combined with the MSP’s experience regarding appropriate best practices, are all taken into account when developing a remediation plan.
“The key word here is ‘partnership,” adds Hiller. “We want to work with you, your team, and your organization. We'll make recommendations as we see fit, and then will architect the solution to your needs. It's about developing the relationship, understanding the customer’s pain points and needs, and then effectively addressing those needs.”
Components & Solutions
The foundation of successful remediation and recovery lies in your plan’s components. These may include, but aren’t limited to:
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Perimeter Security (Firewalls)
- Backup & Recovery
- Stable, Off-Site Retention
- Identify Your Business Critical Data
While all of these should be included in your plan, having an appropriate solution is the differentiating factor. For example, a firewall that simply blocks traffic is not enough. It also must analyze inbound and outbound traffic as hackers become more sophisticated.
It’s best to have MFA and firewall security to ensure your network is being maintained and the right equipment and policies are implemented. Those not adhering to these measures will likely leave themselves open to greater security risks.
Implementation & Reassurance
A successful IT remediation plan minimizes disruption and mitigates future occurrences. While natural disasters, power outages, and even human error are beyond anyone’s control, how organizations respond to these can save time, resources and money.
“You want to make sure there is transparency and open lines of communication [when it comes to any disaster recovery plan].”
—Joe Allocco, Vice President of Services, LincolnIT
“You want to make sure there is transparency and open lines of communication [when it comes to any DR plan],” Allocco says. “It’s best to communicate any issues internally up front. If the customer comes to us immediately, we can immediately put your plan into practice, and therefore have a better chance of resolution if we know right away, versus someone who tries covering their tracks, or trying to fix it themselves.”
Instilling a culture of security also ensures smooth implementation for the organization’s employees and MSP partnership. While technology affects how your business operates, it also requires reassurance it will work during a possible incident.
“As an MSP, we can say: ‘We’ve invested time and resources in putting these things together, because they're important to us, because our clients and the value that’s placed on that data and assets are important,’ and we want to ensure we’re always capturing the essence of that,” Hiller says.
A True MSP Partnership
Safeguarding your organization’s data is just one piece of the puzzle. We’ll also ensure an effective workflow rounded out by our seasoned group of technologists and cutting-edge technology products. From creating job tickets, to accessing our 365/24/7 nationally recognized help desk, and utilizing our network operations center (NOC), you’ll receive the highest levels of service and professionalism every time.
We’ll take the time to understand, integrate and adopt all of these items into your organization’s daily business practices, so that you can focus on additional strategic initiatives.
Your experience will never be one that’s simply: “Set it, and forget it.” Through our Three-Pillar Approach of People, Process, and Products, we’ll ensure an IT remediation plan built on a deep technical bench of experts who are well-versed in servicing customers of all sizes and industries through our unmatched vendor, toolkit, and alliance partnerships.