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Is Your Cybersecurity Prepared to Recover from Disaster?


In today’s landscape of increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, it is almost inevitable that most businesses will eventually fall victim to a bad actor, despite their best efforts. The real question is: are you ready to recover from a cyber event? While investing in state-of-the-art security solutions and implementing robust policies and best practices is crucial, organizations must also prioritize their ability to recover from a cyber event before it occurs.

Why a Disaster Recovery Plan Falls Short

Many organizations have disaster recovery plans, assuming that disaster recovery and cyber recovery are one and the same. However, there are significant differences between the two scenarios. In a traditional disaster, such as a data center fire or server hardware failure, you are immediately alerted, know the exact time and location of the incident, and have a predictable recovery point objective (RPO).

In contrast, a cyber event leaves you with only one certainty: an attack has taken place. You are unaware of when it started, where it occurred, the extent of the damage, or how to mitigate the intrusion. Even if you receive an alert on a specific day and time, the cyber event could have transpired days, weeks, or months earlier, meaning that the visible damages represent only the tip of the iceberg.

Moreover, cyber-attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, rendering outdated disaster recovery plans ineffective. Without a dedicated cyber event recovery plan, the recovery process can stretch for days or weeks, resulting in substantial costs, loss of customer trust, and missed business opportunities.

Storing Secondary Copies Offsite or Off-Network

In addition to the risks posed by natural disasters, relying solely on onsite data storage exposes your business to backup file corruption if your local network falls victim to an attack. As part of your cyber event recovery plan, storing secondary copies of information offsite or off-network is essential. These copies should be easily accessible, allowing immediate recovery efforts to minimize damage and costs.

Secondary data storage solutions can range from offsite servers or tape storage to private or public cloud backups. Opting for cloud storage offers the best chances of accelerating the recovery time, as data is readily available without requiring manual intervention.

Data Classification and Recovery Prioritization

Data classification involves categorizing information based on its sensitivity and business value. Organizations undertake data classification for various reasons, including security, data compliance, risk management, and storage cost control.

When recovering from a cyber event, data classification proves invaluable in identifying lost data, assessing the scope of the damage, and ultimately determining the cause of the incident. Insufficient understanding of data classification can significantly prolong the recovery process or even lead to incomplete recovery.

Another crucial aspect is comprehending the order in which your environment should be recovered. While many organizations recognize the importance of this, few are adequately prepared. Data classification enables you to identify interdependencies within your IT infrastructure. If your most critical application relies on less critical systems to function, those applications should be labeled as critical for prioritization purposes.

Implementing a Failback Plan

Once you have mitigated the damages from the cyber event, it becomes necessary to transition operations from the secondary location back to the original one. A failback plan in place, whether returning to on-premises infrastructure or the cloud, allows your company to resume business with minimal downtime or data loss. Unfortunately, very few companies can execute this process swiftly, leading to additional time and cost burdens.

Your failback plan should encompass all data and data changes, workflows, data classifications, and the order of recovery. Testing should also be conducted to ensure data accuracy, the functionality of primary systems, and network quality. Ideally, the failback process should be automated to streamline the recovery efforts.

Leveraging Cyber Recovery as a Service

Regardless of your infrastructure’s security, the likelihood of a cyber event impacting your organization remains relatively high. By implementing cyber recovery plans, you can minimize damages, costs, and the time required for recovery.

One effective approach is to leverage cyber recovery as a service (CRaaS) offerings. CRaaS, based in the cloud, streamlines information recovery when a cyber event occurs, saving both time and money.

Zerto on HPE GreenLake is a leading CRaaS solution that facilitates faster and easier cyber recovery, allowing your organization to focus on mitigating threats and stopping intrusions, thereby reducing overall costs and damages. Key benefits include down-to-the-second recovery point objectives (RPOs) through continuous data protection and journal-based recovery. Zerto also boasts the industry’s fastest recovery time objectives.

To enhance your readiness for a cyber event, it is recommended to consult with one of GDT’s cyber recovery specialists who can provide further insights and guidance.


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