mitigate ransomeware risk with a backup and disaster recovery plan

You’ve put so much time, energy, and creativity into your small business. The last thing you want is for someone else to take control of your data and then demand a payment to get it back. But if your business isn’t protected against ransomware, that’s exactly what could happen.

In the event of a ransomware attack, having a backup and disaster recovery plan in place is critical to mitigating the damage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but when even the prevention doesn’t work, a recovery plan is there to soften the blow.

If you think it won’t happen to you, just know that a global survey of 1,100 IT and cybersecurity professionals in 2021 found that ransomware attacks hit 80% of the surveyed organizations. That’s a lot of money and a lot of downtime.

So, how do you mitigate the risk from a ransomware attack with a recovery plan? Here are 5 tips for building a strong backup and disaster recovery plan.

1. Identify your data priorities

When designing your plan, ask yourself and your stakeholders the following questions:

  • What are the most important business assets that must be protected? In other words, what information would be the most damaging if released to the dark web or the general public?
  • What do these business assets look like as IT assets? Are they files, applications, databases, servers, or control systems?
  • How can we safeguard or isolate these assets so that attackers with access to the general IT environment cannot obtain them?

2. Make sure your backups are regular and up-to-date

You should aim to perform data backups regularly so you can quickly restore your data if it is ever encrypted by ransomware. Make sure to test your backups and ensure that they are working properly. 

Hackers are getting more advanced and know that accessing these backups will cripple your operations. You need to have protections on these backups as well (an IT service provider can help you with this).

3. Store your backups off-site

If your business is hit with ransomware, you don’t want your backups to be affected as well. Store your backups in a safe, secure location off-site so they are not impacted by an attack. This could be in the cloud or offsite physical infrastructure.

4. Decide who will implement the plan

After a ransomware attack, all of your employees will be busy dealing with impact assessments, damage control, communications, and other activities related to the fallout—leaving no one available to execute a recovery plan. Be sure to plan for this step and have key players in place to do so.

5. Train your staff on how to respond to ransomware attacks

Make sure your staff is aware of how to respond if your business is hit with ransomware. They need to know what to do if they encounter an encrypted file, and they should be aware of the warning signs of a ransomware attack. 

Your recovery plan should include steps for each role and department and how they can contribute to getting you up and running again.

Final Thoughts

Creating a backup and disaster recovery plan is not an easy task, but it is critical for your SMB. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your business can get back on its feet after a ransomware attack.

To get started creating a comprehensive backup & disaster recovery plan, contact our experts at Innovative Network Solutions for a free consultation.