5 Steps to a Resilient Organization

April 12, 2019 | Empowering rural Iowa Sean Johnson, Vice President of Operations, sjohnson@acsltd.com

Q: How can I ensure my organization can recover from a cyber attack, flood or unexpected downtime?

A: According to Gartner, one hour of downtime costs an organization $336,000 on average. Data is the most valuable asset your organization holds. Without access to data and the systems it runs on, no organization can survive. Take these five steps to ensure your organization can survive unexpected downtime due to a security breach, flood or employee error.

  • Determine your Recovery Point Objective (RPO): The amount of data loss your organization is comfortable losing due to downtime. Could you afford to lose data that was created in the past 15 minutes, 1 hour, 24 hours?
  • Determine your Recovery Time Objective (RTO): The amount of time your organization can afford to be non-operational. This metric takes into account the cost per minute or hour of downtime for the organization.
  • Develop a Business Continuity (BC) Strategy: Focuses on how to recover and maintain business operations during and after a crisis or downtime has occurred. It includes all essential facets of the business, operations, accounting, communications, sales, technology, etc.
  • Develop a Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan: A DR plan is similar to a BC strategy but focuses more specifically on the recovery and maintenance of the organization’s technology and data. It should include backups of critical data and applications, redundant software and hardware for the organization to recover to, and a clearly defined set of instructions for the recovery process.
  • Testing: Once a BC strategy and DR plan have been developed and implemented to achieve the organization’s desired RPO and RTO, perform a test to ensure their effectiveness and reliability by simulating a system failure and following the recovery process.

Taking these steps will build resiliency into your organization so that when an incident does occur, you can get back to business as normal quickly and efficiently.