Breaches from within companies is one cause of disaster recovery scenarios.

For businesses, situations beyond bad weather necessitate a data recovery plan

Stephen Perkins

With the appearance of storm season, attention is turning to the need for companies to have the proper data protection in place to prevent a calamitous situation in which business information is forever lost. But storms are not the only forces that threaten companies without a cloud backup. Disgruntled employees and malicious cyber incursions also present significant risk to businesses of all types.

Threats from inside the company can sometimes result in data loss
The last thing a company wants to imagine is an attack that comes from within. But unfortunately this situation occasionally arises, and when it does, the results can be disastrous. An article by business recovery specialist Dr. Jim Kennedy in Continuity Central provided some specific examples of instances when internal attacks proved damaging to business:

  • Back in 2008, a systems administrator in San Francisco was enraged after losing his job, and decided to get revenge on the city. He therefore took control of the city's administrative system and held the passwords for ransom.
  • In Dallas, a healthcare organization was forced to reach out to 37,000 patients after its information was compromised by a data processor who was a previous employee. 
  • A pharmaceutical company was hit with a surprise when they discovered a spouse of one of its employees had broken into the system and uploaded peer-to-peer file sharing capabilities within it, thereby compromising information for 17,000 employees.

What these examples prove is that threats from within can be just as – if not more – damaging than those from the outside. According to Kennedy, insider attacks represent up to 80 percent of all Internet crimes and related incidents against companies, and many of these cases can result in permanent data loss for a company that's not properly backed up. In these situations, a business online backup can help lessen the damages. For instance, in the San Francisco situation, a data backup would likely have rendered the attempted hostage taker's attempts worthless. As soon as he commandeered the system, the city could merely have reverted to its backup. 

Malicious cyberattacks also pose a threat to businesses
Internal attacks are not the only potentially disastrous situation companies have to worry about. For enterprises of all types and sizes, the risk of cyberattacks is very real. This is particularly true among healthcare organizations, which, according to iHealthBeat, are ill-equipped to deal with a crisis scenario. The iHealthBeat article focused on a series of simulated attack scenarios that were carried out by a cybersecurity project called CyberRX too ascertain the preparedness of various health care organizations. The results indicated that such enterprises are not where they need to be when it comes to preparing against an attack. 

With regard to safeguarding data in a breach scenario, organizations must look at the broader situation to make sure all their bases are covered. For companies lacking a robust online backup, for instance, an attack by an outsider or insider can result in the permanent loss of data, something that an enterprise with a firm cloud backup presence would never have to worry about. 

Technology research insider Mary Shacklett believes that data recovery strategies should be a major focus of any enterprise, particularly those dealing with big data. However, the enterprise world of today is one in which many companies handle a massive influx of data – all of which, according to Shacklett, should be guarded in the event of a disaster. 

"It is only a matter of time before IT starts getting asked about its plans to back up, restore, and recover from a disastrous big data outage," she said, adding that big data disaster recovery plans will only become more important as such information is used more widely. 

Categories: Cloud Backup, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery