It’s time for resolutions. As we send our best wishes to every IT pro around the world, we’ll raise a toast in the hope that we can all enjoy a more secure and relaxed 2023. Of course, hopes and wishes will get you nowhere when it comes to avoiding data disasters.
With that in mind, here’s a quick recap of some key statistics from 2022 and what you should do about them. They should motivate every IT team to do more to ensure more effective data resilience, data protection, and disaster recovery in 2023.
1. Educate Everyone About Cybersecurity
The Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 82 percent of breaches involved the human element, including social attacks, errors, and misuse. The report also found that ransomware attacks increased more over the year of the study than in the previous five years combined. And, while a bit out of date, Cisco’s 2021 Cybersecurity Threat Trends report found that 70 percent of organizations had users that were served malicious browser ads.
Those statistics illustrate that your people are your first defense in building a more resilient organization. You get a big thumbs up if you already have an ongoing cybersecurity training program. The onset of the new year is the perfect time to ensure it’s effective and up to date. If you don’t have a training program, now is the time to get one going.
There are plenty of managed service providers and consulting firms that offer these programs. You’ll also find a wealth of ransomware prevention and cybersecurity training materials for technical and non-technical audiences, including managers, business leaders, and technical specialists, at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) STOP RANSOMWARE website. No matter how you approach it, make sure your people can spot a scam and know what to do when it happens.
2. Update and Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Suppose your disaster recovery plan isn’t up to date and hasn’t been tested recently. In that case, some—or all—of your data could become irretrievable should a ransomware attack or data breach succeed. So, pull out your plan and ensure it meets your needs today and in the future. You may find this post, A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan, valuable as you check each box and validate your plan. Once it’s updated, test it. Then put a schedule in place to regularly revisit the plan, test it again, and confirm it will still meet your needs.
3. Tighten Your Cybersecurity Defenses
Every day, the AV-TEST Institute registers more than 450,000 new malware programs and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). SonicWall’s 2022 Global Cyberattack Trends found that between January and June of 2022, its customers faced 3 trillion intrusion attempts, 57 million IoT malware attacks, and 4.8 million encrypted threats. That’s a lot of threats! At the same time, the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study found a global cybersecurity workforce gap of 3.4 million people.
With that in mind, it’s time for every organization to increase its investments in people with cybersecurity expertise and leading-edge prevention technologies. Difficulties in hiring internal IT teams can be overcome by looking to outside partners for help. Many service providers, value-added resellers (VARs), and system integrators can provide expert guidance, ongoing services, and support to ensure your defenses are effective and up to date.
For internal teams, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers courses for executives, managers, and IT staff. These courses follow the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, teaching students how to align and prioritize cybersecurity efforts with business requirements, risk tolerances, and resources.
4. Focus on Data Resilience
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) writes that a “non-vendor-related” definition of data resilience is “a resilient data system [that can] continue to operate when faced with adversity that could otherwise compromise its availability, capacity, interoperability, performance, reliability, robustness, safety, security, and usability.” That’s quite a list! ISACA boils it down to simpler terms by stating that “data resilience is data risk management.”
Achieving data resilience requires investments that, hopefully, eliminate those risks with activities and technologies, as we’ve noted above. It also demands solutions that provide rock-solid data protection—including immutable backups—and ensure you can quickly recover during a disaster or any unexpected downtime.
This is where Arcserve technology partners can be a game-changer for you and your company. They bring deep expertise in data resilience and can guide you to the right solution for your specific needs. And they can continue to support you as your needs evolve.
Here’s to a More Resilient 2023
While optimism should be part and parcel of every new year celebration, the reality is that securing data in cyberspace can be sobering. So, once the celebration is over, start the new year by working through these four areas and making your organization more resilient in 2023.
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