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Business Continuity in the wake of cyber-attacks

Cybersecurity concerns and business continuity have become inseparable in today’s hyperconnected world. Every year, cyberattacks and data breaches pose a significant threat to organizations, potentially resulting in lost data, compromised personal or financial information, unplanned downtime, and other challenges. In some cases, these issues can even lead to the failure of a business.

In this article, you will read about

Recent cyber incidents

The Need for Business Continuity

Cybersecurity Strategies for Business Continuity 

How to Integrate Cybersecurity in Business Continuity Planning? 

How can Rainbow Secure help to ensure business continuity? 

A cybersecurity breach can lead to reduced productivity, loss of revenue, and a tarnished reputation, all with just one incident. Nowadays, the integration of cybersecurity and business continuity aims to reduce expenses, safeguard information, and facilitate a rapid and efficient response to potential cyberattacks and data breaches.

Some major incidents which caused business disruption and huge losses to Enterprises: 

  1. Nvidia: The world’s largest semiconductor chip company was compromised by a ransomware attack in February 2022. The company confirmed that the threat actor had started leaking employee credentials and proprietary information online. The ransomware group, Lapsus$, took responsibility for the attack. It also demanded $ 1 million and a percentage of an unspecified fee from Nvidia. Many media stories suggested that as Nvidia’s internal systems were compromised, it had to take some parts of its business offline for two days. 
  2. Toyota: Between February and March 2022, three Toyota suppliers were hacked, showing us that no matter how secure your organization may be, a determined threat actor can and will find a way to break in. When Toyota’s supplier, Kojima Industries, was hit by a cyber-attack (not necessarily a ransomware attack), the giant had to halt operations in 14 of its Japanese plants. This hack is said to have caused a whopping 5% dip in the company’s monthly production capability. 
  3. CHI Health: CHI Health is a healthcare group subsidiary of CommonSpirit Health – the second-largest nonprofit hospital chain in the United States. In October of 2022, the hospital chain was hit by a ransomware attack that compromised patient data and affected daily operations. 
  4. Rackspace: On December 06, 2022, Rackspace Technology® reported a ransomware incident that affected their Hosted Exchange environment. It led to service disruptions for some of their customers. 
  5. Log4j: Log4j is a standardized Java utility and has been around for 20 years. However, in December 2021, a critical vulnerability called Log4Shell was found, which allowed unauthenticated and untrained threat actors to gain control over applications, resulting in costly breaches. Despite numerous attempts to fix the problem, many organizations remain vulnerable to the risk of Log4Shell, with 2.5% of assets remaining exposed as of October 2022. Additionally, 29% of assets showed recurrences despite previously achieving complete remediation. 
  6. Dole Food Company – one of the world’s largest suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables, has disclosed that it has been affected by a ransomware attack that disrupted its operations. The food giant has hired third-party experts to assist with the mitigation and protection of the impacted systems and the incident has also been reported to law enforcement. 
  7. U.S. Marshals Service – suffered a security breach leading to sensitive information being compromised. A spokesperson declared that the incident occurred in February 2023, when the service discovered a “ransomware and data exfiltration event affecting a stand-alone USMS system.” 
  8. Accenture – noticed the LockBit ransomware attack on its systems in August but the incident was immediately contained; 
  9. Acer – the organization became a victim of a REvil ransomware attack back in March. The threat actors demanded a $50,000,000 ransom; 
  10. Colonial Pipeline – The Company was forced to shut down after being hit by ransomware in May. The operator paid the hackers nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency in return for a decryption key to restore its systems. 
  11. Facebook: In mid-March 2019, an unparalleled event sent shock waves through the world’s information infrastructure: Facebook went offline for 14 hours. It was the longest-ever outage for the social media site.  As estimated, a mere 14 hours of downtime cost the company $90 million in lost revenue.  

The worst damage comes from the interruption to the business, not from mitigating the attack or paying off the hackers. When compared to the revenue they eliminate, the technical issues seem insignificant. And, ultimately, surviving a cyberattack means safeguarding the bottom line, which requires a focus on business continuity above all else. 

Forbes has gone on to warn that we will be facing an estimated $10 trillion digital headache by the year 2025 if we continue to take a “business-as-usual approach to cybersecurity.” 

When revenue, customer trust, and reputation are at stake, a firm must have the ability to recognize and respond to security incidents and events. IBM’s Cost of Data Breach 2022 claims that the average cost of a security breach soared by approximately 12.7% in the past five years and foresees the present average cost of a security breach at $4.35 million.  

Also, it takes an average of almost 243 days to identify and control a security breach. This implies that hackers have enough time to gain access to sensitive information, watch the activity ensue, and also initiate further attacks.  

The Need for Business Continuity

It’s important to put the consequences in context because outages are inevitable, whether caused by a malicious attack or an IT accident. When the inevitable occurs, business continuity is about minimizing the resources that go offline while maximizing how quickly disabled resources are restored. 

Importance of Cybersecurity in Business Continuity Planning 

In today’s digital age, hacks and cyber-attacks can pose just as much of a threat to data and systems as natural disasters. Therefore, it’s critical to incorporate cybersecurity into your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) planning to ensure IT reliability. Here are a few reasons why this is so vital:

 Unplanned Downtime is Costly 

In the aftermath of a cyberattack, the moments that follow are crucial. Unfortunately, many organizations experience extended periods of downtime as they attempt to recover. This downtime can be incredibly costly, with every hour of offline time costing thousands of dollars. Furthermore, unplanned downtime – which frequently occurs following a surprise attack – can be up to 35% more expensive than planned downtime.

For businesses, big or small, recuperating from major downtime events can be a challenge. Therefore, it is crucial to be prepared to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Reputation Loss 

The cost of a cyber-attack may not only be financial, but it could also have a negative impact on your business’s reputation. Such events can create doubts in the minds of the customer about the security of their data in your enterprise’s possession, leading to a loss of trust in your organization in the long run.

Lost Data and Systems 

Finally, cyber-attacks may render data completely irrecoverable. A lack of immutable backups or recovery systems could make it difficult, if not impossible, to restore your data to a safe pre-attack state. Ultimately, this could mean lost potential down the line as relationships with clients, customers, partners, and suppliers are undermined. 

Cybersecurity Strategies for Business Continuity 

The types of strategies used in cybersecurity have vital applications when it comes to business continuity. Making sure your business can carry on as before is a function of the way your data is managed, stored, and protected. Some of the cybersecurity strategies utilized in BCDR include the following: 

Maintaining Data Across Multiple Repositories for Disaster Recovery

Storing data in multiple repositories is a wise decision as it enables faster and more dependable data recovery in case of a disaster. It’s important to note that this is different from data backup, which focuses on duplicating historical data. In contrast, data replication involves creating copies of your critical business data and saving it across your network to safeguard it from cyber-attacks.

Disaster Recovery 

Disaster recovery services, such as mass data recovery, are crucial to any business continuity plan. However, they are particularly critical for safeguarding your organization against cyber-attacks. Compromised data may be lost, corrupted, or contaminated with ransomware, rendering it unusable. 

 Zero-Trust Data Security 

Nowadays, business data is hardly ever centralized like it was in the past. This is why zero-trust data security is more appropriate for today’s applications. By verifying users and controlling access at every point within your network, not just on the perimeter, the zero-trust approach enhances your security measures. It allows for quicker identification of threats, which makes it easier to recover from an attack while minimizing its overall impact. 

How to Integrate Cybersecurity in Business Continuity Planning? 

Let’s check how cybersecurity can be integrated into a company’s Business Continuity Planning − 

Business Impact Analysis 

When conducting a business impact analysis (BIA), it is essential to consider various aspects of an organization’s cybersecurity risk management approach. Impact categories should include reputation, revenue loss, customer service and experiences, legal and/or regulatory requirements, and increases in operational costs resulting from a cyber-attack. It is crucial to comprehend the possible long-term or residual consequences for the organization. By doing so, organizations can make better-informed judgments about how to ensure business continuity in the event of a data breach or assault. This comprehensive approach will help to lay out the entire breadth of the effect and prepare for any potential impact.

1. Perform a Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis 

Once you’ve identified potential threats, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough Business Impact Analysis (BIA) to evaluate the financial and operational damage such attacks could cause.

For an effective risk assessment and BIA, it’s essential to document all company-owned devices and pinpoint their locations within the business. It’s also important to assess the current cybersecurity measures in place for each device. With a comprehensive view of your cybersecurity posture, you can develop a robust cybersecurity defense and take the necessary steps to protect your company from cyber threats. 

 2. Assess Third-Party and Supply Chain Risks 

To ensure cybersecurity, it’s not enough to just protect the devices within your organization. Third-party vendors and suppliers can also serve as gateways for cybercriminals to access your network. Unfortunately, these parties have the potential to introduce risks to your system. This can occur through non-compliant behavior, the introduction of third-party software breaches, or the sharing of corrupt data. Recent data shows that supply chain attacks in the US rose by 42% in the first quarter of 2021, yet many companies do not acknowledge these threats.

If you already work with third-party vendors and distributors, it’s probable that you use some third-party risk management strategies. This may include assessing the creditworthiness or compliance history of third-party service providers. 

 3. Devise an Incident Response Plan 

To ensure your organization is well-prepared for emergency situations that could result in costly downtime or damage, it’s essential to have an incident response plan in place. This plan should provide detailed instructions on how your organization should handle cybersecurity incidents, data breaches, data leaks, and cyber-attacks.

It’s common for businesses to develop their incident response plan based on compliance regulations like NIST or SANS guidelines. Critical components of this plan include a backup protocol for complete disaster recovery, an emergency management process with a communication plan, and recovery time objectives.

4. Test Your Incident Response Plan 

Your incident response plan is based on data and facts that lead to the best practices for business continuity management. Yet, without tests, it’s impossible to know how well your methods will work.  

Once you have a documented plan in place, it’s important to create tests that simulate real attacks to put your plan to the test. NIST Special Publication 800-84 defines tests and two types of exercises to evaluate response policy and procedures.  

  • Tabletop Exercises: Conducting simulated scenarios to test the coordination, communication, and decision-making capabilities of the Business Continuity Management Team and relevant stakeholders. 
  • IT Recovery Testing: Performing scheduled tests of IT disaster recovery procedures, including data recovery, system restoration, and failover capabilities. 
  • Business Continuity Drills: Conduct drills to test the implementation of business continuity plans, assess employee readiness, and identify areas for improvement. 
  • Lessons Learned and Plan Updates: Documenting lessons learned from testing and exercises to enhance plans, procedures, and training programs. 

 As technology continues to evolve, cyberattacks will become more advanced and sophisticated to generate new methods of attack.  

How can Rainbow Secure help to ensure business continuity? 

The right amount of data and system access to the right person or role at the right time is the key to organizations being able to use digital tools and platforms to serve the customer base and stay compliant. 

Next Generation Rainbow Secure platform is a modern identity and single sign-on solution for your business across on-premises and cloud environments. It’s backed by an experienced team of cloud and security experts, years of innovation, and partnerships with leading cloud platforms.  As a leader in smart and secure digital solutions, Rainbow Secure is the perfect choice for businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Secure Workforce & Customer Login Use Authentication Plug-in by Rainbow Secure to secure workforce and customer logins. In this plug-in, you get a multi-dimensional password, passwordless login solutions with AI monitoring, Risk Analytics, and location fencing.  

IoT Friendly Security: IoT platform developers can secure their cloud endpoints, and user logins (both admin and customer) against unauthorized access and scripted malware attacks using easy-to-adapt and support multi-layer interactive rainbow secure authentication solutions and services that include but are not limited to security assessment, API Security, secure user onboarding, and risk analytics. 

Secure Data and its Backups We provide Cloud-based data vault and data archive solutions backed by Microsoft Azure and secured by our authentication plugin and industry best practices to give you ransomware protection and help with data governance and disaster mitigation.  

Database Security We provide technical consulting services to Secure Databases in the cloud and on-premise. You get the best protection for your data in databases using native and third-party security tools. 

Meet Compliance Requirements: Use Authentication Plug-in by Rainbow Secure with your business application and in SSO (Single Sign-on) and meet industry standards and compliance regulations such as NIST, ISO, FTC, SOX, SOC2, CMMC, CMMI, HIPAA, PCI, and others.  

Securely communicate and Collaborate: Use Secure Business Email by Rainbow Secure and get protection against account takeover, phishing, ransomware, and automated login cyber frauds. In this email, you get options to send encrypted emails, single sign-on with Office 365, and Google, and 1 TB one drive storage.  

Connect Business applications: Get one unified login using Rainbow Secure Single Sign-On   

Manage User Onboarding / Offboarding using Rainbow Secure IAM  

Verify User using Smart Multi-factor MFA. Smart Multi-Factor Authentication from Rainbow Secure which adjusts to your use case, reduces the cyber liabilities of a business from stolen credentials and improves productivity, and enhances user experience.   

Do you have more questions about how innovative, patented Rainbow Secure solutions can secure your sensitive data, solve login pain, and enhance productivity and user experience while ensuring business continuity? Contact us today. Email us at Hello@rainbowsecure.com 

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