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9 Cybersecurity Practices to Ensure Business Continuity

By Jessica Day, Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad

Nowadays, a company's ability to do business depends almost entirely on cybersecurity measures, business continuity protocols, and disaster recovery plans. As a digital entrepreneur, building a strong and reliable business continuity strategy should be your first step coming up with a robust business model canvas.

When you stop and think about it, a digital company cannot succeed in 2021 without the necessary cybersecurity protocols to ensure business continuity. Put simply: in the digital era ecommerce growth is directly related to a company's ability to ensure business continuity. The data backs this up. According to Statista, 25% of companies that suffered outages during 2020, lost between 301,000 and 400,000 US dollars.

average-cost-per-hour-enterprise-server-downtime 

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1.   Backup (a lot)

One of the first consequences of business outages is the loss of important data. In order to ensure that you do not jeopardize sensitive data, you should always backup all essential intel following the 3-2-1 backup rule.

In essence, a 3-2-1 backup plan includes having three copies of data storage across multiple locations: the original, a first backup stored onsite, and a second backup located offsite. This way, you can always have access to data if any of the backups fail.

2.   More Than Just a Backup System

Although having a backup strategy is a good way to store information safely, sometimes companies need a more radical approach. When a site is attacked or the data is lost due to accidental breaches, digital businesses need to take action as quickly as possible.

Operational recovery is a very good practice in that regard. Operational recoveries allow organizations to recover data and files on a day-to-day basis, thanks to constant restores.

These recoveries are not performed by offsite data centers or cloud providers and are used almost instantly and pretty much every day. This gives your company the opportunity to react quickly, minimizing the consequences and returning the system to a safe state that allows you to carry on doing business as usual.

3.   How to Fight Cloud Outages

As we have previously mentioned, in this day and age most companies rely on digital services such as cloud computing or cloud-hosted communication systems. Since the vast majority of companies use cloud collaboration platforms to keep their remote workers connected, having a bulletproof cloud is essential to ensure business continuity.

The best way to combat cloud failure is to rely on multi-cloud services that operate across various clouds. This approach follows the same logic as IoT network segmentation. The main point here is that segmenting the network allows companies to avoid jeopardizing the entire business operation if one part of the digital infrastructure fails. 

 

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4.   List Your Priorities

The first step towards being ready for a possible disaster is being able to identify the key business areas that you need to protect the most and which critical functions would need to recover faster.

A business continuity plan is not solely aimed at protecting your company's ability to do business, it is also important to know what to do when things go south - because, at some point, they probably will.

On that note, it is important to determine an acceptable downtime for those aforementioned critical functions, to be able to react accordingly when any potential problems start to jeopardize the business operation.

5.   Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

Although we have hinted at this in our previous point, it's time to clarify: sometimes business outages are inevitable. For that reason, it is essential that you are ready for any potential issues.

When a cybersecurity incident takes place, your top business continuity priority should be recovering as fast as you can. Follow these steps to recover quickly:

●      Understand where the problem is coming from and what specific vulnerability caused it.

●      Execute the necessary measures to mitigate the consequences.

●      Recover all your data and services.

●      Document what happened and how, to prevent any similar problems in the future.

6.   Have an Alternative Communication Channel

As previously mentioned in this post, many remote teams depend on VoIP services and digital communication systems to stay connected and work collaboratively. If your business continuity is threatened, their ability to communicate might be affected too.

However, this is not the only part of brand communication that you should be concerned about. In many cases, the best call center software services also rely on similar technologies.As a result, your customer service department can also be affected by poor business continuity.

Those potential issues can affect your client support experts' ability to do their job. Put simply, if you don't want your call center analytics to take a dramatic nosedive, you should have an alternative communication channel to rely on.

If you want to have options, then you should consider the possibility of having both VoIP and PBX phone systems. If one fails, you can always resort to the other. Although they are very similar, VoIP and PBX systems have some key differences:

●      VoIP phones give you more features such as instant messaging, video calling, and conference call services. However, these devices are vulnerable to internet outages.

●      PBX systems, on the other hand, mitigate the risks of hacking and power/Internet outages. However, both systems have specific features in common, such as the possibility of managing parked calls.

7.   Understand Contractual Obligations

When it comes to cybersecurity protocols, it is vital to know your company's contractual data security compliance obligations. This is especially true for ecommerce platforms that operate in the PCI (Payment by Card Industry). In that regard, following the Data Security Standards is just the beginning.

Being ready for any legal action or possible scrutiny from customers and authorities alike is another key element of business continuity. Getting trapped in a never-ending legal litigation can affect your brand image and business continuity.

 

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8.   Test Your Business

Regular testing is an integral part of business continuity and disaster recovery plans. These tests allow your cybersecurity teams to assess vulnerabilities and mitigate risks to reduce the chances of any potential issues taking place.

Additionally, these disaster recovery drills and mock business outages can be used to train your cybersecurity team, to sharpen their ability to get your business up and running.

9.   Train Your Employees

Although we have mentioned the importance of having cybersecurity experts in your workforce it is essential to note that regular employees - and remote workers especially - are equally integral to your business continuity strategies.

Training your staff members to ensure that they have some basic cybersecurity and disaster recovery notions is vital to ensure that your business is both safe and able to recover quickly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Day - Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Jessica Day 

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern call center outsourcing company that takes every kind of conversation to the next level-turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.

Published Monday, June 07, 2021 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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