What to include in a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery plan

What to include in a Cybersecurity Disaster Recovery plan

Table of Contents

What is your disaster recovery plan if the unimaginable happens to your company? What is your procedure for resuming normal operations if ransomware is injected into your system by malicious actors? When you Google “What should I do if I have a cybersecurity breach,” the first twenty results will all begin with “Refer to your cybersecurity disaster recovery plan (DRP).” It doesn’t matter how big or little your company is; a little planning ahead of time can save you a lot of grief if calamity strikes.

Choosing the appropriate person to lead

It’s critical to have clear lines of communication between whoever owns the cybersecurity DRP and the entire enterprise DRP, whether it’s an internal team or an external contractor.

In the event of a security incident, the person or persons who own the cybersecurity DRP should be the first responders, and they should know your enterprise DRP inside and out. Their after-hours contact information should be near the top of your designated respondent list (written on Page One of your printed enterprise DRP). Department heads and other key stakeholders will need to assist first responders with the establishment and maintenance of cybersecurity disaster recovery plans.

To secure cooperation and support across your organization, first responders will need assistance getting the awareness and attention the plan requires. It’s critical to find a qualified person to lead your effort who is organized, passionate about what they do, and an outstanding communicator who is comfortable interfacing with people from various divisions across your entire organization who have varying degrees of technical understanding. 

You’ll need input from all sections of your company to identify departmental essentials, vital tools, and data in order to establish an effective cybersecurity DRP. Each region should be represented by a dedicated representative, with your cybersecurity DRP leader coordinating information and requests. These departmental representatives will also be helpful in developing “worst-case scenario” exercises and building friction-free communication channels.

Determine which tools and data are most important

When working with departments and communicating with team representatives, it’s crucial to learn which specific software, apps, information, and systems are critical to each department’s continuing operational functionality. This data is crucial for restarting operations quickly and with minimal disruption.

Conduct an audit to determine which tools and data are most critical for each department’s proper operation. Prepare for a wide range of requirements from different departments. What matters to the dispatch department, for example, will be vastly different from what matters to your sales team on the road, the finance department, or human resources.

Some of these requirements may be time- or season-dependent, with some resources being more necessary in the run-up to the end of the year, for example. Payroll data could be more important in the week leading up to payday. Some departments’ data usage may even differ in the mornings vs the afternoons. To get the most out of this activity, departmental knowledge is essential, and your department members will provide useful insight. Make sure you know where your vital data is backed up, how and where to replace critical tools and software, who needs what degrees of access, and who the departmental stakeholders are.

Create a list of conceivable cybersecurity crisis scenarios that could influence your operations, department by department, and for the entire firm. Identifying potential flaws ahead of time provides you with a window into your vulnerabilities and, as a result, knowledge of how to address them.

What would you do if a disgruntled former employee, for example, deleted data before leaving your company? What would you do if viruses or malware ruined crucial data? If you opt to do a thorough IT audit and analyze a backup solution at the same time, human error and hardware damage could be part of the exercise.

Many difficulties will surface as a result of creating this documentation and discovering your weak places, which you can solve right away. Knowing your vulnerabilities and defining and documenting how you would respond is the first step.

Make a communication strategy

Who needs to know about a cybersecurity incident, especially if it happens during off-hours, and how will you notify them? Streamlining recovery activities will require creating a prioritized list of those who need to be informed and whose knowledge is vital to operations restoration.

Furthermore, how will you notify customers, suppliers, or vendor partners of the presence of a security breach, if applicable? Who will be in charge of media inquiries? How will you inform the rest of the team? Although not every breach necessitates contact with all affected parties, a strategy should specify how and when these interactions should take place, as well as who is responsible for them.

Make your way around the table

Make some coffee (and biscuits), gather a stack of sticky notes, and gather everyone around a table to rehearse. Take a look at some of your circumstances and consider how you’d recover from them.


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