More companies are turning to cloud services to host their servers and software. In fact, Cisco is predicting that by 2018, 28% of the total cloud workloads will be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
IaaS allows companies to move the burden of server and software management out of their offices and into the cloud. Such a move lets businesses focus more time and effort on their core business strategies.
However, cloud services don’t lessen the need for tightly integrated and coordinated security plans. Knowing who to call at any given time and which teams will be involved, should any type of data breach occur, now has elevated importance.
As one of our clients discovered not too long ago, a data breach can be a “near death experience” for any business. Here’s how to prepare your business to handle a data security breach quickly and less painfully.
The Key Players
When server and software management are done in-house, there is a convenience of knowing everyone needed is on location when security issues arise. Speed of putting teams together usually isn’t an issue given the proximity of team members.
Once server and software management become more distributed (e.g. cloud services) and more teams become involved, though, resolving problems can become more complex and time consuming without proper coordination.
It’s important to know who the key players are. Some might include the following:
- Server hosting company
- Backup service company
- Software service company
- Security management/analysis company
The number of players will depend on how distributed your systems are.
Once any type of security problem arises, having one or two people available to coordinate multiple distributed teams will become critical. An overall team leader can mean the difference between a few hours of work to resolve data breach issues, or a few days.
Backup Validation – One of the Most Critical Tests You Can Perform
Consistently running backups is a great practice. But without periodic validation, they’re just a black box. When you need them most, you might reach for your backups only to find they don’t restore or that you haven’t been creating the right backups (full vs. incremental, file vs. OS, etc.).
Just as consistent backing up is good practice, consistent backup validation should be part of that practice.
Backup validation does require more work. Backups are automatic and require little human interaction. On the other hand, backup validation is a manual, labor-intensive process. But the time invested can far outweigh the surprise of incorrect or non-functional backups.
Your Response Plan
We’ve seen that several teams might need to be involved in the case of any cloud-based data breach. To create a robust response plan, having a coordinator who can quickly route information between teams and contact people as needed is critical. Additionally, periodic validation of backups to determine what exactly is being backed up fills another potential hole in any response plan.
Creating a checklist ahead of time will help with workflow as you progress through any security issue. Certain teams can have their own checklist for their specific tasks. A coordinator checklist will help in orchestrating overall progress of teams.
To summarize, your plan should look similar to the following:
- Decide on an overall multi-team coordinator
- Conduct a periodic validation of backups
- Create checklists for each team
- Create a checklist for the coordinator to help orchestrate all teams
If you’d to read more about data protection, 5 Simple Yet Powerful Ways to Protect Your Data is well worth the read.
A response plan for a data breach scenario involves constantly looking for any point of potential breakdown and providing suggestions for possible solutions. While a data breach can be a time-consuming endeavor to resolve, being prepared lessens the chance of data or revenue loss.
Is Your Company Prepared?
Your managers and your IT team need to work together to make sure your whole company is as secure as possible. If you have any concerns at all about your data security, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Fluid IT Services.