Cyber Threats Add New Urgency to Need for Business Continuity Planning

Today businesses face multiple security and continuity challenges in both macro and micro environments. The old standby “disrupters” include weather events, power outages, fiber cuts, server problems and human error, to name a few. But the new and most prevalent threat is cybercrime, which is escalating at an incredible pace.

The 2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report claims that ransomware attacks have increased nearly 200x, from 3.8 million in 2015 to 638 million in 2016. As staggering as those numbers are, the threat will only intensify as machines and devices continue to connect all over the globe, including the so-called Internet of Things (IoT). The recent WannaCry and Petya malware incidents are two recent examples of heightened stakes. They took control of tens of thousands of computers worldwide and demanded digital ransom from their owners to regain access.

Today, the unfortunate reality is that no organization is immune from the myriad threats that are capable of compromising networks, computers and phone systems, making it imperative to have a business continuity plan – and a partner like TPx – to provide voice and data continuity as needed. More than a third of the organizations that experienced a cyber breach in 2016 reported a loss of customers, business opportunities and revenue, according to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. And the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a major disaster. Companies that that lose their information technology for nine days or more typically file for bankruptcy within a year.

So what’s a business owner (or manager or CIO) to do? While the threats are new, the solution is the same as it’s been for years — break out those business continuity and disaster recovery plans and bring them up to date. The Information Technology portion of your plan should include provisions for the loss of:

  • Server or computer room
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Voice and Data Connectivity

If you don’t have a plan in place and aren’t sure where to start, TechTarget’s SearchDisasterRecovery has a decent starter template available here. You can also download TPx’s data sheet on calculating your cost of downtime for a set of important questions you should ask yourself when developing your plan. If you want a comprehensive assessment with technology recommendations and planning, your TPx representative is happy to help as well.

Regardless of what level of assistance you need, the key to any continuity or recovery plan is making it and keeping it up to date – especially with the latest risk assessments having less to do with random accidents than intentional acts of malice.

Solutions That Give You Peace of Mind

Protecting your company’s hard-earned customers, brand value and reputation from threats both natural and digital can be a daunting task. Partnering with a firm like TPx can help you protect your business with a range of best-in-class continuity solutions. Our team can help you engineer reliable solutions on-time and on-budget. Options include:

  • UCx – The distributed nature of TPx’s UCx service means that your communications infrastructure will still be available in the event of a power outage, storm, fire or other disaster. Because UCx resides on the TPx network and not on your premises, it’s easy to redirect calls to an alternate location or mobile phone.
  • SD-WAN – Our award-winning ITx for WAN powered by SD-WAN allows you to mix-and-match any type of transport (provided by TPx or your local Internet provider) to securely and seamlessly failover to any or all of TPx’s core services.
  • Fixed Wireless – Our award-winning OneAir Fixed Wireless® delivers highly scalable, SLA-guaranteed connectivity powerful enough to be your primary connection. But for redundancy applications, it’s backhoe-proof and stands up to weather problems when major fiber connections fail.
  • SSAE 16 Datacenters – Top-of-the-line SSAE 16 datacenters support your business continuity needs in secure colocation environments that provide dedicated space for your equipment and data storage.
  • Managed Firewall Solutions – The best way to achieve optimal protection is to layer your network with managed firewall solutions, thwarting malicious attacks before they gain a foothold.
  • Managed Workstations and Servers – delivers the right skills to ensure that your users’ desktops and laptops as well as your servers remain healthy and stable with patches, security and application updates
  • Microsoft Office 365 – Service continuity provisions are part of the Office 365 system design. These provisions enable Office 365 to recover quickly from unexpected events such as hardware or application failure, data corruption, or other incidents that affect users. And if there’s a problem, we’ll work with Microsoft for you.
  • Backup and Recovery Solutions – You also can reduce the risk of data loss with server backup and recovery solutions that protect you remotely over the Internet.

About the Author

Matt Mair is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for ITx Managed Services. His role includes marketing and communications for TPx’s suite of managed IT offerings including Managed SD-WAN, LAN Monitoring, Office 365, Workstation and Servers Management, Colocation and Server Backup solutions. Matt holds an MBA from Michigan State University’s Broad School of Business and resides in Los Angeles.