The Three P’s of Cyber-Survival

Erik Bernstein computer security, crisis management, crisis planning, crisis preparation, Crisis Prevention, Crisis Response, cyber threats, cybersecurity, disaster preparedness, Erik Bernstein, hackers, hacking, internet crisis management, internet security, Jonathan Bernstein, online crisis management 1 Comment

The cyber war is on, protect yourself now

South Korea was hit by a major cyber attack Wednesday as the computer systems of two major banks, three broadcasters and others simultaneously crashed, raising suspicions that North Korea was to blame.

On some computer screens, images of skulls with glowing red eyes popped up along with cackling laughter.

Although it appears the attack, which began about 2 p.m., was designed more to frighten than to destroy, it highlighted the vulnerability of one of the world’s most wired, tech-dependent countries. Some banking operations were virtually paralyzed during the afternoon.

This quote, from an LA Times article by Jung-yoon Choi and Barbara Demick, is just another in a string of examples that prove the dire need for heightened Internet security.

The cyber wars are on, and while governments are doing battle, any organization that’s connected to the web (aka, all of them) are the potential casualties.

How can you protect your organization from the potential fallout?

Prevent – At this point, disruption of computer systems absolutely falls under the category of “likely” crises. Determine the most effective ways to secure your networks and repel attacks, and train employees on how to recognize and avoid risks.

Plan – Once your systems are down, it’s going to be awfully difficult to formulate a plan of action. Plan in advance for ways to communicate, both internally and externally, and determine how you can continue on with business even without access to computer systems or the ‘net.

Practice – If you’ve even been in a checkout line when the electronic registers go down, you know what a mess even a minor loss of technology can create. In order for your organization to function in the midst of chaos, you have to be practiced. An old favorite, the fire drill, can be adapted to this. Have your IT people simulate a cyber attack by purposely disrupting or blocking access to electronic systems and enact your plans. Afterward, have a “lessons learned” session and adapt your plan according to what worked, as well as what didn’t.

There WILL be even more widespread and sophisticated cyber attacks, and it’s only a matter of time until they affect your organization. As with crisis management for just about any type of situation, it pays to be ready. Follow the three P’s, and steel your organization against this growing threat.

Erik Bernstein
Social Media Manager

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