Statistically one in five Canadian businesses will fall victim to a cyberattack. Whether sensitive information is compromised from a lost or stolen device, human error or hacked network, the tactics used by cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated, making it harder to detect a threat.

While the sheer number of cyberattacks continue to rise year-over-year, having an effective disaster plan in place is crucial to minimize damage. Also known as a data breach plan, the purpose of a disaster plan is to lessen the impact of a cyberattack on business operations while reducing the amount of time it takes to stop the breach and restore operations.

To begin creating your disaster plan, you first need to consider what data and assets need protection and the risks involved with them. Although this process should be done through a formal risk assessment, breaches will be easier to prevent once you have a better understanding of where your organization is most vulnerable.

Following your risk assessment, you can begin to develop your incident response strategy to provide vital information on how to detect breaches and taking action. Part of this process should include creating a response team with personnel from IT, Legal, Operational, PR, HR and Risk Management if possible, along with emergency contact numbers. You should also be appointing someone from your response team as the incident lead to coordinate the overall response should one occur.

To help outline what steps should be immediately taken following a breach, your plan should include the following operational procedures:

  • Determine the breach source – you’ll first need to figure out the origins of the breach whether it was an online attack or data leakage through other means.
  • Examination and control – as breaches can stem from both internal or external sources, you’ll want to outline how to restore security in light of a breach of any origin.
  • Impact assessment – once a breach has been resolved, it’s important to assess what risks it created for the business and any affected individuals.
  • Restoration – repairs on data and systems will be needed before you can resume regular business operations.
  • Initiate communication strategies – a communication strategy is needed to properly inform affected individuals and federal regulatory bodies. Necessary materials such as templates, a press release, or an FAQ to guide staff through the notification process should be created in advance to ensure timely communication.
  • Learn from the incident – once business operations are back to normal, take time to evaluate your overall response. Make note of what lessons were learned from the event and apply them to the response plan to be better prepared for future incidents.

Lastly, your disaster plan must include any processes, techniques, checklists and templates that the response team would need in the event of a breach. It’s also recommended that you test your response plan at least once a year. By doing so, you’ll be ensuring that any significant changes to the business are kept up-to-date in the plan such as technology and location updates.

7 Ways Cyber Insurance Enhances Your Disaster Planning

While the severity of the event will ultimately determine the overall cost of a data breach, average reported numbers for have ranged anywhere from $120,000 to $3.9 million with an average downtime of 23 hours. Unfortunately, what these figures don’t consider is lost business or clients and the tarnished reputation as the result of a breach.

When time is of the essence and your livelihood is at stake, many businesses opt for a Cyber insurance policy to provide total peace of mind. With coverage tailored to SME organizations, Cyber policies can help fulfill some of the procedures outlined in disasters plan by providing coverage for:

  1. Costs for crisis services including contracting forensic experts, legal, breach notification, and PR.
  2. Acts of cybercrime such as ransomware attacks, social engineering fraud, malware, and hacking.
  3. Business interruption and any restoration services for damaged data or hardware.
  4. Network security and privacy liability.
  5. Media liability.
  6. Technology errors and omissions.
  7. Court attendance costs.

As organizations continue to rely on modern technology to fulfill operations, Cyber insurance is designed to address these risks in ways that other types of coverage won’t. To find out more about your coverage needs, contact our brokers today. Our team has the specialty knowledge and skills to identify your areas of risk in order to provide you with a policy that’s tailored to fit your unique situation.