If you are responsible for disaster recovery (DR) planning in
your organization, you not only have to prepare recovery procedures, but you
also have to think of all the ways a disaster can occur so that you can try to
prevent them. Obviously, there’s not much you can do about weather-related
events or a massive blackout, but if you’re not lucky enough to have a security
specialist on your staff, you do have to make sure your network doesn’t have
gaping holes in it.

Your organization becomes a greater target for threats the
larger it is. Or, if your organization isn’t that large, but it is a
“rich” target in other respects, you have to expect malicious attacks.
The type of threat I’m talking about is one against your digital assets; this
can be anything from a hacker claiming that they have already stolen
confidential information, to a former employee alleging that a Trojan horse is
already in your environment and could be triggered at any time.

Of course, just because someone makes a threat doesn’t mean
that it is real. This is where you need to make sure you’ve got all your bases
covered. You will either have to prove to management that the threat isn’t
credible from a technical perspective, or be ready to document just how much
exposure there could be due to a gap
in your data protection systems.

This is a bit more complex than it sounds, especially if you
are, indeed, about to discover a hole in your security net. Let’s first take a
look at what happens if all is well. You’re going to have to prove this, beyond
any shadow of a doubt. That means testing all security systems by all
reasonable means to ensure that there’s no way you can find that someone could
have gotten in. One way to offset this laborious task is to invest in preemptive
tools that help you conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments. You
can start by researching products such as:

If you’ve really done your homework, you can report back that
everything is safe, and that the threat is bogus.

However, if you find a gap, you’ll have to completely document
it right away. You should also immediately patch it if you can, to prevent future
hackers from getting in through the same door. Your responsibilities don’t end
there. You will need to go in through that same security hole and find all
possible points of data that could have been compromised. While this is going
to be an embarrassing procedure, it is critical that you perform these
activities as quickly and effectively as possible.

TechRepublic provides some downloads to help assess and
respond to threats methodically:

Until the scope of the potential damage is discovered, you
cannot begin to repair it. It’s best to be prepared, but when confronted with a
threat, you must act quickly and decisively, no matter what the cause or
potential for damage.

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