How to Develop a Cybersecurity Contingency Plan ASAP

If your small business was struck by a severe cyberattack or suffered a data breach today, what would you do? Would you even know how to respond?

If the above questions leave you scratching your head, your company probably doesn't have a cybersecurity contingency plan. This is a problem. A contingency plan will help guide you and your staff to make the right decisions during a digital crisis. Without this, you could face additional attacks, internal chaos and greater financial damages.

Here, CyberPolicy will demonstrate the importance of crafting a cybersecurity response plan and how to do so. Keep in mind; any contingency plan should incorporate a cyber insurance policy to protect your SMB from the ravages of data breach and cyberattack.

Preparing for the Worst
Let's be clear-no organization is immune to the threats of data breach and cyberattack. A large-scale organization may have the digital infrastructure to withstand a direct hit, but SMBs typically lack the resilience of an enterprise giant.

In fact, research shows small businesses are actually more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals. This is why your company needs to develop a contingency plan as soon as possible.

According to Harvard Business Journal, while many organizations have incident-response plans, few truly operationalize them: \"Often, the documentation prescribing how to act in the event of a breach is out of date, inaccessible to key decision makers, generic, unhelpful for guiding specific activities, or some combination of the above.\"

Frankly though, if you take the time to create a response plan, you might as well use it. Make it a point to discuss the plan with your staff during your quarterly cybersecurity training sessions. This will ensure adhering to the plan is second nature to your teams.

Practices to incorporate into your incident-response plan include:

  1. Developing a chain of command so employees know where to report an incident. This can take different forms. For example, a staff member could report to their immediate superior or directly to IT.
  2. Assigning an executive or business leader to oversee the response plan, communicate between teams and check in on various business units.
  3. Quarantining the infected device(s) or isolate your network to prevent the spread of malware.
  4. Crafting and sharing a quick-response guide to common cyberattacks so that everyone in the organization knows what to do.
  5. Keeping a backup of important data. This way, if you are victimized by a cyberattack or data breach your operations won't come to a grinding halt.
  6. Reporting the incident to your cyber insurance policy provider, local authorities and any external security agencies (if applicable). These partners are more than willing to help you assess damages and tackle next steps.
  7. Alerting your customers when personal or financial data is leaked. Offer credit monitoring to your customers to help them avoid financial harm.

With a contingency plan in place, you can limit damage and reduce recovery times. Combine this with a cyber insurance policy from CyberPolicy and you can also reduce the financial damages suffered by your small business.

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