Do You Have a Back to Work Cyber Security Checklist? Why Having a Continuity Plan Is Crucial

cyber security checklist

cyber security checklistA study by the University of Maryland showed hackers attack computers and networks once every 39 seconds.

Is it any wonder cybersecurity is so important?

It is an even bigger concern after an event that disrupts your normal way of doing business, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people working remotely, staying on top of all the potential security threats is challenging.

A good cyber security checklist and business continuity plan can help ease the transition back to work. Let’s look at what you should consider in these plans.

Why a Back-to-Work Cyber Security Checklist Is So Important

When a disaster or other unexpected emergency strikes, you typically do not get a lot of warning. If you do not plan for those situations ahead of time, you may not have enough of a head-start to get it done when the time comes.

You cannot throw many aspects of cyber security together at the last minute anyway. You need to time implement your strategy to ensure your critical data and other business information gets backed up safely and securely.

If you are in the midst of the uncertainty of the situation, you will also be liable to miss important steps. You may not realize you have missed them until you get back to business-as-usual and suddenly cannot recover.

You can look at your plan more objectively and consider every possible contingency when there is no emergency looming over you.

Steps to Take to Ensure Your Security

Several steps are important to take once the situation is under control and you are returning to work. These steps include:

  • Scanning your systems for any potential vulnerabilities
  • Quarantining equipment when it gets connected back to the network
  • Educating your employees about the importance of cyber security
  • Planning for some workers to continue remotely
  • Auditing and updating your cybersecurity strategy

Scan Systems for Any Vulnerabilities

When the situation hit, you may have deployed equipment to staff working remotely. Once the emergency passes, or at least settles down to the point where you can think about getting back to work, it is important to scan those systems.

That equipment was likely connected to the internet without the same protection that your corporate network has. Internet security designed for personal use is not always as effective as corporate systems. There’s a higher risk of malware or other security threats.

Before you connect those systems into your corporate network, which could potentially open it up to outside security threats, scan every system thoroughly for potential risks.

Quarantine Equipment Coming Back to the Network

Once the equipment gets scanned, it is still important to protect the rest of your network against any potential threats it introduces.

Just like people get quarantined from other people when they may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, your IT equipment should be quarantined from your network.

They should be connected to a subnet that is firewalled from your primary network when first returning to work. This process will let the corporate security protocols run on the equipment without exposing the rest of the network to risk.

Employee Education

Educating your employees about cybersecurity is always important but when something unexpected hits, there are new things to consider.

Make sure your employees are aware of the potential risks when they are working remotely and that they understand how those threats can affect the corporate network once they return to the office. They need to be aware of potential attacks and how to avoid them, including:

  • Phishing
  • Viruses and malware
  • Suspicious links on websites
  • Weak passwords
  • WiFi snooping

Plan for Remote Workers

Once the situation eases and you start to get back to the office, there may be some employees who either need to work remotely or would prefer to do so. Your business continuity plan needs to account for that possibility.

When an emergency strikes, you may need to relax some of your normal policies around remote work in order for your business to continue operating. Once the situation passes and things return to normal, you will need to implement those policies again.

That could mean people who want or need to continue working remotely need to make some changes to the way they have been working so far. They might need to upgrade their physical security, install a separate internet service that you can configure for higher security or various other steps to keep your information secure.

Audit and Update Your Cybersecurity Framework

Once the emergency passes and you are back to work, make sure you review your cybersecurity plan. What worked well, what did not work so well, and where were the biggest risks during the situation?

There is no better way to know whether your strategy is effective than having to put it into action.

If you are outsourcing your security and continuity planning with managed IT, like Sagacent Technologies’ disaster recovery services, meet with them to go over the results. They will be able to help you identify any gaps as well as what worked well so you can fine-tune your plans for the future.

Where to Turn for Help With Your Continuity Plan

Creating a cyber security checklist and continuity plan can be challenging, especially if you do not have an in-house IT security team to take care of it for you. It is not an area that you can afford to overlook any important pieces.

If you are looking for help creating a bulletproof continuity plan for your business, Sagacent Technologies can help. Take a free continuity self-assessment and see where there could be gaps in your security.

Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you plan for any unexpected disasters to ensure you will be back up and running as quickly as possible.

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.