Data loss is the center of focus of business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR), as this is the lifeblood of business operations today. Any business threatening IT-related disaster resulting in significant loss of data is risky for companies of any size. As a result, backing up information is essential to business continuity planning (Rouse). However, some organizations still have not appreciated the importance of embracing BC/DR, which led to them being subject to cyberattacks, which brought about the loss of substantial data. For instance, the ransomware attack in the City of Atlanta in March 2018. Two months before, a cyber audit showed the presence of vulnerabilities in Atlanta’s systems (Deere). This was further exacerbated by the obsolete software and an IT culture grounded on undocumented processes. The SamSam blackhats took advantage of the loopholes and crippled the city’s government computer systems, therefore, interfering with many city services. These include courts, parking services, and police records, among others. This led to the computer systems being shut down for five days and much data being lost. Moreover, although the blackhats demanded a $52,000 ransomware payment, the overall cost of mitigation was more than $17 million.
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The specific BCP/DR best practice that was not followed was the city’s IT department did not have funding for business continuity and disaster recovery plans; hence, it lacked such a strategy (Deere). It is recommended that the department create a BCP plan that outlines unique threats and protocols for prevention and recovery (Rouse). This will enable recovery to take a shorter period. Second, there were no prevention strategies; the audit identified approximately 1,500 to 2,000 vulnerabilities with no evidence of mitigation of root causes (Deere). To prevent this, Atlanta City should be proactive about implementing technologies and protocols that avert disruptive events from occurring.
Deere, Stephen. “Confidential Report: Atlanta’s Cyber Attack Could Cost Taxpayers $17 Million.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Web.
Rouse, Margaret. “What Is BCDR? Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Guide.” Techtarget, Web.