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Business Disruptions for Information Technology Services

The most frequently occurring natural disasters in the US include flooding, hurricanes, and storms. Natural disasters are dangerous for the well-being of people and could severely harm even the performance of companies. In addition to natural disasters, another threat to the business activity of any company is a cyber attack. In the 21st century, it is one of the most widespread means to destroy a company. What is more, COVID-19 exacerbates the existing situation and leads to a sharp increase in the frequency of cyber attacks (Lallie et al., 2021). The danger of natural disasters and cyber attacks lies in the fact that they might destroy the availability of IT services and, consequently, paralyze the entire organization’s work. The present paper contains recommendations on how to get prepared for these emergency cases.

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The first thing that employees should do if some natural disaster overtakes them at the workplace is to ensure that nothing threatens their life. Even though the smooth operation of the IT department is essential, nothing could be more precious than the life of employees. For example, if water floods the working room and there is a danger of a short circuit, staff members should de-energize the room and leave it as soon as possible.

Even though natural disasters are hard to predict, it is possible to estimate the frequency of floods or hurricanes in the area and develop a plan to minimize the potential costs. According to the study conducted by McKnight and Linnenluecke (2019), there is no big difference between the effectiveness of the anticipatory and reactive response to natural disasters. Nonetheless, it is always better to be prepared for the worst scenario. This way, to avoid flooding it is recommended to move offices of IT departments to higher floors that are not likely to be reached by water. To protect the company from hurricanes and storms, installing electric power generators for emergency cases is recommended.

The consequences of cyberattacks might be even more destructive than ones of natural disasters. It is interesting to notice that ten years ago, a very small percentage of companies took cyberattacks seriously (Balan et al., 2017). Still, the importance of investment in cyber security is indisputable because almost every modern company’s performance depends on electronic data. The danger of cyberattacks lies in the theft of customers data and disruption of a company’s performance, followed by the loss of revenue.

Fortunately, there are several ways how to get prepared for cyber attacks. For instance, Low (2017) argues that one of the most effective ways to protect a company is to purchase cyber insurance. Therefore, employees of the IT department should communicate with the administrative personnel and persuade them to purchase cyber insurance. In addition, employees should ensure that their passwords are strong and should never follow suspicious links that could be sent in e-mails from unknown e-mail addresses.

Finally, employees of the IT debarment should be aware of the first signs of cyberattacks. The most apparent sign that something goes wrong is that an office worker cannot access files, data, or applications that he or she uses on a daily basis during working hours. If a program runs independently from the user’s actions, it also means that the system was hacked. Untypically low speed of the Internet and dubious pop-ups are also reasons for concern.

To conclude, the essential factor that directly affects the ability of employees to respond to various crises and emergencies effectively is the frequency and the quality of training. In other words, Sifers-Grayson IT personnel should never forget what to do in case of flooding, hurricane, storm, or cyber-attacks. It could also be effective to educate employees on the appropriate responses through the simulation of emergencies.

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References

Balan, S., Otto, J., Minasian, E., & Aryal, A. (2017). Data Analysis of Cybercrimes in Businesses. Information Technology & Management Science, 20(1), 64-69. Web.

Lallie, H. S., Shepherd, L. A., Nurse, J. R., Erola, A., Epiphaniou, G., Maple, C., & Bellekens, X. (2021). Cyber security in the age of covid-19: A timeline and analysis of cyber-crime and cyber-attacks during the pandemic. Computers & Security, 105, 102248. Web.

Low, P. (2017). Insuring against cyber-attacks. Computer Fraud & Security, 2017(4), 18-20. Web.

McKnight, B., & Linnenluecke, M. K. (2019). Patterns of firm responses to different types of natural disasters. Business & Society, 58(4), 813-840. Web.

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