If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that you should expect the unexpected. Last week, Garmin—a popular multinational technology company and maker of an array of products for athletes—was the victim of a ransomware attack that took down many of its services for several days, sending their customer base into an internet frenzy. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and businesses remain their main target, largely due to the wealth of data each business retains. Information such as trade secrets, confidential communication, customer information, and HR records are stored on company’s computers, and protecting this information must be a top priority for any company. It only takes one security breach or unexpected disaster to make a company leader regret not having sufficient processes in place to store, recover and utilize their data.
Businesses need a proactive, documented plan called a Crisis Management Plan that anticipates potential threats and guides the restoration of operations in the event of a physical or digital disaster. Cyberattacks and data breaches can cost companies many thousands of dollars (often times millions), lost time, revenue, and credibility. Additionally, staying abreast (or finding someone who is) of ever-changing current industry laws and regulatory compliance is particularly important. If you are not skilled in these areas, it is important to consult with professionals who are. A few areas to start assessing your business’ Crisis Management Plan include the following:
By preparing your Crisis Management Plan before a time of crisis, a company can stay ahead in this ever-changing world of global pandemics and cybersecurity. In the end, Garmin was criticized only for slow communication back to their customers, but reports the company was able to recover its data from backups and stated, “We have no indication that any customer data, including payment information from Garmin Pay, was accessed, lost or stolen.”
Although those Garmin users who could not upload or access their data for a few days might have wanted a faster Crisis Management Plan plan; from a business standpoint, I say, well done, Garmin. Well done.
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