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August 25, 2023 | By christa

Testing and Updating Emergency Response Plans

It’s no secret: our digital world is constantly under siege from cyberattacks and other IT disasters. Companies try their best to keep data safe, but no system is perfect.

That’s why having a plan to deal with emergencies is so important. However, just having a plan isn’t enough; you need to test it and keep improving it so you’re ready if something bad happens. Otherwise, you’ll be left scrambling without the right resources when your whole system is on the line!

The Importance of Emergency Response Plan Testing

Having an emergency response plan is absolutely crucial for any organization. These plans play a role in ensuring that when IT-related crises occur they can be swiftly and efficiently addressed. However, creating the plan itself is the starting point. It is equally important to test the plan and ensure its ability to handle any IT-related crisis. Unfortunately, many organizations often neglect this step.

According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, only 25% of businesses consistently incorporate an incident response plan into their operations with a mere 14% testing these plans more than once annually. What’s more alarming is that a staggering 66% of organizations identify a lack of planning as the primary obstacle preventing them from being resilient against cyberattacks.

Here are a few advantages of testing your emergency plan:

Identifies Potential Gaps

Identifying potential gaps in communication, decision-making processes, and resource allocation can help organizations stay ahead of the curve.

Prepares Employees

Practice drills make it easier for employees to know their roles during an emergency situation – reducing stress and boosting efficiency.

Refines Procedures

By testing procedures under real-world conditions, companies are able to fine-tune plans so they remain adaptable and effective when needed most.

The Importance of Updating an Emergency Response Plan

Regularly updating and reviewing your emergency response plan is an essential part of maintaining a cyber-resilient organization. Not only does it keep the plan up-to-date with the current IT environment, but can potentially reduce the impact of any incidents.

According to IBM’s 2021 Cyber Resilient Organization Report, 38% of organizations seen improved resiliency by updating their plans regularly.

Here are just a few benefits of updating your emergency plan:

Adapts to Emerging Threats

Updating your emergency plan ensures that you have up-to-date procedures ready to handle whatever new kinds of attacks may come up.

Addresses Changes to IT infrastructure

As an organization adopts new technologies or updates its existing IT infrastructure, the emergency response plan must also be adjusted to reflect these changes.

Accounts for Employee Changes 

Employee roles and responsibilities can change over time – updating the plan ensures that the right individuals are assigned the appropriate tasks.

Be Proactive, Be Resilient

A well-crafted emergency response plan’s effectiveness hinges on regular testing and updates. Testing can help you recognize any weak points in the system as well as get your team familiarized with how to put the plan into action. Plus, keeping up-to-date with changes such as new security threats or technologies will ensure that your organization remains secure and prepared for anything.

Don’t get caught off guard by an IT emergency – be proactive, stay informed, and remain resilient. By dedicating yourself to constantly testing and updating your response plans, you’re not only safeguarding your organization’s digital assets but also positioning yourself for a more resilient future.

LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 20-200 employees across the Chicagoland area

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