“To err is human; to forgive, divine,” especially when you have a recovery methodology in place.
It is a certainty that people will make mistakes. This is especially true when speaking about technology. People will yank the wrong plug, click on a malicious link, open a suspicious email attachment, or compromise an entire network with a personal usb key. They trip, spill and sync dangerous third-party apps to the network. They visit inappropriate and unsafe websites. They delete business critical files, both accidentally and intentionally. It’s natural, we are humans after all.
The human error factor can cripple your business via losing important files, deleting accounts, compromising a server or completely shutting down your critical systems.
The Uptime Institute estimates that 70% of data problems are caused by human mistakes. Unless your business is entirely staffed by robots with fail-safe error controls who themselves are backed up by other robots, you’re at risk whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.
In regards to warning times, it is very unlikely an employee will walk into your office and announce that today is the day they will make the biggest mistake of their lives. Do not expect any advance notice of human errors, simply assume they will occur at the worst of times.
Human error can have a much higher potential for injuries in certain industries, such as construction and aviation, however the consequences of human error can be disastrous in more sedate industries. Verify your employees are trained on what to do as well as what not to do during various “disaster” scenarios, whether it be a ransomware attack or someone accidentally deleting a critical directory. Providing training to employees regarding common methods of attack or best practices can serve to eliminate many of the disasters before they occur.
As they say, “the show must go on”. Make sure you have the IT failover you need to make sure that it does. It is necessary to have multiple point-in-time backups that allow you to quickly restore your data and systems to the state they were in the moment before whatever happened. Equally important is the presence of a multi-layered security environment that prevents most disasters from ever occurring in the first place.
It is also an excellent idea to research and implement cyber insurance policies that will help protect your business from catastrophic financial loss. Keep in mind however, it is very difficult to find an insurance carrier willing to write a policy that specifically covers oopsies.
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