From the California wildfires and Hurricanes Florence and Michael to rampant data exposures, the Russian VPNFilter, and other major cyberattacks, 2018 has forced many organizations to put their business continuity systems and disaster recovery plans to the test.
As 2018 comes to a close, here’s a look at what experts believe 2019 likely has in store in terms of the threats to – and the evolution of – business continuity and disaster recovery.
1. More Targeted Ransomware Attacks & A Rise in Cryptojacking
While ransomware will continue to present a major threat to organizations in the coming year, ransomware attacks are expected to be:
- More targeted, with fewer random attacks and far more pointed, larger attacks – Specifically, experts believe that cybercriminals will focus on targeting major organizations (rather than isolated individuals or smaller agencies) where they can find larger amounts of data.
- Increasingly replaced by cryptojacking schemes – These attacks use compromised websites to infect devices and mine cryptocurrencies. Consequently, they remove one step (the payment demand) from the equation. This means that cybercriminals can directly access the payments (cryptocurrencies) they are looking for, rather than having to wait for someone to make a ransom payment. This latest tactic in cyberattacks will continue to take center stage in 2019.
2. Increasing Moves to Proactively Migrate Data Around Potential Threats
With the current state of business continuity and disaster recovery strategies and systems, many organizations are in the “response” position, meaning that they are acting after
being targeted by a specific threat.
In the New Year, however, experts predict a shift from the reactive position to the proactive position, meaning that more organizations will be focused on proactively:
- Identifying the risks threatening their data, security, and business continuity
- Moving their data to bypass these risks before they present a real threat or cause real damage.
3. Business Reputations Being More Closely Tied to Their Crisis Responses
If 2018 and recent past years have taught us anything about crises, disaster recovery, and business continuity, it’s that no organization is completely immune to threats like natural disasters, severe weather events, cyberattacks, and/or active shooters.
In fact, what has become clear is that, after any of these threats emerges and compromises safety, privacy, and/or data, communities are paying close attention to:
- How businesses and agencies respond
- What measures are taken to avoid and minimize the risk of similar attacks in the future.
In 2019, experts anticipate that this attention will only become more focused and that communities will judge organizations based on their responses to emergency situations. Some even expect that this judgment will be especially crucial when it comes to how organizations participate in and support community-wide recovery efforts (i.e., not just their own organization’s recovery).
For instance, organizations’ responses – or lack of response – following large-scale disasters will likely play an increasingly significant role in how communities perceive that business following the disaster. In other words, the public will be paying attention to – and will likely be making purchasing decisions based on their perceptions of whether – organizations simply take measures to protect their profits or
whether they are supporting community recovery efforts in the aftermath of crises.
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Predictions for 2019: The Bottom Line
When it comes to emerging trends in disaster recovery and business continuity for the New Year, the bottom line is that:
- The threats are growing increasingly advanced, pervasive, and unpredictable.
- How organizations respond to these threats is a major point of public concern.
- The better organizations are at mitigating – and, ideally, proactively responding to – threats, the better they can protect their bottom lines and their reputation.
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