Technology has completely changed the way humans live, interact, communicate, and work. With modern technology, it’s possible for someone in Japan to work remotely for a company in Seattle. It’s possible to connect with a high school friend after ten years of no communication via social media. We’re sharing more information than ever, communicating more than ever, and using technology on a daily basis.
But what happens when there’s a technology crisis? What happens when the internet goes down for more than a day? What happens when a hacker gets into a utility system and shuts off the power to millions of people? A modern technology crisis isn’t as unlikely as it sounds, and for all of its uses, modern technology is entirely fragile.
In order to mitigate the impact of a potential technology crisis, it’s important to understand the prevention methods and what must be done in the event of a crisis. Let’s look closer at some of these tips, so you and your business can be better prepared with an immediate response.
Detecting Early Threats
Immediate response requires detecting the threat as early as possible. When a hacker is attempting to break into your system, you want to know as soon as you can, so you can take steps to mitigate the damage the hacker will cause. Or, if you’re about to be hit with a natural disaster, you need to know how much time you have to protect your data and leave the area if you have to.
Threat detection and response software can help you identify a threat before it does any damage to the system. Ideally, you’ll already have a response plan in place, acting quickly to neutralize the threat before it’s irreversible.
Closing Holes In Systems
Detecting threats early on isn’t always enough. Even if you can detect a threat, it can still do damage if there are entry points in your system/servers. It’s crucial that you perform regular maintenance, checking for holes in the system, weak spots, and updating software to the latest versions. Your antivirus software should always be up to date with the latest virus definitions.
Often, negligence causes holes in the system. For example, let’s say you have an employee who regularly uses poor passwords or doesn’t log out of his account each day after his shift. This exposes your organization to potential threats, leaving a hole in the system that an experienced hacker can easily exploit. Don’t forget that a data breach can easily cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a few million in damages, so protecting those weaknesses in your system security is a matter of survival, not just security.
Many businesses store more than just business information, which includes employee data, sales numbers, insider information, and more. They also store customer information, which can be an enormous risk! Some of the biggest data breaches to date have been so costly because everyday people got caught in the crossfire when hackers exposed their data.
This leaves a business vulnerable to legal ramifications and plenty of financial damage. Protecting company information should always be a top priority, but more so, protecting customer information should be at the top of the priority list.
Mitigating Crisis Impact
The scale of a crisis will ultimately decide the impact it causes, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the impact of a potential technology crisis. First and foremost, cybersecurity should be at the top of every business’s priority list. Make the investment in cybersecurity tools to help protect passwords, data, and monitor for threats in real-time. The quicker you can identify a threat, the more quickly you can respond and reduce damage.
It’s also important to be honest with customers if a data breach occurs. Some companies have tried to hide data breaches, which only caused further damage in the long run. Be honest, work with your customers, and get them their data back.
Is A Crisis Looming?
As we become more and more dependent on technology for our daily lives, we inadvertently expose ourselves to the numerous cyberthreats out there. Technology, while designed to excel, can fail at any time, unexpectedly. When this occurs, data is lost, lives are irreversibly changed, and the way we view (and trust) technology begins to change. So, are we on the verge of a technological crisis?
The simple answer is no. While we do have limited technology, it’s become so sophisticated that it’s the user who is more likely to “fail” in some regard instead of the tech itself. Computers are more advanced than ever, and negligence is often the cause of failure. Human error will always be a factor in technology, and one we can’t discount for the severity of its presence.