Though a virus seldom causes hardware failure, there are instances where a virus can disrupt the operation of an infected system. More instances occur when a virus results in data loss or data theft - which can be measured in terms of the value of deleted information to the user, and in certain instances data being held for ransom - resulting in disastrous consequences. It is imperative you locate the threat, protect the system, and remediate the damages to prevent harm to the critical data. These objectives can be achieved through a self-healing network.
The concept of a self-healing network was formed to minimize downtime, and close the gap between problem identification and its resolution. This process also extends into incident prediction. A thorough understanding of the company's data, recognizing the threats, and isolating those threats once they occur, will create the foundation of a self- healing network.
The Dangers of Undetected and Untreated Malware
Malware is considered the largest nefarious threat to companies of all sizes. Its sole intent is to be disruptive as possible by causing damage. Harm occurs in the form of stealing data, holding data hostage, and impacting the usefulness of a system - which results in diminished productivity.
Malware can infiltrate your company's network system and access client data. The data can be held hostage - forcing you and your resources to spend hours recovering the data, or paying a ransom to the attackers if there is no data recovery process in place. While inside the system, malware can seek out proprietary and confidential information. Kiss that secret family recipe, or that proprietary information goodbye. In addition, if the server holding all of the firm's financial information is vulnerable, you're potentially looking at millions of dollars down the drain.
Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity
Independent of your company's size, a self- healing network maximizes uptime and provides the ability to service clients at near 100 percent capacity. All businesses will have to endure a crisis - whether natural, man-made, or purely coincidental - and need to be prepared to quickly recover.
Depending on the size and scope of the event, your business will need to place its disaster recovery (DR) or business continuity (BC) plan in motion. A DR plan can be measured in terms of hours or days - depending upon the scale of the event. A BC plan can be measured in seconds to minutes, and functions to ensure that your business stays functional with minimum impact to customers. Although your company is still functional, it is not the ideal work environment.
Most systems are designed to treat malware after the damage is already in effect. Instead, your company should take a holistic approach and address the entire life-cycle of data. You should have a strong perimeter in place that identifies incoming and outgoing data of the environment.
Your business needs reinforced systems that address both the "who" and "what" - who is dealing with that data, and what's being done with it. As a preventive measure, you should educate all of your employees of the various malware threats (i.e. opening unsolicited email links, or providing information that creates or exploits vulnerabilities in security).
The Value Of A Self-Healing Network
By taking a proactive approach and implementing a self-healing environment, it will positively impact three specific areas:
- Security - This has a direct correlation to customer trust. As most businesses deal with client data in some form, ensuring that data is always protected translates into repeat and renewed business.
- Bottom-line financial savings - The labor-intensive operational cost spent on resources to identify, isolate, and remediate threats will continue to rise as malware compounds. You'll save labor hours by adopting a self-healing environment with an automated process.
- Productivity - Minimizing the impact of malware, by preventing them from entering your environment or quickly remediating them, allows the production environment to remain available for business activities without putting data or systems at risk.
Productivity is seriously hindered once an internet blacklisting is placed on a company as a result of zombie attacks or low security posture. Don't let this happen to your company.
Patrick Duroseau is the Director of Systems and Infrastructure for CohnReznick, LLP, and has over 20 years of technical and managerial experience as both an entrepreneur and consultant. Download his whitepaper on optimizing application infrastructure delivery at PatrickDuroseau.com.