IT are working 20 hour days; the pizza is going on expenses and the business is worried. But this isn’t at IT incident, this is a BC or Business continuity incident.
Bart hospital got this perfectly right, they kicked in their BC plan because that was what was at risk. They had a gold command defined and he was identifiable. SO the question is how much do you know about your BC plan?
This incident is going to be a wake-up call for many organisations. This wasn’t targeted at big organisations; I think this was a consumer or home user focused attack that has gone wild in the wrong arena. The lack of money made suggests that as it hit big organisation the response was higher and more focused. Also, big organisations know you don’t pay the ransom on these attacks.
The importance of IT and the understanding of business impact form a IT shutdown is now in the forefront of a lots of people’s minds. I think a lot of bosses of medium and small businesses thought they could operate without IT, they are very wrong. IT leaders need to engage with the business and reassure them that the processes that mean the business runs day-to-day can protect against these sorts of attacks.
Approach the business with what the impact is to them, show them the processes you run every day that will provide the reassurance they need now. But most of all remember to frame this in the context of the impact to customers. Negative impact can take a lot of effort, and cash, to turn around. You don’t need to be a world class CEO to know that unhappy or scared customers don’t spend their money with you.
This incident is scary but it should be a wake-up call that without the right process and correct communication you will lose customer confidence. But simple process and prepared communication plans will stop this.