Disaster ft. Bryon Singh, RailWorks Corporation

Disaster ft. Bryon Singh, RailWorks Corporation

By Steve Gold
Posted in Security
On March 05, 2024

What better way to articulate a Data Recovery Process than map it to a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. In “Disaster” (Season 5, Episode 5), the Enterprise-D strikes a quantum filament that cripples the starship, showcasing the necessity of robust data recovery strategies in the face of unexpected disasters.

"Disaster" illustrates the broad scope of data recovery activities, as the crew faces multiple system failures. Data recovery in an organizational context similarly encompasses a wide range of activities, from restoring individual files, to minor software glitches, to recovering entire databases after significant hardware failures. The episode emphasizes the need for comprehensive recovery plans that cover all critical systems and data, mirroring real-world best practices where businesses must ensure that no essential data falls outside the recovery scope.

One of the key strategies depicted in the episode is the prioritization of systems for recovery. The Enterprise crew focuses on restoring life-support systems and communications before addressing less critical systems. This mirrors the necessity of recovery prioritization in business settings, where not all data and systems are of equal importance. Organizations must identify critical assets and ensure that their recovery plans reflect the priority of these assets, ensuring that operations impacting customer service, regulatory compliance, and business continuity are restored first.

Investing in data recovery is crucial for executives because it ensures business continuity, protects your company's reputation, and yields financial benefits. Fast recovery minimizes downtime following a disruptive event, allowing critical services to resume quickly, protecting your revenue. Preparedness in data recovery demonstrates to customers and partners that their data is secure, strengthening trust and boosting your company's reputation. Additionally, proactive recovery planning acts as a form of insurance. It mitigates the potentially devastating financial impact of prolonged downtime and unexpected costs associated with data loss.

Leadership Focus:

  • Identify Critical Data: Prioritize systems and data that are essential for core operations.
  • Define Recovery Goals: Determine acceptable downtime (Recovery Time Objective - RTO) and data loss limits (Recovery Point Objective - RPO).
  • Choose Backup Solutions: Evaluate backup types (full, incremental, cloud) that align with your recovery goals and budget.
  • Test Regularly Frequent, documented testing ensures backups are working and recovery procedures are effective.
  • Review & Update: Data recovery plans must evolve with technology and business needs. Schedule regular reviews.

Here’s a link to the Data Recovery Policy Template provided free of charge from the fine folks at the Center for Internet Security: https://www.cisecurity.org/insights/white-papers/data-recovery-policy-template-for-cis-control-11

Here are some details on this specific Control/Safeguard. If you want more detail, DM me.

CIS Control 11 – Data Recovery

Establish and maintain data recovery practices sufficient to restore in-scope enterprise assets to a pre-incident and trusted state.

Implementation Group 1

CIS Safeguard 11.1 - Establish and Maintain a Data Recovery Process

Establish and maintain a data recovery process. In the process, address the scope of data recovery activities, recovery prioritization, and the security of backup data. Review and update documentation annually, or when significant enterprise changes occur that could impact this Safeguard.

Steve Gold

Steve Gold

Steve Gold is the Cybersecurity Practice Director at Gotham Technology Group (Gotham). He is responsible for providing the vision and thought leadership to expand Gotham’s legacy of success and build a world-class cybersecurity practice. He works closely with Gotham’s customers, industry partners, and subject matter experts to develop relevant solutions for Gotham’s clients and prospects.

Prior to joining Gotham, Steve worked with the Center for Internet Security (CIS), where he expanded the global reach, revenue, and impact of the CIS Benchmarks, CIS Controls, and CIS Hardened Images. He led the efforts to promote the CIS portfolio of low-cost and no-cost cybersecurity products and services that help private and public organizations stay secure in the connected world. He grew a team of security specialists from 12 to over 40 to assist organizations with implementing security best practices in their continual journey of cybersecurity maturity.

During his more than 20-year career, Steve led teams responsible for developing and implementing technology solutions at some of the industry’s most recognized companies such as Varonis, VMware, Dell & Wyse Technology

Steve is a frequent speaker/moderator at industry conferences and webinars, covering a wide array of information security topics. He resides and works remotely in Baltimore, MD.