A Florida college had nearly 300,000 student and employee records stolen by hackers earlier this week. Situations like this are why organizations need to have current business continuity plans.

Risk management can benefit businesses during data breaches

Expedient business resumption is a desired occurrence following a natural disaster or a scandal within a company. However, the recovery process will be much easier when managers and CEOs take the time to conduct risk management before anything negative happens to the organization.

A business continuity plan will help employees keep operations functioning normally through times of crisis and ensure that the recovery process happens as quickly as possible. With technology evolving everyday, companies and organizations need to be prepared for a multitude of situations.

According to The Associated Press, Northwest Florida State College had nearly 300,000 employee and student records – containing names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, ethnicities and genders – stolen by hackers earlier this week.

Most of the information is from students who were eligible for Florida's popular Bright Futures scholarships for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

College president Ty Handy said in a memo sent out to staff members that the attack was professional and coordinated. He added that the records were not taken from one single file, but rather, the hackers were able to piece together enough data to steal identities of 50 staff members – including his own. 

"We want to be sure that we fully understand the situation and provide accurate information to those impacted," Florida College system chancellor Randy Hanna said in a statement. "While some of the contact information is dated, we will be trying to reach every student whose records may have been captured."

A survey conducted by Forrester and the Disaster Recovery Journal found that 48 percent of businesses find the increased reliance on technology as the top reason why risk is increasing for companies.

When the right amount of time is devoted to conduct risk management analysis before something like a cyber attack happens, organizations will be able to recover more quickly. Working with a business continuity consultant can help companies account and prepare for the unexpected.