Cyber attacks can cripple a company. Millions of dollars could be spent in cleanup and recovery efforts. It could take years for employees or customers to work their credit back to an acceptable level following identity theft.
In order to prepare for possible consequences from security threats, all types of organizations need to ensure they have a comprehensive and current business continuity plan in place. Even the United States is taking measures to guarantee that it will be able to quickly recover should a type of cyber threat occur.
The Air Force – along with other military branches – is creating tabletop exercises for its soldiers. Computer experts are being trained in simulations that include situations from email hackings to overriding a runaway trained filled with harmful chemicals.
These "cyber cities" are designed to look and feel real, according to The Washington Post. There are "people" with email accounts, work passwords and bank accounts. Unsecured Wi-Fi systems exist and the hospitals are filled with patients.
As reported by the source, the government wants to ensure that the nation will be able to have its own type of timely "business resumption" should a cyber attack occur.
Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said digital attacks could devastate the nation and the country must ensure that the proper precautions are being taken.
"If a crippling cyber attack were launched against our nation, the American people must be protected," he said. "And if the commander in chief orders a response, the Defense Department must be ready to obey that order and to act."
In an increasingly digital age, companies and communities of all sizes need to conduct comprehensive risk assessments of their technological systems to try and keep them as secure as possible. That way, even if an attack does occur, individuals will know how to react to bring daily operations back to normal in a timely fashion.