Disaster recovery planning is essential for any business.

Why contingency plans must also account for online safety

This blog recently discussed a large-scale data breach of Living Social, the popular e-commerce business. Even if a company is not based solely online, with technology becoming more prevalent to most organizations, the need for a strong disaster recovery plan also continues to grow.

For example, the Washington state Administrative Office of the Courts experienced a data breach when hackers broke through its computer system and possibly gained access to as many as 160,000 Social Security numbers. Additionally, up to 1 million driver's license numbers could have been obtained.

Mike Keeling, the courts' information technology operations and maintenance manager, told the Associated Press that an East Coast business first notified his organization of a possible breach. The company's officials recognized the court's information in its breach logs, he said. Even so, Keeling did not think that the Washington courts were a specific target.

"The hackers were probably opportunistic," he said. "They were more than likely just fishing for data."

Keeling added that extra security measures have since been put in place, including new encryption rules and adding extra code to try and keep hackers out of certain parts of the computer server.

The AP reported that the data breach occurred sometime between last fall and February of this year. While officials said that the investigation has concluded, no one has been blamed yet.

Whether a business is a government agency or not, keeping customer information protected is of the utmost importance. Disaster recovery planning can include employee training and best practices to avoid online phishing scams. To determine which courses of action are best suited for a particular company, leaders are well-advised to contact business continuity consultants.