No matter the disaster, many companies without continuity plans are usually left scratching their heads. As business activities cease to function, profitability tanks, employees get laid off, and stakeholders are left asking why.

Continuity plans and adequate security measures are crucial for the survival of companies, no matter the size. COVID-19 is now among the growing list of disasters that have, unfortunately, caught companies off guard – causing bankruptcies and unemployment to skyrocket

A large amount of companies do not make cybersecurity a priority. Furthermore, many executive teams do not understand how important effective security measures are for business longevity. Sadly, this is why many small businesses have now indefinitely shut their doors, unable to match growing debts and a changing market space. 

Navigating this post-pandemic market is tricky, seemingly impossible at times. However, some businesses have remained operational by following continuity plans/disaster-recovery plans they made beforehand. In fact, according to Cyber Shift technologies, 93% of companies without disaster recovery plans will be out business after a single data breach. 

That statistic alone is enough to illustrate the importance of having cybersecurity and potential disasters in mind. As it relates to the coronavirus, this disaster was predicted by many infectious disease experts and even Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. While predicting disasters can sometimes become a question of conspiracy, in the case of business, it is called being prepared. 

Still not convinced of the importance behind disaster recovery? The same company that reported 93% of companies going out of business after a single breach reported that 96% of companies with disaster recovery plans can recover after a disaster.

To better understand cybersecurity’s part in continuity plans, we can analyze the macroenvironment surrounding the coronavirus. Many businesses, schools, and organizations are now meeting and functioning online in an attempt to promote social distancing. This online functionality helps to reduce the rate of infection, but it also helps to expose non-techies to cybercrime/trolls. 

Due to insufficient training, a variety of online Zoom meetings were trolled by nude webcammers (termed Zoom Bombing) when employees shared Zoom links to public forums. As employees move to telework, their files may be exposed to a more “data-liquid” environment; when these files are unprotected, the risk of data loss is increased. 

Data loss puts consumers at risk; a lack of cybersecurity puts consumers at risk. Proper cybersecurity starts with effective training and behaviors that assume the worst. For example, password-protecting intellectual property whether it is made in or out of the data center is a good habit. Another example of disaster-preparations would be to teach employees how to securely telework in the event of a crisis. 

At the end of the day, cybersecurity’s focus is on prevention and continuity. As a business owner, your sole focus should be on benefiting the stakeholders in your care – this is more than just shareholder profitability. One thing is certain, disaster is inevitable, and we cannot predict exactly when it strikes. The least you can do is prepare for the worst to help limit losses and encourage continuity.