Professional Services Organizations (PSO) have a lot in common, but one thing is for sure; they all may have to deal with a high-profile client, case, personnel issue or news-related situation. Inevitably, curious minds will want to learn more about how the PSO is connected or involved with whatever the high-profile situation is. The fastest and easiest way that information can be sourced is through a PSO’s website. This heightened spotlight can present several negative eventualities.
- The case or news item at hand may attract hackers or those interested in exploiting vulnerabilities from a security standpoint.
- The volume of traffic to the firm’s website may overwhelm the hosting environment, impacting site availability.
As a precaution, take the time prior to a crisis to make sure your organization has:
- A DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) plan.
- A CDN (Content delivery network) and cached content so that your content will perform well with increased traffic.
- A Georedundant DR (disaster recovery) plan. If you’re able to provide redundancy in multiple geographical locations, it means you can mitigate outages should the primary location fail. For example, if a natural disaster is impacting your primary data center on the East coast, having a DR environment on the West coast will make recovery a faster and easier process.
- A monitoring system and 24x7x365 team, so you can quickly identify traffic spikes and trends.
- An existing security culture that drives adoption of best practices, such as frequent penetration tests, two-factor authentication and added levels of encryption for critical data.
- A client, media and employee communication plan. It is helpful to do practice runs a few times a year, so you’re prepared to easily move into crisis mode when need be.
- A proactive hosting provider who actively monitors, manages and keeps you informed of any abnormal activity relating to your website
Like so many other marketers and communicators out there, I have found myself in the situation of being knee-deep in a crisis and not necessarily prepared for the storm ahead of me. It isn’t fun, but it is a reality of the business and technology world today. Taking some time to get your procedures in order early can help ease tensions when a snafu happens.