Posted By Industry Perspectives On August 25, 2011 @ 9:00 am In Industry Perspectives | No Comments
Yehuda Cagen is the Director of Client Services of Houston IT consulting firm Xvand Technology Corporation . Many Houston-area companies were affected by Hurricane Ike in September 2008.
It’s astounding to see how many organizations do not plan for disaster, or even feel the need for a disaster plan.
According to the Gulf Coast Back to Business Act (2007), Congress finds that 43 percent of businesses that close following a natural disaster never reopen. An additional 29 percent of businesses close down permanently within two years (Library of Congress 2009). A popular oversight when weighing the risks and probability of disaster is that natural disasters are infrequent. Along the Gulf Coast, it may be a hurricane. Or an earthquake for Californians. In truth, the most common source of data loss is internal theft (rogue employees) and lost laptops and thumb drives.
Many executives delay establishing a comprehensive disaster plan due to the misconception that it requires significant time and resources. A disaster plan should be a working, breathing document that requires regular augmentation and improvement.
Here’s a disaster plan outline your organization can employ today:
Complete an inventory of all computers, equipment, supplies and receipts/verification of ownership to show your insurance provider post-disaster. Individual departments and employees should be encouraged to do the same.
For small and mid-sized organizations, creating a contingency plan for every component and process can be costly – and overwhelming. Therefore, it’s critical to identify and categorize the risk an IT disaster may have on the organization.
What to consider when assessing risk:
Most disaster plans have contingencies in place to send employees to an alternate workplace when an impending disaster threatens. When sending employees off-site, remind them to not rely on backing up critical company data on mobile devices. (According to Dell, 49% of data breaches were due to lost or stolen laptops or devices such USB flash drives.)
Use these best practices for securing wireless devices:
Protect against lost laptops and remote devices with these suggestions:
According to Microsoft, nearly 75 percent of organization that test their tape backups found backup failures, so it’s critical to test the following on a QUARTERLY basis:
Should you decide to outsource data backup and protection to a third-party vendor, here are a five critical questions to ask a prospective disaster recovery vendor:
Any vendor that fails to provide comprehensive answers and references should be taken off your list.
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