How Will Your IT Systems Hold Up During a Disaster?

A recent Regional Business Preparedness Campaign (RBPC) newsletter article (a collaboration between Millersville University’s Center for Disaster Research and Education and the Business, Industry and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the South Central PA Task Force), asks readers, “Are your IT systems ready for a disaster?”

Being able to recover from a disaster or disruption is important for a business, especially in the area of information technology. The success of your disaster recovery program often depends on the security and resiliency of your information system components. But a recent survey by the Internet security company Symantec claims that 23% of small and mid-sized businesses fail to backup their data on a daily basis.

According to the RBPC newsletter, some common vulnerabilities are in the areas of:

  • Data loss: It is crucial to back up data daily and store it in a secure, off-site location.
  • Compromised data: The compromising of private or confidential information now occurs every week. Data should be secured just as you would secure your business.
  • Network interruption: With an increased reliance on cloud computing, having a secure and operating network is as important as ever.
  • Hardware failure: Successful recovery from either natural and manmade disasters or equipment failure depends on the implementation of a recovery plan before a failure ever occurs.
  • Viruses, Trojans, malware and hacking: These threats can cause unwarranted downtime and compromise important data. Whether through company Internet policies or through training, implementing an action plan is a must.
  • Power failure: Planning for long-term power outages for a week or more is important. Make sure your disaster preparedness plan takes into account both short-term and long-term outages.

When preparing your IT recovery program, keep in mind that not implementing the above processes or plans can lead to:

  • Increased costs
  • A loss of productivity
  • Lower customer satisfaction
  • Lower supplier confidence
  • Market share loss
  • Damage to your industrial or public image

A major part of any business continuity plan should include identifying strategies and controls that will minimize data loss and recovery times during a disaster.

For more information about how to keep your IT infrastructure secure, visit: http://www.chambersburg.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/AreYourITSystemsReadyForADisaster.pdf