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What Happens After a Network Disaster

You've built your business; taken risks; and it all can be gone in an instant. You carry insurance; have some ideas on what to do when disaster strikes, but you've never spent a lot of time on the subject.  Unfortunately, you’re not alone.  The sad truth is that few businesses consider the risk of a disaster, and fewer take steps to deal with it.

If you work in a highly regulated industry, you likely have already gone through the process, commonly called business continuity planning, or BCP, to satisfy your stakeholders and regulators.  A BCP normally boils down to a set of documents that outline the procedures used in the case of a disaster. These documents come out of a standardized process that includes an analysis phase, a solution design phase, an implementation phase, a testing and acceptance phase, and a maintenance phase. Also commonly included are risk matrix's and documentation of individual roles and responsibilities when a disaster is determined.

The downside of not having a plan is not obvious to most business owners. A University of Texas study estimates that 94% percent of businesses do not re-open after a disaster, which can mean anything from a tornado or fire to an extended server, internet or network outage. You need to consider natural disasters; terrorism; power disruptions or failure; IT systems failure; network failures; external IT threats like hackers, viruses and the like; processing shutdowns; and labor strife as potential threats to your business and account for your response to these types of issues.

Businesses should be prepared to answer these kinds of questions:

  • Are we prepared to relocate temporarily?
  • Do we have copies of, and access to, vital company records?
  • Do we have access to vital business applications (payroll, accounting, line-of-business applications)?
  • How much data would we lose in a disaster between backups?
  • How quickly can we recover from a disaster?
  • How long would we be disconnected from our customers?
These types of questions are where you need to start. The BCP process formalizes this analysis into two key measurements: the RTO and RPO. The RTO is the “recovery time objective,” or how long we have to have the function back before harm is done. The RPO is the “recovery point objective,” or how recent our backup needs to have been before harm is done.

Whether you are looking for help in that area or are just having this thought exercise for the first time, I would highly encourage you to invest some time into this aspect of your business. You do not want to count on the “if,” but rather, be prepared for the “when”.

Should you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact TBNG Consulting at contact@tbngconsulting.com or at 855-512-4817.

TBNG Blogger

Written by TBNG Blogger

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