If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that disasters can come in all shapes and sizes. Who would have thought back in January that suddenly your entire company would need to start working from home? Preparing for business continuity during a disaster is an essential part of your technology solutions and disaster recovery plans. This year has taught us that we need to think outside the box when it comes to what kinds of threats are out there that could harm our business. However, if we know how to continue business operations during the disasters listed below, you should be able to weather the next storm, even if it’s nothing we’ve ever dealt with before.
Most businesses likely didn’t have this on their list of disasters to be prepared for in 2019. During this many companies have found they were severely unprepared for this situation. While we still aren’t out of the woods yet, we should definitely revise our disaster recovery plan to include a pandemic.
Business continuity during a Pandemic
We have quickly found that the ability to work from home is key during a pandemic. Making sure that your business applications are accessible from any location has become essential. Many companies that have been delaying their digital transformation are suffering through a crash course in getting the technology set up correctly. This might look like having appropriate equipment at the employee’s home, or the ability to grab the devices from the office and set them up at home, or just the ability to remotely access a device in the office. Some companies have a remote desktop set up for employees to use both inside and outside the network so their workflow is generally the same no matter where they are working.
Fire & Other Natural Disasters
With wildfires sweeping through California right now, and often threatening Orange County, natural disasters are a very real risk for Southern California businesses. In these situations, the main office or servers could be offline, destroyed or otherwise inaccessible due to power outages.
Business continuity during a fire
In these situations, having an offsite copy of your data will be key in restoring your ability to work while the main office is out of commission. With an offsite copy of your server, you should be able to restore the data to a new location that will be accessible. Many companies will store this offsite copy in a cloud repository, but some still rely on offsite vaults or even bring a copy of the backups to their home. Storing in the cloud will allow you access to your data no matter what is actually happening locally. When power is scarce though, it might be difficult to find a location to work FROM in this situation though. Definitely think about where you might be able to go that could still have power and internet capabilities and include that in your plan.
Cyber Security Attack
A cyber security attack or event is one of the most scary disasters to prepare for. Attackers these days are getting more clever by the minute. They are utilizing new ways to infiltrate your network and new malware to wreak havoc on your systems. In a cyber security event your entire customer database could be wiped out in seconds. Once a security event is detected it is so important to try to isolate and lock down the compromised systems, which could bring your entire company to a screeching halt.
Business contiuity during a cyber security attack
In order to maintain operations during a security event, you will need to take some time to mitigate the situation and figure how to lock the attackers out if they are still inside the network. It could be tempting to restore from backups right away so you can continue working, but that might be a mistake. The best thing to do is to lock down the local network as if a fire or natural disaster has occurred. Bring your backups up in an offsite location and work off of that while the compromised network is being scanned, treated, and analyzed. Don’t open your network back up until you are positive you have found all of the malicious activity and eliminated it.
A disaster is a terrible thing to go through. We will likely all be suffering some sort of PTSD from the 2020 pandemic for years to come. Fortunately, technology advances over the last several years have allowed us to continue our day to day operations even during worst case scenarios.