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Rebuilding from the storm and protecting business continuity

by on December 1, 2012

There’s an old saying that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” This saying has a lot to do with business continuity and disaster recovery in the corporate data world, where security and storage procedures should be in line to kick into emergency mode should an outage or breach occur. In many companies, there is no plan for such events, leaving them critically disabled until networks come back online and coverage is restored by third-party entities. Especially in light of recent disasters like Hurricane Sandy, businesses should know better than to let their safeguards languish, but with so many aspects of continuity to cover, some are simply too daunted by the tasks to step up to the challenge.

The problem with letting these things slide is that they can wind up costing businesses thousands of dollars, their reputations and even their ability to remain open. The Sacramento Bee wrote that, during the outage period in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, people were trying to use wireless hotspots set up around New York City and New Jersey to try and retrieve business files, but because the data centers themselves were offline, many were unable to access these critical documents. These cloud vendors may use hard disk management and other data farming tools to hold corporate client information, but without a way to broadcast their server signals, the whole system remained grounded.

Safety first
BankInfoSecurity wrote that many of the entities that made it out in the best shape used backup tape management and other solid-state solutions that could be recovered faster than public cloud offerings. Those relying on virtual storage with few if any resources to fall back on had no options available to restart operations until after coverage was restored, and in some parts of the devastated areas, that procedure took weeks to accomplish.

“The storm was devastating in our area and the areas that we serve. The storm forced businesses to stay closed. That was the direct impact. But indirectly, even for businesses that could get open, they had issues getting access to institutions – they couldn’t get their mail, they couldn’t pay people,” said Frank Sorrentino of North Jersey Community Bank. He told BankInfoSecurity that many banks tried to stay open for business, but even they had trouble maintaining operations without access to tape tracking or archive tools.

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