Prepare for Series of Failures, not Just One

Kachina Shaw
Slide Show

How to Stay in Business

Key Considerations for Disaster Recovery

As the victims of the damage caused by superstorm Sandy deal with compounding problems, from unrestored power at home and at work, to gas shortages, to lack of public transportation, to clean-up, and even price gouging, they now also face another large storm headed their way this week. CBS News quotes National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina as saying, “Prepare for more outages. Stay indoors. Stock up again.”

All of this is a reminder that disaster planning and preparedness requires readiness for a series of cascading events, not just one big one. Most of your planning, of course, won’t be specifically focused on natural disaster recovery, since the odds of a less dramatic failure are much higher. But the same principle applies. If your Web server fails, what are the secondary effects? What about other hardware failures? If you suffer a data security breach, you’ll need short-, mid- and long-term sets of action items.

Risk management teams versed in cross-departmental dependencies will play a key role in mapping out hypothetical series of events that may arise from each initial failure. And if you’re getting increasingly uncomfortable with how far your plan takes you beyond an initial disaster event while reading this, it’s time to update your DR plan. Begin with an IT Download: “IT Disaster Recovery Planning For Dummies Excerpt.” Identify where your training needs lie, and map out the expansion for your plans.

Now is the perfect time to propose moving DR updates to the top of the priority list, while everyone is hyper-aware of the potential threat to systems and staff. Don't let this opportunity slip by.

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