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Is Your Data Disaster-Proof?

Posted on October 8, 2015 in Emergency Preparedness Blog
 
Information Week, a leading IT industry news source, estimates $26.5 billion in revenue is lost annually due to network and system interruptions. Despite the potential for depleted earnings, angry customers, tarnished reputations, and lost data, over 50% of businesses don’t have an IT disaster recovery plan.
 

Build a Strong Foundation

Your IT systems support your business, making it is essential to design a solid infrastructure that aligns with your business goals, secures your data, and is resilient. Here are a few simple tips that many organizations neglect.

  • Schedule maintenance for off-hours. Like your car, information systems need maintenance to operate consistently and at peak efficiency. 
  • Keep software up-to-date. You don’t need to be on the cutting edge, but falling too far behind can cause you more problems and leave you vulnerable to attacks.
  • Define a password policy and disable old employee accounts. These two best practices are easy to overlook, but the results of negligence can be disastrous, leaving the door open for hostile hackers and disgruntled former employees. 

Secure Your Digital Borders

The 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon found 68% of attacks required very little skill on the part of attackers. This means that most networks are vulnerable to simple hacks by opportunistic individuals. With so many boxes to check and settings to configure, it’s easy to overlook minor flaws that create big security holes. 

 

Experts can help you close the back doors that hurried employees or loose security guidelines leave open. In the end, the cost of an attack, measured in lost data or downtime, is much higher than the cost of a secure infrastructure. 

Plan for Failure

Developing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan ensures your business can get back to work as quickly as possible after a service interruption, natural disaster, hardware failure, or anything cyberspace can throw at you. Make your IT DRP part of a larger, comprehensive Business Continuity Plan and you’ll be ready for anything. To start developing an IT DRP, follow these steps.

  • Gather stakeholders from various departments to determine which systems, software and data they must have to operate.
  • Assign priority levels to the most critical systems. You may want to consider generators that can provide power during storms or utilizing an off-site, secure data center.
  • Estimate the amount of time it will take to restore offline systems after an outage.
  • Test and reassess your IT DRP yearly or quarterly, depending on your business needs, to account for changes and updates to systems.  

Enjoy the Benefits

You may not find your business in the path of a hurricane or tornado tomorrow, but your systems are vulnerable to attacks in ways that your physical structures and employees are not. IT DRP prepares you to deal with data failures, hacking, connectivity outages, theft, and a host of other IT-specific threats and crises. 

 

Avoid the high cost of IT infrastructure failures by investing in a solid plan today. 


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Man-Machine Systems Assessment, Inc (MSA) is an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) headquartered in Arlington, Virginia serving those that support the public interest. MSA is passionate about our Warfighters and the preparedness of our nation; working diligently to evaluate defense systems, ensure continuity of operations and support mission critical programs. MSA has over twenty-five years of experience in government contract management for a wide variety of contract types.
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