Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Top 10

“Disaster Recovery and business continuity are all about being ready for everything.  The question that every IT manager and CIO has to answer every day is what should they complete today If they knew a business interruption was going to happen in the next 12 hours.”

Cascading problems are not things that most companies want to talk about but are disaster recovery business continuity risks

We have one client, who wants to remain nameless, on a Friday evening he thought the had a hardware problem.  The weekend staff proceeded to connect that device into the network to diagnose the issue and a virus was released.  Then they transmitted that virus to one of their largest suppliers.  When it was all said and done they spent well over $500,000 to isolate the virus, restore the files, and make their supplier whole.  They were just lucky this happened over the week-end so it did not impact as many people.  Interestingly if this problem had surfaced a few hours earlier their regular staff would have diagnosed the problem off-line and it would not have gotten away from them.

Disaster Recovery Happens When Planned Correctly

Disasters and events that impact business continuity vary widely in more than duration. As you design your plan, consider the probability of threats that are:

  • Chronicled — events that have occurred (Power outages, earthquakes, hurricanes)
  • Human — events likely from carelessness, malicious intent, fatigue, or lack of training
  • Geographical — events likely as a result of the location of your business (floods, storms, lightning strikes, earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis)
  • Localized — events due to system malfunctions (assembly line failures, computer crashes, sprinkler activations, chemical spills)
  • Planned — scheduled events (software upgrades, system tests, facility moves) that go awry

Janco’s own list of top 10 disasters that CIOs and business managers need to plan for are:

  1. Weather related events like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest/brush fires, and sand storms
  2. Facility fires
  3. Water pipe breaks in facility
  4. Fiber or communications line are cut – loss of network
  5. Power failures – Outage or sporadic service
  6. Human error like a redundant systems failure that goes unnoticed and hinders the recovery operation
  7. Earthquake
  8. Security breach hacking and or malicious code
  9. Data corruption and loss – not only from physical device or network failure but also from application and user error
  10. Cascading system failure

Janco believes that a prepared, and well-rehearsed team address the issues associates with a major and minor business interruption much quicker than companies who have no plan and no preparedness.

Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.