Protecting your business data, especially if you are a large corporation, is the biggest priority. Backing up data nightly in your building is no longer the best way to protect your assets. It serves well for the immediate issue but not if your building is damaged or data is easily accessed by local or Internet hacking infiltrators. Many factors come into play such as location of the business in terms of local weather, geographical issues, war zone issues and where data is backed up, locally, externally, or half way around the world on cloud hosting networks.
Analyzing the Data Issues
Know all your databases and functions to the fullest to know how to protect your business. It may require a flow chart of a master database and all other databases that link into the main system. Not only do you protect the main database but each smaller database that feeds and pulls from the main database requires protection as well. Losing one could mean losing a vital picture of part of your business that can cost you a lot of money, even take you down.
Pull together all database managers and users to get a clear overall picture of what is being accessed, when it is accessed, and for what purposes. While you would think this would be logical, each department has its own reasons for what it does and doesn’t really need to communicate with other departments. Each department manager works independently with the IT group to configure ways to pull out specific information. Having a central monitor aware of what everyone is doing, how and why, provides the clearest picture of how to secure the system to keep access rolling, regardless of emergencies. Don’t leave it to just one person. Create a team who individually knows everything about what’s happening.
Planning the Emergency Management Procedure
Once you know your systems through and through, the functions and processes, it’s time to develop and fine-tune the backup emergency management procedure, based on your particular circumstances. If you are in a war zone, for instance, the possibilities of bombs, local terrorist takeover, Internet hacking (worldwide issue), will be a daily hazard. You are better off having all your data backed up from one or more hosting companies so that if the building goes down, the data is not lost, only inaccessible (obviously) from your local point. This is equally relevant for businesses in earthquake-prone areas, high tornado, tsunami, and flood crisis areas. If in a war zone, the data should be backed up with hosting companies outside the country.
Cloak of Invisibility
If you are in a high-security risk business, you may want to choose a company that while visible as a managed server hosting company, does most of its work in a secure undisclosed location that passersby have no clue about. The hosting company headquarters carries the company name and logo on the front of the building but basically is an advertising and business presentation location. That means that the “brains” of the company are basically off in another city, state or country, based in some brown brick warehouse-looking building with some obscure business name attached to a sign outside, like “Pappa’s Bread Factory.” There is the question of whether the company provides appropriate baking bread smells to the area too, to make it more realistic.
Backup Location Issues
The further the backup hosting company, the slower your information will travel to you and back again to provide the information you need to conduct business. If your business is in Texas, have a backup server hosting in Kansas, for instance. As Kansas is prone to tornadoes, have a second backup system in Montana. Hosting companies can provide you with multiple backup arrangements on their end and provide cloud storage management easily accessible through the Mozilla Firefox browser and choice of Firefox-friendly desktop apps.
Your Technical Infrastructure Protection
How you arrange your office computer setup can make the difference between having a secure working environment and making it easy for infiltrators to get to your information. Rather than using tower desktops at the workers’ stations, all computer information on location is accessed by fiber cable optics to the mainframe system, and only with specific worker identification sign in procedures. Laptops, iPads, iPhones can all be used to protect a local system against infiltration by accessing the main system remotely and disabling access so that no one can access hard drives and other physical systems. Equally important however, is the protection used on portable devices, such as laptops, allowing only the user entering in sophisticated identification procedures to log into the systems.
Defining Procedures for Accessibility After a Disaster
On your side, you’ll have a small team consisting of your IT group and the team overseeing database information issues, all of whom have been trained on how to reactivate access to the backup system and cloud network via laptop access in a remote area. The procedures will have been worked out with your hosting company so that data recovery is conducted without loss of information and significant downtime. This can be a procedure requiring everyone to meet at a certain location to input keywords and use a fingerprint log in. The procedure design can be as complicated as you like it for added security.
A Final Thought
We can try to cover for every kind of disaster, whether a geographical issue such as war zones, natural disasters, and even a nuclear bomb threat which requires some type of underground bunker facility. What happens when the electricity goes down? Preparation must be made for such a situation such as having access to diesel generators with plenty of stored diesel to keep things going, at least for a while. Whoever you select as a hosting company must assure you of these kinds of backup arrangement. It is the same kind of system that hospitals and very large sensitive security centers use whenever there are blackouts in any given area after a disaster. Or, you can just hope that no one forgets to pay the electricity bill one month.