If you are thinking about starting a business, information systems will probably factor into your plans at sometime. The business will require some sort of application software and the requisite information created from the application – whether the solution is simply an Excel spreadsheet or something more advanced and automated like Quickbooks Pro or an enterprise resource management system. Subjects Security Orchestration Automation Response like disaster recovery, data protection, cyber security, web filtering, etc., are subjects entrepreneurs should be thinking about. This is the first article in a series of articles that will introduce the new,and experienced, business owner to information technology intricacies that should be included in your business plans. The first issue introduced will be the idea of disaster recovery and data backup.
As a business owner, you must define what constitutes a disaster, how long it should take to restore operations, and what systems are critical to the function of the business. How long can the business operate in a degraded mode, or not at all, if none of the systems are available. How about email? If your email is not available at all, how long can you survive? What about your phone system? Your accounting systems? Your website?
What constitutes as a disaster for a business? Here are some events to think about:
Upgrading software, servers or workstations that fails or corrupts data.
Migrating data to centralized storage that fails or corrupts data.
Fire, flood, hurricane, and other acts of God.
Virus breakout – both medical or cyber.
Hazardous material event, chemical spill, gas leak, etc.
Communication systems failure.
For disaster recovery, there are two components to recovering data – the backup and the most important, the restore of data. These are two very important distinctions. As an example, I had been doing some side work for a small health facility that had been hit by lightning and I was recovering the network connectivity. After I got the network operational, I left for the evening. The next day, the president of the company was working on the accounting system and accidentally hit the key that did the year end close on the books and it was only October.