Technology with Integrity
By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.
Your business runs on information. These are the steps you can take to protect business critical data from disaster. Some planning in advance will pay off, even for small businesses.
The Big Picture
Risk management is the process of figuring out what might go wrong, its impact, and what to do now to prepare.
Framing – Setting scope and values. Describing the environment in which decisions will be made.
Assessment – What could happen, and what the impact would be
Responding – Creating procedures and systems to prevent, mitigate, and recover
Monitoring – Identifying needed changes to the response plan
IT Disaster prevention is a subset of the overall Business continuity planning process, and is closely related to planning for security.
Step by Step
Any project is more likely to succeed if you can define the desired result. Identify what the goal of the IT business continuity plan is, how decisions will be made, and how it will be funded. This could be as simple as putting it on your calendar, and following our checklists.
Identify your data: Assessment starts with identifying critical data, how and where it is stored, and what the impact and associated cost would be if it were lost or exposed.
Determine risks: Think of what could happen to this information, and how likely it is – make a list. (The potential cost times the probability determines the risk in dollars.) We have created a spreadsheet to assist in the information gathering process.
Evaluate options: You then evaluate possible ways to reduce risks and their costs. Weigh the cost of quicker recovery time against the cost of down time. The actions you can take now that cost less than associated risk become part of your plan.
Some things are so cost effective and commonly useful that they are nearly always implemented. Again, we have a checklist of suggestions.
Develop a recovery plan: Procedures are created to respond to an incident. You want to think through ahead of time what the steps are to get your systems working again, and make sure you have all the needed information stored safely – configuration data, licenses, backups, spare parts etc..
Regular review: You want to set up systems so that your plan is reviewed when significant changes occur – in the company or the world.
If you would like help getting set up with an IT business continuity program, or with developing a backup and recovery plan, give us a call. (559) 733-1940
Information Systems Security Association www.issa.org
Disaster Recovery Journal www.drj.com
The Business Continuity Institute – http://www.thebci.org
Continuity Central – http://www.continuitycentral.com
SBA disaster preparedness plan http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/Disaster%20Recovery%20Plan%202012.pdf
Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. He is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and a Cisco CCNA and CCNI. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC, and in 2011 by the SBDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development.