As the Northeast braces for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we at Info Advantage want to reiterate some basic technology practices for protecting your business in light of a disaster.
Plan - In an ideal world, every business would have a complete disaster recovery plan in place and tested to make sure the business is prepared to run despite loss of power, computers, people or access to the office. The reality is, we know that most businesses have just a fraction of a complete disaster recovery plan implemented, if anything at all.
Backup - It is ALWAYS advised to utilize some form of backup system. Keeping a back up of your critical data using tape, thumb drive, hard drive or an off-site backup service is paramount to protecting your assets in the event of a disaster. In many cases, a good backup plan will include many of these solutions for redundancy!
Test - Backing up your data is not enough! We can't tell you how many times we have been called in to a situation where a company had been backing up their data for years only to find out that there was an issue and they could not restore when they really needed to. Periodic tests of restoring your backups is critical to ensure that you can recover in times of crisis! Be sure to back up and restore your data frequently!
Passwords - Many people rely on their PC to remember their usernames and passwords. Make sure to memorize or record all critical passwords - including the password to access your e-mail through webmail.
System Lockdown - Before leaving, be sure to have all of your computers password-protected and locked down or off. This will help keep unwanted visitors from accessing your data.
Use a UPS - Storm or no storm, you should plug your computer and monitor into a UPS to guard against electricity strikes and potential loss of power. A UPS can give you enough time to properly shut down your PC when a storm threatens.
Surge Protectors - Ensure all critical equipment is protected via surge protectors. If this is not possible, turn off electrical appliances and equipment (except for refrigeration equipment) in case there is a power surge.
Unplug - In the case of inclement natural situations, it is recommended to unplug your servers, computers, and other gadgets if plausible. It is also recommended to move them from the floor and away from the windows.
Pictures - Any insurance agent will recommend that you take pictures or make a video of your business establishment (including your servers and computers) BEFORE a storm hits. This will help if an insurance claim is necessary.