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January 16, 2019

The East Coast Just Had an Earthquake. Your Business Ready for a Bigger One?

There are many threats to business – many are cybersecurity related and with all the talk of Iran, North Korea, China and other countries attacking businesses, it is easy to overlook other major threats which need to be considered. Virtually all businesses are shut down without power or broadband service so there are some simple things to consider to help your organization make it through the winter and storm seasons facing much of the world. Keep in mind earthquakes are an issue to consider as well – just this week in fact, there was one which was recorded at 4.7 magnitude and felt in Connecticut. It could have triggered a tsunami which could have easily affected local power stations.

Considering just how much business exists near bodies of water from Boston to DC - including Manhattan, it is really important that companies take this matter seriously.

Here are some things to consider to ensure your business keeps running in the case of natural disasters and power outages.

  1. Have a solid power protection strategy and UPS system in place connected to vital components within your organization. Often, a power outage can be brief but the associated spikes in power delivery can fry equipment, making it unusable. A business would then have to wait hours, days or weeks for replacement equipment to be purchased and configured.
  2. Have redundant hardware when possible. As mentioned above, time to procure and configure new hardware can be lengthy, causing unnecessary downtime. If cost is an issue, use eBay or Amazon to acquire used equipment – good enough to keep the company running in a crisis.
  3. Consider the cloud where it makes sense. Certainly, cloud is not a panacea. While cloud is not less secure than premise solutions, there have been many cases of cloud servers being left unsecured – undoubtedly because there was an assumption by users that added security was in place. The reality is when using platform as a service or PaaS and similar solutions, you need to also ensure your data is protected from hacking.
  4. If you have a generator – be sure it is tested regularly. Weekly is optimal. Often, companies spend the money on a generator but do not do the testing needed to ensure it works when called upon.
  5. Test your business continuity plan often – this includes not only power-protection systems but making sure backups are working properly, etc. This can help not only in the case of a data center flood but in case your organization is hit with ransomware.

Unfortunately, in the real-world, companies tend to invest in business-continuity solutions and strategies after they have been hit with some sort of problem. This can be a costly impetus to do items 1-5 which today are considered business 101.

More importantly, these aren't things just large businesses need to deal with. Business continuity issues hit all sized companies.

Take the moment of reading this article to re-evaluate your business and consider items 1-5 as a guideline to help your company weather storms, hackers and more recently, earthquake-induced power interruptions.

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