Superstorm Sandy and Business Continuity

We at TAC, with our own headquarters here in the Northeast US, hope that those affected by “Superstorm” Sandy are well and unhurt. While the damage to property is still being assessed, and cleanup is bound to take some time, one must be thankful that it wasn’t even worse. We hope that the journey back to “normal” is swift for you and yours.

This recent severe weather in the Northeast has knocked out significant infrastructure that enterprises rely on for the operation of their businesses. Sites hosted by some service providers disappeared from the internet; servers and data-centers that are still up and running have had their connections to the internet severed. Because of this, many companies have been affected, and even those that have not, are taking a long hard look at their business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

I spoke with a prospective client about their business continuity and disaster recovery plans last year after Hurricane Irene pounded the east coast. The people I met with told me that they had a number of data-centers for redundancy in separate locations, so that in the event of a natural disaster, their data would be safe, and they were, in fact, in the process of building yet another data center. This company, and one of its data-centers, is located in lower Manhattan, and the “separate locations” were two locations in Northern New Jersey, their new center was being located a bit further down the east coast. I have not spoken to them recently, but at that time I had questioned why their data-centers were not dispersed throughout the country, so a catastrophe in one area of the country would not compromise their business. They had no answer.

I would advise businesses of all sizes to reexamine their disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

  • If you are using SaaS or IaaS, make sure that you have redundancy, and that your data is being securely held in multiple locations. Also make sure that those locations are scattered in different geographies.
  • Make provisions for workers to be able to work from home if necessary. This may need to include VPNs, ring-over phone services, redundant email servers in multiple locations, etc.
  • Your own data-centers should be as far-flung geographically as possible. A catastrophe in one area of the country should not compromise the integrity of your data or your access to it.

I know that we here at TAC are looking at how we fared during this disaster and how our own business continuity and disaster recovery plans can be improved.

We can help you do the same.

Contact us by phone for more information about our Business Continuity consulting and advisory services.