Preparing For the Unexpected
Lifeline Data Center’s co-owner Rich Banta recently wrote an article called, “RISK: When What Can Never Happen – Does.” He talked about the kinds of risks that could create critical outages for data centers, and provided some recommendations about businesses that can defend against threats.
The key takeaway from his article is that it’s time for people to get serious about security. Even if you think the odds are 1 in a million that your data center will experience an outage, breach or some other type of major failure, you should still be prepared for the worst. Often, the best way to protect your company is to develop strong corporate policies and guidelines.
One of the ways businesses commonly put themselves at risk is failing to establish a thorough data governance plan. Your plan should define who is responsible for every aspect of data handling. To create a plan, ask yourself:
- Who are the stewards of your data?
- Who is responsible for data accuracy and updates?
- Who monitors the timeliness of data and sets security protocols for “hot,” “warm” and “cold” data?
- What is the process for storing, accessing and backing up data?
If you can’t answer those questions, you may have a hard time troubleshooting any problems that arise. Make sure that in an emergency, everyone knows whom to contact for outages or failures within specific segments of your data governance structure.
Tying up Loose Ends
Many IT pros have a MacGyver-esque approach to problem solving, working with what they’ve got on-hand to repair a problem. For example, maybe during an Internet outage, an IT person would load a sensitive document onto a flash drive, so one of your employees could work on it from home. That may seem like the right thing to do, but what happens if that flash drive is lost, or if the employee’s home computer isn’t secure?
Those are the types of loose ends that can create big risks for businesses. You may not be able to envision every possible scenario that could occur, but you should at least have a policy that dictates how employees access information, and what information must remain in-house. Your policy also should specify who is responsible for deactivating employee email accounts and passwords once they’re no longer with the company.
Put it on Paper
While you may want to have a digital library of your policies, remember that they need to be accessible in a worst-case scenario. A disaster recovery plan won’t do you any good if you can’t access it.
Keep a hard copy of all policies somewhere safe, off premises, and ensure company leaders know how to access that information in a crisis.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a major crisis in your data center. And if you choose Lifeline Data Centers to house your data, chances are you never will. With 99.995 percent uptime and extensive in-house security expertise, you can rely on us to keep your data safe. Call us today to find out more.