24 Computer Disaster Recovery Tips Article from eMazzanti

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A new, free article from eMazzanti Technologies, provides two dozen tips on how to protect a computer network ahead of natural or man-made disasters.

As recent events such as Hurricane Sandy have shown, not only can catastrophic events devastate a natural environment, but they can leave a company’s IT infrastructure in ruins as well.

Natural or man-made disasters often destroy business from both a physical and data point-of-view. A new article from eMazzanti Technologies, a Hoboken, NJ and NYC area IT support expert, spells out a number of ways a business can avoid being irretrievably harmed by a surprise event such as a hurricane or tornado. The article is entitled: 24 Disaster Recovery Tips for Computer Networks.”

“According to researchers in Colorado State University, the chance of the US being hit by a major storm are about 70% greater than last year,” said Jennifer Mazzanti, president, eMazzanti Technologies. “That means businesses need to get prepared to make sure their data and networks survive.” [Source: New York Daily News, April 11, 2013]

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Disasters Waiting to Happen
Businesses disasters are usually classified in three categories: natural, such as hurricanes and earthquakes; technological failures; and human, either on purpose or by accident. But no matter what causes a disaster, the need to recovery and get a business back up and running is paramount.

As recent events such as Hurricane Sandy have shown, not only can catastrophic events devastate a natural environment, but they can leave a company’s IT infrastructure in ruins as well. That is why it is extremely critical for a business to initiate or enhance on a comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP) to protect its business and the livelihoods of employees in the event of a disaster.

1.    Focus on prevention
Assess your risks and potential business impacts to determine ways you can minimize the potential for disasters in advance. Conduct regular audits and system checks of your fire prevention and safety systems.

2.     Disaster Recovery Plan Needed
The Disaster Recovery plan needs to represent all functional areas within IT prior to, during, and after a disaster. It needs to include applications, networks, servers & storage. Contingencies, such as “what-if” scenarios should be considered as part of planning process. Decisions need to be made regarding levels of disruption that will constitute a disaster, downtime and loss tolerances.

As an example, a typical Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) might include the following:
•Information Technology Statement of Intent -- This sets the stage and direction for the plan.
•Policy Statement -- Very important to include an approved statement of policy regarding the provision of disaster recovery services.
•Objectives -- Main goals of the plan.
•Key Personnel Contact Information -- Very important to have key contact data near the front of the plan. It's the information most likely to be used right away, and should be easy to locate.
•Plan Overview -- Describes basic aspects of the plan, such as updating.
•Emergency Response -- Describes what needs to be done immediately following the onset of an incident.
•Disaster Recovery Team -- Members and contact information of the DR team.
•Emergency Alert, Escalation and DRP Activation -- Steps to take through the early phase of the incident, leading to activation of the DR plan.
•Media -- Tips for dealing with the media.
•Insurance -- Summarizes the insurance coverage associated with the IT environment and any other relevant policies.
•Financial and Legal Issues -- Actions to take for dealing with financial and legal issues.
•DRP Exercising -- Underscores the importance of DR plan exercising.
•Appendix A -- Technology Disaster Recovery Plan Templates -- Sample templates for a variety of technology recoveries; useful to have technical documentation available from select vendors.
•Appendix B -- Suggested Forms -- Ready-to-use forms that will help facilitate the plan completion.

3.     Keep the Disaster Recovery Plan Current
Disaster Recovery planning needs to be part of the everyday operations of the IT environment. Once the Disaster Recovery plan is created, it needs to be maintained and updated every time an element within the IT environment changes. For example, when key personnel change or when insurance coverage changes. The dynamic nature of IT environment ensures that the Disaster Recovery plan will fail if the management of the plan is not part of change management.

4.Inventory all IT assets
Having a complete picture of what you have is essential. Inventorying all your assets allows you to structure your priority systems and ensure that each server has been recovered. Literally, being able to cross them off as they restored is a simple, systematic way to approach getting a business back up and running.

5.    Appoint a disaster recovery team
Create a team of employees who know exactly what to do during an emergency and can assess damages and implement recovery plans in the aftermath of a disaster. Make sure you include someone from all areas of the business. Appoint a leader to be in charge of developing, managing and updating your disaster recovery plan.

6.    Store System Passwords
Passwords should be stored in at least two separate secure locations, only one of which is in the same building as your IT equipment. At least two staff members should have access to them.

7.    Document, document, document!
Make sure that the whole recovery process to get you up and running again is documented, and includes the locations of system recovery and other critical discs. Make sure key staff are familiar with these items.

    Read more…

Reference Library
For additional information on disaster-related articles and information to eMazzanti Technologies' home page here and search by topic below:

How to Select an IT Provider
Business Resiliency
5 Ways to Find a Cost-Saving IT Partner
7 Advantages of Managed IT Services
2013 Security Predictions
eCare Advanced Backup
eCare Disaster Recovery
CraddlePoint Case Study
Microsoft 365 Test Drive
eMS Customer Service Dashboard
Java Security Threat
Mobile Security Threats
Printer Security Threats
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)
PCI Compliance Tips and Guidelines
Tough Times, Risk Times
WatchGuard Depot-Next Generation Security Solutions
eMazzanti Sandy Disaster Recovery Story

About eMazzanti Technologies

eMazzanti’s team of trained, certified experts provide 24x7 outsourced IT support to help ensure business productivity, address challenges of growth, mobility, cloud computing and critical business continuity and disaster recovery demands. The consultant has special expertise in financial, architectural, engineering, construction, government, educational, legal services, accounting, marketing communications, and healthcare market segments. Flexible support plans range from fixed-fee, around-the-clock network management where eMazzanti functions as an extension of a businesses’ IT staff to a custom-solution provider on an as-needed basis. eMazzanti serves the Hoboken, NJ and NYC area markets as well as regional, national and international business support requirements . The IT firm is Microsoft's 2012 Partner of the Year and on-going Gold Partner, a four-time recipient of WatchGuard's Partner of the Year award and has achieved the Inc. 5000 list for the third year in a row. For more information contact: Carl Mazzanti 201-360-4400 or emazzanti.net. Twitter: @emazzanti , Facebook: Facebook.com/emazzantitechnologies.

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