written by Chris Griesemer

I am looking out the window at the enormous amounts of snow falling. Am I thinking how beautiful the snow looks? No. Am I thinking about making a snow man later? No. Actually, because I am an information security nerd, I am thinking, I hope businesses have their disaster recovery plans updated so they are ready for this winter event.

Whether you have a formal written Business Continuity Plan, a sheet of paper with some instructions on it or a list of things to do in your head, most businesses have an idea of what will be accomplished in a disaster event. Now that a possible disaster event is upon us, it is time to utilize whatever disaster recovery plan you have.

I would like to suggest a couple of ways to use a disaster to help improve your already existing disaster plan. Did you by any chance get to work this morning, look around and discover you were the only person at work? Well, one of two things happened. Either the person who is supposed to notify employees during a disaster forgot or, you are the delegated notifying employee.

Of course this a silly example but my point is that certain steps in your disaster plan might happen today and it is important to record the results of these steps and make sure they actually accomplished what they were supposed to. If you really do have a notification step, did the proper employee’s make the calls, were the numbers correct in the employee contact list and were all employee’s on the list including the new employee’s. Write the results down with a grade.

When the disaster is over and everything is back to normal, sit down and discuss each result and grade. If there were issues, not only discuss how they happened but try to determine if there are ways to make sure those issues never happen again. Some of you will determine that you are simply tweaking a procedure here and there. Others will determine actual steps that have been left out. Whichever one you fall into, the important thing is this process will allow you to strengthen your plan for disasters that happen in the future.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us any time.

By Chris Griesemer, IT Security Specialist