Cloud technology based business continuity checklist

Today the catch phrase for business seems to be “cloud”, and it seems to appear in everything to do with IT.

For most business the installation and configuration of a cloud based component for their business is not as straight forward as the sales person sold to you.

So you have weathered the storm and your cloud based business component is now working and doing most of what it was suppose to do.

Have you thought about the implications of your cloud failing, your supplier going broke and into administration, or the Internet failing at a connection level.

Each business is different and each utilization of the cloud environment will be different as well.

There is no one standard that can be applied to your business but each business has to do its own risk analysis of their fundamental business requirements.

Here is a quick check list for a cloud based business continuity plan:

1. Full contact details of important people of the supply system.  If necessary get the phone and email details of senior management and middle management.

2. How is the system being backed up and where is it being backed up to.   These backups are critical and need to be tested in 2 ways, how fast can you restore data ( this includes incremental and historical data), and can it be restored to another system located in another data warehouse. If necessary to a bare bones system located in-house.   An alternative is to have another cloud based provider for just such an emergency running as a warm / hot site.

3. Does the cloud service provider do its own server backup and if so how regularly, and do they do it after each application and operating system update.   where is it stored and who can get at it – see point one for contact details.

4. What is the minimum capability that your business can do business at on the cloud based components, how fast can these components be restored.

5. Make sure your internal staff and departments understand their role in the business continuity plan.  It is NOT just the IT and management that is involved, it is a whole of business process.

6. You can never have enough contact details, stakeholders, internal people, critical infrastructure people, money people.   They all have a stake in the business so get as much details as you possibly can so that when there is a problem you can get hold of the right person at the critical time.

7. The final thing is to keep your communication channels open.  Keep in contact with staff, management, customers and clients through email, twitter, Facebook or any other social media system.   Keep talking

That is my take on a business continuity plan requirement for a cloud based system,  have I missed anything, what does yours look like?

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.