Disaster recover for the Martian Rover – Bummer

Business Contingency-PlanningI was recently watching a program on the Martian rover and how they got the little beast onto the Mars surface. What a feat of engineering!

It occurred to me to consider the numerous contingencies that must have been put in place to ensure that nothing unpredicted disabled the mission and wasted billions of dollars in the process. Every possible “what if” had to be carefully planned for, ready to be dealt with, just in case.

Often for SMEs, the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans are just slapped together hurriedly in the hope that they will never need to actually be used. However, the attitude of “It won’t happen to me” is not a reliable contingency plan. Hoping and praying are not much help either.

To take it one step further, many SMEs have Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity plans that have never been tested. The first time the Plans are used is when the business is deep in the depths of a complete disaster. The reason these Plans need to be tested is to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do when.

In the midst of a total failure of a crucial aspect of the business, it is vital that everyone knows what they have to do, that no one panics and most importantly, that the people involved and their families are supported just as much as the business. Organisations tend to forget that when people are dealing with a full blown disaster or natural catastrophe, the last thing they are going to be thinking about is getting the business up and running again—their natural, primary concern is to ensure the safety of themselves and their families and friends.

Statistics show that following a disaster, the bones of a business, or the technological aspects, can be up and running quite quickly, particularly for businesses that use cloud-based systems. It is the delays in enabling people to access the systems and get back to work that can have a detrimental effect on the business.

If you do not have a Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery Plan–get one. A basic plan is better than no plan. If you already have a plan, continually evaluate it, keep it relevant, and make sure that when you have to use it, it is going to work for you, not against you.

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.