It's the responsibility of every business owner to ensure that their business can survive disasters. As our businesses become increasingly dependent on technology, the potential for damage when technology fails increases. I've prepared a list of questions to which you should both know and be satisfied with the answers.
Your information exists in many places and losing data in any of them can be disruptive to your business. We can't yet make 100% fail-proof data storage, and even that wouldn't deal effectively with the problem of accidental data loss or malicious viruses and trojan horses. To protect our data, we need to keep several copies stored on different physical media, preferably with some physical separation.
- How is the data on my workstations and laptops backed up?
- How is the data on my server backed up?
- How is my email backed up?
- How is my website backed up?
- How is my phone backed up?
- Do I have a redundant internet connection in my office?
When your various systems and devices fail, you'll need to get them restored quickly. If you contact information for the people and services who will help you get up and running again is stored on the device that failed, you'll see further delays. You need to have this contact information on-hand.
- IT support for desktops and workstations
- Email Host
- Web Host
- Domain registrar
- DNS Host
- Telephone provider
- Internet provider
During the recovery process, you will need to prove that you are who you say you are. While not the best scheme, we typically use shared secrets for this - passwords. You should know your username or account number and password combinations for all of your business critical services. There are two easy ways to remember all of this information - to use the same password for everything, or to write them all down. Unfortunately, neither is a great idea. I'll suggest ways around this problem in the near future.
- Workstation User Account
- Workstation Admin Account
- Server User Account
- Server Admin Account
- Domain Registrar
- Email User Account
- Email Admin Account
- Web User Account
- Web Admin Account
- Phone Admin Account
- Internet Connection Admin Account
You can download a data continuity worksheet here: Data Continuity Worksheet (PDF)
And if you're not convinced, see this blog: The Day a Bullet Got Through
And this one: When Was the Last Time You Backed Up