25 June 2016

5 Questions: Are You Prepared When Disaster Strikes?


When disaster strikes, a business owner can be left with a big mess and many regrets. Nowhere is an ounce of prevention more critical than preserving your business application and website records.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself that will help protect your records and operations in the event of a disaster:


1. What about all the paper documents?

This is probably the number one reason that our clients initially seek us out. Picture your office after it is flooded by a burst pipe, rearranged by a hurricane winds damaged by fire and the water used to fight it. Your files and paperwork have been destroyed or turned to papier mache.I believe that replacing paper documents with digital records is key for disaster planning and business efficiency overall. BPA (Business Process Automation) makes information readily available and eliminates risk of paper data loss in a disaster as well as reducing the time and costs of translating documents into digital formats during normal operations.


2. Should my business be concerned with online data backups?

Incorporating automated hourly/daily backups from your business application in your disaster recovery plan is a must. I suggest saving these backups to a secure offsite location which will receive a lot of stress in such a situation. If you are reading this and remembering such a situation, you aren’t alone, which is why we now insist on setting up backup plans for all our clients!


3. How can I protect my business from legal repercussions of a data leak?

In case of a data leak from your business application(s), your organization may find itself to be in a harrowing situation. As part of the web/software development process, we discuss encryption with our clients to ensure any sensitive data is protected (like passwords, client account information, etc). Doing so will save you a lot of legal headaches as, in the event of a breach, the leaked data will not be able to be read by anyone else due to the encryption. I also recommend other key data security measures that should be taken like IP whitelisting of specific ports and SSL that will minimize data loss in a man-made disaster situation (virus/hack).


4. What will happen to my business’ productivity in case the web/business applications server is affected during a disaster?

If your business cannot tolerate any downtime, I recommend utilizing dual data centers capable of handling all data processing needs, which run in parallel with data mirrored or synchronized between the two centers. There are many cost effective options available.


5. Are there any monitoring tools that can be used to watch over the health of my website/applications and data?

Yes, absolutely. Such tools will send automatic alerts in case any unusual hardware/software behavior is detected. I highly recommend utilizing these after an analysis of which ones would be most relevant for your business. This is one of our essential strategies for every development project.

Not many organizations have a concrete understanding of what BPA (Business Process Automation) and online data security can do, but seeing how it can empower your business makes it an exciting prospect. For our clients, preserving and protecting their documents and processes brings peace of mind and can mean a quick return to full operational capacity after a disaster.