IT Disaster - Prevention, Precaution and Recovery

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity concepts are more relevant to IT and technology companies as well as the service industry that is dependent upon technology as their backbone than any other industry. The reason being that IT systems, network, hardware as well as software and communication systems etc are highly sensitive and vulnerable and hence these businesses carry a high risk of IT systems failure. The failures can be on account of one or several factors with power being one of the most critical factors. The IT systems are hyper sensitive to power and voltage fluctuation. Therefore it has become imperative for the Organizations to invest into high end UPS systems which can manage and control the power surge, the spikes and thus protect the system.

Yet another major and critical risk factor affecting the IT network is the risk of a virus attack. A virus coming in through an external source such as internet, external devices etc can paralyze the entire system and corrupt the data.

Viruses are nothing but written programs that travel through the various communication networks and get embedded in the host computers where they cause damage by corrupting the data or causing the crash of the system. Like the virus that affects the entire body, the virus can replicate themselves and spread very fast from one system to all the systems in the network and paralyze the system. Some viruses are harmless and play pranks by showing up irritating messages where as several other viruses are deadly and capable of crashing the systems. Across the world businesses have suffered huge losses due to virus attacks.

As an antidote to virus attacks, businesses have got to invest into effective anti-virus programs and other modes of protecting and ensuring that their system is foolproof. Having firewall and thus protecting the network and systems from outside contacts as well as using other forms of protocol has become a necessity.

It is not enough to just install anti-virus programs such as McAfee, Kaspersky, Symantec etc, in each and every system and in the servers, it is important to ensure that the programs are updated regularly and latest versions as well as upgrades are regularly updated in the systems, for every other day new types of viruses are sent out by hackers and the systems need to be kept updated to prevent new viruses from causing havoc. More importantly each and every system should be scanned and each new downloaded file from internet as well as new external device should be scanned for virus before usage.

Apart from using anti-virus and other programs, there are several precautions that the Organization needs to take as a part of disaster prevention and backup strategy. Defining and implementing a process to take regular backup of all critical data is one key aspect of disaster recovery program.

A very important part of disaster prevention program should be to control and avoid employees using internet and downloading files, softwares, etc into their systems.

It is necessary to scan incoming and outgoing mails in order to ensure the data is virus free. Most of the Organizations disable their systems for use of external devices such as floppies, CDs and USB drives etc for these can be the virus carriers from external sources.

Disaster recovery program should also chalk out action plan for isolating the system that is affected by virus from the entire network and ensuring that the rest of the systems are protected from spreading of virus. Such Virus management program should be a daily routine and part of working culture. Only in such cases can the disaster recovery plan can be executed successfully when in crises.

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