Last week, we talked about managing your computers systems including protection against viruses and loss of data. Continuing on that vein, let’s talk about other ways to protect against loss.
The Sledge Hammer Problem
People often consider obvious risks like fire or weather. (And, yes, you do need to have adequate insurance – more on that another time.) But, what about theft? Or, what if a disgruntled employee decided to harm your systems? A year or so ago, I was consulting with an Alliance Partner. When I asked about their network systems, he pointed to a rack in the corner of the room. I asked what they would do, if a disgruntled employee took a sledgehammer to the rack. As a good business owner, it may not seem very likely, but you’ve got to admit that it is leaving a lot to risk that could be easily protected.
Disaster Recovery Plan
Even if you feel like you’ve taken adequate measures to protect your business, you should still consider what you will do if disaster strikes. As difficult as it may be to imagine how you will rebuild your facilities and systems, the real loss is down-time, which could quickly destroy your business. So, ask yourself, if our building burned down tonight, how could we be billable tomorrow?
So, you should create a disaster recovery plan. At a minimum, it should address:
- Direction and Control – basic plans and authority (e.g. buy computers, data recovery…)
- Communication – how will you communicate with your employees, customers, vendors
- Shutdown and evacuation – Might as well include a section on what employees should do if there is an on-site emergency
Finally, don’t forget to test it. Is the plan adequate, effective, and practical?
Providing adequate protection for you company is always a sticky subject. How much time and money should you invest to prevent something that has a minimal chance of happening? I’d suggest that has to balanced with how catastrophic is that risk.