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News

Early planning advice for disaster recovery effectiveness

Guidance Consulting : 30 December, 2009  (Technical Article)
IT Consultancy company recommends early planning beyond vulnerability analysis to ensure business continuity
According to the experts at Guidance Consulting, an IT planning and consulting firm based out of Georgia, the number one reason why IT disasters close businesses is due to a lack of planning beyond the initial vulnerability steps. Their best planning advice for companies who depend on their IT infrastructure for daily business isn't about installing preventative measures - it's about mapping out a plan if those preventative measures should fail to work.

"The best disaster recovery plans are the ones that include what-if scenarios for just about every possible outcome," says Guidance Consulting senior consultant Ronald Gottilla. While he and his team fully support vulnerability planning - in fact, they've recently released a new line of vulnerability management options - he stresses that there's no such thing as too much planning in case a virus or invader does get through.

"This is one area of our job where creativity is the key," says Gottilla. "We have to take a step back from the traditional information security solutions to think about the human element." The human element in IT planning and recovery is unpredictable, whether you're considering individuals trying to hack into your system or even the employees you rely on to continue operating even when a network goes down. Companies must not only plan what the next big attack will be, but how they can maximize workforce continuity when a disaster occurs.

This type of "who" and "what-if" planning is what Guidance Consulting is all about. Says Gottilla, "By coordinating company networks with their unique employee setup as well as the current IT environment, we can create a whole new level of disaster recovery planning. And this type of planning needs to be done before the inevitable happens."

Early planning is a key component of reducing the amount of damages in lost time and money for IT disasters of all sizes. These days, it's all about being comprehensive: comprehensive assessments, comprehensive planning, and comprehensive results. "The sooner we start working with a company, the sooner we can map out a plan," adds Gottilla. "From there, we can simply address changes as they arise."

For Gottilla and his team, disaster recovery planning is a lot like placing the shingles on a roof. The first step is putting down a base; from there, you can finesse and make additions in response to adverse weather conditions. But without that base, you're looking at a whole lot of empty space.

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