THE recent passage of a tropical wave should heighten our awareness of the potential for damage when these natural phenomena affect our homeland. The rains, wind, and flowing water all have an impact on our surroundings, especially since our country is hilly, and flowing water may threaten bridges, roads and our property. In addition to the steps that we usually take to secure our property, some thought should be given to how we secure our computing devices and other ICT equipment.
In particular, the data stored on your computer systems should be safely backed up, on a regular basis, in advance of the inclement weather. Although suitable insurance cover may replace lost or damaged hardware, the real loss is likely to be the lost information on which to run your business, or the loss of treasured information, such as records and digital photographs.
To adequately prepare, here are some tips to help with your plans:
*) Backup your data — as regularly as you can afford;
*) Safeguard the backup — secure that information offsite;
*) Record key details of your system — including versions and serial numbers;
*) Take steps to secure the environment.
Your objective is to recover as quickly as possible if you suffer damage to your ICT equipment. This usually means that the hardware should be protected from water damage, so raise from the floor level. The data should be protected, so a recent backup should be available. At least one backup should be located far offsite, so the same event which damages the equipment should not also damage the backup. If your property is located in a valley or other flood prone area, you should also assess whether your building may be damaged. By improving the drainage in the surrounding area, you may prevent some damage to your property.
These few tips should always be borne in mind, whether you are securing a large government-level agency or a modestly-sized business. If your work relies on information, like many of us, just consider what you would need to recover in case of any damage. If you do not have a disaster recovery plan, it would be wise to develop one, since we are still in the hurricane season. Avoid the hardship, and be prepared.
To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.
About the Author
Dr. Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.