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Your business is at risk. Computer crimes, cyber terrorism, physical disasters (theft and vandalism), and natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, power failures) — any of these can cause a complete loss of your operating information: customer names, inventory lists, accounts receivable records, etc.
40% of businesses that experience a disaster – never recover.
— Peter Browne, V.P., Predictive Systems' Global Integrity
And those that do recover often take years to get back to their pre-disaster operating level.
What Businesses Should Know About Cyberterrorism (Gigalaw.com, Peter K. Yu)
Disaster Recovery Plans are helpful, but those take effect too late. You need a plan that starts before there is a disaster, to ensure that your business not only recovers, but also continues to operate smoothly.
Business continuity is the name given to the entire range of procedures, processes, and activities that you can use to ensure that your business keeps operating when the worst happens. Business Continuity Planners Association contains "some of the best known sites on the Internet that have material on business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as a few other resources you may find useful."
Computer Security Institute highlights some interesting statistics on business losses from computer security breaches.
When you determine which level of security is right for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- What will be the effect on my business of being non-operational?
- How much will it cost me to be non-operational for an hour? How about a day? A week?
- How long am I willing to be non-operational?
- How much will it cost to prevent excessive downtime?