remote access

Business Continuity & Remote Access: 2 crucial elements to consider

Previously, we discussed A 10-Point Natural Disaster Recovery Checklist. This is your go-to guide for regaining full operations after a disaster.

Now, it’s important to remember that “disaster” can mean a variety of things — anything from a hacker tearing down your digital infrastructure to a natural disaster tearing apart your physical infrastructure.

Either way, a disaster results in a business that can no longer be a business, and this checklist is the key to making that business whole again.

However, part of this checklist involves remote access. How will your team be able to work from another location if your business isn’t accessible? Obviously, this goes above and beyond the data itself. Here are two very crucial elements you must consider.

How will the data be accessed?

Say you’re snowed in. You can’t open your front door, let alone drive to work. So you’ll be working from home for the day (or at least until the snow clears up).

Sure, you’re able to access data — but how? Or more specifically, with what?

What tools are you expected to use to access your work data and to complete work-related tasks?

This is an important piece to consider when creating a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan. Likewise, it’s also a relatively easy piece to miss. You might just assume that people will resort to their personal laptops and home computers — but what if they don’t have a personal device?

At this point, your company needs to consider handing out take-home work devices for those employees that can’t skip work in lieu of a disaster.

You also need to consider disasters that can have long-term impacts — like if your brick-and-mortar business burns down in a fire. In this case, where will your employees go to work and what devices will they use when they get to this new location? Are they expected to bring their own devices or does the company have funds set aside to purchase new devices? And in this case, do you have a designated IT company and product vendor in mind with specific SLAs set in place?

There are a lot of moving pieces to consider and each piece will be wholly dependent on the type of business you run.

How will the data be secured?

Consider some of the last few hurricanes we’ve had (or even the fires in the wine country of California). Buildings were completely decimated, and many businesses were left without a physical office.

However, some businesses were able to continue operations remotely. For example, if a marketing agency, law firm, or insurance company was in the line of flooding in Houston, that’s not necessarily a make-or-break situation. The employees can easily work from home — given the right devices, with appropriate access to data and communication tools.

This being said, the security of this remotely accessed data isn’t automatic. Security doesn’t just transfer from a physical business to a home or coffee shop. Proactive measures do need to be taken with each individual device. And in some cases, the connections employees use to access tools and data also need to be carefully reviewed.   

If this security isn’t taken into consideration, then you might end up with two disasters instead of one.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Disaster Recovery and the many elements involved, take a look at: Your disaster is not my disaster. So what’s a Disaster Recovery Plan?