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Commentary
2/15/2007
10:58 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Make Contingency Plans For Your Enterprise

Scientists estimate the chances of a catastrophic earthquake jolting Southern California in the next 30 years could be nearly 70%. An AT&T study asked L.A.'s IT execs if they were prepared for such an eventuality. Is your enterprise?

Scientists estimate the chances of a catastrophic earthquake jolting Southern California in the next 30 years could be nearly 70%. An AT&T study asked L.A.'s IT execs if they were prepared for such an eventuality. Is your enterprise?While earth-shattering events such as the S.F. Bay area earthquake of '89 or 9/11 are indeed rare, they do happen from time to time. Surprisingly, 30% of the execs surveyed by AT&T agreed that contingency planning is important, but have no plan in place to actually provide that protection.

Enterprises that are highly mobile or spread over large geographic regions may face a somewhat lower risk than those that use a single center for operations, but that doesn't mean they can't lose everything. De-centralizing information, or having multiple storage sites, is a critical safety net to employ.

According to the survey, cybersecurity is a top worry, with 26% of respondents saying the thought of worms or viruses keeps them awake at night. Natural disasters ranked second in the sleep-deprivation category with 21%, followed by security breaches (18%), and man-made disasters (15%).

If there's one lesson learned in the wake of 9/11, it's that centralized business operations create an inherent risk in the eventuality that those locations are destroyed by acts of god or madmen. Finance firms in Manhattan have moved many of their central data and information resources away from Wall Street, with some pushing business-critical data to safer locations across the Hudson River in Jersey City.

If these companies already have taken the steps to protect their information, shouldn't you protect yours?

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