As for geographic disbursement, make sure that wherever possible, you decentralize. "If you have your offices in California, Nevada may be far enough away," Vickers opined. Enterprises should trade back-ups among their disparate offices, and should leverage the use of Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs.) Storage service providers have made great use of MANs to deliver redundant connectivity to their clients, thereby not only availing themselves of a broader customer base, but of being able to replicate data from one sector to another when called for. Asking to be pardoned for the expression, Vickers said "The cost isn't as catastrophic as it used to be."
Larger companies may also consider use of a recovery center, such as those provided by Comdisco. Roberta Witty and Donna Scott of The Gartner Group reported that "as of 12 September, 30 Comdisco customers were in the process of recovery, and Comdisco anticipated that all 35 would be in recovery by the end of the day."
Short of a complete disaster, there are steps you can take which will help out in an emergency. Another Cahners In-Stat Industry Analyst, Amy Cravens, suggested that "Moving the plant presence and Central Office to remote locations, such as the basement of your building or a nearby facility, will help assure connectivity in many instances."
A further precaution is to establish guidelines for dealing with and reporting Cyber Threat and Computer Intrusion Incidents (CIRT). An excellent example of a form you can use is available at the National Infrastructure Protection Center's Web site.
Reportedly, many of the financial companies that were housed in the World Trade Center had their data well-taken care of, and are already on the road to recovery. If your company has not yet implemented and tested such plans, take heed and be prepared. If there's nothing else we have learned, it's that the unimaginable can occur.
As for the human tragedy involved, please check in at our National Crisis Resources page to see how you can help.
Jim Freund is managing editor of CrossNodes, where this article first appeared.