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FCW : April 30, 2013
Hurricane Sandy was just one of many recent weather-related events that underscored the impor- tance of keeping systems and operations up and running with as little interruption as pos- sible. But whether it s a natural disaster or an application failure that brings down a system, agencies must have a plan in place to protect their data and quickly recover IT services. Organizations are much more dependent on technology than they used to be. The emergence of anytime, anywhere, any-device access, and the integration of voice, video and data networks allow agencies to offer employees an integrated suite of tools that makes it easier for them to work and collabo- rate from wherever they are. As a result, expectations have changed and agencies are under pressure to maintain normal or close to normal operations at all times, said John Monroe, director, Custom Editorial, 1105 Government Information Group. Employees are expected to work and services are expected to be available. This is why well thought out disaster recovery and continuity of operations planning (COOP) are vital for agencies. "That is the world we live in now," Monroe said. "Given the budget situation, Congress is especially concerned about measures of lost productivity, and I don t see that changing any time soon." To be successful, agencies must have a comprehensive continuity of operations plan that they continually test and retest, said Eric Hennessey, Business Continuity Solutions Evangelist, Symantec Corp. In addition, documenting any lessons learned is critical to any COOP plan an agency develops. Monroe and Hennessey were speaking during a March 14, 2013 Webcast: Disaster Recovery and COOP: How to Make the Best of a Worst-Case Scenario. "I come from a military background and one of the rst things you learn is no plan ever survives the rst contact with the enemy," Hennessey said. "That is true when it comes to disaster recovery. There is always going to be that one thing that you didn t think of that causes everything to fall apart." But many agencies have struggled to create disaster recovery and COOP strategies, ac- cording to reports from the General Accountability Of ce, agency Inspector Generals and other oversight bodies, Monroe said. For instance, when it comes to drafting a business impact analysis, many agencies gloss over correlating speci c IT compo- nents with the services they support, and then using that information to determine the consequences of a system failure, Monroe said. That information is essential, he said, because it "will help agencies to prioritize the work to be done in terms of continuity planning and system recovery." And when it comes to testing and training, it is often limited to the agency headquarters, Monroe said. But testing and training should involve staff at the alternate sites, too. "They need to do this as if it s a real-world scenario to make sure everyone is involved who needs to be involved," he said. Fortunately, there are business continu- ity solutions available to help agencies, Hennessey said. He suggests agencies take a tiered approach, starting with protecting their data. "This is the ability to back up on a regular basis your critical data and then the ability to recover that data," he said. "This is a level of protection that every single one of your IT systems must have." A good back-up strategy that addresses all systems and all data regardless of where DIGITAL DIALOGUE AVOIDING DISASTER RECOVERY PITFALLS New solutions make disaster recovery, continuity of operations planning more manageable LISTEN/LEARN: For a replay of the webcast, go to: fcw.com/DisasterRecoveryWebcast SPONSORED CONTENT THE SPEAKERS: John Monroe, Director, Custom Editorial, 1105 Government Information Group Eric Hennessey, Business Continuity Solutions Evangelist, Symantec Highlights from a recent webcast on disaster recovery and continuity of operations planning DEFINITIONS Disaster Recovery: Recover operations on site COOP: Stand up operations at alternate site Business Recovery: Restore business processes on site Business Continuity: Sustain business functions during/ after event An application that is absolutely essential gets a higher level of protection than an application that ...we can live without for a day or two." -- Eric Hennessey, Business Continuity Solutions Evangelist, Symantec SEVEN MOST COMMON PITFALLS FOR COOP AND DISASTER RECOVERY Business Impact Analysis Testing and Training Telework Pandemic Planning Information Technology Vital Records Dotting the I's...
April 15, 2013
May 15, 2013