How Much Business Continuity Protection Is Enough?

Disaster Preparedness

How Much Business Continuity Protection Is Enough?

By Rich Tehrani, CEO, Technology Marketing Corporation  |  June 01, 2011

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan continue to reinforce the misconception that most business interruptions are caused by large natural disasters. Actually, most business interruptions are the result of more commonplace local events but can be just as disruptive.

A local power outage will shut down your office just as effectively as a major national disaster.   New threats like cyber attacks have become a major factor in BC planning but the parallels are similar. A limited cyber attack targeting your company or your outsourced service providers would be as damaging as being part of a nationwide attack. 

In early April of this year, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III warned that the United States is facing a new generation of cyber attacks. Comments like that bring into question the reliability of subscription services versus traditional customer premises solutions. This column has always taken the position that subscription-based services are an excellent choice for many companies seeking to reduce IT overhead plus acquire a BC solution in the bargain. Our position has not changed. 

Subscription services like VoIP, FoIP and other SaaS (News - Alert) solutions are quick to deploy, easy to maintain and provide an excellent cost-to-benefit ratio. Cloud solutions also provide workforce mobility so employees can be deployed over wide geographic areas using home offices to offset the local event factor. This is particularly critical for SMBs that may not have multiple company locations.

From a pure security perspective, the best subscription-based services are housed in secure, redundant data centers and include features like SAS (News - Alert) 70 Type II compliance, 128-bit AES encryption, full 24 x 7 IT support, anti-virus and spam protection and many other desirable BC features. A comparable customer premises operation would be very expensive to deploy and maintain, plus the cost would place it out of the reach of most SMBs. 

Going back to the title question of how much is enough: Theoretically, you can never have enough security, but all organizations have budget limitations, which is why subscription-based services remain a top choice for many organizations.

Rich Tehrani is CEO of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.

Edited by Jennifer Russell