DRaaS And The Cloud: The Why, What, And How Of Recovery Services

Man with cloud diagram

The network cloud has become a very popular place. All kinds of services can be found there. Now, add disaster recovery to the list. It turns out that cloud service features match customer requirements for backup and recovery solutions amazingly well. Stringent security and high availability in carrier-class cloud environments have been proven and accepted. So if you’ve been waiting on these features to look into cloud services for disaster recovery, the wait is over. Cloud Service Benefits Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)—a subset of Recovery as a Service (RaaS)-- is booming because customers are feeling confident in the security and availability features in cloud inf … Read more

Wild Cowboy Stories From The IT Frontier

cowboy silhouette

For many years, I wore cowboy boots to work. It seemed appropriate … after all, as a senior architect, I often have to “herd” clients to help them develop solutions around availability of their most critical business systems and processes. In the process, I often tell a few tales around the IT campfire from the frontier of days past. The stories demonstrate to my clients that this is, in fact, not my first rodeo. Note: places, names, and timelines have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). “As a cowboy, you are only as good as your last round up.” Early in my career, I had a client with the on-site system administrator who was responsible for fileserver backups for the cor … Read more

What Do Information Security Consultants REALLY Do?

Man working at laptop

With all of the data breaches in the news lately, you might be thinking of calling in an information security consultant to help improve your network’s protection. That’s a good idea, and a good step to protect your company data. But consultants are not created equal. They have different areas of expertise and levels of expertise as well as different levels of commitment to your business. Before you spend a lot of money on an information security consultant, you want to make sure you know your security goals and priorities. The following questions can help you determine your needs and ultimately choose the right consultant: • Do you have the staff and the skills to successfully manage … Read more

The Best IT Blogs Of The Week: 8-27-14

IT blogs

Have you ever heard of a ‘life hack’? For those who are unfamiliar, a life hack is a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one's time and daily activities in a more efficient way (as defined by Oxford Dictionaries). Trust me, there’s some creative ones out there, like using the sticky side of a post-it note to clean in between your computer keys (it works!). The point is, life hacks make our lives easier. But computer hacks have an opposite meaning. When a company is hacked, more obstacles arise than ever before. First it’s the cyber attack, then data is lost, and then companies must salvage what they can. Here’s a roundup of the recent hacker havoc and the ‘life hacks’ that can ke … Read more

Are Working Moms The “Mother” Of BC/DR?

business team of mother and son

Working moms spend every waking minute striving to keep their family life and work responsibilities—sometimes simultaneously—up and running. They run their lives based on contingency-plans for the “what-if” scenarios and recovery plans from the inevitable everyday disasters, all with the goal of minimal impact to home and workplace operations. If you’re out there earning the title “working mom” every day like I am, adopting a business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) mindset might help you in your everyday quest to maintain seamless operations at the office and on the home front. Since my recent debut as a working mother when I returned from maternity leave, I haven’t been able to help … Read more

Failing Your Compliance Audits? Here’s Why

Theatre stage as a book

Audit. The very word brings on a state of nervous tension. Financial audits. Tax audits. Records audits. And in the business IT space, compliance audits. There’s good reason for that shiver of cold fear. In my conversations with clients, I have discovered that too many companies are failing their compliance audits, and they don’t know why. They’ll say, “But we prepared! We tested! Everything worked fine!” Most of the time, it takes me just a few targeted questions before I can tell them, “This is why you are failing your compliance audits!” For instance, • “Have you only performed tests on single aspects of your disaster recovery plan … without ever ‘putting it all together’?” • “Have you … Read more

3 Dumb Questions NOT To Ask When Vetting Your Vendors For Business Continuity Risk

business continuity

Vetting your vendors from a business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) perspective is hot, hot, hot these days. For example, the federal government put out specific Risk Management Guidance for national banks in October of 2013. In a nutshell, the guidance says, “You’d better make sure your vendors have it together if you’re doing business with them, and it’s on you either way!” Now, this is not new; don’t get me wrong. People have been shouting about the need for business continuity up and down the supply chain – any supply chain – for decades. After all, if one of your key vendors experiences a disruptive incident, it can directly impact your business. And that’s bad for everyone. … Read more

3 Ways To Improve Your BC/DR Exercises

BC/DR exercises

Disaster recovery testing has been around for more than 30 years but, unfortunately, most companies are exercising their disaster recovery and business continuity plans and capabilities like it was still the 1970s. No evolution. No improvement. No relevance to actual disaster scenarios. For the sake of continuity, resiliency, recoverability, agility, and all the rest of those good words, we’d better change the way we exercise our business continuity plans so that we can be ready when a REAL disaster comes along. Here are three ways to do exactly that. Exercise strategically. Traditional exercises tend to have three major problems: 1. They exercise repetitively. “Let’s exercise what we exe … Read more