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IT Disaster Management

Dan earned his CompTIA (CIOS) certification in 2010 and worked in the computer repair/networking industry for several years.

it-disaster-management

Different kinds of computer users exist. Some of the common uses for computers include internet research, gaming, content creation, real-time monitoring (e.g., used in the stock market or hospitals), and databases. For the user who does not store mission-critical files on their computer, a broken or malfunctioning device is a trivial hurdle.

For the users who depend on computers for storing and retrieving information, a system outage—even for a short period of time—could mean a loss in profit. In the case of hospitals, data loss could mean the potential loss of life or delay in treatment, as doctors depend on reliable systems to retrieve critical information about patients.

Some businesses and organizations attempt to manage, preserve, and restore data themselves, in order to save money. While this might work in some circumstances, the stress load added to normal business operations can be overwhelming. IT service providers typically include disaster—data recovery plans—in their IT package, which merits consideration.

Proactive Computer Monitoring

An important facet of data preservation is taking a proactive approach to system outages. Business IT systems are composed of computers, the network equipment that links them together, and the internet (to add a layer of complexity). Individual computers—desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones—are composed of several parts, each of which can fail at any time.

System monitors can be set up so that anticipated failure of some device components can be mitigated before they escalate into an expensive scenario—costing the system owner hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to recover. Computer data storage disks, for example, can be monitored for anomalies or standard red flags that indicate impending or potential failure. Data-flow disruptions in a network can also be catastrophic to data availability—QoS or quality of service systems can be implemented by professional IT personal to optimize the speed of data over a network.

Cybercrime Mitigation

Handling failed components are only one side of the coin when designing a data management plan. Computer hackers are on a mission to access private computer data for various reasons—some of which include monetary gain by selling data and stealing identities, blackmail, and obtaining high ground over political opponents.

The avenues and skills used to obtain illegal access to private computer data are complex and well designed, so when a poorly configured network is storing information that's telling of personal details, it's advantageous to cybercriminals. Ransomware, a type of computer virus encrypting files it infects, is a sure death sentence on computer data—hackers can install it using cunning and deceptive techniques, but what's important is that if the data in question is efficiently backed up, it can be restored with relatively little hassle.

It's thought by some computer users that merely installing antivirus software on a system will quell the risk of this type of attack, but it should be understood that antivirus software is best used as a back-of-the-line type of defense, opting for common-sense and professionally guided security systems. Certainly, one crucial aspect is the careful vetting of installed software—a common way ransomware is installed is by downloading and installing free software—the malicious software gets installed alongside the supposed useful software that's being installed.

Implementing a Data Security Plan

Any time measures are put into place to protect data, the system needs to be tested for feasibility—making adjustments where necessary. Testing is usually taken into consideration by the service offering comprehensive IT monitoring—and data management. With careful hiring decisions, however, businesses will notice little if any disruption.

Whatever the case, when the dust settles after a major system outage—whether caused by a computer virus, fire, or another catastrophe—the benefactor of disaster recovery preparation will say, "That was worth it." The business owner will also have taken advantage of long-term stress relief—a virtue that sells itself.

Organizations aspiring to create positive environments must eventually determine whether they can handle the maintenance and preparations required by their computers. In addition to the added stress, computer network security policies—implying protection of data—made by uninformed personal and inconsistent propagation of policies, can lead to quarreling within organizations. Starting at the top, the negative energy can trickle down and affect efficiency within the entire company.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Dan Martino

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