Incident response and disaster recovery

Incident response and disaster recovery

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Chapter 9

Incident response and disaster recovery

Disasters and incidences that can cause harm to a business or any other establishment are common in the world of today. This may for instance be in the form of fire outbreaks, breach of security or a terrorist attack. This can cause a threat to existence of the business. Incidence response and disaster recovery plans are therefore essential in ensuring continuity of the business (Maiwald & Sieglein, 2008).

Disaster recovery planning refers to planning for continuity of a business in case there is a disaster that causes destruction of part or all of resources of a business. These resources can include data records, physical space of the business or information technology equipment and its related services. The main aim of the disaster recovery planning is to ensure continuity of a business within the shortest time possible. For instance if there is a fire outbreak, the business continuity should be achieved within the shortest time (Maiwald & Sieglein, 2008).

Business resumption planning deals with ensuring that the business is restored to its normal operations after occurrence of an emergency. It helps to get a business that has gone through an emergency to get back into the running it was enjoying before the incident. Unlike in disaster recovery planning, there is no procedures for continuity of the business used in case of an emergency. Instead, business resumption planning concentrates on preventive measures after an emergency has settled (Hiatt, 2004).

Contingency planning refers to preparing a firm to respond adequately and efficiently to an emergency that might occur. It is planning for an emergency in advance. Decisions are made in advance on how manage financial and human resources, communication procedures, coordination and logistics involved in case of occurrence of an emergency (Hiatt, 2004).

In the latest Disaster Recovery Journal, Issue 1 talks of Cloud-to Cloud Resiliency, Data Centre Risk in Earthquake Country and 2015 Emergency Notification (Hiatt, 2004). Also covered are articles on Business Continuity Market, Cloud Computing benefits and a Disaster Recovery Planning Guide (Hiatt, 2004). Individuals in the Opening Case Scenario can benefit from such articles as Disaster Recovery Planning, Benefits of Cloud Computing and Business Continuity Market (Hiatt, 2004).

Disasters have to be prevented from turning into catastrophes. In the Opening Case Scenario, effective collaboration and preparedness can help a lot in prevention of catastrophes. A clear line of authority has to exist to prevent disasters from turning to catastrophes. In my village, such disaster recovery measures such as helping one another during disasters, proper emergency notifications and following of the laid disaster management plan can help a lot is preventing disasters from turning catastrophic (Sandhu, 2006).

Disasters that frequently occur

Power outages. This is the most common form of disaster faced by organizations in my area. Virtually all organizations have experienced power outages since beginning of the year. Considerable damage is experienced by organizations which do not have a power backup in case of outages. They are forced to shut down their firms until the power has been restored. To avoid this most frequent form of disaster, organizations in my area should look for a power backup such as stand by generators so as to continue with their operations even in cases of power outages (Sandhu, 2006).

Fires. Most of the organizations in my area are supplied with electricity connection. This has been the main cause of fire in the organizations. Electric failure has been responsible for starting of small fires and in some cases, major fire outbreaks. This has been responsible for destruction of property especially when not contained earlier. In efforts to prevent this form of disaster, organizations should ensure that their power connections are in good order since it has been responsible for most fires. Also, they should equip themselves with fire enough fire-fighting equipment so as to prevent more damage in case of occurrence (Sandhu, 2006).

Equipment failure. This is the third most common form of disaster in my area. Electrical equipment, especially information technology infrastructure are prone to frequent failure. It has been established that many computers in these organizations fail due to attacks by hackers and other malicious software thus leading to lose of data. In preparedness for this, these organizations should have data backups so as to reduce loses due to failures. Also, they should consult the relevant computer experts so as to be supplied with computer protection programs against threats (Sandhu, 2006).

Theft. Theft of organization’s equipment is common in several organizations. The most common form of theft is theft of computers and other IT equipment. In order to cope with this disaster, organizations should improve on their security protocols and thus reduce theft (Sandhu, 2006).

Storms. Storms are common in my area especially in some seasons. This has caused considerable damage whenever they occur. Physical property has been destroyed and communication networks disrupted. In preparation for such storms, organizations should have in place a rescue plan for any employees that might be injured in the process. Also, their delicate equipment such as computers should be located in places that are able to withstand the effects of storm occurrences (Sandhu, 2006).

Epidemic illnesses. Though not common, some organizations have witnessed outbreak of epidemic diseases that cause nearly the whole population in the organization to be infected. This in most cases has led to stoppage of normal business operations. Organizations should have a medical response unit to deal with such epidemics. Furthermore, they should ensure that their employees are vaccinated against known epidemics with vaccines (Sandhu, 2006).

Chapter 10

In case of occurrence of a fire accident, some factors have to be considered in assessing the damage caused and plans to reoccupy the house. These can include fire and smoke damaged parts, water used for fire-fighting, interior finish, walls and carpets, dryness and house dehumidification, smoke, personal belongings and structural repairs (Maiwald & Sieglein, 2008). The following is a prioritized list to accomplish this task;

The following is a timetable to accomplish the task;

  • Every kind of fire and smoke damage should be repaired
  • Odors resulting from smoke are removed.
  • Latest water extraction equipment and technology is used to extract water remaining from fire-fighting.
  • Refinishing of damaged interiors and carpets.
  • Civil and structural repairs, if any.
Priority Action taken Expected duration
Fire and smoke damages Repair of parts damaged by smoke and fire 5 days
Smoke odors Removal of odor 2 days
Dryness of the house Water extraction using modern equipment 3 days
Damaged interiors Refinishing of damaged interiors 1 week

Organizations that offer DR services

Owing to the need to keep businesses running, there are several organizations that provide date recovery services. Some of the organizations include;

1. Clearpath solutions group 2. NetPulse services 3. DataBank 4. Iron Mountain 5. Ozone Solutions 6. 4Services Inc. 7. Rackspace 8. Techsoup 9. Kaseya

Of the above organizations, Techsoup, Kaseya and 4Services Inc. only provide data backup services or alternate site services (Maiwald & Sieglein, 2008). The remaining six organizations either provide other services apart from data backup or provide other data recovery related services (Maiwald & Sieglein, 2008).

In conclusion, incident response and disaster recovery are very essential in any organization. Organizations which recover well from disasters are able to ensure continuity of their businesses. It is therefore important for any organization to ensure they have adequate and efficient methods to recover from occurrence of disasters.

References

Hiatt, C. (2004). A primer for disaster recovery planning in an IT environment. Hershey, Pa.: Idea Group Pub.

Maiwald, E., & Sieglein, W. (2008). Security planning & disaster recovery. New York: McGraw-Hill/Osborne.

Sandhu, R. (2006). Disaster recovery planning. Cincinnati, Ohio: Premier Press.