Ready for disaster: understanding natural and physical disasters in IT security threats (part 2 of 3)

Posted by Bec Ney on Mar 25, 2019 2:28:00 AM
Bec Ney

Ready for disaster: understanding natural and physical disasters in IT security threats (part 2 of 3)

The term ‘natural disaster’ conjures up visions of towering waves and flaming asteroids bearing down upon populous cities. From volcanic eruptions to city-levelling earthquakes, Hollywood has done it all, seemingly unconcerned with scientific accuracy or the destruction of society as we know it.

And like the characters in those movies, we in the real world are often woefully unprepared for the damage a natural or physical disaster can wreak upon infrastructure. This is especially true for businesses and their IT ecosystems. Because when vital, operational systems are connected and interdependent, it takes just one catastrophe to cripple the network and bring a business to its knees.


Types of disasters and their consequences

From flooding and fire to earthquakes, hurricanes and electric storms, there are a number of external dangers a business needs to prepare for. Risk assessment — such as taking location and historical weather patterns into account — helps management put the relevant contingencies in place to ensure important data is not lost, nor security breached. Here are a few disasters a company needs to prepare for:

  • A surge in voltage due to an electrical storm can seriously damage vital network components like motherboards, modems, routers and CPU memory.
  • Power outages are of grave concern, as blackouts not only open IT systems up to attack but threaten the longevity of network equipment.
  • A fire will trigger the smoke alarm which activates the office sprinkler. Flooding and water damage present obvious dangers to equipment, while the subsequent cleanup can cause disruption and downtime.

A catastrophic case in point:

Last year, severe flooding in Queensland caused over $1 billion in damage, with the city of Townsville losing approximately $606 million. This widespread deluge has resulted in businesses having to pick up the pieces, both literally and figuratively.


Evaluate risk factors and put safety measures in place

By putting the following measures in place, a business can protect itself against the worst:

  • Install uninterruptible power systems (UPS), regulating software and backup generators to protect equipment and maintain power during outages.
  • Have an evacuation plan that accounts for employee safety and the backup of essential information and documentation.
  • The aftermath of a disaster can be exploited by looters and thieves. In the event that your office is compromised, hire only reputable cleanup and removal services to do the job.
  • Use DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) for the duplication of your entire IT environment. Offsite backup provides failover to a cloud-computing environment for quick recovery in the event of a disaster.

Are you disaster-ready should the unthinkable occur?

The only way to implement a robust disaster recovery plan is to assess your IT strengths and weaknesses. To help you, we’ve created a handy tool that will give you an idea of the strength of your infrastructure.


Click here and find out how disaster-ready your business really is.

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Bec Ney

Head of Marketing


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