Business continuity plans are vital hedges against unexpected natural disasters, computer viruses and cyberattacks. However, many organizations may be unprepared for such contingencies right now, or are pursuing inefficient approaches that are detracting from productivity. While antivirus software can help to ward off some incidents, companies may also need to consider data archiving solutions and, in the case of small and midsize business, disc-based backups to preserve their critical information.
Malware and viruses can enter corporate networks via unsecured applications like social networks, putting data at risk from chargeware schemes that seek to sell it on the Web for thousands of dollars. A prominent computer virus called Zeus, originally designed to steal credit card numbers, has been modified to also generate fake mobile social network "likes." Once it infects a PC, that computer becomes an instrument in a cybercrime network and its data may be at risk from theft, according to Reuters correspondent Jim Finkle.
Continuity plans need more variety
With many corporations now offering bring-your-own-device policies that permit mobile hardware for handling of sensitive data, such risks are magnified. Since many of these new portable devices may be slimline laptops, an external DVD drive could be useful as a way to give them the ability to read discs and create backups for SMBs. However, organizations have not always been so forward-looking in their continuity plans.
"The problem is that when everything is running smoothly, no one thinks about what will happen and how business will get done when disaster strikes," wrote the authors of a recent editorial in InvestmentNews. "The plan is there — somewhere — but is rarely reviewed, updated or tested."
Preemptive external storage and data archiving strategies may be needed since antivirus software does not always catch threats before they cause damage. Additionally, some organizations may be using too many different security solutions, which Seattle Times columnist Patrick Marshall observed could result in slow PC performance. Even if a company cannot trim its security suite down to only one or two products, SSD drives may still help keep its computers running quickly and smoothly.
Ultimately, business continuity strategies should ensure that data is safe even in extreme events like telecommunications outages or facilities destruction. Since discs created with a Blu-ray burner are highly portable, SMBs can distribute them across multiple sites so that they will have access to data in most circumstances.
"A good plan needs to consider where and how electronic records are stored," advised the InvestmentNews editorialists, underscoring the importance of portable and reliable storage.