As a cybersecurity services provider in Tampa, we at NTG are no strangers to hurricanes. There seem to be more and more storms expected each season. Preparing for natural disasters ahead of time is key, and while most of us in the southeast United States are familiar with the itinerary, there are specific items to consider if you’re a business owner, in IT management, or are tasked with matters of disaster recovery.
NTG’s CIO, John Hafner, identifies having a good backup solution as the most important thing you can do to prepare for unpredictable situations. Business owners and IT personnel should make sure they have a reliable, off-site backup, and they should test restoring from that backup before storm season to ensure all your information is being captured in the backup. It’s also a good idea to explore multiple backup avenues. Cybersecurity services providers can identify your best choice for backups and can create multiple ways to back up your information so that it’s secure, accessible only by you and your team, and up-to-date.
Hardware and power backups are important, too. A typical lightning flash is about 300 million volts and 30,000 Amps. Most surge protectors and lightning mitigation tech won’t prevent 30,000 Amps from frying critical hardware like servers and computers. Having replacement hardware on hand is expensive, but it’s highly recommended by the cybersecurity experts at NTG to have a few machines disconnected from power during a storm so that business recovery efforts can begin expeditiously in the event of disaster. Power backups or auxiliary power, especially for critical hardware, will most likely come into play, even during less powerful storms. Batteries, UPSs, and generators are viable power backup options. Power outages and output can be monitored by a dedicated managed services provider like NTG, greatly aiding recovery efforts and disaster mitigation so you can get back to normal in no time at all.
NTG network engineer Chris Azar recommends making sure your employees can access any remote resources they need for business continuity. Using a full cloud solution like Office365 makes this process much easier. Companies should also develop customer, vendor, and employee notification policies as communication during and after a disaster must be seamless. It’s also a great time to review cybersecurity awareness training. Threat actors often target systems in affected areas and the emotional fallout of a disaster distorts judgment.
The southeast region isn’t the only part of the country prone to natural disasters, nor are hurricanes the only thing people should prepare for. Fortunately, there is usually warning ahead of time when it comes to the tropics (if we can glean some predictability from spaghetti plots). But lightning can strike anywhere at any time. Tornadoes can form from severe weather in seconds. The best time to prepare was yesterday, but the second best time is now. Speak to qualified cybersecurity experts like the team at NTG for assistance on creating and implementing a plan.