If the Internet is down, are you ready?

Disaster Management cycleFor many companies, the idea of the Internet going down is beyond a disaster. Multi-national, multi-office Enterprises and Mom-and-Pop E-commerce sites could be hit equally as hard if there was a multi-car pile-up on the Information Superhighway, and what separates those that survive and those that fade off into the sunset may be determined by the preparations made just in case. Whether it be a planned attack, an accident, or an act of God, The Business Roundtable, a Washington-based public policy advocacy group, suggests that in the next 10 years there is a 10% to 20% chance of a “breakdown of the critical information infrastructure.”

With so many pipelines delivering the Internet across the globe, it’s easy to ignore the idea of a significant loss of access to the Internet, but what is the cost benefit trade-off with this kind of thinking? It’s easier and less costly to be prepared rather than react; are you willing to gamble with your company?

Wikipedia defines disaster management as the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. That includes having several (secure) back-ups of important documents, applications, and web content – and confirming that these back-ups can be restored to fully working. Since the chaos of Y2k, most companies have probably started to think less and less about disaster management, but with heavier and heavier reliance on the Internet, it’s important to consider the worst case scenario: no Internet access at all. While it’s easy to overlook, being prepared beats going out of business.

For more on the topic, see The Internet Is Down — Now What and Disaster Recovery Made Easy (Well, Sort of).

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