Systems & Disaster Recovery Planning: Six Things to Look For

Every year, IT systems within thousands of businesses are disrupted by floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning strikes, earthquakes, power surges, vandalism, human error or paralyzing malware. Moreover, life insurance carriers and brokers are not immune from these threats.

A company’s ability to fully recover all affected computing hardware, network connections, operating systems, applications and data in a timely fashion is critical to its reputation, end-user satisfaction and bottom line.

Whether you have a premise-based IT system, with internal staff maintaining all necessary hardware and applications, or you utilize software as a service (SaaS), you should be operating under the necessary security controls to prevent disaster damage.

Foremost, your policy administration, illustration and plan administration solutions should be hosted in a secure, private cloud environment – freeing you from the many time consuming, complex and administrative tasks necessary to develop a robust disaster recovery solution.

It is extremely rare for a properly maintained secure, private cloud to ever be interrupted. But if a disaster should strike one of your data centers, your system should be designed to provide for automated failover with little or no business interruption. When deploying a solution that provides the security and customer service necessary before/during/after a disaster, the following features are essential to look for:

  • A virtualized server environment (VM) – considered by experts to be the most significant step in deploying a high-availability, rapidly recoverable environment
  • Alternate worksite locations and virtualized desktops for employees to carry on their work responsibilities in the event of the loss of one or more office buildings
  • Geographically separated primary and secondary data centers, with redundant hardware and software environments, UPS systems with backup generators, temperature and humidity control systems, fire detection and suppression systems, and strict access control. Data centers should be staffed by personnel that undergoes repeated training (recovery exercises) on how to both avoid and respond to worst-case scenarios.
  • Speedy and consistent replication of all client data from advanced storage systems at a primary data center to advanced storage systems at a secondary data center
  • Independent third-parties to review your solution’s internal
    controls, published in publicly available SOC reports
  • Worry-free maintenance of the security infrastructure to provide you (and clients) with peace of mind

Too many organizations utilize premise-based systems and simply “muddle through” with periodic backups and so-so disaster recovery practices. These days, that’s not good enough. After all, the best time to deal with a major IT issue is before it happens.

 
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