Week 3 Assignment Research
Some turned to an ECM document imaging and management system that would not only protect business records and systems by making them electronic, but save their organizations money and improve their efficiency in the process http://www.incontextmag.com/articles/2010/preparing-for-recovery-before-facing-disaster.html#sthash.h8Q54Jkx.dpuf Given how crucial intellectual property, accounts payable and receivable, customer databases, supplier contracts, and the like are to businesses, most computer security experts recommend a comprehensive approach to backup. Since no one solution is foolproof, small companies should use the limited backup and system restore functions on most office computers, tablets, and smartphones; an on-site equipment backup system; and storage that transfers company information to a secure site online.
Here are some recommendations:
On-site backup. Traditional data storage at small companies often involves tape backup systems or external hard drives where company data is copied on a periodic basis. The tapes or hard drives should be stored off-site or put in a fireproof safe at night and on weekends. The pluses include low cost, ease of access, and minimal complexity. http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-03-26/how-to-protect-your-companys-data How to protect or prevent future data lost and be able to recover data?
For the CPA firm that wants to offer disaster recovery planning services to clients, the challenge is being able to utilize a comprehensive and customized disaster recovery plan format that is understandable and affordable to the small and mid-sized company. In establishing our disaster recovery plan format we asked the question, "What help would a client need after receiving word that his/her business has just experienced a disaster emergency?" To identify a solution, we examined a 1993 industry study commissioned by Digital Equipment Corporation which determined that "90% of companies that experience a catastrophic loss of data and equipment and do not have a disaster recovery plan are out of business within two years." Close examination of this and similar studies reveals that, even with business interruption insurance, the principal reason for this high rate of business failure following a disaster is the negative cash flow that results from business interruption. New business dries up, accounts receivable collection is delayed, payroll interruption leads to employee abandonment, delays in paying vendors damages credit ratings and goodwill, and immediate extraordinary expenses exhaust existing cash reserves. By eliminating or reducing the cash hemorrhage and its consequences, companies can effectively buy more time for business recovery.
Building the Disaster Recovery Plan
The only effective way to meaningfully reduce losses is to reestablish essential business operations as soon as possible after the disaster. Preparing a disaster recovery plan specifically designed to support immediate business resumption does this. The accompanying chart describes the step-by-step process that a CPA would use to prepare a plan for a client. In general, the CPA consultant must develop efficient interview methods and questionnaires that will formalize and expedite the information gathering process. Knowing in advance what key survival areas to cover streamlines the project. The questions to be asked must, however, be modified based upon an understanding of the client's business.
The disaster recovery plan must document in exact detail the functions, personnel, and equipment that must be re-established after a disaster emergency. It is the functioning of these critical departments, within several hours or a very few days of the disaster, that will preserve cash flow. The CPA consultant must outline a hierarchy that identifies which company departments must be established first. The plan must specify who the key personnel are that perform the