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Get "Up and Running" Quickly After a Computer Disaster

Sep 17, 2015

Suppose you open your doors for business one morning only to discover that water damage from heavy rains the night before has shorted out your computer equipment, leaving your automated systems inoperative. Or, perhaps an overnight power failure has wiped out a large portion of your critical electronic records. Without warning, your entire business operation could be in jeopardy. Fortunately, this type of disaster needn't be a major setback for your company. By taking the right steps now, you can get yourself "up and running" with minimal delay.

Insure yourself against electronic data processing losses. Electronic Data Processing (EDP) insurance is specifically designed to cover computer hardware. An EDP policy generally covers your electronic data processing equipment, your computer data and the disks or tapes on which it is stored, as well as additional costs necessary to continue normal business operations after a loss. It can also cover any lost business income due to the loss. EDP insurance protects against a wide range of threats. Coverage varies from insurer to insurer, but generally includes damage from water or other liquids, rust, corrosion, mechanical breakdown, changes in temperature and humidity, power fluctuations, sewer backups, theft, and vandalism.

Back up your systems regularly. From customer records to accounts receivable and payable, your company undoubtedly relies on a vast store of electronic data. If this information were lost it could be expensive and time-consuming-and, in some cases, impossible-to recreate. Make it a practice to back up your critical data each night and to store the backup media in a safe, off site location. It's also a good idea to keep at least one additional backup copy from the previous day.

Practice recovery drills. Even if you have the foresight and commitment to back up your systems on a regular basis, how quickly could you get your computers up and running if disaster strikes? Do you know exactly how to restore the data? Are you sure the tape drive you use for backups is still compatible with your system and is not outdated? The best way to answer these questions is to run a practice drill occasionally. This will confirm your backup tapes are free of defects, and that you could indeed respond quickly in a true emergency.

In today's competitive business environment you can't afford to lose a day to a computer shutdown. If you are unable to service your customer's needs, your competition will be happy to do so. Businesses that plan ahead are in the best position to keep disruption to a minimum. Following these steps can help get your company "up and running" quickly if disaster strikes.

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