Disaster Recovery: Compliance with SEC Guidelines

Nothing is as potentially disastrous as having no plan to shield your business from an unexpected emergency. A plan to safeguard business data is critical, and readily available through backup, storage and some advance planning for quick recovery after a calamity, whether natural or manmade. The blood, sweat and tears that go into establishing a business could be in vain if that business lacks a plan for disaster recovery.

Monitor and Safeguard Data in Case of Emergency:  As a starting point, every business needs sufficient infrastructure to remain running in the face of disaster. Enterprises can find safety in data centers, most of which are subject to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These rules exist to protect those industries that are subject to strict regulatory compliance, such as medical, dental, financial and investment firms.  But compliance isn’t the only reason to protect your data: market and consumer research have become essential to conducting business. Storing your research results and consumer information securely helps ensure minimal disruption if there’s a catastrophe.

Secure Personal, Business and Professional Information:  Steady enhancements in computing devices over time meant greater in-house storage capacity. But as data collection has grown on a massive scale, internal servers have given way to data centers and cloud computing. While this has been a godsend for businesses, which can now store enormous amounts of data and access it from anywhere, the cloud is also less than secure at this point, exposing information to cyber thefts and threats.  As reports of cyber thefts multiply, IT security should be a top priority. Recent hacks of celebrity information demonstrate the necessity of strong passwords to protect private data – it seems simple, but they’re still your best bet against attack. Accounts with weak and obvious passwords are at much greater risk of being breached. Beyond passwords, however, your firm should consult with experts to take a serious look at whether your cyber security practices are up to date.

Mission Possible:  HIPAA laws, SEC regulations and updates make it clear that understanding cloud technology is more important than ever – if only in the sense that businesses that use it must constantly assess whether they are applying best practices. Most business owners aren’t IT experts, however – they’re business people.

Tending to business is a better use of their valuable time.  Use of managed service providers has become a popular alternative. The providers do the research and make sure their data centers are compliant and secure. In order to protect data in the cloud, both from natural disasters and human threats, the latest in cyber security and backup is absolutely necessary.

It’s not only a matter of compliance – having a solid business continuity plan is the only way to mitigate the losses your company will suffer when disaster strikes. Is your BCP up to par?

Carlos Coutin is Financial Services Technology Strategist at Envision Consulting, He is passionate about RIAs and entrepreneurship, something that led him in his quest to advice people like him, who want to make the best possible tech decisions without stress and with intelligence. Visit his website at www.envision-consulting.com. You can email Carlos at: ccoutin@envision-consulting.com and follow him on Twitter @carlos_coutin.

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