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11th September 2001

After the loss of so many lives, it seems inappropriate to talk about anything other than the human tragedy, but this newsletter is about Information Security and there are lessons to be learned. Yui Kee offers it’s condolences to those affected.

Business Continuity planners need to "think the unthinkable" and prepare for it because sometimes, the "unthinkable" happens. After the catastrophe, when the emergency services have finished, the survivors and others affected must get on with their lives. They depend on businesses as employees or as customers, and it is only handing the terrorists another victory if the businesses fail. Major disasters are, thankfully, rare, but a minor disaster, such as a building power failure can shut down an office almost as effectively.

Good backups are a boring but essential component of Information Security. They allow recovery from so many situations - the tapes sitting next to your server can restore the accidentally-, or virus-deleted files. The fireproof safe in the basement can contain enough to rebuild the server after an office fire, but only off-site backups can get you running again in a reasonable time after a massive building collapse. This need not be expensive or complicated for an SME - the Managing Director can store the weekly or monthly tapes at home.