Cygilant Blog

Northeast Blizzard: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Posted by Security Steve on Feb 2, 2015

The business capital of the world braced for a blizzard last week — and everything froze. Two feet of snow was expected in New York City (the actual totals were a lot lower), where Mayor Bill de Blasio banned non-essential vehicles from the road – including the city's arguably essential food delivery cars, trucks and bicycles.


Even though this storm is over, reports that more snow is to follow this weekend and the beginning of next week. So before those snow storms pass through your region, there are a few things you can do to stay safe – both for yourself AND your IT infrastructure.  Because trust us…an outage is an outage, regardless of whether it was caused by a malicious attacker, a malware outbreak, or dead hard drive.  In all cases, business is affected.


Here are some tips from FEMA to keep in mind before the worst of the storm hits for YOU:


1. Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning by using power sources appropriately indoors during power outages. (Never use a generator, grill or other gasoline or propane devices inside your home).

2. Keep an emergency kit in your car, stocked with tools including: extra batteries, windshield scraper, shovel, matches, first aid kit and blankets.

3. When you're outside, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air. Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.

4. Pay attention to emergency messages called Wireless Emergency Alerts that are sent by the government through your mobile carrier.

5. Remember to bring your pets inside.



And here are tips from EIQ for your IT Infrastructure:

  1. Devise a disaster recovery plan:  Start with the basics and add to the plan over time. To begin, define what is important to keep the business running - i.e., email and application access, database back-up, computer equipment - and the "recovery time objective" or how quickly the company needs to be up and running post-disaster.
  2. Monitor implementation: Once a disaster recovery plan has been established, it is critical to monitor the plan to ensure its components are implemented effectively. A disaster recovery plan should be viewed as a living, breathing document that can and should be updated frequently, as needed. Additionally, proactive ongoing monitoring and remediation of processes, such as back-up data storage and data replication, results in fewer IT issues and less downtime should a crisis occur.
  3. Test disaster recovery plan: The testing phase of the plan must contain important verification activities to enable the plan to stand up to most disruptive events.
  4. Perform off-site data back-up and storage: Any catastrophe that threatens to shutter a business is likely to make access to on-site data back-up impossible. Every company should back-up its data at least once daily, typically overnight, but should strongly consider more frequent back-up or "continuous data protection" if warranted.


Tags: Security Operations Center, Continuous Security Monitoring

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