Bluelock Blog

Disaster Recovery for Human Error: What’s your plan?

June 25, 2013 by Diana Nolting

It’s easy to think geographic-based disasters are the most common issue to guard against. Often, geographic-based disasters like hurricanes and tornados have seasons, and they can be protected against on a schedule. Some even come with advance warning thanks to the National Weather Service.  All of this is easy to plan for because with advance warning you can be in control, even when you’re not.

But, how do you guard against human error?

There’s no prediction center for someone pushing an old code that causes a disruption for your main revenue application. There’s no season for someone stealing your employee’s laptop (which wasn’t password protected).

Based on how often companies plan for geographic-based disasters compared to human-error based disasters, which do you think occurs most often?

In fact, it’s not geographic-based disasters, but more often human error that causes a problem.  Human error can account for major disasters, too. In a 2011 blog from BetterRiskManagement.com, the article cites this story from 1991 when an AT&T switching center in mid-town Manhattan had a complete outage when the site tried to switch from commercial power to generator power.  The switch wasn’t completed properly and the site went dark 8 hours later. These human errors knocked out New York’s air traffic control system, stopped wire transfers, shut down banks and impacted the stock market.

Sometimes human error can combine with technological disasters, too, which cause problems to multiply. In an often-told story about Pixar’s experience with just such an outage, the world nearly lost the movie Toy Story 2.  David Spigelman tells the story that could happen to anyone on WorkingNets.com.

In the article Spigelman tells how due to an individual executing incorrect commands on the servers where the movie files were stored, the files were all deleted in a matter of seconds.  Now, that’s the human error element to the story.  Spigelman also shares the technological failure piece, stating that while Pixar had a backup system in place, they had been failing for a month and no one had noticed. Here, too, is a bit of human error sprinkled in with the technological failures.  Pixar was saved because someone had the entire movie stored on their home computer due to the fact they had been working from home recently.

This story illustrates how easy it is for technological and human errors to impact your environment. You won’t get advance warning, so how do you guard against it?

Recovery-as-a-Service provider Bluelock has worked with partners to develop a cloud-based disaster recovery solution that may not be able to prevent human or technological error, but it will help bring you back from one faster and more easily than ever before.

To find out how, including seeing a demo of how to protect your business from the threat of human error, watch the replay this technical deep-dive webinar.

Deep Dive into Disaster Recovery in the Cloudis aimed at showcasing the latest cloud-based DR solutions and their use cases. In this one-hour session Bluelock CTO Pat O’Day and Solutions Architect Jake Robinson cover how cloud-based RaaS actually works and run three demonstrations.

Viewers will learn how to seed and migrate data to the cloud, how to set RTO and RPO policies, how to recover an application remotely across or across the country. They will also explain how to test and declare, how to assess workloads and size your project and how to budget for cloud-based DR.
 

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