Disaster Recovery Services: FAQ
With extensive experience in emergency equipment replacement, El Camino Disaster Recovery recognizes that there are several key questions generally asked by executives interested in the program. Those frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers, appear below.
1. What constitutes a “Disaster?”
A disaster is understood to be the destruction or disablement of a critical information technology component in a business or organizational infrastructure, rendering the infrastructure inoperable. It can result from a natural condition, such as hurricane, tornado, flood, lightning, ice, etc.; from terrorist activities; or from internal factors, such as hackers, disgruntled employees or simply untrained beginners.
2. Who can declare such a disaster?
Disaster declaration, within the El Camino Disaster Recovery plan, does not require a governmental, police or fire official declaration. Each enrolled company in the plan can declare its own disaster, according to events or results of disasters sustained within its particular operations.
3. Why is Disaster Recovery important?
Disaster Recovery is important for several reasons. First of all, the majority of businesses – and all components of the United States’ critical infrastructure – are now reliant on information technology and the Internet. Any disruption of these technological capabilities can have very negative effects on the enterprise itself, as well as its suppliers, customers, and employees. At the same time, the federal government has recognized the importance of specific industries or disciplines maintaining technical capabilities and operability through several pieces of legislation.
4. Which pieces of federal legislation illustrate the need for Emergency Equipment Replacement?
Specifically, three pieces of national legislation strengthen the case for an Emergency Equipment Replacement Plan:
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act radically redesigned the federal regulation of public company corporate governance and reporting obligations. Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley mandates that all publicly-held organizations implement a series of internal controls and procedures related to transmission and storage of data.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, targeted primarily at financial institutions, stipulates that all financial institutions must establish appropriate security and access standards to protect customer and employee data. It requires that all financial organizations take proactive measures to safeguard and secure electronic information.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) affects all medical care and services providers, including medical organizations, providers and clearing houses. It requires that such organizations must implement administrative, technical and physical safeguards to assure patients, insured individuals, providers and health plans about the integrity, confidentiality, and continuing availability of electronic health information. While implementation of HIPAA regulations has been slow, it is expected that the government and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations will focus on non-compliers in the near future.
5. Several Disaster Recovery services providers promote the concepts of “cold sites” and “hot sites.” To what programs do these terms refer?
A “cold site” describes a physical location maintained by a company for use following a disaster. It can be a room, a building or any facility that will provide space – and only space – to the subscribing company. Since the same “cold site” may have been contracted for by several companies (under the presumption that not all companies will be affected simultaneously), the “cold site” may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, or may require space sharing by more than one company. In any case, companies must supply their own equipment which, depending on the disaster, may not be operable.
The “hot site,” on the other hand, comes equipped with hardware necessary to conduct electronic services. Like the “cold site,” it may accommodate more than one business or organization at the same time.
It should be noted that both the “cold site” and the “hot site” are orders of magnitude more costly than the El Camino Disaster Recovery Emergency Replacement Plan, and it has not been determined whether such arrangements will satisfy the privacy requirements of such federal legislation as HIPAA.
In any event, federal agencies, major insurance companies, municipalities and business end users are, for most part, tired of paying exorbitant dollars to protect themselves from an event that may or may not occur. They are looking for stronger financially viable alternatives and many are determining that El Camino’s low-cost solution is a strong option to expensive hot sites, with guarantees of functionally equivalent critical equipment delivered in a timely manner.
6. What does the term 'functionally equivalent' mean?
Given the speed with which IT equipment models change or are upgraded, it is almost impossible to guarantee delivery of the same model or operating system generation within a specific series line. 'Functionally equivalent' means that the equipment delivered to you will run your current programs and applications, without any additional software expense to you. In many, if not most, cases, the equipment may be an upgrade of your current model."