Earthquake warning for IT experts

Seismic events such as last Sunday’s Iranian earthquake can destabilise IT systems if these become unbalanced or connections loosen, security firm Symantec warned today, thus IT managers should make sure their back-up procedures are in place and as comprehensive as possible.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  November 29, 2005

Seismic events such as last Sunday’s Iranian earthquake can destabilise IT systems if these become unbalanced or connections loosen, security firm Symantec warned today, thus IT managers should make sure their back-up procedures are in place and as comprehensive as possible. Research commissioned by Symantec and conducted by Dynamic Markets found that in the UAE – where earth tremors were felt twice on Sunday – 78% of IT managers in the UAE only back-up e-mail servers each night, with just 8% backing up e-mail as soon as it enters on the e-mail server. Symantec also discovered that only 10% of UAE back-ups are complete system back-ups. Most IT managers instead rely on individual users to back-up information to other locations, such as their laptops or mobile devices. "As e-mail becomes critical to business, with contracts, quotes or presentations flowing between users, users cannot afford to lose e-mails during to natural disasters, no matter how small,” said Symantec MENA’s regional director, Kevin Isaac. “Specific procedures for creating back-ups and a plan of action for recovery are essential to any modern business,” he added. “Organisations should tailor their back-up and recovery procedures to their specific needs. For example, back-ups on a financial system should be done as often as possible, while the back-up of word processing documents can probably be done just once a day. Also, to safeguard against data loss from a catastrophic event (such as a fire or earthquake), it would be best to keep duplicates of your server back-ups in a different location from the physical servers."

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