Mobile security and cloud computing important to business continuity

You can plan for natural disasters. Through technological advances and constant monitoring, the damage done by floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados is far lower than it would be otherwise. Of course, it goes without saying that the capricious nature of some natural disasters is beyond human control – sometimes things unfold in the moment and we can thus only be reactive. It’s part of the reality of life.

We’re talking about such events because a new study from AT&T, a well-known multinational telecommunications company, has revealed that, as the US prepares itself for hurricane season, organisations have transformed the way they put together their business continuity and risk management plans. As of late, this has involved including mobile security services and cloud computing in their strategies.

The report found 60 per cent of bosses have invested in mobile security services, as they grow to appreciate that operating on such platforms is becoming the norm. The main reason for investing in such services is for fear that they will be breached. Information risk is a key worry.

With regards to cloud computing, the report found that it is becoming a “critical element” of business continuity because of security, performance and savings costs. Professionals will understand this. In the event of a natural disaster, where physical devices and data storage units can be damaged, the cloud offers an “impenetrable space”. All you need to do is access a computer and, to all intents, you can get your business running again.

“There’s certainly no shortage of potential threats or disasters around the world and it’s evident that executives are taking the necessary measures to ensure their business continuity plans are in place and actionable,” said Chris Costello, assistant vice president, Offer Management, Cloud Services at AT&T.

“We’ve seen a strong emphasis on IT security and continued growth in areas of cloud and mobile applications; implying that companies are embracing the tools and services needed to continue operational activities despite potential threats and disasters.”

Interestingly, a business continuity plan now also caters for “virtual events” – disasters that are not physical. Two-thirds of IT executives stated that this is something that they want to plan for – a security breach of this kind can be extremely devastating not only to a business’s infrastructure but also to its reputation.

It’s good to see that organisations are keeping on top of their business continuity plans (63 per cent said they had fully tested their plans in the last year alone) and adapting to changes in the world of IT. It’s also good to see such companies making, for example, relatively new areas like cloud computing and mobile security central to such plans, whether that’s ensuring they remain secure and operational in the aftermath of a disaster. Adaptation is key.

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