Keep calm and carry on
Continuity in the face of disaster is vital, as is the network link that enables crucial data to keep moving
There’s an awful lot riding on an organisation’s ability to get back in the saddle following an unforeseen disaster. If head office burns down or becomes flooded, or if a serious denial-of-service attack throws a great big spanner in the IT system’s works, then essential processes may be interrupted for as long as it takes to recover, during which time contact with the customer gets lost. The ultimate cost of such disasters may be even higher if regulations on data security are proven to have been ignored
Moving ahead without an effective continuity plan can be risky. This is true whether you’re an investment bank, where profitability is measured in nanoseconds, or a public sector service where downtime breaks tough rules on ‘government resilience’.
Defender of the data
As a provider of ICT services, it’s down to you to ensure that an unexpected disaster can never completely compromise the company’s key systems and processes. You may be expected to help implement security policies and procedures, and to help keep those policies regularly reviewed. You’ll also need to have the best possible network solution ready to reconnect a customer organisation’s premises to wherever its information may securely reside.
In order to help you achieve all this, your company’s network needs to be up to the task of helping to ‘mirror’ data, or to back it up remotely. It also needs to offer the right level of redundancy to provide alternative transmission paths should one fail. While sites connected by a modern Ethernet-based network will benefit from increased speed, capacity and resilience, if your network partner can provide managed firewall, security and IP VPN services then so much the better. ‘Prevention’ is always preferable to ‘cure’.
There are three key factors to preventing prolonged downtime in the event of a disaster, all of which should be considered when choosing a network capable of supporting your continuity plans.
- Resilience: A network must have two or more back-up paths to sites holding critical data or applications, in the event of one link being damaged, perhaps accidentally. Virgin Media Business is the only organisation that can provide true carrier diversity across the UK. Its network features Dual Network Resilience (DNR), while other providers do not, requiring an additional access circuit to be fully resilient.
- SecurityA dedicated fibre connection will safeguard against loss of data in transit, especially if protected by advanced firewalls and encrypted data. Similarly vital is the protection of stored data, which needs to be backed-up on a regular basis and stored off-site.
- Intelligence Organisations need management tools that offer visibility of network traffic, helping to prevent service dropouts and rebuild damaged data paths quickly in the event of an emergency. A business impact analysis will help identify just how vulnerable a customer’s organisation may be. A good network partner will work with you to help identify any weaknesses in advance, setting down a suitable strategy of network resiliency and security.
How we can help
What the law says about your organisation and the security of its data.
- UK Data Protection Act - This regulates the processing of information that relates to individuals, and includes the obtaining, holding, use or disclosure of such information. The corresponding European Union Data Protection Directive (EUDPD) requires all EU members to adopt national regulations to standardize the protection of data privacy for citizens throughout the Union.
- The Computer Misuse Act - The law that makes hacking a criminal offence. EU data retention laws require internet service providers and phone companies to keep data on every electronic message sent and every phone call made for between six months and two years.
- Financial Services Modernization Act - This protects the privacy and security of the private financial information that finance institutions collect, hold, and process.
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act - A US law that requires publicly traded companies to monitor the effectiveness of their financial reporting, and be responsible for the security, accuracy and the reliability of the systems that manage and report their financial data.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) - This establishes the requirements for enhancing payment account data security, and includes requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other protective measures.
How we can help
Virgin Media Business provides several solutions that make business continuity possible.
- Site-to-Site Connectivity Solutions helps connect sites, customer databases and employees on a local, metropolitan or national Ethernet network, using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to improve manageability, security, disaster recovery and disaster resilience.
- Call Centre Solutions offers intelligent call routing, guaranteed call traffic in the event of a disaster and integration of disparate sites into a single virtual contact centre.
- Security and VPN gateways, a Local Area Network (LAN) solutions portfolio that features powerful security and VPN Gateway offerings.
- Managed Security Services offering cutting-edge Managed Firewall and IPSec VPN services that deliver robust protection for a network and its data.