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Virtually all disaster or security breach scenarios can be prevented or overcome. Strategies involve technical and procedural solutions:

  • Redundant or excess facilities. Contracting for alternate telecommunications facilities in a separate geographic area unlikely to be affected by the disaster or security breach. An alternative strategy is to disperse facilities across the country and equip them with extra capacity to be used in the event of an emergency.

  • Network monitoring. Monitoring network activity continually, looking for unusual activity. This must be accompanied by procedures that continually update network security components such as firewalls, routers, and all Windows PCs with the latest protective upgrades.

  • Employee training. Continually training employees on how to prevent computer virus infections and what to do immediately in the event of a virus infection. Suppose it was a real virus attack, like the anthrax attack on the Senate offices? What should employees do immediately and in the long term? What backups are available? Could you get short-term office space quickly?

  • Technical preventive measures. Implementing redundant facilities and equipment for key communications links. Alternate communications pathways providing for continuous and unabated operation in the event of network disasters. Installing, testing, and maintaining network security equipment such as special routers and firewalls. Installing firewall and virus detection software on all network PC hosts.

These strategies and approaches should be examined to determine how they could prevent security breaches and prevent or recover from disasters for each enterprise application using the telecommunications network. Do they need to completely replace a compromised or nonfunctioning system, or is partial replacement and degraded operation more than adequate for the enterprise to survive?

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