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What do you need for remote access during a disaster?
What you need to have in place in order for your staff to work remotely depends on your specific business and the disaster scenario. One of the key elements to have in place is a remote data access infrastructure. Many workers are already able to access data remotely with the use of their mobile devices. Checking email, having access to internal/external applications, and so on shouldn't be much different if you have everything set up in advance.

However, your business must have a virtual private network (VPN) or some type of remote system access such as Webmail...

in order for employees to be able to access data remotely. It's also essential that your most critical systems are able to failover outside your building(s) or to another third-party data center in the event they're affected so your staff can still connect to them. Also, a well thought out communications plan among employees and managers is likely going to be needed. Remember to sit down with key people from IT, business operations, and HR and think through various scenarios. You'll likely never be able to have everything in place for every possible disaster recovery (DR) situation, but at least having some semblance of a contingency plan will put you ahead of the curve.

This was last published in May 2010
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