Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Guy Bruneau

SANS ISC: The National Weather Service has issued... SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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The National Weather Service has issued...
As I sit here today looking at the black clouds swirling outside and praying my satellite connection doesn't drop, it sparked an interesting discussion amongst some of us handlers over all the bad weather and spring storms. Well, bad weather and storm damage can only lead you to one thought in the geek world and you guessed it. Your Disaster Recovery Plan! While not always a fun and exciting topic like malware or a good packet capture, its really a critical part of our world or necessary evil depending on how you want to look at it.

Let's don't focus on your work DRP, but rather on your home one. Wait, everyone has one right? Ok no one throw anything, but yes we all need one for home. If you don't believe me, just ask the folks in Texas/Mexico who got hammered by the latest tornado or anyone who has suffered a natural disaster. For me, my work is mostly done from my home office and that is becoming more common with people. Not to mention everything related to our personal lives is becoming automated as well. When was the last time you sat and manually wrote out anything that you wanted to keep? How lost would you be if your home computer(s) were destroyed right now and without warning? We all need to approach our preparedness at home in a similar fashion to our DRP at work.

Ask yourself where your backups for your computer are sitting if you have them. If they are sitting next to you computer and your house gets destroyed, they won't help you much. Fellow handler Daniel Wesemann offered a good suggestion. The next time you head out to grandma and grandpas or maybe some friend or relatives house that is a couple of hours away, take a copy of your most recent backup and ask them to hang onto it for you.

Your backups, as well as critical personal documents, can be stored in a fireproof safe at your home for some extra protection as well. My sister and her husband actually do a really good job of this but take it a step farther. They live in a very tornado prone area of the US, so they keep all the their original documents (birth certificates, marriage license, vehicle title etc.) in a safety deposit box and only maintain certified copies of originals at their house. They also maintain an electronic copy of the brand, model and serial numbers to high value items as well as photos of all high value items too. Don't limit yourself to electronic items but also consider photos of such things as antiques, paintings etc. By doing it this way, they can back it up on to a CD and store the latest copy in the safety deposit box as well. They have everything documented for accounts, policies etc in case of an emergency.

Hopefully, no one ever has to use their home DRP, but if the worst happens, you'll be thankful that you had one. If you have any thing that you do for your home DRP that you would like to share, then please drop us an email and we'll let us know!

165 Posts
ISC Handler
Apr 26th 2007

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