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November 2006

Perspectives: Pandemic planning for remote access

Having employees work remotely in the event of a bird flu outbreak might not be so easy. Many industry sectors are building strategies around protecting their companies and organizations from a potential bird flu pandemic. Most of these plans focus on having employees work remotely, a basic self-quarantine that keeps them out of the office and away from possible infection but allows the business to keep functioning. These strategies, though, overlook an important fact: We are only as strong as the shared infrastructure and home continuity plans that support our remote users. If everyone adopts the same approach to deal with a possible pandemic, we must insert the public infrastructure into our business continuity plans (BCPs) and disaster recovery plans; i.e., people must have running water, food and shelter in order to stay at home for a certain amount of time. In addition, employees must have electricity to power PCs, phones and lights, and a means of remote communication through the likes of DSL, cable and phone lines. They ...

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