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Web Security, Privacy & Commerce, 2nd Edition by Gene Spafford, Simson Garfinkel

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Redundancy and Wireless

Around Vineyard.NET’s third anniversary, I started worrying about the possibility of a fire—and what it would do to our company. At that time, Vineyard.NET was located completely within my house, a 150-year-old wood frame building. One careless night with wine and some candles, and the whole ISP could be history.

I had heard of something called business continuity insurance, so I called my insurance agent and asked what it was all about. He said that I would need to prepare a description of Vineyard.NET for the underwriters, the sort of problems that we could encounter, how much lost revenue each month we would have, and how we would recover after a loss. I chuckled; he was asking me for the very sort of disaster recovery plan that we advocate in earlier chapters of this book.

Vineyard.NET’s first disaster recovery plan was pretty pathetic. “Well, basically we would set up shop in a new building, buy all new equipment, and have the phone company pull in new circuits,” I explained to my insurance agent.

“So you would be down for a month? How much money would you lose?” he asked.

“Well, we would probably be down for 45 days, because these high-speed circuits can take a long time to get installed,” I said. “But by that time, all of our customers would have left and gone elsewhere. So it would basically wipe out the business.”

I realized that we didn’t have an insurable risk. Before I could expect an insurance company to stand behind my company, we needed to improve ...

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