The headquarters of Hill Crest Corporation, a private company with $15.5 million in annual sales, is located in California. Hill Crest provides for its 150 clients an online legal software service that includes data storage and administrative activities for law offices. The company has grown rapidly since its inception 3 years ago, and its data processing department has expanded to accommodate this growth. Because Hill Crest’s president and sales personnel spend a great deal of time out of the office soliciting new clients, the planning of the IT facilities has been left to the data processing professionals. Hill Crest recently moved its headquarters into a remodeled warehouse on the outskirts of the city. While remodeling the warehouse, the architects retained much of the original structure, including the wooden-shingled exterior and exposed wooden beams throughout the interior. The minicomputer distributive processing hardware is situated in a large open area with high ceilings and skylights. The openness makes the data processing area accessible to the rest of the staff and encourages a team approach to problem solving. Before occupying the new facility, city inspectors declared the building safe; that is, it had adequate fire extinguishers, sufficient exits, and so on. In an effort to provide further protection for its large database of client information, Hill Crest instituted a tape backup procedure that automatically backs up the database every Sunday evening, avoiding interruption in the daily operations and procedures. All tapes are then labeled and carefully stored on shelves reserved for this purpose in the data processing department. The departmental operator’s manual has instructions on how to use these tapes to restore the database, should the need arise. A list of home phone numbers of the individuals in the data processing department is available in case of an emergency. Hill Crest has recently increased its liability insurance for data loss from $50,000 to $100,000. This past Saturday, the Hill Crest headquarters building was completely ruined by fire, and the company must now inform its clients that all of their information has been destroyed.
a. Describe the computer security weaknesses present at Hill Crest Corporation that made it possible for a disastrous data loss.
b. List the components that should have been included in the disaster recovery plan at Hill Crest Corporation to ensure computer recovery within 72 hours.
c. What factors, other than those included in the plan itself, should a company consider when formulating a disaster recovery plan?