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When the electricity goes out or an email server is down, we feel lost and annoyed.  We can’t access our email and feel totally disconnected from the world.  However, this kind of event is usually short-lived and life gets back to normal pretty quickly.  But what if your company sustained a cyber-attack?

On June 19th the federal government will hold a training exercise where it will test the government’s ability to function during a cyber-attack. A suggested mitigation to a cyber-attack is the ability to replace an automated process with a non-automated one.

HR has become increasingly reliant on automation, but if the automation is broken can you and your department continue to tend to the organization’s HR needs?  Can you really go back to paper, pencil and fax machines?  Would an event be so great that the down time could go from days, to weeks, or even months?

Sure the naysayers believe that a cyber-event would not disable a process for more than a couple of days and the organization can limp along until then; but tell that to the Economic Development Administration in the Department of Commerce. They were without their IT systems for 80+ days and had to retrain themselves on how to do their work without using computers (Rein, 2012). Questions about taking messages, re-typing documents, faxing, and even how to process payroll were asked.  Employees were told to ask their clients how they would prefer to be reached, since email was no longer an option.  (do you even remember how to load toner into a fax machine??)

Is your department ready for something like this?  Could you function?  Would payroll run on time?  How would employees report time worked?  These questions are just the tip of the iceberg.  Determine your “Plan B.” You never know when a server will go down or a virus will strike.  Plan now to work without “plugging in.”

Do you have suggestions or comments?  Email me @ corporatehrgirl@gmail.com

Rein, L. (2012, April 9). For commerce unit hit by computer virus, hardship of being unplugged has upside. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-agency-a-loss-of-technology-has-had-down–and-upsides/2012/04/08/gIQAvpAY5S_story.html