DRC: Five years protecting Cayman

The 2010 hurricane season is now upon us, and pundits predict an active season due to the warm sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and likely La Nina conditions in the Pacific.  Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery preparedness is, or should be, on the minds of most business executives. However, BCM and DR preparedness is more than just about hurricanes, and with that in mind, the Deloitte managed Disaster Recovery Centre at Citrus Grove has been providing protection for people, systems, and data for over five years.

More than just protecting computers
The DRC offers a range of solutions that are tailored and bundled to meet the needs of various organisations to protect their people, systems and data and to allow business operations to continue in a secure environment should a disaster strike. “There is no standard company in Cayman – we have clients who need a full private server room for a complete DR hot site, through to clients who simply need a 24/7 secure drop box for storing tapes or recovery laptops. The game is providing flexible infrastructure tailored to each specific organisation,” says Jeremy Smith, partner with Deloitte.  With a dedicated team consisting of DR and BCM staff, and IT, risk and security support specialists, the DRC offers a holistic approach to services, rather than simply offering point solutions or technologies. The major categories of services provided by the DRC include:
 
Data suites
The DRC recently unveiled its data suites product – purpose built personalised server rooms that are dedicated to individual clients for use in both DR and production roles. The data suites offer an ideal solution for organisations looking for a secure, customised location to safeguard their vital electronic records, without the expense of establishing and running a data centre facility. “With the completion of the data suites, the DRC now offers the ability to have a private dedicated server room – with controls above and beyond traditional co-location” says Wayne Green, senior manager at Deloitte. “Our approach to flexible infrastructure means you can continue to manage systems yourself, with assistance from Deloitte’s IT Managed Services team or use any third party provider – either remotely or in person.”

Recovery workspaces
Housed on the second floor of Citrus Grove, one of the most structurally sound buildings in the Caribbean, the DRC offers more than 4,000 square feet of fully managed recovery workspace.  The DRC has both four seat and six seat private recovery suites, offering businesses a comfortable, private and secure environment to continue their business operations in the event of a disaster.  For smaller organisations, single seating, as well as on-demand multiple seating recovery workspaces are also available.

The recovery workspaces are fully enclosed, offering an office-like ambience, complete with network connectivity, pre-installed telephone network and document storage space. Clients have 24/7 swipe-card security access to their recovery workspaces, and can even stock up their own kitchen cabinets in preparation for the hurricane season.
 
In addition to the 24-hour CCTV monitoring, DRC personnel are available for technical and operational support as required. “Recovery suites are a product we see a lot of demand for –customers can use the space in a variety of different ways and we have had a number of clients customise their suites to the point that they are essentially mini satellite offices primed and ready to go in the event of a disaster either here in Cayman or in other parts of the Caribbean or Latin America region,” commented Stephen Taylor, senior consultant at Deloitte.

Secure media storage
Tape based back-up is still common place in Cayman, with consistent demands that data is safely handled, stored and transferred so that data can be recovered as needed.  The DRC offers secure data back-up storage facilities in a purpose built room with secure storage units.  Access to the storage facility is by proximity security cards, with each client issued a swipe card and a key to their dedicated secured unit.  The secure storage units are available in a range of sizes to adequately meet the varying needs of various organisations, with access available 24/7, along with options for the DRC to handle tape pickup and delivery services as well.

Secure document storage
Most Cayman based companies still rely on paper records to some degree, and many have requirements to keep these records safe for extended periods. To meet this need, the DRC incorporates a high density secure document warehouse with managed access and retrieval of boxes as required. Many of the DRC’s clients use this service to reduce their office space requirements or to allow office space to be used more productively. Another advantage is that these records are onsite and available during a DR event, helping businesses recover faster.

Co-location hosting services

Along with the data suites, the DRC also offers more traditional co-location hosting services for clients who would prefer to avoid the expense of establishing their own data centre facilities, but who don’t have a significant numbers of servers. Deloitte’s state-of-the-art server rooms offer a secure technology environment for businesses, either as a primary location or as an alternative location.  “With well managed co-location facilities, clients do not have to constantly worry about whether their server room’s environmental and physical security parameters are optimal. They can leave that to us and focus on their key business functions,” noted Wayne Green, senior manager at Deloitte.

Preparedness built in
Annually, the DRC conducts full-scale invocation testing exercises, involving the participation of the DRC’s clients, to simulate a mock hurricane scenario.  This year, over 50 client participants were involved in these exercises, coming onsite to the DRC to test their ability to recover should disaster strike. 
 
“We find that these exercises are invaluable for clients – it’s not just about the IT folks checking if systems are available – it’s also the actual line of business staff coming in and identifying if they really have the tools and data available to do their jobs should a continuity event occur – that’s where the rubber hits the road” says Taylor.

Secure infrastructure backed with superior service
Deloitte’s business continuity and resilience professionals have led the development and implementation of continuity programmes across a diverse range of industry sectors, building a wealth of knowledge in Cayman. The services available span from the data centre to the board room with the local team having developed many business and technology plans and managed numerous reviews and exercises. The team has a solid understanding of continuity specific regulations, industry guidance and trends, and prides itself on the ongoing enhancement of continuity and resiliency solutions in line with the changing profile of global risks.
 
The team is also able to leverage the multi-disciplinary skills of the entire Deloitte organisation, and offer an all-encompassing service covering topics such as risk intelligence, threat analysis, emergency response, technology integration and assurance, supply chain and quality management. After five years of protecting Cayman, Deloitte’s focus continues to improve the preparedness and resiliency of its clients and increasing the organisational value of business continuity management.

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The Deloitte managed Disaster Recovery Centre at Citrus Grove (in the foreground).

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