;   Medical Translation Insight: Twitter recovered from several service interruptions. Can you? - ForeignExchange Translations

Twitter recovered from several service interruptions. Can you?During 2009, Twitter.com was the victim of several hacker attacks and other service interruptions. In each instance, the service managed to recover in a few hours.

While a politically-fueled attack on a business web site may be pretty far down the list of anticipated risks, we wonder: What procedures did Twitter have in place to address and recover from such an event? More importantly, what Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is in place for medical translation service providers' systems?

While a translation company's site isn't likely to be the target of a distributed denial-of-service attack, there are many other disasters that could shut down a business, including:

  • natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods
  • sabotage or arson
  • theft of equipment
BCP involves the creation and preparation of actions that help an organization recover from any unforeseen disruptions of operations. An effective BCP limits business interruptions by giving employees the information, tools, and direction to return to normal operations as soon as possible.

At ForeignExchange, two events drove home the importance of BCP. First, our roof-mounted Internet antenna kept getting stolen at our Colorado office. Given how reliant we are on Internet access, these instance threatened to effectively shut down our operation.

Second, a client requested to specifically audit our disaster recovery and BCP processes. Their audit plan was 40 pages long and provided a good look at all kinds of risks - no matter how far-fetched.

Together, these instances caused us to develop a robust BCP that includes plans, measures, and arrangements to ensure the continuous delivery of critical services. We started by identifying necessary resources to support business continuity, including staff, data, equipment, financial allocations, and infrastructure.

Our final BCP includes budget, training procedures, and implementation of backup and recovery strategies for our key business processes. The following are some of the key points that are covered:
  • Ensuring operational capacity — Should any major problem occur at one facility, work can be switched to another site.
  • Communications systems — Plans for rerouting voice and data systems to an alternate systems.
  • Job tracking and account management system — Remote archives allow for speedy recovery.
  • Data and file management system — A robust backup, archival, and file replication process ensure that data is always accessible.
Twitter has shown that its business can recover from disruptions in their operations. How about you - What business continuity planning do you have in place?

ForeignExchange provides specialized translation services in 40+ languages to the world's leading medical device and pharmaceutical companies. Contact us for a detailed proposal!


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