Disaster Recovery (DR) Lessons Learned: September 11th

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Read the article 9/11: Top lessons learned for disaster recovery, and consider the effects the attacks of September 11, 2001, have had on technology recovery efforts.

Write a two to four (2-4) page paper in which you:

  1. Explain how the attacks affected risk management in organizations and have prompted an increased justification for recovery-based objectives, initiatives, and expenditures.
  2. Analyze the use of social media and other current methods of communication for emergency notifications during an incident or disaster situation.
  3. Determine whether or not organizations need to consider distanced geographic locations when preparing for backup operations / data centers, and determine the effects that recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) have on these decisions.
  4. Evaluate the use of cloud services as tools for recovery operations within an organization, and explain how they could increase or decrease the effectiveness of recovery operations. 
  5. Determine whether or not cloud services are ideal recovery options for organizations regardless of their size. Provide a rationale to support the answer.


Disasters are usually unpredictable and can occur anywhere at any time. The process of recovering from the damage, caused by disasters, is time consuming, expensive, and stressful. Moreover, this process is even more difficult in countries that have not implemented some measures to counter the possibilities of different catastrophes. The paper discusses the disaster recovery process in the USA and the influence of the 9/11 attack on disaster management processes.

The attack on September 11, 2011, had a significant impact on technology recovery efforts. The government since then has worked hard to implement new technologies that can alert the security department in case of any threat or attack before it has happened. Airliner remote control is among the techniques, which the government has considered to be useful in avoiding security breaches like that of September 2011. Bio-monitors are now used to prevent terrorists from hijacking planes (Chang, 2010). Airports also have been equipped with devices that can detect explosives. Image scanners have also been installed, which allow the security personnel to check passengers’ clothing for any weapons or explosives, which they could try to take on a plane. The government is also considering developing onboard surveillance, which can help to counter attacks on board jetliners. They also have invented missile disrupters meant to disable the missiles before they are triggered.

The attack gave risk management a new meaning in both public and private sectors. It has changed the way, in which organizations and the government prepare, respond to dangerous situations and how they recover from massive disasters. After that attack they had to find new ways to protect their valuable assets such as computer systems, building and also their workers. The attack has taught companies to have backup data centers, which are located away from the primary ones. Organizations have been forced to provide more flexible work environment, which allows employees to work remotely in case of a disaster. It can be implemented by the use of virtual private networks or devices such as smart phones.

The use of social media and current methods of communication is very crucial for the emergency notification during a disaster. With the new technology, people use social networks to access different kinds of information. The communication docket is aimed to teach the public about how to use social media effectively in order to get or input necessary information. Different social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are the most popular sites that are accessible to many people. The government agencies also use the web technology and social media to respond to various events and monitor them. The advantage of using current information channel is the ability to reach wider audience, which helps to monitor victims’ well-being as well as to send emergency alerts. Organizations need to take into consideration distant geographic locations when preparing for backup operations. It will prevent them from losing their primary data. A relative close distance allows one to have tighter synchronization for staffs, however, in a situation of disaster both primary and recovery sites are in danger (Wallace & Webber, 2010). Although remote sites are costly, they are the most appropriate ones in times of a disaster. While evaluating the type of disaster and planning the measures that need to be taken in case of this catastrophe, the most impotent think is to decide what things must be available within 12 hours after the occurrence of a disaster and what things are not that urgent (Phillips, 2009). RTO determines how long one can dispense with a particular application. It is used to indicate one's use of a backup. RPO, on the other hand, shows the allowable data loss in case of disaster. Both RPO and RTO play a significant role in determining the kind of backup infrastructure that is necessary in case of emergency.

The use of cloud-based disaster recovery services is an effective way of implementing backup, since there is no need to invest in the data centers. The cloud still continues to operate no matter what happens to either computers or a building itself. The employees can also access cloud services from their temporary locations at any given time. Clouds are useful for small companies, since they do not have much information to backup, hence their cost is considerable, whereas for large enterprises price of cloud will be huge.

In conclusion, it is evident that many companies have learnt from the attack that the loss of information can happen in a short period of time, but data base restore is a very complicated and often futile process, hence they have adopted new strategies that enable them to recover their data even after the complete destruction of their buildings and. Digital technologies, in many cases, have also been part of companies’ choices in data recovery since they help to meet RPO and RTO.


Phillips, B. (2009). Disaster recovery. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Chang, S. E. (2010). Urban disaster recovery: A measurement framework and its application to the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Disasters, 34(2), 303-327.

Wallace, M., & Webber, L. (2010). The disaster recovery handbook: A step-by-step plan to ensure business continuity and protect vital operations, facilities, and assets. New York, NY: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.