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Resiliency summits target security risks

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By Kathy Canavan

Thomas K. Casey, a management consultant from Swarthmore, Pa., offered his small-business clients a program on disaster recovery in the early ’90s– until he realized it was a losing battle.

“I gave up because most small businesses won’t spend a nickel on it,” Casey said.

When the Delaware Small Business Development Center offered free conferences on business resiliency, however, it was a different story: There are 97 people registered for today’s conference in Wilmington, and 107 signed up for tomorrow’s in Rehoboth Beach.

Casey and others said Hurricane Sandy in November 2012 was the wake-up call.

Pat Young, who works with the Delaware Disaster Assistance Team that helps nonprofits keep their records and museum pieces safe in a disaster, attended two prior center conferences on business resiliency. “Each year, it’s different speakers and they bring some more information to the table,” she said. “This is an area that is a challenge for the cultural heritage organizations because people don’t necessarily see themselves as a business, but we have a lot of the same issues. Business continuity is as important for us as it is for the profit sector.”

“Hackers are getting more and more experienced as to how they get into your system,” said Judy Everett, security and operations administrator for the Delaware State Lottery. “You have to make sure you’re here listening to what could happen.”

“Security was always a problem and now you’ve added terrorism,” Casey said.

He had one client who lost his business when an employee threw a cigarette in a container filled with paper towels. The fire was put out, but not until it hit the overhead lights. The fluorocarbons released toxic fumes. The building had to be shut down. All his employees lost their jobs.

“I mean you’ve always had all the biblical disasters,” Casey said. “But how do you prepare for that? You have to have some sort of plan in case the whatever happens.”

The free Sussex County Resiliency Summit is scheduled Thursday, April 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth. Breakfast and lunch are included.

To register, go to http://delawaresbdc.org/blog/attend-one-of-the-2016-delaware-business-resiliency-summits/

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