Speaker Spotlight

Linda Hanwacker

Linda Hanwacker looks at both micro and macro views for clients to provide them with economic solutions. She has close to three decades of experience working in the business continuity/disaster recovery profession.

Hanwacker did not choose the BC/DR profession. It chose her in 1995 when she worked as a director in AT&T Network Services and was asked to start a department for BC/DR for all IT systems in the U.S.

“I love what I do,” she said. “It is always different, changing, and you never know which industry as a consultant you will be addressing next, so it is always fun.”

Hanwacker is president, CEO, owner, and founder of The LSH Group, LLC.

The company is located in Fort Myers, Fla., and was established in 2006. It provides BC/DR professional planning services including business impact analysis, risk assessments, continuity of operations plans, business continuity plans, IT disaster recovery plans, table-top exercises, testing, benchmarking, and more.

“It is a small 100% woman-owned business,” she said, “and it provides the best value and best practices in the industry.”

The LSH Group’s planning processes and best practices are designed to minimize exposure to loss and disruption. Their focus is to ensure the highest quality and customer satisfaction. Their methodology and framework are part of their core values which include a consistent, tried, and tested approach that assures continued availability of key business processes by focusing risk dollars and efforts where they matter the most. In addition, they look beyond IT to the essential flows of cash, data, supplies, electricity, and dependencies on key technology, staff, suppliers, service providers, facilities, and community which can lead to single points of failure for businesses. The business also provides a framework to allow implementation of a consistent approach across business units and site locations while monitoring compliance and bridging caps between technology and business.

The LSH Group also provides significant cost and time savings through integration and coordination with business’s overall risk and incident management program in addition to clear client communication by creating a communication plan at the start of each project which details contact information, timelines, deliverables, and other details.

Hanwacker has worked in the BC/DR industry for 25 years. She thoroughly enjoys helping businesses and government agencies to be prepared for a major disruption or disaster to their organization. She makes businesses feel better about being prepared.

In 2020, she added pandemic as a major risk factor for a client who, at the time thought that was “ridiculous.” Then this professional called her in April to ask what made her add pandemic to their BC/DR planning initiatives.

“I simply stated that the CDC has been warning about a pandemic,” said Hanwacker, “not if, but when, it will happen. There is a surge in pandemics occurring at a rate of one every five years.”

Hanwacker said there is a misconception in the industry that anyone can do the job.

“It takes experience to truly do justice to the work that needs to be done,” she said.

Hanwacker will share her expertise with DRJ Spring 2021 attendees on March 31 from 10-10:45 a.m. during Workshops Track 2. Her presentation is titled “Will You Be the Next Headline?” She will share with attendees on how it is not uncommon to see companies make the big headlines about their data being breached.

“Our trusted internet models are targeted using unsecure network protocols, hidden malware, and updates to our software, to name a few,” she said.

Hanwacker’s fun and interactive session will discuss credible types of threats which should be part of any organization’s risk assessment to determine what risks are faced on a daily basis. Participants will be part of a fictional organization to prioritize key security initiatives for ongoing and everchanging threats and risks.

Her goal is to have attendees think about the different cybersecurity tools that can be used in an IT disaster recovery plan.

Hanwacker has presented at many past DRJ conferences. She recalls one of her favorite previous workshops she presented on the topic of COOP and how she made it possible for others to develop their COOP using templates she developed. She received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees who have used the templates over the years.

As a DRJ conference attendee herself, Hanwacker learned the focus and nature of planning for a disaster continually changes with new risks and approaches.

Overall, her favorite part of DRJ conferences is networking.

Hanwacker, CBCP, previously worked at Bell Labs, Lucent, and AT&T. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Kean University, master’s degree in computer science from Fairleigh Dickenson, and MBA from Finance Seton Hall. She is a member of the Association of Continuity Planners.

When she’s not working in BC/DR, Hanwacker volunteers at Church of the Resurrection and for the Girl Scouts. Her favorite place to be is on the beach.

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