In the wee hours of Saturday, September 13, Houstonians who had not been evacuated to higher ground "sheltered in place," waiting for one of the worst natural disasters to hit southeast Texas in more than two decades. But while everyone waited and wondered if their homes and businesses would be in one piece after the winds and the rain had subsided, a number of company executives were resting easy that at least their critical data was being actively protected even as Hurricane Ike raged on.

One such executive was Tamara Hudson, vice president in charge of technology at Community Resources Credit Union. By last Friday, she had already been in touch with managed security services provider Network Box USA to ensure that everything was in place -- including the financial institution's data security -- for the credit union's technology move from its headquarters in Baytown, Texas, to Crosby, Texas, in anticipation of the hurricane.

Despite being headquartered in the storm center itself, the information security team at Houston-based Network Box USA did not spend its weekend hiding from Hurricane Ike. The company's network operations center operated without any downtime throughout the hurricane and continues to be fully operational despite widespread power outages in the Houston area.

"We have a number of clients who could not afford to have their critical data at risk while they were dealing with logistical issues resulting from Hurricane Ike," said Pierluigi Stella, chief technology officer of Network Box USA. "We were able to work with them to ensure business continuity and network security while they were transferring operations to other offices."

"Criminals know that an ideal time to strike is when security personnel are distracted from their primary duties, like helping get a business back in operation after a major hurricane," Stella said. "Companies who use managed services firms like Network Box to monitor multiple layers of their security have the benefit of being able to focus on their customers and restoring normal operations without having to worry about their data security on top of everything else."