Fire! This is not a drill!

IT Support 7th February 2023

No matter how small or large your organisation is, there is one thing you all have in common. Without access to your IT and communication systems and information, you will be unable to operate!

With cyberattacks and data protection issues being reported in the press and making up the majority of guidance and advice being issued from GCHQ and NCSC, you can be fooled into thinking this is where the only risk lies.

In October 2022, we received a call from one of our IT support customers to inform us that their building caught fire the evening before and caused extensive damage.

While the customer continued to work with the police and fire brigade we started an investigation of our own…. how do we get this customer back online and working?

Every hour an organisation is unable to operate is detrimental to its survival. While this is not part of our standard IT support package, with our knowledge of their IT systems we were quickly able to draw up a plan, agree it with the customer and start the recovery.

In less than 8 hours key applications and systems were up and running. Within 48 hours systems were 100% fully functional, more than 99% of their data had been recovered and employees were back online and working.

What is the key to our ability to recover their systems… their BACKUP!

The customer uses our off-premise, cloud-based backup solution. This allows recovery from anywhere in the world. We were able to use our cyber resilience hardware to complete the physical recovery and host their IT from our secure server room.

If the customer had been using an on-premise solution it would have been impossible to recover from their backup as the server room would have been destroyed in the fire. Our IT support service provides, as standard, hourly backups and real-time monitoring. Through this monitoring we were able to provide evidence that the fire had not started in the server room, supporting their insurance claim application.

Natural disasters and accidents are rarely considered in any detail, if at all, when business continuity and disaster recovery plans are being developed. Cyberattacks gain more press and attention, and there is a danger you are only planning for one kind of risk.

In this instance, there would have been little difference in how we would have recovered if the event had been a cyberattack. Hardware can be seized by the police for forensic analysis, and cybercriminals are known to attack a second time using the same attack method. Therefore, replacing hardware and hosting in a new environment allows for fast recovery and time for analysis of the attack to occur.

Your backup is critical to recovering from both physical and cyber events!

As part of your ability to continue to operate when a disaster occurs, you need to consider;

  • Where is your backup?
  • Is your backup separate (physically and digitally) from your IT infrastructure?
  • Have you tested your ability to recover from your backup?
  • How much data are you prepared to lose, and does your backup frequency match that?

Further reading:

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Whether you need to enhance your approach to cyber threats, overhaul your IT infrastructure or improve your communications, we’re here to help and advise. Talk to a specialist today and take the next step towards being a stronger, more resilient business.

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