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Three Business Continuity Calamities

11 May, 2020

Having a business with no continuity plan is a bit like having a ship with no lifeboats.

While we all like to imagine our lives and organisations will always run smoothly, unexpected events can change everything in an instant. When such events strike, you either have a plan or you don’t. This is what business continuity is all about. You’re preparing for scenarios that could hinder or completely stop your business.

This blog will take you through three real-life examples of businesses that have suffered through a lack of continuity planning and leave you with some top tips you take away to help better prepare your organisation in the event of a disaster.

Ransomware Attack on Atlanta

The SamSam ransomware attack hit the city of Atlanta in March 2018. The Government’s computer systems were targeted, resulting in a number of services shutting down, including police records, parking services, utilities and other programmes. This persisted for five days, meaning many departments had to revert to hand-written paperwork.

The attackers demanded a $52,000 payment to bring the system back online but the full recovery took months. It is estimated to have cost a total of $17 million to fix, with nearly $3 million being spent exclusively on emergency IT consultants and crisis management firms.

In retrospect, this attack had been coming. Two months prior to the attack, an audit revealed that there were between 1,500 and 2,000 vulnerabilities in the city’s IT systems, including ‘obsolete software’ and a security culture driven by ‘undocumented processes’.

Hospitals Infected with a Computer Virus

In November 2016, a network of hospitals in the UK was infected with a computer virus, crippling its systems and halting operations at three separate locations for five days.

In that time, patients were turned away at the door and advised to visit other hospitals, even those who had suffered major trauma or were giving birth. Only patients suffering from severe accidents were admitted.

A report by showed that the hospitals had no business continuity plan document in place, which resulted in more than 2,800 procedures and appointments being cancelled.

The Backup Blackout

The California Department of Motor Vehicles suffered a computer outage, which shut down its operations for several days. Several DMV California offices closed with drivers having nowhere to turn to for their license or vehicle registration needs.

Both the primary and secondary backup systems went offline simultaneously because they were within the same facility and shared the same power source. Data security experts were quick to point out California DMV’s backup blunder, noting that it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Remember, backup systems should be stored in a separate location to your primary system. This means that if one backup fails, there is another ready to take its place.

Our Top Tips

Having spent over a decade helping organisations secure information and understand the importance of business continuity, we’ve collected a number of simple, top tips for you to take away and consider for your organisation’s business continuity.

  • Familiarise yourself with your organisation’s business continuity plan.
  • Make sure everyone knows where the external site is in the event of a disaster.
  • Resume business as soon as possible to reduce the consequences.
  • Backup your files on a daily basis to a secondary location to minimise potential data loss.

Business continuity in the age of Coronavirus is more important than ever before. From your cyber security to your data collection, our product helps your staff before the front line in your fight against cybercrime. Learn more about how Bob's Business can help you now by booking a web demonstration.

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