Proof That Poor Preparation Leads to IT Disaster
It’s commonsense that you need to prepare carefully when embarking on any new IT project. And there’s no such thing as too many security precautions. Anti-virus software, firewalls, spare hardware and at least two backups are really the least you can do.
If you haven’t thought recently about how well your business would cope in the event of problems, here are five high-profile examples that might prompt you evaluate the security risks faced by your business:
- It happened a few years ago, and it’s still one of the most embarrassing data losses of all time. That’s partly because it involved the government (we love a good government cock-up), but mainly because of the scale of the data loss. Personal information about 25 million people (that’s over a third of the population) went missing in the post. In the post!
- Of all organisations out there, you’d have thought NASA would double check its figures. Well, when the space agency lost a $125m Mars orbiter in 1999, it wasn’t that the calculations were off, but simply that while one group on the project was working in metric units, another was using the imperial system. Whoops.
- The 2005 Buncefield oil fire spread an ash cloud across much of south east England. It had a long-term affect on the local community and businesses, but in the immediate aftermath a number of websites – including the Labour Party’s – went offline after a nearby hosting company’s offices were seriously damaged. That’s why offsite backups are important.
- You’d get a nasty surprise if your laptop battery caught fire, wouldn’t you? So it’s no surprise that when Dell realised there was a potential problem with 4.1m laptop batteries it had sold, it recalled them all. That must have cost a few quid. Although with photos like this doing the rounds, they needed to take action quickly.
- You might not realise it, but the internet is heavily dependent on undersea cables which connect the continents together. So when several were severed towards the end of 2008, it caused massive disruption – particularly in India, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia and some Middle East countries. Kind of puts problems with your own broadband connection into perspective.
It’s unlikely your business will suffer any problems quite like these. But maybe they’ll get you thinking about what IT problems you might encounter … and how to guard against them doing you any serious harm.