Blackouts: Don’t leave your company in the dark
On Friday 9thAugust 2019, it went dark across many parts of the UK. Train networks stopped and communters were facing an inability to get home due to hours of cancellations, described by Bloomberg as a ‘once-in-a-decade blackout’. The cause? A seemingly unlikely event where two power stations simultaneously went offline. Just a few minutes of lost power caused parts of Britian to plunge into darkness including hospitals, airports, rail and road networks as well as towns and cities across England and Wales. This failure affected around a million people at 5pm and was not reported as resolved until some 2 hours later. National Grid described the events as ‘outside our control’.
What can we learn from this event? As a business, it is important to review these events and how they may have affected your company, for example – if this happened at 8am, how many of your staff would have been affected coming in to work? Do you have a business which relies on minimum staff levels where work cannot be done remotely eg a call centre? Are your staff suitably prepared and equipped to work remotely eg from a hotel or coffee shop if they needed to without comprimising on security? These are examples of some questions that should be part of business continuity scenario testing within your organisation. With advances in technology, business should not stop if staff cannot get into the office – staff have to know what to do, how to adapt so as to carry on with minimal disruption.
In the example of the blackout, it may not have been safe or perhaps feesible for staff to continue working within the office. The business continuity plan may have suggested a local ‘back-up’ site to resume work at; however, if local. this is likely to have been affected too – so how does a company continue working without clear access to electricity or another location?
At 2|SEC Consulting, we help businesses to create and strengthen their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to ensure they are prepared for any situation, by facilitating scenario tests and conducting audits we are able to assist our clients to be proactive and reactive when an event occurs. Get in touch so that we can help you to stay in business!
Written by E.Spenwyn