Disaster – what disaster?

This is another of those topics which doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) go out of fashion.  It’s now two years since our first lockdown and I talked about Disaster Recovery (DR) or Business Continuity then – focusing on how we could continue to work if we had been denied access to our offices.  Of course the situation was the enforced “stay at home” directive – there wasn’t actually any problem with the office.  (I am also aware that some people continued to work in their office and some couldn’t work at all).

The thing is that DR can be too hung up on the word “disaster”.  We talked the other week about the factors affecting your business (positive and negative) and often what kills a business is NOT a big disaster (fire or flood) but one or more small events.  And it may not be fatal initially – it may simply be an interruption – but how long can we withstand that interruption?

The point is we need to regularly review our businesses and seek to tighten up or improve out ability to respond to an adverse event.

We looked at economic and global threats a few weeks ago – now it is time to think about planning for their mitigation.


I have often thought to myself that, given that I work from home, if my house burned down then the last thing I would be worrying about would be my business!   However – in the event that that did happen – all my data is in the cloud so I would be able to recover things as and when I was able to.  For those with premises then it may be a different story, especially if you have stock or paper records.

fire at your business premises

Have you actually considered what you would do in that situation?  During lockdown, records and stock were still there – and it was possible to access them (or at least you knew they were “safe”)?

And of course if you actually see clients on your premises then that adds complexity too – you probably can’t just work from home and invite clients there.

I think most businesses now have all their data in the cloud – either on cloud-based apps or in Google Drive or OneDrive.  If you don’t then now is a good time to use one of those!   Then at least you can work from home, or a café – hopefully that side of things has been tested during the pandemic.

Even if you don’t have a fire or a flood there can be other reasons you can’t access your premises – after the Glasgow School of Art fire lots of businesses were perfectly fine but it wasn’t safe to access them – for many weeks. Could your business survive in that situation?


I know – I mention this frequently – but only because it is a HUGE threat!

We are all far too complacent!

your business open to hackers

Yes it could happen to us! Those hackers don’t care.  And small businesses tend to be more vulnerable.  So taking a few thousand off a few hundred businesses (EACH) is worth the effort.  It does happen – in many different forms.  Hacking, intercepting invoices, they get more and more sneaky.  Don’t forget that most “hacks” are the result of social engineering – we simply open the metaphorical door and let them in!

So – make sure physical protection is as good as it can be – select reliable data storage and make sure you are applying all the required security updates to your laptop (and phone!).
Most importantly – check your own, and your team’s behaviour.  Good passwords (NEVER SHARED) and thinking about clicking on links, or checking before sending money etc.  Think about it and DO IT!


I just mention this because it could be a threat – and potentially a disaster – or at least an “interruption”.  Making sure you are complying with all the required legislation is crucial.  I hope we are all paying our taxes and VAT etc!  But health and safety, employment law and good old GDPR can trip us up to – and cost us a lot of money and grief!

lack of compliance threatens businesses

So do that review – and make sure you have things in place – and again involve the team.

Data breaches are as likely to happen internally rather than as a result of an external force.

Spend some time now on making sure that you have considered at least some of the threats to your business and how you would respond.  It could save your business!

If you would like to discuss further then please do Get in touch.