Tag Archives: England

Importance of business continuity emphasised with snow fall

As November moved into December, the UK became wrapped in a blanket of road-clogging snow, starting in Scotland and the north of England, before moving south and eventually affecting travel in London and the South East.

The estimated cost to the economy varies depending on which source you choose to believe, but predictions of between £250 million and £1.2 billion a day have been made public by different analysts.

The good news is that many firms have learned their lessons from the cold weather conditions which crippled the UK’s transport links earlier in 2010 and, as such, have taken the proper precautions to ensure business continuity, even when employees cannot make their way into work.

Remote working has become increasingly popular as a failsafe for such eventualities, with many choosing to stay at home and get work done, rather than risk getting stuck in the snow and ice on their commute.

Working from home using remote access also means that many thousands of people are able to cope with the widespread closure of schools, which has left children in need of all-day care. Of course some parents have simply been forced to take these days as holiday, which is hardly ideal, but a necessity when educational institutions cannot open.

Businesses which do lose out as a result of the climate need not take too much woe from the staggering predictions for daily costs, because experts believe that employees are likely to make up for lost time by staying later and working harder, once the weather has cleared up and they are able to return to their desks.

This is precisely what has happened in previous years, so even if productivity lags and continuity is compromised now, the future is the time for catching up and making amends.

If winters are set to get colder and snow is a more frequent visitor to the UK, it is likely that business continuity planning and disaster recovery will gain new importance within businesses around the country.

Businesses exhibit growing awareness of data security risks

Another survey, commissioned in this case by telecoms firm Orange, has shown that there is an ongoing improvement in the level of concern and care with which small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the UK approach data loss and the risks facing personal information for which they are responsible.

26 per cent of respondents said that proper data security measures that mitigate the threats posed to private data occupy a significant element of their agendas. However, there is relatively low level of action being taken amongst UK businesses. Over three quarters of those questioned said that the loss or theft of data either from internal systems or via misplaced or stolen portable storage devices was a constant fear.

11 per cent of respondents told Orange that they have felt the financial ramifications associated with data loss as a result of a portable device going astray, whilst 12 per cent claimed that intellectual property that could be valuable to competitors and damaging to their business had been compromised as a result of data loss facilitated by poor security measures.

Orange measured the levels of data loss awareness around the UK and found that those based in Northern Ireland were more acutely concerned with the problems at hand, as data loss prevention topped the list of challenges in exactly half of Northern Irish businesses. This means that in some cases productivity and growth within a business are playing second fiddle to data protection.

The North East of England was the region apparently least concerned with data loss, as not a single business questioned there said that it was looking into improving security as a matter of urgency.

The survey found that 18 per cent of businesses that regularly use smartphones to transfer and store private data have not invested in the technology that allows lost or stolen phones to be locked or to have their on-board memory erased remotely. 38 per cent said that password protection was the only layer of security that protects portable devices such as laptops and smartphones.

The report shows that in half of all UK SMBs, IT management is controlled internally and there is a sense that many are unwilling to look to third party experts in order to ensure total data loss prevention and security.

Latest UK financial sector business continuity exercise to take place in November

The ripples of the global financial crisis have affected the plans and fortunes of hundreds of businesses and services. Nearly a year ago a Market-Wide Exercise (MWE) was scheduled within the financial sector. The aim was to explore the potential effects of a cataclysmic meteorological event upon financial sector businesses, particularly those central to the national infrastructure. However, in the face of mounting financial pressures, the MWE 2008 was postponed, recognising that without market-wide engagement the findings of the exercise would be worthless. Now that the markets have stabilised, the support and participation of many more financial sector businesses has been assured. Continue reading

Children’s rights group falls victim to data loss

There seems to be no end to data loss problems in the UK. You would think that after all the headlines that data loss incidents have made, their occurrences would have gone down by now. But this does not seem to be the case. In one of the latest incidents of data loss, it was found that details of 5,000 children of a children’s right group were lost. The information was stored on a memory stick and the incident took place in Leeds.

The legal director of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, Katy Swaine, said that collection of this type of data and sharing it can lead to more data loss incidents like this. It was also announced by a spokesperson for Leeds City Council that a full investigation would be made into this incident.

This data loss incident is just one of the many that have taken place this year in the UK. It seems like awareness needs to be made among councils and government bodies to reduce these incidents. There are many online data backups available and these should be taken complete advantage of. Online and offsite data backups are great for storing and encrypting vital information. Another wonderful benefit that data backups provide is that they can be retrieved anytime from anywhere.

Online backup is the need of the hour

The tables could have turned on the Justice staff, for once they may not be the one proclaiming the verdict; instead they were almost the ones with the verdict thrust upon them on the 7th of September 2008. Details of the employees of the National Offender Management Service in England had their details stolen from the private firm EDS that had them, apparently, secure.

The data of this value was stored on conventional storage devices like pen drives, hard disks etc. and was password protected. This incident highlights how vulnerable and susceptible data is to theft. With new technology, such conventional storage devices have become obsolete for storing personal information and a new form of data storage has come into the picture, online storage. Companies have harnessed the power of the internet and now you have an ‘online vault’ where you can now save all your valuable information. Online storage is safer as compared to portable storage devices like memory sticks, pen drives, laptops etc.

All that you need is an internet connection to upload your data and files and you are all set to go, even in the event of a data loss! As data is stored in real time, you can retrieve the latest and most updated data.

Private firms as well as government organisations susceptible to data loss

There have been many cases of data loss even with reputed firms all over the world.

The data loss incident that took place in July this year had details of employees of the National Offender Management Service in England stolen from the private firm, EDS. Government organisations and departments have also suffered data loss for various reasons, but mainly due to improper data storage and data backup.

The data was stored on hardware such as hard drives where it is vulnerable to loss or theft.

Hence, companies have started storing their data online as online backup and online data storage is much more safe and reliable.

Many companies offer backups but you should check to make sure all your needs are met. A regular e-mail is sent to you informing you that backup was successful or not and this information and your back up can only be accessed with your personal User ID and password.

Conventional back up devices have now become outdated and they are also cumbersome, whereas internet backups are fast, cheaper and more secure.

Very simply put, online backup is like a bank. Anyone would prefer to keep money in a bank rather than leaving it vulnerable at home.

This is important as data is susceptible to theft and loss whereas in the case of online backup, data remains safe and secured.

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