Crisis Time: Your office is on fire!

Share this post

Your people are all safe, fantastic news! But what about your data?

Picture this… it’s late at night, you’ve just sat down to catch up with Benidorm on ITV Hub & you’ve made yourself a sunny sangria to really feel the Hotel Solana vibes. All is grand.

But wait, is that your phone ringing? “not again. Right on bleedin’ Benidorm” you sigh, as you reach over expecting to see your caller ID display ‘Mum’. As you turn over your phone, you see your screen light up… “999 calling” encompasses the display.

“Hello, is this the business owner?” you shudder as the police proceed to tell you that a fire broke out on your business’s property – luckily no-one was hurt as it’s late at night, but you’ll need to inspect the damage in the morning.

You turn the television off. This is no time for Benidorm.

Fast-forward to the morning. You shuffle past a half-finished glass of sangria from the night before – you’ve barely slept and the washing up is at the bottom of your agenda this morning.

As you drive to what’s left of your business, bleary eyed with a head chock-full of questions, you begin to think to yourself about all the things you should have gotten round to doing in that office. Luckily you’re well-covered insurance, so any repairs will be a doddle.

While walking around the building you notice the kitchen is just an incomprehensible burned mess, but that’s fine as insurance will cover it. You then take a walk into the server room and immediately stop, your shadow looming over a charred, twisted metal chassis – only some of the original steel sheen peeks out from behind the crispy coating.

“It’s ok” you think to yourself. “I can get a new server, I’m sure that’s covered – there’s nothing we ca…” you stop mid sentence, realising that actually there are some things you can’t just replace through insurance. Your data being one of them.

For months you’ve been meaning to sort out the backups, all of which were in various states of disarray. In fact you had four backups in total; a VM backup, a file-shares backup, a system-state backup & a SQL database backup.

Your VM backup used to run on an automated schedule up until around two months ago – a member of your team brought this to your attention & you put it on the back-burner. That’s the VMs lost then.

Your file-shares backup was just backing up to another area on the server – you wanted somewhere you could quickly restore from if someone deleted a file, but that’s not worked out particularly well now that the server’s played it’s final shutdown.

Luckily you had enough sense at the time to back the system-state & SQL backups to the NAS. Unfortunately that NAS was also on-site and looks like the underside of a fast-food deep fat fryer.

If you think the above sounds scary, then put down your sangria and turn off Benidorm because the statistics are so much worse.

  • 50% of businesses that lose data due to a disaster will go into administration.
  • 93% of businesses that lose their data for 10 days or more will go-under within a year.
  • 70% of businesses that suffer a severe fire will go out of business within 5 years.

While these stats are pretty horrific, there’s no need to change your undies just yet. Back in the real world, your business isn’t on fire, your data is still intact & that episode of Benidorm is still ready to watch.

But with all that in mind, what are the overdue jobs that you keep putting off that would jeopardise the business in the event of a disaster? How do you keep your business ahead of the game?

  • Make sure your backups are working & that you have an off-site storage location. There’s no point in having a good backup solution if it only stays on-site, as when disaster strike *poof* it’ll be gone before you know it.
  • Protect your devices by getting them fully insured, put processes in place for if a device gets lost or is stolen, encrypt the data on those devices and make sure that users have strong passwords/use MFA.
  • Know what devices you actually have, because in the event of a fire do you really think you could account for every single device from memory? You need to keep an inventory list and make note of the regular users.
  • As an optional step, try going paperless – it’s better for the environment and without having lots of paper on-site, there’s less fuel for any potential fires. Plus if the only copy of some of those documents are on paper, they’ll be lost in the fire too.

At the end of the day, there are probably many more things you can think of that would be of benefit to your business in a disaster – so get them done now before disaster does strike.

If you want to get a better idea of what your business may need to do, by all means take our IT support quiz below.

More from us

How can we help?

Enter your details below & we'll get back to you

So you need support?