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BCAW Day 5 – What Have we Learnt?

So it’s the final day of Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) 2021: what have we learnt this year?

Undoubtedly, BCAW 2021 has been dominated by high-profile ransomware events, with a combination of:

  • Continued fallout from the DarkSide attack on Colonial Pipeline earlier in the month;
  • Ongoing disruption to the Irish Health Service following an attack with Conti ransomware; and now
  • Breaking news of another DarkSide attack on insurance firm One Call with a £15m ransom demand.

Nobody can be in any doubt now about the threat that ransomware poses to us all.  However, it is important not to become narrowly focused on a single threat.  We blogged two weeks ago about the reliability of cloud services, and specifically on Tuesday about data centre outages.  Both of these issues came to the fore again on Wednesday, when IBM experienced a five-hour disruption at its Dallas site which hosts 10 data centres.  This is only the most recent in a series of issues with IBM Cloud Services over the last few weeks.

Finally, the Covid-19 pandemic still continues to impact around the world.  Whilst it appears that we will have to wait some time for a public inquiry in the UK to start (and a lot longer for it to publish its report); the National Audit Office released its latest report on the UK Government’s response on Wednesday.  Amongst its many observations, the report highlights two points that are relevant to any crisis:

  • The UK Government had not conducted sufficient planning in advance; and
  • Communications had not always been clear and timely.

Perhaps these are the two lessons that we should all take away from BCAW 2021.