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Disaster Recovery - In The Real World

This section of Disaster Recovery World covers actual disasters and the lessons to be learned from them. If you have a story to tell, please contact us.

The Unsuccessful Clean Desk Policy

One quiet but breezy Sunday morning in the South East of England an explosion suddenly let rip in an office block in a small town. It was owned by one of the largest UK banks, and was the main credit administration facility.

The emergency services acted swiftly and professionally, as ever, bringing the situation under control. The gas leak was rapidly repaired and the scene made safe.

The bank's business continuity plan then swung into action. The alternative location was prepared for critical functions and all staff were informed. In fact everything was running smoothly. The manager in charge of disaster recovery and continuity was almost beginning to pat himself on the back.

Then came the phone calls...

The media were asking about the personal and private details of the bank's customers. These were recorded on thousands of sheets of paper liberally scattered for hundreds of yards throughout the area of the blast!

Of course, the plan had not catered for that specific possibility, and it seems that the bank had not been particularly forceful in ensuring that all of its highly confidential data had been placed in secure cabinets. They therefore had to contend with an issue of breach of confidentiality and the resultant adverse publicity which followed.

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