5 Real-life business continuity planning cases you need to know

5 Real-life business continuity planning cases you need to know

Business continuity planning is essential for all New Jersey businesses, no matter what size or industry. In the event of an unexpected disaster or emergency, it is vital that your business has a plan in place to ensure that operations can continue as normal. In this blog post, we will discuss five real-life cases where business continuity planning was put to the test.

1. The 2021 ransomware attack on Ireland’s HSE

In 2018, the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE) was struck by the Conti ransomware, bringing the healthcare system to a standstill. The result of this attack was quite significant, as it forced the HSE to shut down dozens of outpatient services and rendered its payroll system inaccessible, leaving 146,000 healthcare workers without pay for some time. The attack also caused the COVID-19 vaccine portal to go offline and induced IT outages at five major hospitals, including Children’s Health Ireland.

The scale of the attack was so great that not even the HSE’s cybersecurity protocols could fully prevent it. They needed to shut down more than 85,000 computers and inspect over 2,000 IT systems throughout the HSE system to ensure that the spread of the ransomware could be contained. Full restoration took three months, and it became possible only because the hackers suddenly posted the decryption key online.

2. The 2018 SAMSAM ransomware attack on the City of Atlanta

The City of Atlanta was struck by the SAMSAM ransomware in 2018, with the attackers demanding $52,000 as ransom. All things considered, the ransom itself wasn’t too large, but the full impact of the attack was estimated to be at more than $17 million. For instance, the city had to spend $3 million on emergency IT and crisis management intervention alone.

This attack resulted in severe city service disruptions, including blocked access to police records, courts, and parking services. Moreover, the city government’s computer systems were taken down for five days, forcing transactions and essential paperwork to be done by hand. Sadly, city administrators knew about their computer systems’ vulnerabilities but had failed to take action in time. Just two months prior to the attack, an audit found almost 2,000 vulnerabilities in the City of Atlanta’s IT system, the majority of which stemmed from obsolete software and an IT culture of ad hoc processes.

3. The 2013 lightning strike that razed a South Carolina MSP

South Carolina IT provider Cantey Technology was the unfortunate victim of an office fire that destroyed its office systems and disrupted its operations. The fire was caused by a direct lightning strike on their Mount Pleasant office headquarters, resulting in torched computer hardware and cabling. Cantey Technology’s equipment was damaged beyond repair, raising concerns about how they would be able to serve their clients.

Despite their infrastructure being totally destroyed, Cantey Technology’s clients ultimately never encountered any disruptions and business for them continued as usual. Luckily, Cantey had an existing business continuity plan that was executed to perfection. They quickly moved their client servers to a remote data center, where continual backups were already stored. Because they had data redundancies and a continuity plan in place, Cantey Technology never had to pause any services for their clients.

4. The 2016 computer virus that crippled UK hospitals

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, a network of hospitals in the United Kingdom, was struck by the Globe2 ransomware in 2016. The ransomware encrypted the hospital network's computer systems, and without a business continuity plan in place, the network was forced to shut down all of its hospitals for five days. More than 2,800 patients had to be turned away, including mothers in labor and individuals needing major surgery. A BCP plan could have saved the hospital network by ensuring data processes and transactions had redundancies so that the hospital network wouldn’t be forced to completely shut down operations.

5. The 2017 hurricane that nearly drowned a Texas marketing agency

Gaille Media, an internet marketing company, was among the hardest-hit businesses when Hurricane Harvey slammed Texas in 2017. Due to four straight days of rain, Lake Houston — which was near the Gaille Media headquarters — overflowed. Even Gaille’s second floor office space was inaccessible for months after the hurricane. The resultant mold and water damage destroyed all of Gaille’s physical equipment and files.

The media company never returned to the building, but because of business continuity planning, their operations never even paused. Staff were able to keep serving their clients remotely, as all of Gaille Media’s systems were hosted on the cloud. The company ended up keeping its hybrid work arrangement, which also helped it weather the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic three years later.

Make sure your business stays ahead of any threat to your operations by developing a business continuity plan. Our experts at Online Computers can help you devise your own. Contact us today to learn more.


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