December 3, 2021

UK Government's Disaster Plans put Data in Danger

DataFort Advises Companies To Dry Run Business Continuity Systems

Release date: January 2004

DataFort, the leading provider of effortless off-site data back-up, is advising companies located in major UK cities and near sites of strategic importance to fully test their business continuity strategies should new UK government regulations come into force.

Under proposed amendments to the Civil Contingencies Bill, the police will be able to evacuate danger areas should a ‘catastrophic incident’ occur. They will also have the power to restrict access to ‘sensitive sites’ and seize property. According to Gavin Smith, Founder & CEO of DataFort, this could mean companies being prevented from using premises or systems for an indefinite amount of time, leaving data open to system failure and malicious hack attacks.

“The merits of the amendments to the Bill are not the issue here,” explains Smith. “Any company that cannot access its data for an extended length of time is going to suffer financially. Firms that rely on systems and information for their very existence should make sure their back-up systems are working properly and that plans are in place to allow business to carry on at a sustainable level should the worst happen.”

Remote working for individual users is relatively straightforward, but a much greater effort is required for whole companies to migrate day-to-day business away from an established location, as Smith explains.

“Access to databases, networks and e-mail are crucial factors for many workers. Take these away and companies flounder. Business continuity plans can ensure all bases are covered should a situation arise where unexpected downtime occurs.”

Smith also warns of the problems associated with relying on tape backups in such a period: “Tapes have to be changed and then someone has to take them home, in reality unless a company has a strict back-up policy this rarely happens as a matter of course. Then there are problems with accessing data. Tapes are notoriously unreliable and how many workers have a tape drive at home?”

According to a Summer 2003 survey by The Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (AIRMIC), business continuity and reputation threats topped the list of ‘most important risks over the coming year’ in a survey of risk managers worldwide. As we start 2004, Smith argues that companies should be prepared for business disruption on a more frequent and less tangible basis, as the recent cancellation of US-bound flights has demonstrated.

Concludes Smith: “Companies need to prepare for the unexpected. As the UK and US governments become more and more vigilant, disruptions to business will become more frequent. Imagine if your company suffered the 11th hour upheavals currently being endured by British Airways? Could you cope with having offices closed, goods being detained, systems switched off?”

DataFort is encouraging companies that are concerned about backup and recovery issues to get in contact by e-mail for advice and information ([email protected]). A 30-day trial account can be arranged of the DataFort 3.0 off-site backup solution by downloading and installing the software directly from the website (


DataFort provides dependable secure off-site computer information storage with a focus on functionality and convenience for the end user. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Guildford, UK and New York, USA. It’s software and services are used by thousands of businesses worldwide - ranging from small SMEs and schools through to quoted companies and local government. Every hour of every day someone, somewhere backs up with DataFort.


Marcie Terman
T: +44 (0) 1483 872 052