The Importance of Planning for the Worst

I’m in the office today, Sunday, as last night the entire office block lost it’s Telephony and Broadband as a result of an attempted break-in at a neighbours shop – a Supermarket. The would-be-thieves had cut the BT cabling early evening in an attempt to disable the various alarm systems we and our neighbours use. Then then returned in the middle of the night in a futile attempt to break into the heavily protected supermarket – they did a bit of nuisance damage but not much else.

We’ve seen something very similar at one of our client sites in the past few weeks. The feckless thieves think that by cutting the telephone lines they will disable the alarms. Unfortunately for them, any alarm system with a dialler worth it’s salt (such as BT Redcare) will notify the keyholder of loss of connectivity alerting them to a potential issue.

In our case, we became aware of the telephone line damage within minutes and took extra security measures for the evening as well as logging the fault with BT for them to schedule repairs.

It did get me round to thinking about how we would have coped if we had been broken into though…

  • Is our Alarm "key-holder" list up-to date with names and contact numbers?
  • Do our staff have easy access to the necessary contact names and numbers (Local Police Station, BT Fault Line, Alarm Company) if the office computers and/or Broadband are off-line?
  • Are all our computers and monitors securely locked using reliable locks such as a Kensington Microsaver?
  • Are all of our important hardcopy documents stored in a (fireproof) safe?
  • Is all of our critical data securely backed up off-site?
  • Do we have a reliable method of getting the office up and running if we needed to replace stolen or damaged hardware in a hurry?
  • Is any data stored on PC and Server encrypted so that it can’t be seen by the wrong people if stolen?
  • Are all valuable items within the office securely marked with UV Pen and registered with services such as Immobilize?
  • Is internal security (lockable comms cabinet, lockable server, locks on internal doors) up to scratch?
  • Do we have entry points covered by CCTV?
  • Does that CCTV clearly record footage?
  • Is that CCTV footage sent to off-site storage for security?

We’ve got a lot of green ticks for the above items, but I’ll be honest and say we’ve also got some red crosses that need our immediate attention.

Lots of people may consider the above OTT – but personally, peace of mind makes the time invested in the above worthwhile for me. As they say – "Hope for the best, but plan for the Worst".

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1 Response to “The Importance of Planning for the Worst”


  1. 1 Nick June 30, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Cutting the BT cable? That\’s pretty severe!  Not heard of anything like that round here thankfully.  We\’re also covered by Red Care, so we\’d be safe from that point of view, but we fall short of a number of the other items on the list.A great list to work towards though, certainly a number of things for us to think about.Nick


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