The Risks of Blackouts on Cyber Security: How to Prepare Your Business

As the UK faces potential blackouts due to an ageing power infrastructure and increased demand, the threat to cyber security also continues to grow.

With an increasing number of devices and systems relying on a constant power supply, a sudden loss of electricity could leave businesses and individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks. The potential consequences of a blackout on cyber security could be devastating, with data breaches and loss of sensitive information putting both businesses and individuals at risk.

Small businesses should bite the bullet

In the event of a blackout, some businesses may struggle to maintain cyber security protocols and systems, potentially leaving them open to attacks. When databases are unexpectedly shut down from events like blackouts, it can lead to data loss or corruption. This is because the database may not have had a chance to properly save or close all of its files and connections. This is of particular concern for small businesses, as they may not have the resources or infrastructure to properly protect their databases from unexpected shutdowns. They also may not have the option to use cloud-based databases, which can provide added protection against localised blackouts and other types of disruptions.

Blackouts threaten these type of organisations in several ways. For example, without a constant power supply, firewalls and intrusion detection systems may not be able to operate effectively, leaving networks vulnerable to attacks. Additionally, backup generators may not be able to provide enough power to maintain critical systems and databases, leaving them vulnerable to data loss or breaches.

Take control of your cyber security with no interruptions

To mitigate the risks of blackouts on cyber security, businesses must take steps to ensure that their systems and networks are protected. One key solution is the use of uninterrupted power systems (UPS). A UPS provides enough energy for a database to safely shut down without losing data, ensuring that even in the event of a blackout, critical systems and data will remain protected. Cyber security needs prioritising, so businesses should ensure their firewalls and intrusion detection systems are powered by UPS or backup generators, to ensure that they continue to function during a blackout.

Depending on the structure of the business, companies may want a UPS that gives them enough power to save computer backups or shut down equipment safely. For small businesses, a simple battery backup is less expensive and fairly simple to maintain. However, larger enterprises may need to leverage a more complex system that can provide uninterrupted power to equipment that needs to continue operating.  While this can be a costly investment, given the potential losses that blackouts can cause in operational downtime and cyber risk, the expenditure is a sensible option.

Blackouts shouldn’t turn the lights out forever

The threat of blackouts on cyber security is a growing concern for businesses and individuals in the UK. This goes for organisations of all shapes and sizes, however, small businesses are particularly at risk. Data shows that many businesses lack confidence in their ability to to prepare for (23%), fight (21%) and recover from (21%) a cyber threat. While large organisations can dedicate vast amounts of resources to cyber defences, SMEs may not have the expertise, financial clout or technology as multinationals.

To mitigate this risk, it is essential these businesses take steps to ensure that their systems and networks are protected, including the use of uninterrupted power systems (UPS) to ensure proper shutdown of databases and prevent loss of data in the event of a blackout. By taking these steps, businesses can ensure that they are prepared for any potential blackouts and can protect themselves from cyber attacks.

About the Author

Jamie Moles is from Extrahop. ExtraHop is on a mission to stop advanced threats with security that can’t be undermined, outsmarted, or compromised. Our dynamic cyber defense platform uses cloud-scale AI to help enterprises detect and respond to advanced threats––before they compromise your business. When you don’t have to choose between protecting your business and moving it forward, that’s security, uncompromised.