Perils of avoiding BC and DR

News in recent months have been unfavourable, even to the point of poignancy. Maybe I didn’t have all the details to place my opinion, but it has appeared that these recent events have neglected the practice of  BC (business continuity) and DR (disaster recovery).

The recent bad news

The most recent is one close to home. The KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) and KLIA2 operations were disrupted quite significantly for 4 days due to “network switch” failure. I followed the news and comments quite intently in those bad days, and I did not see any single comment discussing about BC or DR. If BC and DR were present at the airports, the airport operations would have been restored within minutes or hours, not days. Investigations are still on-going to find out what really happened in the KLIA/KLIA2 incident.

A sadder news was the Kyoto Animation arson in July 2019. Scores of lives were lost and dozens injured in the fire. In a media statement, the CEO spoke about the loss both physical and digital media, and the impact was already devastating to the survival of Kyoto Animation.

In my regular interaction with my end users in Malaysia, many in the CG (Computer Graphics), VFX (Visual Effects) and Animation in industry, I can see for myself the practice of BC and DR is almost non-existent. Even worse, backup to any form of media is mediocre, at best.

Ransomware and cyber attacks on the rise

Increasingly, the disruptions are also impacted by cybersecurity issues. The KLIA/KLIA2 was abuzz last week with rumours that they were victims of cyber attacks. This was denied by MAHB (Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad). But that might not exclude that it could be an inside job. MAHB has lodged a police report.

I recalled an incident that happened 7 years ago and I blogged about that incident. The attack of that incident was an inside job, and it has caused data loss.

Ransomware is another cybersecurity concern. One of the largest media companies in Malaysia, Media Prima was hit by ransomware. One of my customers, an animation studio, lost a month’s work because of ransomware attack. They had to redo the entire animation series because they were a victim.


BC, DR and on a smaller extent, backup are costs. Many end users are ignorant that the impact of data loss is significant. The after effects of data loss is even worse because it hurts the brand and the intangible losses dragged along with it. The confidence in the company behind the brand to deliver is definitely bruised, and in the end, even worse repercussions.

The lack of education of BC and DR within the IT industry in Malaysia is shocking. Some times I am thankful that Bank Negara (Central Bank of Malaysia) has enforced BC and DR with all the Malaysian banks. This has helped the continuity of operations of the banks in the face of disaster. As highlighted in The Edge 10 years ago, “Business Continuity: Up and Running, no matter what“.

All in all, the costs saved will be greatly exceeded by the cost of data loss and the lack of ability to restore data and operations. We have to learn to see that in this ultra competitive world.

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About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 30 years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because those are my areas of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to know the facts and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and between 2013-2015, I was SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I currently employed at iXsystems as their General Manager for Asia Pacific Japan.

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