If you read my email from time to time you will know that I have mentioned in the past that the only secure way to hold, transmit and store information is on paper. If is it on a computer it will eventually get corrupted, lost or stolen.
My point was made for me this past week with the news that the websites of the Supreme Court, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, have been forcibly taken down by those opposed to their activities.
Apparently a group calling themselves A Team did the deed, using a “denial of service” technique. The group were protesting against the proposed extradition of Gary McKinnon and Richard O’Dwyer to the USA.
Now you might argue that since you are not involved in any political decision-making you have nothing to fear – but in fact no matter what we do there will be someone out there who doesn’t like us.
Whether we sell petrol or act in court for other parties, someone out there will have us in their sights.
Theresa May’s website went down for much of the day along with the Supreme Court. The ICO site went down for several days.
Of course the politicians involved made the normal noises about treating “threats of disruption to her website very seriously”. But the fact is she could not stop it.
The ICO said “Access to the ICO website has been disrupted over the past few days. We believe this is due to a distributed-denial-of-service attack.
“The website itself has not been damaged, but people have been unable to access it. We provide a public-facing website which contains no sensitive information.
“We regret this disruption to our service and we are working to try to bring the website back online as soon as possible.”
The fact is that if websites at the very heart of our government can be taken down at will, no one is safe. Government is, after all, the self-same organisation that tells us to take more care with our websites. The ICO is the organisation that fines us if we lose data.
Which is why information of importance must still be backed up on paper and why it needs to be stored.
Of course websites are important – I use one to write my regular blog. But when it comes to vital information that needs to be stored in security and safety – this is exactly the sort of facility that Admiral has.
Then if your site ever does come under attack, you will at least know that you have everything you need in a safe place.
There are more details on our website or give us a call on 0800 783 9516.