The number of power outages in the UK has more than doubled in the past year, potentially costing UK businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds according to Eaton’s latest Blackout Tracker report. AFP - Residents in south-west England are counting the cost on Friday after torrential rain caused flash flooding across the area. This area shows Power Outages as reported by the CL&P and the United Illuminating web-sites. If there are other power stations responsible for the production and delivery of power that you would like to see here, please contact CT Weather.
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Gizmodo UK is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Companies wishing to have the necessary means processes in place to offset downtime caused by an outage of power must be proactive in their stance on disaster recovery (DR), a sector expert has claimed. He argued there are four main areas that firms should focus on in order to be fully prepared for a power outage crisis - personnel, data, compliance and testing.

Staff members must be trained to act quickly in the event of unexpected downtime, moving to contact other sites or areas of a business to inform them of the setback. Plans should also be put in place to identify where all business-critical documents and files are stored, as when systems become operational once more these will be the items most in need of swift recovery. It is also essential for businesses to plan ahead and to fully understand their legal and regulatory obligations in the event of a crisis. Finally, regularly test all DR plans to ensure they fulfil the needs of the whole company - many businesses fall down at this final step, as while they may have an effective DR plan in place on paper, it has never been tested and may therefore not work as expected. According to the Royal Academy of Engineering, in a report produced for the Government late last year, the threat of blackouts will grow as the UK faces a diminishing capacity margin and insecurity of supply. If you don't allow cookies, you may not be able to use certain features of the website including,but not limited to log in, order services, see personalised content or switch between languages. This week, ita€™s come to the light that it could have been the result of destructive malware. Over 2.2 million people were affected with the average outage lasting just over three hours. The capacity margin, the difference between the amount of power that can be generated and peak demand, is likely to fall as older coal-fired power stations come out of service in 2015 and newer power stations scheduled to take their place are not coming on stream fast enough.
In addition, the UK now relies heavily on gas to generate electricity, with 15 per cent of imports from Russia travelling through pipelines from the Ukraine region. It seems such attacks were levelled at three regional power authorities in Ukraine, leaving half of homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine without electricity.

The malware appears to be spread using Microsoft Office files that contain malicious macros. Hackers simply send out emails with such files contained as attachments, in this case using email addresses spoofed to appear as being sent from the national parliament. Even for smaller enterprises the benefits of investing in power back-up solutions to protect critical systems would seem to be a business imperative. The report advises that the most important thing a business can do is to develop a power protection plan. The text in the message encourages the recipient to run the macros in the file, in turn installing a version of BlackEnergy on the computer. This can range from small uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), such as the Eaton 3S UPS, to models for large data centres such as Eaton’s Power Xpert 9395 UPS.
From there, the system can install KillDisk malware or make use of a SSH backdoor to provide attackers with remote access. Other options include standby and portable power generators as well as surge protection devices. Regionally the South East of England topped the list with 93 outages, the third consecutive year it has fared the worst, but it was Scotland that suffered the greatest rise with five times the number of outages it had suffered the previous two years.

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Rubric: Business Emergency Preparedness


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