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When is protected not protected?

When is protected not protected?

24th August 2017

Recently, Radio 4 covered the story of an estate agent who had taken out a Knowhow product at PC World in order to protect the data within his business.

Great! All for that! If only more people were so savvy about data protection and business continuity!

Unfortunately, in this instance, there was not a Happy Ever After.

As the show continues, the story is unveiled. It seems a staff member unwittingly opened an email, and the systems were taken over and the business was held to ransom.

The estate agent wasn’t worried, he had protection from KnowHow. He rang up, and asked for the system to be restored. This is where he ran into trouble. It seemed as though it wasn’t as simple as that. There was a back-up, but the issue was that each file had to be restored individually, it wasn’t possible to restore it all in one go – to set back to where it was before the attack. The consumer was furious. Just what exactly had he paid for? Why wasn’t it as simple as flicking a switch and restoring the systems as they were before?

KnowHow says it has done nothing wrong. And the estate agent was left manually uploading 100,000 files.

But who was in the wrong?

From the facts that were revealed, I would say that no-one was in the wrong. What happened here was a case of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

The product being sold is a perfectly valid product. But it just wasn’t suitable for the estate agent’s needs. However, he probably should have realised that paying 60 odd pounds for an off-the-shelf product probably wasn’t going to give him the level of protection that he needed.

Yes, it would protect his data to some extent, but what he really wanted was something which would mean a complete restoration of his systems in the case of a data breach. And this product wasn’t going to do that.

Likewise, the staff member at PC World probably didn’t have a complete grasp of exactly what the customer needed, after all, they aren’t typically cyber security experts. They can only offer what’s available, and in this instance, the product was ok for the price, but not what the consumer was expecting.

So there are lessons to be learned on both sides. The key here is not to remain unprotected because you are worried that your files are going to be lost in the event of a security breach, but to ensure you have the right level of protection in place.

Think of it like an insurance policy.

You need to know what’s covered, what’s not, what exclusions there are in place, and whether the cover is right for you. The same is true for any data protection product or service you take out.

And the old adage is true here, you get what you pay for. If you are picking up a product for £50-60, then the chances are that it’s not going to give you the comprehensive service you need if you are a business owner, but might be ok for your home computer.

So what should you do to help you through the maze? What do you need to look out for? We get that it can be a minefield, so we’ve produced a guide which will help.

Ten questions you need to ask a cloud service provider before purchasing their product or service. Questions like, what data is being backed up? How will the data be restored? Where is the data kept?

All with an explanation as to what you want to hear in response, and how you know that the provider you’ve picked is the right one for you.

So don’t make the same mistakes this poor estate agent did. Get properly protected with our Guide to Choosing a Cloud Service Provider.

To get hold of the guide, then you need to is email us at

And of course, we’re more than happy to answer the questions on the guide ourselves! To give us an interview, just reply to this email, and we’ll set something up at your convenience.

Oh, and give you a no obligation free trial too. We’re good like that.

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