Disaster Recovery Workshop

Last month we ran a Disaster Recovery Workshop in conjunction with Datto for members of CeeD Scotland.

For manufacturing and process industry companies, being able to recover quickly in the the event of a disaster is paramount. While it’s very common to find companies with no DR plan, even those that do can struggle with checking the validity of it - how do they know they’ve covered all the major bases?

This helped form the core of the event - rather than sitting and making a DR plan, we decided to instigate a disaster and see how people reacted.


The event kicked off with me giving a short presentation around some of the terminology we would be using throughout the day - namely RPO and RTO. These are the two primary variables when it comes to an IT disaster. I then talked through a real-world disaster I’d encountered a number of years ago, showing what role these two numbers played in the recovery process.

We then had another short presentation from Kirsty talking through the events and impact the NotPetya malware had on the Maersk shipping line (basically in a time span of minutes it had brought a global company to its knees).

Our Workshop

Then it was time to run the workshop.

I’m not going to divulge the details of what we did because we’re going to be running some more and it only works when people come into these with no idea of what they are walking into. We invented the disaster scenario and controlled the rules as to what the company had and didn’t have. What was true to life though, was that there was nothing in our fantasy company that we haven’t encountered somewhere before, or it exists in the real-world.

Once our guests had gotten over some initial shyness, it was quite remarkable to see how invested they became in wanting to get “their company” back on its feet again.

Datto Real-Life Disaster Recovery

Back into the real-world, we then had a presentation and product demonstration from Datto. They talked about how their product can be used to bring companies back to operational very quickly, far more so than many traditional backup solutions. Of course, presentations are one thing, but to make the point, Tim then proceeded to infect a server with some malware and recover it in just a few minutes.

Darknet Insights

Finally we had Mark talking about the Darknet and our just about to be launched Darknet Monitoring service. We passed everyone who attended some information about their own company, available on the Darknet, which left quite a few people shocked. That opened up some very interesting discussions over lunch and something we’re hoping to pick up on with a future event.


I don’t think I’m doing anyone a disservice by saying I believe everyone walked away from the event with some level of discomfort about their own organisation based on something that had come up during the workshop, the presentations or the demo. To that end, the feedback we received was amazing and everyone had something to take back to work to question, understand or challenge existing thinking.

“I just wanted to drop you a note to say a massive thanks for such a great event today – very interactive and a balance of ‘scary and good fun’!!  Also please pass on my thanks to Tim at Datto for his very informative session.

The event you hosted today is exactly the style of our CeeD model and the knowledge exchange was fantastic – it was great to have great members in the audience, a very engaged group and, thanks Mark, for the offer of a further event.”

Gillian Wishart, Business Development Manager
CeeD (Centre for Engineering Education and Development)

“It was a really good event in my view and I could see how much work you had all put into it as I am sure the CeeD members could. Definitely much more interesting than the standard events and more thought provoking.”

David Kerr, Channel Development Manager
Datto EMEA

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