3 Action Movies That Illustrate Real-World Backup & Disaster Recovery Scenarios

Die Hard

Die Hard is an absolute classic, and our favourite (Christmas) film we’ve selected to feature! Starring Bruce Willis, this 1988 action movie tells the story of John McClane, a NYPD detective who attempted to prevent a hostage situation and multi-million dollar heist. McClane was unable to stop the terrorists from executing the branch manager, who refused to disclose the vault’s combination and failed to alert the local police by trying to set off a fire alarm. The SWAT team eventually arrived on scene; however, one of the terrorists noticed their movements on the security feed and let the others know.

The FBI eventually shut off the building’s power while they planned a helicopter raid – but the terrorists planned for the FBI’s predictability by disconnecting the power first (consequently opening the final lock on the vault and giving them access to the money). McClane managed to keep the hostages safe inside the building as the terrorists destroyed the helicopter in an explosion. All the terrorists were then killed or detained, while the building was secured by the police.

Cyber attacks and malware are the equivalents of terrorism. In 2016, two cybersecurity firms discovered malicious software they believed caused a power outage in the Ukraine. However, neither firm had any idea of who was behind the attack.

Unfortunately, cyber attackers are just as smart as the terrorists in Die Hard. They’re familiar with many security tools and programs, and thus able to continuously modify their malware so it’s more difficult to stop until it’s too late. Since you can’t always prevent disaster, it’s more critical than ever to prepare for it with business continuity planning.

Minority Report

Minority Report is a 2002 action thriller starring Tom Cruise. Cruise played John Anderton, the head of a new police force called “PreCrime”, that served to prevent murder before it could happen. Data was obtained from “PreCogs” – three mutated humans who could see into the future and detect when a murder would be committed. When the PreCogs detected a murder was going to happen, an automated system process would indicate how the murder would occur and when.

The plot takes off when Anderton is alerted to a new crime, where the PreCogs predicted him to be the killer of a man he didn’t yet know. That caused him to believe he was being set up, and also forced him to flee PreCrime as his own manhunt began. In the end, PreCrime was revealed to be flawed and subject to manipulation, thus abandoned.

According to IBM’s X-Force Intelligence Index 2017, the top two attack types for monitored security clients are injected unexpected items and manipulated data structures. “Injected unexpected items” are considered to be malicious inputs of data that attempt to control or disrupt the target system, and “manipulated data structures” refer to attempts to gain unauthorised access through the manipulation of system structures.

The truth is, every system has vulnerabilities and is subject to manipulation. But with the right data backup and encryption solutions in place, you can protect your data against tampering and loss.


Transcendence isn’t your typical action movie, but there’s plenty of technological action in it! This 2014 sci-fi film stars Johnny Depp, who played Dr. Will Caster – a scientist who researched the nature of sentience and artificial intelligence. Will and his team built a living computer, which was then uploaded with his consciousness so he could survive his body’s death.

As a computer, Will started using his new-found capabilities to build a technological utopia, where he worked to develop advancements in medicine, energy, biology and nanotechnology. But as Will continued to grow more powerful, his motives became questioned. His team then developed a computer virus in order to destroy him, also destroying his technological civilisation and infrastructure. Will was killed by the virus, which resulted in a global technology collapse and blackout.

Computer viruses resulting in global disaster are becoming all too common. Just the other week, the GoldenEye Petya ransomware attack struck across the world – taking out servers at Russia’s biggest oil company, then shutting down computers at multinational businesses (including the Australian offices of global law and the Tasmanian Cadbury chocolate factory). NPR reports GoldenEye hit 65 countries, and it could be traced back to tax accounting software.

Luckily, the Petya attack doesn’t seem to be as devastating as the WannaCry ransomware that attacked more than 400,000 unpatched Windows computers worldwide on 17 May 2017. But the rise in global cyber attacks is both staggering and alarming, and should be cause enough to seriously reconsider your current security protocols and disaster recovery plans.

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