Continuity Emergency Management IT Management

Don’t get left in the dark: how to plan for a network outage

Lora O’Haver looks at the common causes of network downtime and the steps that organizations can take to protect themselves.

Recent DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks have everyone on edge, from DNS hosting providers to individual organizations fearing that they might be caught in the next denial-of-service campaign.

Unfortunately, network outages don’t need to be instigated by malicious outside forces in order to occur. Configuration choices, new releases, or the cumulative impact of changes made over many years can lead to catastrophic failures as well. Examples of this are common. Just last summer, Southwest Airlines experienced a router failure that caused the cancellation of about 2,300 flights in four days. The router took down several Southwest Airlines systems and the outage continued uninterrupted for about 12 hours when the backup systems didn’t work as expected.

Software can be a cause for them too. In 2015, the New York Stock Exchange experienced an outage caused by a software update, crippling the exchange platform in the longest technology-related disruption in recent memory. An outage can strike anywhere and even a minor internal problem can create a ripple effect that can cause widespread disruption – costing an organization money and consumer trust. How can we mitigate the risk of such an outage happening to your organization?


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