Outages continue to disrupt education, health services and commerce. Internet and other service outages are caused by a variety of circumstances, from accidental cable cuts to malicious cybercrimes. They result in school closings, lost revenue, damage to reputations and even lawsuits. The best ways to prevent outages are:
- Provision multiple connections from different internet service providers and install an automatic failover device
- Install multi-layered cybersecurity defenses, including employee cybersecurity awareness training
- Develop or update your business continuity plan to minimize damages in the event of an outage
Invest in these best practices or your organization may end up in the news, alongside these recent stories:
Gloucester County School District
Internet issues caused by ‘unauthorized third party’ closed South Jersey school for three days. It’s unclear if there was a security breach, but one thing is certain: learning was disrupted. How to prevent this? Multi-layered cybersecurity measures and multiple, diverse internet services (multiple connections from more than one provider) and an automatic failover device like Ecessa PowerLink.
Hudson County Schools
Hudson County Schools of Technology Secaucus and Jersey City campuses closed schools due to an internet outage. It is the second school district in New Jersey to be impacted by an internet issue in the past week. The internet has become an important part of the daily classroom experience with students using laptops and teachers able to show video. How to prevent this? Same as above.
Abrams Public Health Center
A damaged fiber optic cable knocked out internet at Abrams Public Health Center and other healthcare facilities in Pima County, Arizona. How to prevent this? Multiple, diverse internet services (consider adding satellite or cellular as options in areas with only one traditional ISP) and an automatic failover device like Ecessa PowerLink.
A Rackspace outage caused by a ransomware attack over the weekend took down their hosted Microsoft Exchange platform. Suspicious activity was detected on December 2, 2022, and service has not been restored as of the writing of this article. The outage has companies unable to send or receive email, which is a primary way of doing business in today’s marketplace. Rackspace said in an SEC filing Tuesday the attack “may result in a loss of revenue” for its $30 million Hosted Exchange business, as well as other “incremental costs.”
This outage underscores the need for business continuity planning. Right now it’s Rackspace, tomorrow it may be a different platform you rely on. In today’s cybersecurity landscape we all need to have the mentality of “not if, but when.” By going through business continuity planning and understanding where there are gaps and weaknesses, you can be better prepared in the future.
In the current scenario, if a company had a product like Mimecast with business continuity features, their email hosted through Rackspace would still be operational and the downtime that so many other companies are experiencing wouldn’t be an issue.
The Rackspace outage highlights additional risks that can arise from outages – stock devaluation and lawsuits. News of the outage sent Rackspace Technology stock tumbling and at least one class action lawsuit has been filed against the company in San Antonio.
Although your company may not be a big as Rackspace with thousands of customers who are hopping mad about not being able to conduct business as usual, you could still find your reputation severely damaged if you can’t deliver the services you promised.
Ecessa Corporation helps organizations avoid internet outages with automatic failover devices. Ecessa devices include next generation firewall features to strengthen your cybersecurity and our strong collaboration with JDL Technologies and their focus on multi-layered cyber protection provides more ways to keep you safe and connected. Please contact us to discuss your security and network needs. We’d love to work with you.