Considering data security usually incorporates strategies for blocking outside attackers and preventing internal leaks of sensitive files, but rarely do companies think of the implications an online outage could have on the safety of their business continuity. Failing to plan for this potentiality may result in extensive downtime and infrastructure damage, a scenario evidenced in a recent online disaster.
Such instances are rare, but as they are forecasted to occur due to other circumstances, businesses need to be prepared with comprehensive data protection strategies, or else they will have no one else to blame but themselves.
As the world turns
A strange but periodic event took place recently that caused many major online retailers and resources to go completely black for hours, according to Infosecurity. The atomic clock, a global timekeeping device considered the most accurate recording of the world's present date and time, was moved up one second on June 30 to accommodate for certain geophysical changes in Earth's rotation and speed. Nicknamed the 'leap second,' this single second caused computer servers to stutter and fail, as they were not able to get around the addition.
A report from the AFP said some felt this was akin to what technology forecasters predicted would happen with the Y2K bug, as online sites like Reddit and Amazon plunged into darkness immediately following the adjustment. LinkedIn, Yelp, Gawker and Foursquare were other services and websites caught in the outage, according to the AFP.
Some sites took heed of early warnings and were prepared when the 'leap second' was added, having already programmed their Java and other software applications to handle the bump. This is the 25th such incident since the atomic clock's creation in 1972, and never before has it had such a sprawling backlash, according to Infosecurity.
Enforcing data protection for business and consumers should include proactive steps in situations like these. Since all affected clients were given advance warning, checking system readiness should have been the first step. Fortunately, all those taken by surprise have been able to recover functionality, but private industries and other such businesses should take a lesson from this and pay closer attention to preserving business continuity.