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Online Shocks on a Global Scale

Andrew Libra | 09 Nov, 2021 | Return|

There have been at least two recent incidents that have severely impacted online communications. They were not just technical glitches, but events that had deep effects on both businesses and individuals!

Incident No. 1: A massive turn-off

Early in October, Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms suffered a severe global outage, with a downtime of almost six hours before normal services were restored.

Online Shocks on a Global Scale

In an article posted on the incident the following day, BBC News reported that “An outage of this scale for such a long time is rare. A disruption in 2019 left Facebook and its other apps mostly inaccessible across the world for more than 14 hours.” The author of a post for Facebook Engineering explained that, apparently, during routine maintenance work, a command was issued “which unintentionally took down all the connections in our backbone network, effectively disconnecting Facebook data centers globally.”

Incident No 2: An unexpected ambush

Towards the end of October, the BBC was back with another major internet incident, this time a major cyber attack across the UK.

As the BBC report explained: “An ‘unprecedented’ and co-ordinated cyber-attack has struck multiple UK-based providers of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.”

This was according to the industry body Comms Council UK, which stated that “several of its members had been targeted by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.”

Comms Council UK also added that the DDoS attacks firms had occurred during the previous four weeks and appeared to be part of a “co-ordinated extortion-focused international campaign by professional cyber-criminals.”.

Complexity creates vulnerabilities

These two major events in one month have different origins, the first error based and the second the result of criminality. But they both have their roots in vulnerabilities caused by the complex connectivity and functionality of the internet.

The first incident was hugely damaging for Facebook, with billions of dollars wiped off its share value and with a severe blow suffered to its international credibility.

Relating to the second issue of DDoS events, BBI Brandboost commented on this problem back in July. when we posted an article in our website newsroom about websites worldwide crashing due to DNS (Domain Name System) errors.

We observed then that: “At a time when maintaining a permanent online presence has never been more important, these DNS error failures in maintaining connectivity are disastrous.” In other words, being forced offline either through errors made or malicious cyber attacks, needs to be proactively prevented at all costs.

Connections and Content

The Facebook outage and the DDoS events highlight two vital areas of online best practice that businesses need to follow to safeguard their brand, its reputation and their internet presence.

Protecting Connectivity

While only the very largest and complex organisations would have the massive number of connecting hubs that Facebook has to manage, all have the need to protect their URL   globally.

The domain name of a brand is a vital asset that is frequently given too little attention to its security. However, it an essential signature/identifier for directing traffic to a website and for gaining and retaining target visitors.

Furthermore. hackers can set up phishing websites using a variation of a domain name to gather personal information from users. If this happens then a brand’s image and perception of reliability can be severely damaged. So effective domain name management should not be an action to be put on the back burner.

Protecting Content

We have always believed that a website is at the centre of communications between a business and its target audiences. This is why organic SEO and PPC ads are generally geared to drive traffic to a website.

It also means that website content needs to be continually refreshed and relevant, but most of all it must be protected from malware infiltration and cyber attacks.

This emphasises the need for the kind of multi-level protection that only enterprise level hosting can provide, assuring both security of the website content and accessibility for the website owner to make any required changes.

Please get in touch

BBI Brandboost has been active in consolidating and building upon the online presence of our clients since 1996. We have ensured that their objectives have been met and their brands protected.

If you believe that we could help you with domain name management and/or enterprise level managed hosting, contact us now.

About the Author

Andrew Libra

Andrew Libra

As MD of BBI Brandboost, Andrew heads up our award winning team of Online Communications & Marketing Specialists, which provides an extensive suite of website development, application development, online marketing, SEO and social media services to local, national and international businesses. Read more...

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