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Too big to fail?

So yesterday saw a major multi-platform outage of three of the worlds most used platforms, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, henceforth ‘instafaceapp’. Whilst it’s easy to dismiss this as frippery and a pain for the much derided Instagram ‘influencers’ (ok I don’t know who the Jenners or Kardashians are) but… and it’s a big but, millions of people now rely on these platforms for their businesses. Selling products and services, buying goods and promoting offerings has become part of mainstream commerce and thank goodness for that.

That they were all down for several hours with no real explanation other than ‘config’ error beggars belief. The fact that they are all so interconnected ‘one out, all out’ is even more surprising.

We will likely never know source of the outage as they tend to lack transparency but it will send a shock wave through businesses who will be asking how this can happen? Surely they can’t fail? Don‘t they have systems and controls in place? Isn’t there a fail over in place? Config changes made and not thoroughly checked?

Probably a moment to take stock of a few things:

  1. Insurance cover for business interruption. Do you have it? Is it enough?

  2. How do you communicate with your customers if you just have just these platforms - any contingency?

  3. Did you make an assumption that big is safer? How robust are your risk assessment practices? Was this ever a tested scenario? If not why not?

  4. If there has been a data leak - will it impact your customers?

It is unlikely we will know the truth about this and the last major outage which was even longer. Protect your business and make sure you look after your customers whatever the crisis.

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