The internet is part of your business network.
That statement seems like a no-brainer—every business leader knows that internet connectivity is critical. But how many of you understand that your company is responsible for any disruptions?
Gone is the time when you could diagram your in-house IT assets, sketch a big blob labeled “cloud,” draw a line between the two, and call it a day. It’s your business’s responsibility—not that of a carrier or a cloud provider or some regulator—to make sure that even if an internet outage or other disruption occurs, you and your colleagues can continue working with each other, as well as with customers, partners, and suppliers, as if nothing much has happened.
Of course, no organization can do that without an intelligent edge and without a cloud partner to provide the needed visibility, insights, and tooling to prevent and react to problems. It’s not possible to efficiently manage network traffic without full intelligence about the entry points that employees, customers, partners, and suppliers are using to access the internet and the paths they take to the applications and websites they visit. Infrastructure security depends on endpoint security.
Only after all of that is well managed, with appropriate partnerships and processes in place, does it make sense to start worrying about what’s happening deeper within the internet.
Well, 89% of IT organizations say they have experienced an internet disruption in the past 12 months. Some 43% have experienced a network outage and 30% a service provider outage.
To the employee or third party trying to access data or run a web app, it doesn’t matter if it’s a network outage or a provider outage. Whenever something goes dramatically wrong online, people embark on a game of whack-a-mole, trying to figure out what went wrong and who to blame.
But to employees, customers, and other users, it’s already too late. Frankly, they may never fully understand what happened, simply because it’s not their job. Could anyone really imagine that a 75-year-old Georgian woman with a spade could cut off all of Armenia’s internet connectivity in 2011? That Iraq would periodically shut down its internet to keep 6th-grade students from cheating on exams? Or that just last year, a mistake by a Google employee could briefly cut off internet access for much of Japan?
Of course not. But in the end, your employees, customers, partners, and suppliers don’t care about the details, bizarre as they may be. They were trying to reach you, and they couldn’t. So to them, in that moment, it’s your fault, and only you are to blame.
Yet only 59% of IT professionals say they’re concerned about a major internet disruption, according to a survey by Spiceworks, an IT community site. That’s shocking, given that these disruptions create such awful customer experiences and can torpedo brand reputations.
A typical website already has more than 100 objects loading on it at a given time. The internet routing table doubles every 10 years. For organizations that don’t act decisively, the challenges brought by internet volatility (and corresponding complexity) will get worse before they get better.
Already, distributed denial-of-service attacks have shut down everything from the UK Lotto site to Pokemon Go to Swedish trains. McAfee Labs says that 2.5 million Internet of Things devices were infected with the Mirai botnet, which could be unleashed on a moment’s notice.
The good news is that, if your company has the right visibility into its network assets, it can prepare for whatever disruption the world’s hackers, governments, and accidental troublemakers unleash next. Resources are available, such as Oracle’s new Internet Intelligence Map, which shows country connectivity updates and shifts in traffic that could impact your business.
The Internet Intelligence Map allows you to view global data on traceroutes, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and the Domain Name System (DNS) on a single dashboard. When internet issues arise, the Map lets you investigate their impact worldwide. This insight could become your competitive advantage.Yes, the internet will always fall victim to disruptions and anomalies and breakdowns. But businesses with the right data, tools, people, and processes can successfully manage even massive disruptions. To your employees, customers, partners, and suppliers, it can still be business as usual.