Cybercrime has been in the news extensively and we have commented on the threats posed by Ransomware and DDoS attacks. However recent events here in Singapore have highlighted another often ignored and very real threat to SME businesses – what happens when your broadband service provider experiences a major outage?
Singapore telco Singtel experienced an islandwide outage of its fibre broadband service for nearly 24 hours over the weekend.
This follows on closely from two recent broadband service outages that hit Singapore based service provider StarHub and that have been attributed to “intentional and likely malicious attacks” on its servers.
Over the past few months broadband outages have been reported from BT in the UK, Deutsche Telekom in Germany, and Australian telco Telstra which has experienced 7 major outages in recent months!
Why does this matter?
Well aside from the inconvenience to millions of consumers denied access to their favourite content on the internet it can have a devastating impact on businesses.
To put it bluntly you need your network to run your business. In these challenging and competitive times, few businesses can afford a single location to go off-line, and definitely not the HQ or the data centre!
If you experience a broadband outage, your network goes down, and your business is impacted – but by how much?
The reality is that most SME business owners don’t know the answer to that question… until the network goes down!
Above and beyond the immediate direct costs, there are indirect costs:
- Loss of employee productivity
- Reputational damage with customers, suppliers and banks
- Loss of current revenue, loss of future revenue, and in some cases compensatory payments
Short broadband network outages can be an expensive nuisance, but the impact of larger outages can be devastatingly insurmountable for some businesses.
How can I protect my business?
- You can reduce your exposure by having a secondary broadband provider. By having a second internet connection, the internet activity can be load balanced over the two lines with an automatic switch-over in the event of a network issue.
- If you are the business owner of an Internet-dependent SME you may want to avoid a dangerous over-reliance on fixed networking solutions by having either a Wireless 3G/4G enabled router, or satellite-based solution for additional backup.
The first step is a thorough risk assessment
Clearly there are costs to either or both of these solutions. And the temptation is to ignore the issue.
But there are costs to doing nothing, and you will only discover the full extent of that cost when you experience a broadband network outage.
The prudent approach is to conduct a thorough risk assessment followed by a cost-benefit analysis.
If you would like to discuss this issue and what it means for your business, please get in touch and we will facilitate a thorough review to help you gain clarity, we will inform you on your best options, and if required we will implement a solution for you.
Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.
Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.