Longest Downtime Caused By Natural Disasters, Not Hackers
August 30, 2013
By Michelle Amodio
, TMCnet Contributor
The recent security headlines of the Syrian Electronic Army have a lot of IT professionals and, heck, the rest of us, regrouping to review our efforts against malicious attacks and downtime. But, statistically speaking, our systems are more susceptible to natural disasters versus a hacked attack. At least, that is what recent research is saying.
While we shouldn’t take situations like the Syrian Electronic Army takedown lightly, what the "Annual Incident Reports" study, published by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) says about downtime is that events caused by natural disasters, such as storms, floods, heavy snowfall and earthquakes and those caused by human error, actually resulted in the longest outages.
That’s not to say hackers don’t make up for a large percentage of actual outage, not necessarily downtime. Cyberattacks had the most affect on Internet access. Attacks were also the second most common cause for outages of fixed Internet service in particular, accounting for 20 percent of those incidents, according to ENISA.
Time is money, and computer network downtime is lost money, not to mention lost productivity, lost reputation, and maybe even lost customers. Unplanned outages are the responsibility of IT to resolve, but really, downtime is a major business issue. Part of a thorough evaluation process is calculating how much money you will lose for each hour of downtime, and that falls very much on the shoulders of business and finance managers. This is why it is imperative for businesses to implement security measures to avoid disaster and unplanned downtime.
At the heart of security issues are not only data, but communications as well. VoIP data is very sensitive to disturbances in its time line, so much that Distributed denial-of-service attacks have scammers inundating phone lines by exploiting vulnerabilities in the VoIP telephone system.
Investing in a secure softswitch like REDCOM’s (News - Alert) SLICE 2100 with TRANSip, is one way to mitigate compromising your VoIP network. Complete with TLS/SRTP/SSL security, REDCOM is an attractive choice.
SIP is like HTTP, it has been designed to share information between a client and a server, and like most protocols, in didn't embed a lot of security. SRTP’s goal is to ensure confidentiality, integrity, replay protection and message authentication of RTP and RTCP packets. SSL is an Internet security protocol used by Internet browsers and Web servers to transmit sensitive information. SSL has become part of an overall security protocol known as Transport Layer Security (TLS).
TLS and its predecessor SSL make significant use of certificate authorities. Using this with your communication system ensures that all systems will stay a go. With REDCOM, TRANSip encrypts the SIP call signaling and client authentication to ensure confidential communications.
Downtime cost impacts employee productivity, which can be measured in terms of the salaries, wages and benefits of workers that are made idle by system downtime. Aim to avoid downtime by investing in a secure softswitch for seamless communications.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi