Comment – So you think you’re secure…?

If you use or rely upon the Internet for your business, you NEED to read this.

At precisely 17.32 on Tuesday this week, fell victim to a deliberate and concerted cyber-attack that took the entire website offline for the following two days and effectively put Demolition News Towers back in the Dark Ages. The unprecedented attack took out the database that holds all of the information that makes up, together with the associated email accounts. Although the PC from which DemolitionNews is written and maintained remained operational throughout, it was rendered little more than a typewriter with no means of posting content online, and only a sporadic email connection.

As a commercial enterprise, DemolitionNews takes online security VERY seriously. The site is protected by multiple layers of password–protected failsafe systems, as well as multiple layers of back-up and off-site replication. As a result, while the attack was deeply inconvenient and costly, it was not ultimately fatal. All of the nearly nine years’ of articles, photos and video still exist and are being reconfigured as we speak. We will be back just as soon as we can.

However, this brush with the pointy end of cyber security does make you think.

Unwittingly and sub-consciously, DemolitionNews has become my own reference point. It is where I check dates and times, fact and figures. Without it, even my offline, magazine-related writing has been impacted as I don’t currently have the facts I need so readily to hand.

But mine is just a bunch of articles and digger pictures. DemolitionNews contains no sensitive, financial or personal information. Imagine if it did.

Imagine that you awoke one morning to find that your company’s online records had been obliterated in a flash of electronic light; that your banking systems stopped allowing you to pay or get paid; that the records of past, present and future contracts were spirited away into the depths of the cloud; that your training and employment records were lost.

Would your company survive? Could it continue to function? If you lost access to the web, would you be rendered rudderless? Could you communicate with staff and clients? Could you pay bills and receive monies owed to you.

As I have said above, DemolitionNews is already super-secure. In nine years, we have never lost an article or photo and, until now, the longest we have ever been offline was about two hours. Truth be told, 95% of our readers probably didn’t notice that time around (although, judging by the deluge of emails we’re receiving, they sure as Hell noticed this time!)

But just as soon as the site is back live, my first job will be to boost security still further.

If your company relies upon the Internet and electronic communications in any way, I strongly suggest you do likewise.