IT Compliance and Controls

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Broken Internet Connections disconnect two continents

February 11th, 2008 · 1 Comment

The criticality of the Internet has grown exponentially. Consumers rely on Internet based applications (or RIA) for everything from email, CRM, ERP, publishing – and this online portal. Businesses have generally transitioned from dedicated frame relays, and leased lines to VPN tunnels through the Internet (link to Cisco Whitepaper). The efficiency gained by organizations sourcing their business processes has created a $40+ billion dollar BPO industry. In addition, organizations have been able to distribute business centers across the globe, and allow for true teleworking to exist that is both productive and collaborative. These points all highlighted under the Caveats and Threat sections highlighted in IT Compliance and Controls.

A recent batch of disruptions made the Wall Street Journal by Christopher Rhoads. He reports in “Internet Logjams Spur Cable Boom” that the fiber optic business is booming as businesses rush to build up the capacity of the backbone of the Internet. The build up is akin to the 1999/2000 build up (which had both positive and negative impacts). As support for the buildup and demonstrating the precarious nature of the current infrastructure, the author highlights the past breakages in oceanic fiber optic cable connections. Basically there are cables stretching across the ocean floor that allow islands and entire continents to participate on the Internet and enjoy higher speeds. Recent disruptions include:

  • 2006 Earthquake near Taiwan where 7 of 8 undersea cables were severed – causing months of disruptions
  • 2008 Undersea cables severed dramatically reduced connectivity in the Middle East
  • 2008 More Undersea cables severed impacting the Persian gulf and India

There are many articles and thoughts published here and here for further details. The significance of these disruptions and the expected future of brown outs on the Internet, as predicted by Nemertes as early as 2010, emphasize the need for businesses to consider their technology environments and all risks to the organization. This is further emphasized by an article emphasizing the importance of availability.

Food for thought,

James DeLuccia

Tags: Incident Response Capability · Monitoring and Performance Reviews · Operations Resiliency · Risk Awareness · Sustain Operations · Trusted Communications and Network

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