Getting Rid of Single Points of Failure When “Failure is not an Option”

Single Points of FailureYou might think that your business is going to be fine if a single device goes down. After all, there are other devices your staff can use and your entire systems are not going to fall like dominoes. Or will it? Get rid of single points of failure to make sure that one vulnerability does not take down your entire network.

A SPOF or a single point of failure can be a design, implementation or configuration weakness. SPOFs in the for technology field include:

  • You can’t get online without an internet connection. What happens if that connection goes out or your provider is performing maintenance?
    • Solution: Having a backup or secondary Internet solution is a must in today’s digital age. Having a second connection over a different medium is ideal (ioe NBN and wireless or 4G).
  • Power outages can wreak havoc on computers and devices operating your network.
    • Solution: An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and / or generator can help prevent power interruptions to your computers, switches and modems. Cloud solutions reduce the risk of this problem too as employees can continue to access data by tethering to a mobile phone or working at a different location.
  • Only having one type of backup could cause issues if you ever need to use it. Most people never test their backups and having multiple backups is a must in case one fails.
    • Solution: Consider having both an online and local backup solution.
  • Having only one server that runs an essential application. Without that server, your employees can not use that particular business tool.
    • Solution: Plan for the worst with built-in server redundancy. Have multiples of any hardware that is business critical or migrate to the cloud so you can continue accessing applications, software and storage.
  • Your physical location could also be an issue. Bush fires, road closures, floods or a violent storm can prevent you and your staff from being able to get to the office? Without another option your business may struggle.
    • Solution: Move your computer resources into the cloud or have another location with full resources. This will provide continued access anywhere, anytime and often from any device.
  • Unfortunately your staff or subcontractors could also be your fatal weakness. Perhaps you have one in-house or external IT experts who know everything about your technology. But, what do you do if something happens to them or they are sick or on vacation?
    • Solution: You can’t have every inhouse person become a subject matter expert on all aspects of IT, so consider outsourcing your IT support.

Having a single device out of commission is frustrating, but not necessarily the end of the world for your business. But, when the damage wrought by a single weakness spreads business-wide, you could face serious consequences.

Downtime for systems failure or data breaches can be:

  • Expensive – In addition to potential overtime for IT staff remedying the situation and possible revenue losses, your company may also face fines.
  • Reputation damaging – any disruption to business as usual could undermine customer trust and prompt churn.
  • Time consuming – your people must adapt to a new reality while IT resources are spent trying to get the business back up.

IT professionals understand the danger of SPOF and help you find any potential weaknesses in your setup. Partner with a computer specialist who can identify and eliminate these vulnerabilities from your business. Contact DP Computing today at 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au!

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