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<a href="/news/hardware-failure-and-natural-disasters-biggest-cause-of-downtime" title="Hardware Failure and Natural Disasters Biggest Cause of Downtime">Hardware Failure and Natural Disasters Biggest Cause of Downtime</a>
Posted on: 22 Aug 2013 

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Hardware Failure and Natural Disasters Biggest Cause of Downtime


The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has issued a report looking at the cause of major outages in Europe last year and has revealed some interesting findings.

The most notable finding to come from the study is the fact that cyber-attacks, while a significant problem, caused fewer problems to communication networks than system failures and natural disasters did.

The report showed that cyber-attacks during 2012 caused users problems for an average duration of four hours, but this was modest in comparison to outages caused by nature, which were responsible for an average of 36 hours of downtime.

In terms of the root cause of incidents, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of problems were because of ‘system failures’, with eight per cent caused, or partly caused, by cyber-attacks, and five per cent as a result of human error. When broken down, it was revealed that hardware failures were the most common cause of ‘system failures’, followed by software bugs.

Seventy-nine outages were covered across 18 EU nations that reported major incidents last year, and ENISA found that about 50 per cent of incidents affected mobile telephony or mobile internet. Resulting issues also affected the most users (around 1.8 million users per incident). “This is consistent with the high penetration rate of mobile telephony and mobile internet in the EU,” said the report.

The most frequent point of failure was switches (e.g., routers and local exchange points) followed by mobile network home location registers.

Outages that laid the blame on third parties, mostly power supply failures, affected around 2.8 million users, with incidents cited as overload problems affecting 9.4 million users.

Executive director of ENISA, Professor Udo Helmbrecht, said of the report:

“The EU collaboration behind this report is key to improving the security and resilience of electronic communications networks in the EU, as well as for security in other critical sectors. Reporting major incidents helps us understand what went wrong, why, and how to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

“ENISA, with all national reporting authorities across the EU, will continue delivering practical lessons learned, that could significantly improve the security of our telecommunication infrastructure.”

Always back up your important files

What this ENISA report shows is that system failures, natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and incidents of human error can happen at any time and affect anyone. In light of this, you should consider having a disaster recovery plan in place to protect your important data. Cloud online backup allows you to store all of your sensitive information on remote servers around the world, so if your operations are ever effected by system outages, you can rest safely in the knowledge that your work is always protected.

Click here to find out more about how our cloud online backup service can help your business prepare for the worst.
The Register