Why the 123-Reg catastrophe should be a lesson to all

Why the 123-Reg catastrophe should be a lesson to all

Mention ‘disasters’ and most business owners will think of fires, floods and theft – all of which have the power to destroy a company if the right precautions aren’t in place. This is why recovery plans are crucial; files must be kept safe and backed up, with IT systems built in a way that minimises the impact of any hardware failures that could hit in the future.

What would happen if your website disappeared, though? Is your business prepared for that? The consequences can be equally devastating, especially for ecommerce companies for whom a web presence is quite literally everything. Even those that do not rely on online transactions can suffer, with their profession reputations at stake. If a customer logs on to check out your contact details but finds nothing, they’re bound to go elsewhere.

Know who is backing up your website

These are the kinds of issues that hit a number of 123-Reg customers recently, after the hosting company’s failures led to hundreds of sites being taken offline completely. The scandal began over the weekend of April 16-17, when the hosting firm accidentally ran a script containing a catastrophic error as it was cleaning its VPS platform. In total, 67 servers were taken down.

While a spokesperson claimed that only “a small proportion” of the 123-Reg customer-base had been affected, the kerfuffle drew a lot of attention. It’s fair to say reputations were damaged.

Those who weren’t affected by the incident should do a lot more than just thank their lucky stars, however. It should be seen as a lesson and reminder of the care that needs to be taken when dealing with websites. Every business owner should take a second to think about who is looking after their domain. Software updates must be a regular thing if hacks and breaches are to be avoided, so if you’re not doing it, who is?

Chances are you back up important files such as invoices and quotes, but do you keep an up-to-date copy of your website offline too? If disaster strikes and things go awry with your ISP, this precaution would ensure you are ready to bounce straight back online with a different provider.

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