Midday yesterday the security news coverage focused on the NY Times website outage that lasted roughly 2 hours. Initially, there were reports of a cyber-attack from China, more specifically a DDoS attack. The NY Times said it was an internal issue. Speculation was running wild and you can read an entertaining rundown of the coverage on Richi Jennings’ IT Blog watch. So, we’ll have to wait and see to learn more information, but from the reports it seems like it was either a DDoS attack or potentially a change management issue. Here are some quick tips to address both of these challenges:
Our guest blogger, Matthew Pascucci wrote a three-part series on DDoS that examines attacker’s DDoS tools and methods, offers suggestions to improve your DDoS defense, and a DDoS Do’s and Don’ts list. Here’s a cliff notes version of the blog series that includes some things to consider:
Poor change management can have horrible consequences. In our State of Network Security 2013 Survey, we examined this issue and found that:
We don’t know if the NY Times “internal issue” was a network configuration error, possibly brought on by a poorly managed change or something else, but if it’s not a cyber-attack and things were humming along before, something had to change – and that’s typically where things break down. Improving change management processes and aligning the key stakeholders across security, operations and the business can provide immediate dividends in terms of improved uptime and also enabling the organization to be more adept when making changes based on dynamic business needs.
It will be interesting to see if more information comes out regarding this NY Times outage and see if there are any other lessons learned.
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