Yesterday for an hour some of the largest newspapers in the world they went ko. The websites of the New York Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian were out of reach. As well as that of CNN, Spotify and Twitch. The #internetdown hashtag held the ground for hours. It happens every now and then, but every time it is panic. The first reaction is always: “it was the hackers”, that is the cyber criminals (but hackers are computer experts, and only a small part of them use their skills for criminal purposes). But this time it was just a failure, a failure of the network managed by a company providing edge cloud services. In practice Fastly hosts the data and provides applications for a clientele made up of companies. Yesterday his network went down for an hour and it was enough to make us realize that we cannot do without the Internet. The accident happened just as Italy is finally accelerating towards the transfer to the cloud of all data and applications of the public administration.
What happened tells us that the cloud is not secure or is it less secure? It would be a grave mistake to think so. The cloud has three advantages: the first is that it allows you not to buy IT equipment but to rent it and have it new every time; the second is that if well designed, data and technologies are interoperable, they communicate with each other and this creates value, allows services to be performed; the third is that reducing the number of data centers (today in Italy there are eleven thousand) reduces the points exposed to an attack and improves the defensive capacity (but does not exclude the possibility of a cyber attack being successful). Then of course there are the failures, which shouldn’t be there, which would be better if they didn’t exist, but which can happen. If we think that even Google and Whatsapp go down every now and then we realize that it can happen.
The solution is not only to invest in better technology but to surround yourself with competent people: more hackers would be needed in companies and public administration. And also in the editorial offices of newspapers.