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The Recent Telstra Outage Cost Retailers $100 Million Dollars in 5 Hours

You may remember that last 12th of July, Telstra had a five-hour nationwide EFTPOS network failure. At that point in time, you could not get cash from ATM, pay with your credit card, etc.

Each day we are heading closer to a cashless society….do you believe that? If not, go and grab your wallet and count how many notes you have today and how many notes you used to have 10 years ago. Personally, if I have “a” note, it is too much.

An article from the Financial Review suggested that retailers lost up to $100 million dollars during this network failure.

At this point in time you may start asking yourself what does this have to do with me? and Telstra?

Well, you are not an isolated element in this whole Internet systems. Your mobile phone is connected to an antenna, which is connected to the provider and the provider to the Internet. The same happens with your Smart TV, and your EFTPOS and so on. Therefore, even if “YOU” personally are not Cyber Attacked, any other provider and service provider may affect “YOU” from offering your services. Services such as selling fuel, or a small shop, etc.

Now you may ask the question, what can I do if one of my providers has an issue? What about having a backup plan? For instance, having another EFTPOS machine with a SIM card from a different provider may have solved this problem.

If you want to dig further, you can find out what level of availability each of your providers are aiming to provide you in a calendar year. They may say, my network is 99% available at all times, which sounds great at first. But think about it. Now, what does this 99% mean for you?

Well, 99% from 365 days is 361. This means that the provider will guarantee the availability of their services for 361 days in a calendar year. Have you considered what are you going to do the other 4 days when you do not have services?

Unfortunately, we take it for granted that the services, meaning electricity, phone, internet, etc., will be there and working at all times. Certainly, it is the aim of many companies but sometimes this can be far from the truth.

Always consider the impact an outage like this one may have on your business. If it is high, then find a way to mitigate it and reduce the risk to acceptable levels. For instance, having an EFTPOS backup with another provider. If the risk is low, then do nothing may be the best option.

And as always, be safe out there and until the next Malware Monday.

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