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January 12, 2017

Threat of revenue loss fails to drive home importance of network monitoring

Internet outages are expected and a key concern, yet many UK businesses aren't monitoring their networks.

By James Nunns

It’s a common occurrence, you to go use a website and find that it’s not working, and it’s no surprise given that just 39% of UK organisations monitor their network activity and identify patterns.

That’s according to research from Dyn, the internet performance company, and Spiceworks, which found that it 25% of UK organisations find it extremely or very difficult to monitor and identify when an internet disruption occurs outside of their network control, whilst 31% find it extremely or very difficult to resolve an issue outside their network control.

For many companies, the reasons the outage are often unknown and the customer is left in the dark.

According to the research, over half (57%) have experienced internet disruption outside of their network control, and unfortunately it takes UK organisations nearly twice as long to identify and resolve any disruption that occurs compared to US organisations.

Mean time to resolution for Internet disruptions that occur outside of network control.

Mean time to resolution for Internet disruptions that occur outside of network control.

The impact of these disruptions is often a loss of revenue, with 30% of UK organisations saying that they have, or would expect to experience a loss of revenue. Around a quarter (23%) expect to see a loss of new business as a result of an internet disruption.

The issue is clearly widespread, and despite promised investment from the government, the vast majority (92%) are concerned about the impact of major internet disruption hitting their business in the next six months.

Paul Heywood, MD EMEA at Dyn said: “As the Internet of Things continues to gain speed, and as more organisations move their workloads to the cloud, the internet is becoming an even more complex and unpredictable environment for businesses to control and navigate.

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“It is, therefore, worrying to see that just four in ten UK organisations monitor their network activity to identify patterns and any anomalies. Given that over half of internet disruptions happen outside a company’s network – resulting in reputational damage, loss of revenue and new business for many UK organisations, as well as multiple headaches for any IT team – it’s time for companies to realise how important visibility into the performance of the complex, volatile internet is.”

Network and provider outages are by far the biggest disruptors to internet services over the past 12 months, 42% and 30% respectively. While DDoS attacks account for 19%, social hacks 18%, and a surprisingly high amount for human error at 26%.

In addition to an expected loss of revenue and business, the impact of an internet disruption also causes large amounts of frustration for the end user, results in working long hours, more tension between IT and departments and increased cost to resolve the disruption.

The approach to remedying these problems are typically things like monitoring network activity and identifying patterns, enforcing end-user policies and restricting user permissions and actions.

“Businesses need to take control and remove the blindfolds to gain a complete picture of their network and how it connects to the wider world. To do so requires investing in data and analytics solutions that measure the performance of the internet and cloud-vendors, as well as adding secondary DNS solutions to help mitigate risks and ensure business continuity.

“Those companies that take these steps now will be able to identify and resolve any disruptions much more quickly and ultimately develop digital resilience to gain a competitive advantage,” said Heywood.

The report is based off a survey of 201 IT decision makers in the US/Canada and the UK, with respondents completed a 5-minute online survey.

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