The Microsoft Azure/Office 365 Outage Is Why You Need A Plan B

While cloud services offer us lots of flexility when it comes to to choosing infrastructure and services, and how we pay for them, they are not infallible. There's an outage in progress with two-factor authentication services that's affecting Azure and Office 365 at the moment which highlights the importance of having a reliable Plan B.

The fault with Office 365 and Azure affects services hosted in the US and Europe according to Aussie Outages. But with many Australian companies hosting their services overseas it's likely some local businesses will be affected. It has been traced to issues with multi-factor authentication (MFA) services.

Image: Azure outage in Nov 2018 from Aussie Outages

While cloud services are typically more reliable than what most on-site IT departments can deliver, with greater scalability and flexibility, they are not perfect. Almost every major cloud provider and social network has suffered outages over the last year leaving businesses stranded as they are so dependent.

Does Your BCP Consider Physical Incidents And Natural Disasters?

Over the last few days I've been reading about a number of interesting things around the state of the planet and how we should expect some major seismic activity. For example, some recent geological studies suggest some earthquake prone regions on the US' west coast are well overdue for a magnitude 9 quake that could cause a massive tsunami across the Pacific Ocean. Australians are moving into bushfire season and the tropics are getting into the time when floods are an issue. What are your disaster plans?

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Does your business have a Plan B? Sound business continuity planning (BCP) has processes in place that mitigate the interruptions from affecting your customers and key business processes.

I was recently chatting to a senior security executive and they mentioned how they use major outages that don't affect them as "near miss incidents" that they use as the basis for rehearsing their BCP and refining it.

Today's Azure and Office 365 outage is a great prompt for you to do the same thing.


Comments

    For Office 365 and SharePoint Online sites, the Plan B is really to use OneDrive with full sync so that you can continue to work on it offline until services are back up. I don't like using OneDrive because it is full of sync errors with non-Office 365 users.

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