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August 10, 2016

Massive Computer Outage Leads to Global Shutdown for Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines may have mastered the nuances of commercial aviation, but the company is still struggling with one challenge: its computer network.

On Monday, a power outage led to the cancellation of more than 650 flights worldwide. Cancellations lasted into Tuesday, when Delta grounded an additional 300 flights.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the root cause of the problem was a failed “switchgear” within Delta’s network at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The device failure resulted in a sudden loss of power which cascaded across the network, impacting several vital functions. 

While Delta does have backup systems in place to handle this type of outage, certain systems and network equipment did not switch over as they should have. The WSJ claimed that this could be attributed to the fact that Delta’s network is comprised of outdated and error-prone hardware.

Delta is not the only airline to run into computer-related challenges.  Just a few weeks ago, Southwest Airlines suffered a computer outage that led to the cancellation of about 2,300 flights over the course of four days. Southwest lost between $5 million and $10 million in damages.  And now, two of the company’s biggest unions are demanding that the CEO resign following the incident.

For that matter, Delta is also expected to lose millions of dollars following its outage.

Delta’s loss can be a boon for business owners that take a lesson from the airline’s shutdown:

Backup network systems are not guaranteed to work. They require constant maintenance and expert oversight—just as main networks do. If you fail to conduct routine maintenance, and perform regular system updates and hardware upgrades, your backup network services could be in jeopardy of malfunctioning when needed.

Don’t be caught off-guard. Contact Apex Technology Services for a network audit of your backup solutions.

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In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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