Internet pain reliever…

03/02/2009 09:49

One of the primary goals of Information Security is to maintain the availability of information, and this month we will be discussing the availability of your internet connection. With lower costs and increased throughput, the internet is more of a vital business tool than ever. So just how painful is it when your internet connection is down?


  • Your phones connect through your internet connection or an online PBX
  • Your clients and customers order or contact you through a server on your network
  • Your line of business applications are hosted online
  • You connect locations through a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • Your employees work remotely
  • Primarily communicate with clients/customers through email


Losing your internet connection can be very painful and expensive, even for just a short time.

Just how much does it cost your organization in lost opportunities, lost revenues and lost employee productivity? Let's look at the employee productivity: Say you have 20 employees, each being paid an average of $20 per hour. If those employees are idle for just 1 hour because the internet is down, it costs your organization $400 in lost productivity. Let's say that the internet is down for 1 hour per month, it would be $4,800 per year. Keep in mind that this figure does not include lost opportunities and lost sales, just lost productivity.

These losses can often be mitigated by adding another internet connection to your offices. This second connection can be configured as just a backup, or can work in conjunction with your current internet connection to increase your throughput. The new connection does not have to be as fast as your primary connection, but should be scaled to handle your vital traffic. That way email, voice communications, and application access can continue to flow, even when your primary internet is down.

It's recommended that a different connection method and vendor be used for the second internet connection. This serves to help insulate you against issues only affecting that provider or problems with a single connection’s physical route. For example, if you currently have a cable modem from the cable company, adding a DSL line from the phone company may be able to bypass issues affecting the cable company. If you are limited to a single provider in your area, a 3G cellular connection may be the answer.

While this new connection will need to be configured for your network, you may already have most of the equipment necessary. Many firewalls allow for multiple internet connections, and unless you host your own websites or applications (except email), the firewall may be all that is needed. If you do host your own website or applications in your offices, there are simple devices that allow the inbound connections to fail over to the secondary line.

Topic: Internet pain reliever…

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