Can the internet go off?

Here’s something to think about: Can the internet go off? And if it can, what happens to all your important data?

Our level of dependency on the internet is growing all the time. We use it for pretty much everything we do, running the country, keeping our airports and railways functioning, operating a business, right down to ordering mum’s birthday present – all of which can be a bit scary if we sit and think about it for too long!

So, what would happen if the internet went off? Could it happen and, if so, what about all that vital information we rely on to carry out our day-to-day lives? Would it be lost forever?

Free-flowing data

The short answer is, your data isn’t going to be affected. The internet is purely a flow of information without one single connection point where data travels through. It’s fluid, a bit like a river, if one tributary is blocked water always finds a new route to continue on its way and it’s almost impossible to block every part of the river at the same time.

Flowing data is much the same and the internet was designed to enable data to find a way around the parts of a network which may ‘go down’. The internet is actually more of a concept than something tangible, relying on a physical infrastructure to enable it to work.

Big brother has a say in it

Having reassured you about your flowing data, it’s also worth mentioning that aspects of the internet can go down or be taken down which can affect access and the way you operate.

A BBC report highlighted how Governments around the world can ‘switch off’ the internet by ordering service providers to block certain areas from receiving signals, and revealed that services were shut down more than 200 times across 33 different countries last year.

It only happened once in the UK when climate change activists were protesting in London and British Transport Police shut down the wi-fi on the Tube network. Most of the shutdowns around the world were made during protests while some occurred during elections.

Staying secure

Armed with the knowledge that your data flow will continue to meander around the internet, it’s worth reminding you about a much bigger worry – the loss of your important, sensitive, information by other means . . . namely a security breach.

It’s a growing problem and one which needs your urgent attention if you want to protect the integrity of your business. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure you stay cyber-secure.

Do get in touch with us if you want to find out more.