The unexpected happened this morning with over 5,400 flights grounded after a nationwide Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system failure. The outage occurred with NOTAM, Notice to Air Missions, a uniquely critical system which relays information to airports and pilots such as runway closures, low-altitude construction obstacles, and more.
Operations across the National Airspace System were affected, and the FAA has been working to restore the system, starting with major international airports Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Newark Liberty because of mass amounts of congestion in those areas.
Departures for domestic flights remained delayed "to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information," the agency said in a statement to the New York Post.
There is not yet any evidence of this failure being due to a cyber-attack, but President Biden has instructed the DOT to conduct a full investigation as to the cause of this nationwide system failure.
An outage of this scale at the FAA affects all airlines coming into and leaving from all airports within the United States and creates mass chaos and a domino effect of problems. Flights delayed across the nation for 9+ hours mean missed connections, meetings, trips, etc. and will undoubtedly result in a huge expense to both correct the initial system failure as well as the aftermath that has affected hundreds of thousands of passengers and flight personnel.
The unthinkable can and will happen to anyone, even massive entities like the FAA. Disaster recovery matters just as much as having enough layers in place to mitigate security disasters from occurring in the first place. How long can your business go while being down, and do you have the wherewithal to handle the financial burden that will result? Something is always going to find a way into your system but having the right security measures in place to focus on monitoring, deterrence, mitigation, and rapid response is imperative.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan? Are you backing up your data? When was the last time you tested recovery based on those backups? We recommend having at minimum an annual recovery test plan.
Don't willingly place yourself at risk just because you think it won't happen to you. Companies like us are here to help businesses like yours. Contact our team to find out how we can help.
Already have a third-party IT and cybersecurity company? Fantastic! Let us perform a third-party audit to cross check and make sure they've not missed anything. Your safety is our top priority which is why we've been providing responsive and reliable IT solutions since 2008.