Yesterday, the already strapped supply-chain got an unwelcome delay when the Amazon Web Services experienced an outage in its US East-1 Region. AWS provides cloud-computing for 40% of the worldwide market. The impact of this 5 hour outage was significant but luckily not catastrophic.
Besides disruptions to the online digital eCommerce such as Netflix, Prime video, Disney Plus, Ring Security cameras, Tinder dating app, Robinhood, and Adele’s presale Las Vegas tickets, Amazon’s own delivery trucks were held in abeyance due to no communication link.
Luckily, no catastrophes resulted. Southwest Airlines was able to quickly switch its online operations to other servers. Similarly, critical infrastructure services like hospitals, public utilities and banks were not affected. But the obvious question is what about the next time? Were we lucky or smart?
Foreign state-sponsored cyber attack is no longer science fiction. Quite a few countries unfriendly to the US are actively engaged in that business. When we get comfortable and rely on the cloud-computing for daily essentials, will they be there when we need them the most?
How vulnerable is our cloud-based sysem?