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GoDaddy Gotcha

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The dust is still settling after the GoDaddy GoGone snafu on Monday for thousands of businesses whose web sites went dark for about 6 hours.

Who or what caused the problem? Right now, GoDaddy is saying that they were not hacked and that the problem was caused by corrupted router tables that broke their DNS. DNS is the Domain Name System that translates your web site name, www.mybusines.com into numbers like 192.168.1.1. The best analogy for the problem is that while your house (i.e. web site) and your street address still exist, Canada Post blocks all communications because there is something wrong with your postal code (i.e. your domain name to ).

Their technical details are a bit sketchy and many security experts are wondering a) how robust and well designed is the GoDaddy network and b) were they really hacked and covering up.

Let’s assume for now GoDaddy is telling the truth. Then the important question for small business is how do you defend your web site from this kind of outage? If your web site generates lots of money for your business every hour of the day, you need to protect it. You need to pay for a secondary DNS server from another web site company to protect against this particular problem. So if your web site is currently on GoDaddy, contact a company like webnames.ca to find out about secondary DNS hosting.

How much should you pay for this security? Like with any other security product, you need to know the value of what you’re protecting. For example, you don’t spend $500 a year insuring something that only costs $50 to easily replace. Look at how much revenue your web site generates for you and also the cost to your company reputation for downtime.

Web site security and backup should be part of a larger business disaster recovery plan. Hopefully the GoDaddy Gotcha will remind business owners to include their web site in their disaster recovery plan.

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