Downtime is when your internet connection is lost and you go offline. Just like that, poof, it’s gone. You might assume that switching off the power to your devices or server is a good thing from a security perspective. Without any juice, there’s no way for hackers to bypass your protocols and steal sensitive information. Although this is true to a point, downtime does create different problems that need addressing. If they aren’t, you’ll find that there are several backdoors open for thieves to walk through whenever they please.

To understand them is to boost security, so here are the most common threats of downtime.

Failed Software

The software can have many issues you are unaware of until the system goes off and comes back on again. Suddenly, a program you believed to work like clockwork is defective. For example, you or an employee might not access a file containing sensitive data. Not only does this mean that you don’t have control over the information, but it also leaves it open to attacks from phishing and malware scams. To be sure that the software won’t buckle under the pressure, it’s essential to update it regularly to eliminate bugs.

Data Loss

Sadly, data goes missing during downtime. At least, that’s what a Globalscape study found out when it did the research. According to their data, a whopping 75% of people surveyed reported losing data when they experienced downtime. While human error shouldn’t be a surprise, the extent to which it can make the company vulnerable is pretty scary. This stat alone makes it smart to invest in a power generator to ensure there is a steady backup flow of power. Alternatively, you can train people to respond during a blackout to limit the damage in the future.


Compliance is a factor most individuals and businesses fail to recognize when drawing up security protocols. Human error is significant, but so is the attitude of people who are fed up with constant interruptions. Employees, for example, are likely to use their own methods to handle downtime. Did you know that 63% use remote storage devices such as USBs when there is an issue in the office? Most people would view the move as smart, yet there are considerable security risks with remote storage solutions that must be dealt with if they are to be used correctly. Highlighting these to your staff could be the difference between a leak and plugging a hole.

Wear & Tear

Switching off and starting back up again has an impact on the machinery you use. For instance, your server will begin to suffer from wear and tear if it continually turns itself off and reboots the system. Apart from being annoying, which is a factor that can lead to a reduction in compliance, wear and tear could result in a total server malfunction. Once the entire system goes offline, you have no means to protect yourself from those who attempt to take advantage.

To avoid these problems, you must start treating downtime with the respect it deserves.