Is 2020 over yet? A roller coaster of events have occurred in what seems like a domino-like fashion…and it’s getting long in the tooth. To add to the year of mayhem, on Thursday, October 1st, the Tokyo Stock Exchange halted trading. At first glance, any exchange standstill is cause for alarm, even if circuit breakers come into play. But the recent cessation occurred for a different reason than you may think. According to Blocks and Files, the Tokyo Stock exchange halted due to a disk failure; aka IT hardware issue. Without getting too into the weeds, one disk failure caused a “butterfly effect” and shut down the entire day of trading. It raises the question: are global stock markets disaster recovery ready?
It’s important to note:
- This wasn’t a cyber attack.
- Physical buildings were not affected (The weather was quite pleasant in Tokyo that day, actually!)
- This was a man-made product, for which the whole system relied upon, that failed and cascaded into the results that ensued.
How could this have been prevented? Let’s look at a few ways to minimize these types of situations:
- Have a full plan. Everyone says they have a plan – until they get punched in the face! When there is an incident that requires a disaster mitigation response, having the full end-to-end plan in place is imperative to keep systems up and running.
- Test the plan. Make sure it works. Simple as that!
- Have a plan B. You’ve made the full plan. Tested it. Now you’ve been punched in the face. What if your plan fails? Your team needs to have a backup plan (pun intended) to enable a rapid response in case plan A fails. And test that plan as well!
- Leverage the cloud. Many businesses have tested hybrid and multi-cloud failover scenarios. Elements of the cloud should be embedded into plan A and plan B. In the case of the Tokyo Stock Market, failover to a cloud-based data set may have been plan B and would have allowed for uptime with no hiccups.
It seems that the stock markets are gratuitously following the 2020 roller coaster. Some weeks are normal. Other weeks seem to predict the fall of global markets, only to be followed by a trading week containing the biggest gains of the year.
This volatility needs to take a vacation!
Unfortunately, IT teams can’t take vacations during disasters. They need to make sure that they can respond swiftly. With uptime in many industries being critical to revenue and operations, disaster recovery and business continuity is becoming even more important to the bottom line.
Learn more about how Nasdaq meets the challenge of maintaining constant system uptime.
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