Life without internet
The denial of service attack (DOS) on SurveyGizmo last week made me sit back and think ‘how could we ever go back to a life without internet if someone took it away from us’? My next thought was “OMG, our SaaS business model depends on the internet: without it, we don’t have a business”. That’s a scary thought! I am sure the SurveyGizmo leadership went to hell and back during the DOS. I must say however, they handled the communication well - using social media among other things.
I find the brain process to jump from one thought to the next, remarkable. Sometimes the sequence makes sense to me and sometimes it requires a longer pause to justify it; so the next thought was nostalgic: “without internet we can go back to living 100% in the physical world rather than enhancing it with virtual interactions.”
“Yes, but what is plan B for the SaaS business or a digital business model?”
“There is none”.
“I could write a blog post about this.”
“I wonder what other people think about this”.
“How many alternative ways are there to get access to the internet, via: cable, satellite, towers for mobile comms; what are the chances that all of these stop working at the same time?”
“Could plan B be to offer professional services i.e. run market research projects like the good old days?”
The internet is an integral part of our lives now; its power, reach and influence are unmatched. Think about the digital natives who have never experienced a world without internet. I can only imagine their shock if it was to go away.
If the internet went away, there would be no online posts to harvest for our social media listening service. Same thinking applies to private online communities; I guess we could try to go for private communities (i.e. lose ‘online’ from the solution), with communication happening face-to-face or via the telephone.
DigitalMR is still in the process of developing the DIY SaaS versions of its social media listening and private online communities solutions. At present, we still offer them as a combination of SaaS and professional services, so this DOS attack on SurveyGizmo was a powerful reminder. A reminder that we need to make sure the server hosting facility we choose will effectively react and resolve any attack which might affect us. It was also a reminder that we need to do whatever it takes to protect our service from hackers and all sorts of attacks.
“All these new businesses around “The Internet of Things” specifically “wearables” would be of no use if the internet went away.”
“How many more words do I need to write in this post?”
“I already had 2 cups of coffee, so it’s probably not a good idea to have a third”
“I should listen to some music while I write this…maybe I’ll get some ideas”
The criminal aspect of a DOS is interesting to consider; I think the idea is that the attackers ask for money in order to stop the attack: I am not sure if this was the case with Survey Gizmo. Forensics apply to the digital world just like in the physical world; with IP addresses, digital footprints, digital fingerprints, forensic linguistics etc., I wonder how cyber criminals manage to/ think they can hide from the law. My feeling is that unless there is World War III, we are safe from a permanent withdrawal. Having said this, we all need to have strategies to protect ourselves when it comes to temporary breaks from a connection to the internet (from minor issues to hostile attacks), and develop a plan B and even a plan C in the case of service failure of a provider.
Have you ever imagined your life without internet? I am very interested to hear your view on this.
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