Sometimes You Have to Take Your Own Website Down

Here at Alertra we talk a lot about minimizing website downtime. So why would we advocate a company taking down their website on purpose (other than for maintenance reasons)? Because sometimes the situation calls for it. A recent situation with the Apple website is a perfect example of this fact.

Apple Makes a Tough Call

The site that Apple uses to communicate with its community of software developers was shut down for about four days after a cyber attack. Why in the world would such a big company take down a site for so long? Because the site was under attack, and it wasn't a DDoS attack. It was an attempt to steal information from the site. In an effort to protect the information of users, Apple did what few website owners are willing to do – it shut down its site on its own to minimize the damage that may have been done.

What Did Apple Do During the Downtime?

Apple didn't just sit on its haunches waiting for the attack to stop. During the time that the site was down the company was working to make upgrades to prevent future security breaches. Unfortunately, Apple isn't sure what data (if any) was compromised by the attack. It appears as though the hackers were trying to access names, mailing address and email addresses. Fortunately sensitive personal information was encrypted so it won't do the hackers any good if they did get to it.

Keeping the Community Up to Date

Apple was very clear from the beginning what was going on. It sent emails to those whose information may have been compromised. It also issued a statement saying that the company was completely overhauling the technology of the site while it was shut down and stated that it would hopefully be back online soon.

Putting Customers First

Did Apple lose revenue by shutting down its website? Most likely. But they did something very noble. They put the security of their customers before their own profits. That's something that we can all take a cue from. Yes, we want to avoid downtime at all costs, but if our customers' information is at risk, we must do what we have to in order to ensure the security of those customers. If that means taking a site offline, that must be done. Apple is a prime example of this fact.