Fastly, Inc
FSLY NYSE

FSLY
Fastly, Inc NYSE
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Jun 112021
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Fastly breaks the internet. Then fixes it.

Fastly, the infrastructure provider for a lot of the world’s biggest websites, sees a global internet blackout after a customer updates their settings. Whoops. Luckily, all’s well that ends well – its quick response earns the company a stock bump of 10%.

If you tried to access some of your favorite websites like Reddit, Spotify, or even the NYT last week then you know this already; but for about an hour websites hosting some of the world’s biggest businesses, news outlets, and even the U.K. government were derailed after a glitch on the Fastly network.

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) service – basically a behind the scenes cloud-based software that websites use to make their data-heavy pages work quicker and without interruption. Or at least, that’s the plan. Apparently last week’s bug in the network had been introduced back in May but lay dormant until one single customer updated their settings, triggering the flaw that took down 85% of Fastly’s network.

While the use of remote networks can make websites run faster, they also leave sites vulnerable to outages. Content delivery networks are basically a web of small servers that link together as a single computer, and Fastly uses “edge cloud computing” to place these servers as close to a device as possible in a bunch of locations, creating hundreds of hotspots and letting data load quicker. Uses for edge cloud computing are only growing, making Fastly’s work more important - things like EVs, augmented reality and e-sports are all growing markets that need a lot of computing power without delays.

However, when a major CDN provider like Fastly goes down, it takes a lot of people with it. A similar problem happened last year when infrastructure provider Cloudflare was hit with outages that knocked sites like Amazon Web Services offline. It kinda makes you wonder what the impact could be if this becomes a common occurrence.

These middle suppliers are an easy target should they ever be hit with the perfect attack. Multiple areas will be significantly impacted as a result of this, along with an inevitable financial hit,

said Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at ESET.

This demonstrates the extent to which the move to the cloud has changed the things that companies need to protect,

added Mark Rodbert, chief executive of Idax Software.

Not just companies, but the holdings of some investors are exposed to cloud computing failures. Are you protected?