Friday, 20 March 2020 01:40

Internet infrastructure under strain as COVID-19 hits

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Internet infrastructure has experienced significant growth in demand and is being strained due to the increased amount of people confined to their home because of the coronavirus pandemic, consequently working and shopping remotely due to the enforced precautionary measures, according to a new report.

According to London-headquartered hosting provider Heficed, the sheer amount of users is putting the Internet under stain and, as a result, e-commerce has been booming as many stores remain shut due to safety policies.

Additionally, there has been a notable increase in subscription-based digital services, as out-of-home entertainment is no longer a viable option, says Heficed, noting that Internet service providers are extending data caps to meet the newfound reliance on the network, however, some experts express uncertainty concerning internet infrastructure’s ability to keep up with the rapidly growing demand.

“The amount of time people are spending online, whether it be for work or leisure, has been immense, which is not surprising, considering all the restrictions that have been enforced,” says Vincentas Grinius, CEO of Heficed.

“In pursuance to maintain stability, the demand for internet servers has risen by at least 30 percent, and, based on how the current events are developing, the need to accommodate the reliance will only continue to grow,” Grinius said.

According to Grinius, Heficed has accumulated enough server stock supply to meet the current demand and lessen the strain on the infrastructure, as a wide range of hardware is kept in storage facilities throughout the US and Europe.

“Furthermore, Heficed is encouraging companies to lease their unused IP resources via the IP address market in order to facilitate more resources for ISPs and others in need of network infrastructure.”

Heficed said current events have revealed how well businesses are prepared to accommodate a remote workforce, and business VPNs, that give workers direct access to their company’s system through a private network, have been overwhelmed by the employee usage.

“High-capacity VPNs are essential for companies seeking to continue their work, as organisations that are less equipped will eventually succumb to the increased load. Adapting a highly developed network infrastructure, such as offered by Heficed, can aid in handling the escalating use and help maintain operational stability,” Heficed says

According to Hefice the Internet may need to “strengthen its backbone”, as the ever-growing online activity has attracted a new wave of cyberattacks, with Novel threats targeting internet users in an attempt to retrieve sensitive data.

Heficed says the present state of affairs has highlighted some of the weaknesses concerning the current network infrastructure, however implementing some additional measures to improve its stability may prevent companies from compromising their operations and ensure they continue to work during the pandemic.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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