Downtime events like the Sept 27, 2012, PNC Financial website outage make for compelling headlines, banker headaches, and bank website user annoyances. (To quickly check on your bank’s website uptime status and speed click here). But, is this downtime more than that? Is it another locus-of-control (digital access to money) in the modern age that is spinning out-of-control into an encroaching cyber black hole of economic chaos? Well no, but… downtime and slow downs do have an impact. In fact, the cumulative effect of IT downtime on financial institutions is estimated by the Coleman Parkes Research firm in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per institution per year. The PNC outage, and attendant Wells Fargo outage and US Bank outage events are reportedly due denial of service (DOS) cyber attacks by a group called the Qassam Cyber Fighters. Whatever the goal of this group, to-date the impact is website users are unable to interact with their bank accounts. (Denial of service (DDoS) cyber attacks on banks will likely continue in the future. See our followup post, Bank Cyber Attacks: Responding to future DDoS attacks and website outages.)
Okay, there’s an Bank Website Outage, now what?
Following a website outage how can a website user determine if if a website has stabilized? You have for a time lost control of your digital access to your banking and your bank’s reputation has taken a hit. On the one hand, you can wait and let the financial institution send over the all clear via email, tweet, or text message. On the other hand, you can take matters into their own hands and test the website to see what the results are. If you’re a person who would prefer to re-asserting some control yourself we recommend using the free instant worldwide website test here. The reason is if you conduct a “one-off” test from a single location you’ll get a snapshot of the website that may, or may not, be accurate.
A Worldwide view versus Local view of your banking website
Depending on the situation you as the user may have aspects such as domain name server (DNS) cached locally on your test machine resulting in incorrect results. In many cases, various regions of a nation, or parts of the world will be affected differently by an website outage and the condition of the website will change depending on your geographic location in a short period of time. A simultaneous test of the website – using multiple real browsers – from multiple worldwide locations provides a more complete picture and can be conducted, no strings attached, by clicking here. As a result of such a test a user can quickly determine that the website is performing from a very worldwide perspective, not their single locale.
That worldwide test results will give you a better indication of whether you can interact with your website without the fear of downtime, or a website slowdown while you’re in the middle of your digitized money.
We encourage users to continue to check availability of the PNC Financial and other banking sites, as well test your own site for overall speed and performance. For an instant free worldwide test using Dotcom-Monitor’s service click the button below.