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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 30. Challenges of the Networked World

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Just because you know where you want to end up doesn’t mean you will not be faced with obstacles, or challenges along the way. Instant success rarely happens.

Catherine Pulsifer

You’ve seen or heard the headlines: “Transit delays due to network outage ground passengers for hours,” “Upgrade prematurely cancels service,” “Socialite’s address book posted on Web,” “Outage bumps market exchange off the Internet,” “Crash embarrasses company, causes stock to plunge.”[316]

However, seldom do you see the headline, “Network unlocks power of computing devices, creates goodwill, economic prosperity, and social change.” Maybe the sustainable network isn’t a headline. Maybe, instead, the news is the gaps, holes, and openings for activities with a detrimental impact.

The network’s capability to support so many different users, devices, and applications and to extend the reach of all who use it also makes it a harder environment to control and protect. Mixed in with all that good is bad or malicious traffic, and this traffic can degrade or bring down the network, and allow people to steal, alter information, or perpetrate a variety of other crimes. Any disruption can be costly. It’s estimated that large businesses lose an average of 3.6% in annual revenue due to malicious network downtime each year,[317] with an impaired network estimated to cost companies ...

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