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Google Glitch Serves Warning

For an hour or so this weekend Google sent a signal that the entire Internet was a malware site. The glitch is a reminder of just how easily single company dominance -- and our dependency on single companies -- of a service can be.
For an hour or so this weekend Google sent a signal that the entire Internet was a malware site. The glitch is a reminder of just how easily single company dominance -- and our dependency on single companies -- of a service can be.One simple character mistyped caused one big headache Saturday morning as Google identified every search result as a malware site.

Issuing a warning between 6:30am and 7:35am (EST), Google's goof -- the result of a typo -- steered eryone to StopBadware.org, creating such a surge of traffic that StopBadware was overwhelmed, essentially experiencing a denial of service sttack, albeit not a malicious one.

The situation was brought under control pretty quickly, with clarifications and explanations issued.

Human error is getting the blame for this one, and that's a reminder of just how much damage -- again, not intentionally -- one person can cause.

The question, it seems to me, isn't so much "How did this happen?" It happened, period.

The question isn't even "How can we keep this from happening again?

Rather, the question that all small and midsize businesses should be asking is just how dependent they want to be on services that may go down. In the case of the Google glitch, users could turn to other search engines. In the case of a SaaS app that you're dependent on for operations, you need to know what your alternatives and contingencies are, and be prepared to put them into use the instant they're needed.

An hour without Google is one thing; an hour without the programs, tools and services that power your business is something else altogether.