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Advice for retailers following the Optus outage

Here’s advice shared with Tower Systems newsagency software customers Friday last week following the Optus outage.
Lessons from the recent Optus outage.

While the actual cause of the Optus outage on has not yet been detailed, the outage itself encourages us to work on our businesses, to ensure we are better protected.

  1. Check your network. Make sure routers are current. Talk to your ISP about a more current replacement.
  2. Check your computers. Dust is a killer. Power off, remove the cover, take it outside and use a can of air to clean.
  3. Document your computers and network. List everything you have and who is responsible for each. We often receive support calls for items not supplied by us and not known about by us.
  4. Check your backups. Get the most recent one restored to ensure it is backing up everything you need.
  5. Use a cloud backup service for in-store and offsite storage.
  6. Have a plan. If your network, computer system or EFTPOS is down, what’s your plan? Document it. Train staff. Ensure everyone knows the plan and where it is.
  7. Consider redundancies, like a mobile phone on a different network in case your main network is down, a secondary EFTPOS for payments should it be down.

First responders are good at what they do because they plan and drill, such that responding is muscle-memory. What happened with Optus is a reminder to be prepared in local retail so you are less impacted.

Too often, small business owners do not have a plan in place for outages and disasters. A small investment of time in planning and prepping could made overcoming obstacles related to outages easier, less stressful.

Newsagency management

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