Recently, a community site known as Myth Weavers suffered a catastrophic database failure. The site, which stores information for a variety of different board games, is - or perhaps I should say, was - widely-used in the tabletop community. Unfortunately, earlier this month, a routine prune by the site’s administrator went horribly wrong. Due to (self-admitted) gross negligence on his part, the database for his site ended up corrupted, destroying the information of over 200,000 users. Worse still, the only available backup was from July 2016. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their information. It is unlikely that many will deign to trust the site again, moving forward. That Myth Weavers will lose a large portion of its user base is a foregone conclusion. And it did not even lose any mission-critical or sensitive data. Imagine if, instead of some information for a board game, that had been private health data, or legal information, or critical IPs. Imagine if, instead of some unhappy users, the administrator was facing legal and regulatory action - or worse, jail time. It is a situation that is not at all far-fetched. Consider:
- The entire script for Toy Story 2 was almost lost. The only thing that saved the film was that one of the staff happened to have it backed up at home.
- Open-source repository Gitlab recently suffered a massive backup failure which came about as a result of data migration failure during routine database maintenance.
- “Shock and awe” ransomware attacks are on the rise - attacks which business are ill-equipped to deal with if all their data is on a single system.