Monday 11 December 2017

Ryanair 'survived cyber attack' thanks to system, says O'Leary

Michael O'Leary
Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has been hit by cyber attacks in the past and one of its operations centres has gone down - but the depth of its failsafe systems saw the incident go unnoticed by customers, according to CEO Michael O'Leary, pictured.

The carrier's chief technology officer, John Hurley, said Ryanair is increasingly moving its systems to the cloud, with its Ryanair Rooms service launched last year being hosted by Amazon.

He said the airline is "strategically moving key pieces of infrastructure" to take advantage of the cloud.

"We have been the subject of attacks on our systems; we have been subject to malware," said Mr O'Leary. "We've also had occasions where one of our centres has gone down.

"You haven't noticed it because the DR (Disaster Recovery) system is completely effective."

He was speaking as IAG-owned British Airways continues to count the cost of a weekend IT meltdown that left thousands of travellers stranded around the world.

"I'm always very nervous saying it could never happen here, because it's inevitable that as we grow we will have some IT glitches along the way," said Mr O'Leary.

"But we don't think we will suffer an outage the way BA suffered this weekend."

Mr Hurley said that Ryanair doesn't rely on any one centre for its operations.

It has five such locations, including one at its headquarters in Dublin which is home to its operational systems.

Its website is based in three different data centres - one in London, another in Dublin and a third in Frankfurt, with its back-end system based at a separate data centre in London.

"All of these have full DR capabilities in place, and can be fully restored in 15 to 20 minutes," said Mr Hurley.

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