The World Wide Web Consortium’s main website was offline for several hours, as per the screenshots attached. While website outages happen quite often, this one was due to an expired certificate – the same thing that took down Microsoft Teams earlier this year. It demonstrates that if even the most internet-savvy of organisations can mismanage the basics of running a website, the same can happen to anyone.
<p>Certificates have a finite lifespan and they lose validity the moment they hit expiration. Expired certificates make sites and services inaccessible and have been the cause of high-profile outages such as those that hit Spotify and Microsoft Teams over the past year, impacting millions of users. Ultimately, when we see certificate-related outages impacting the World Wide Web consortium – the community responsible for setting Internet standards – it’s a reminder that this type of outage can happen to anyone.</p> <p> </p> <p>Certificate-related outages are so common because many large organisations often don’t know all the certificates they own and where they are all deployed, since they don’t have an accurate and proper asset inventory. These issues can lead to certain certificates slipping under the radar and expiring at any point, which leads to outage incidents.</p>