Brexit blunder: EU referendum site crashes as 525,000 Brits attempt to register

Yesterday (June 7th) was the last day for Brits to register to vote in the EU referendum. But as 525,000 people swarmed to the site, many were greeted with a ‘504 Gateway Time-Out’ message.

While the technical difficulties have been blamed on unprecedented demand, as half a million people rushed to register in time, yesterday’s glitch is, unfortunately, just the latest in a long line of high profile outages, said software analysis CAST.

Referencing the fact that every Post Office branch in the UK was hit by a computer glitch last month, and the UK’s leading banks such as RBS and NatWest have suffered financial and reputational damage due to IT blunders, CAST said the spate of IT glitches continues to rise.

The firm believes organisations must address fundamental code issues at a structural level to protect their IT systems against glitches, cyber-threats and costly fines.

Also commenting on the Brexit blunder, Redcentric’s product manager for infrastructure and data services Jonathan Birch warned that organisations should learn from the website crash and ensure outages are prevented, especially in instances where it is apparent traffic peaks are expected.

“Technology is everywhere and businesses and consumers alike will admit they couldn’t get by without it. It’s unsurprising then that when data outages occur it results in outcry – business brand names are dragged through the mud, which can be hard to come back from in the social world we live in. It’s not only the little guys either, as last night saw the government’s EU referendum registration website crash under the weight of 525,000 applications,” he said.

“Consumers want to use services they can depend on whenever they need them and this is especially true when it comes to the ability to register to vote. To ensure these outages are a rarity, organisations rely on high quality data centres which take every precaution possible to guarantee downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.

“People often don’t realise the vital role data centres play in their everyday life, ticking over in the background keeping their data safe and their technology working. That said, some outages will inevitably occur and media storms will ensue. However, by combining foresight as to when traffic peaks will occur and making the right choices on how and where to host public data, these services should become increasingly reliable.”

Last month, PCR surveyed our readers to find out what the tech and IT channel thought about an EU exit. 54 per cent were in favour of leaving the EU.

New research from Gekko also revealed that the threat of Brexit isn’t putting consumers off the High Street. The field marketing agency found that over half (51%) of those surveyed did not feel the need to put off making an important purchase until after the referendum result.

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