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Fast Company Is Back Online

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eight days. That’s how long FastCompany.com was offline after we were targeted in a cyberattack, first on the afternoon of Sunday, September 25, and again on the evening of Tuesday, September 27. On that first Sunday, the attack hit our content management system ( CMS), the software we use to create the site, and hijacked our home page, replacing every headline with an obscene and racist message that proudly claimed credit for the intrusion. Two days later, a similar message was sent to our followers in Apple News, twice in rapid succession.

Shortly thereafter, we made the painful decision to shut down not only FastCompany.com but also our sister publication, Inc.com, as well as our corporate website, Mansueto.com. Over the next week, we conducted an investigation. For all kinds of reasons, I’m not going to get into the details of that inquiry. I will say that it was thorough, that it’s complete, that no customer or advertiser information was disclosed in connection with the CMS attack, and that we have taken steps to safeguard against further attacks.

I’d like to thank you for your patience. We know you depend on Fast Company to bring you the business news of the day, filtered through the lenses of innovation, creativity, and progress. We care deeply about fulfilling that mission. We also take seriously our commitments to advertisers, who seek to reach the audience we’ve built. To be sidelined for more than a week was a difficult experience for our team.

That didn’t stop us from doing our jobs. After processing the shock of the attacks, we channeled that shock into action. When it became clear that our CMS would be down for a while, we asked ourselves: How else can we publish?

Like many of our colleagues in media, we had already been increasing our focus on so-called zero-click content—articles and videos that live exclusively on social platforms, with no expectation that the user will click through to our site (but will hopefully subscribe to a newsletter or a podcast, and ultimately become loyal to Fast Company). So last Wednesday, we began to publish new articles on various platforms, starting with LinkedIn (our first article: the scoop that Everette Taylor had been named Kickstarter’s new CEO), and then on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Medium. The following day, we launched Fast Company Daily, a LinkedIn newsletter that quickly reached 103,000 subscribers. When news broke that Elon Musk plans to buy Twitter after all, we covered it in real time via Twitter Spaces. it was all Fast Companyjust not on our owned and operated site.

All told, we published 80 pieces of content during the week we were offline. That’s well short of our normal pace, but it’s a respectable volume under the circumstances. I’m incredibly proud of the way our team responded to this unprecedented challenge. If there’s a silver lining to all this, it’s that these lessons will lead to a better, smarter, more secure, and more nimble Fast Company in the future.

Thanks, as always, for being here. It’s good to be back.


Brendan Vaughan is editor-in-chief of Fast Company. Twitter: @bvaughan71


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