Nasdaq hit by another computer glitch, blames 'human error'

Nasdaq has suffered yet another systems glitch, blaming a "human error" for a brief halt to trading.

The stock exchange experienced an ‘interruption of service’ on Tuesday related to its Global Index Data Service (GIDS), a data dissemination platform, with problems starting at 11.53 am EDT and lasting for approximately 45 minutes.

“The disruption was caused by a human error performing an operational function which resulted in the incorrect delivery of data to the index distribution system,” the exchange group said in a statement.

However its index calculation system was not impacted during this time, Nasdaq said, nor were equity exchange operations.

In a later update, Nasdaq said that the “brief” disruption of service had been resolved, but would continue to investigate the cause of the issue.

The latest outage comes after a number of problems related to Nasdaq's trading systems in recent months.

Trading halted on the exchange for three hours in August, after its SIP data feed system was flooded with an ‘unprecedented’ volume of orders. US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently launched an investigation into trading safeguards, demanding a number of measures such as putting ‘kill-switches’ in place in the event of unexpected problems. The outage was followed by a more minor issue a month later, when a server fault created more problems with its SIP processor, resulting in a short outage.

The exchange also experienced a high profile disruption to trading last year during Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO), which many have informed Twitter’s decision to launch its own upcoming floatation on NYSE’s rival exchange. In a bid to avert any problems marring Twitter’s highly anticipated IPO, NYSE conducted a test run of its systems over last weekend.

Commenting on the latest Nasdaq outage Neil Kinson, vice president EMEA, Redwood Software said that greater levels of automation could go some way to preventing further problems for Nasdaq following a number of recent 'mishaps'.

“Blaming its most recent disruption on “human error”, NASDAQ’s string of technology mishaps raises questions about just how seamless its IT processes really are,” said Kinson.

“If NASDAQ is to solve its current predicament and prevent further technology mishaps, it needs to automate manual checks for its systems in order to reduce the likelihood of human errors.

He added: “By using tightly automated processes to keep everything running smoothly, IT teams will only need to handle technical glitches on exception. Collaboration across the business model will be key if NASDAQ is to sustain market confidence – it’s far more than just reputations on the line here.”

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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