Digital resilience has been put into stark focus over recent weeks, following outages at big-name high street shops – including Tesco, Greggs, Sainsbury’s and McDonalds.

All four have either had to pare back services or close stores altogether following incidents variously reported as “problems”, “technical issues” and even “meltdowns”.

Sainsbury’s had to stop processing online orders for a short period, as it was unable to accept contactless payments. McDonald’s, meanwhile, couldn’t process orders and was therefore forced to temporarily close some stores. This didn’t just affect customers in the UK, but Australia, New Zealand and Japan as well.

Just a few days later Greggs made the news after it had to close stores temporarily, whilst Tesco had to cancel a small number of deliveries.

Whilst the proximity of these four outages suggests they may have been the result of a unified cyber attack, all four brands quickly sought to downplay this – claiming instead it’s the result of system updates and upgrades.

Both Sainsbury’s and McDonalds said their issues came from a failed software update. However, as neither chose to name the company or software at fault, it’s unclear yet as to whether the two incidents are related.

Even if there was no criminal activity at play, the fact that all four found themselves unable to process orders – and even having to close shops down for a time – shows the importance of digital resilience.

Surely enough, experts have since noted that with IT systems becoming bigger and more complex, outages such as these could become longer lasting and more commonplace – if brands don’t improve their resilience.

Chief executive of IT management firm ITRS, Guy Warren, told The Independent: “Instead of moving towards greater operational resilience, IT estates are in fact growing more susceptible to outages with longer periods of downtime.

“The cause of these particular crashes still remains unclear but whatever the cause, the time taken to resume operations is simply unacceptable.”