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NYSE, United outages show companies' technological vulnerability

The technical problems that disrupted operations at the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines should be a "wakeup call" that companies need to spend more time and money maintaining their information technology systems.

CNET editor Dan Ackerman told "CBS This Morning" that part of the problem was that companies are so obsessed with cyberattacks that they may have taken their eye off more fundamental issues with their operating systems.

"We spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and attention and money protecting against hacking and cyber terrorism, cyber espionage," Ackerman said.

New York Stock Exchange resumes trading after glitch

"These are all very important things but the less glamorous part of it is the regular, every day IT work that keeps these systems up and running - the systems we are so dependent on," he continued. "What we saw yesterday was three different cases where three different fairly basic bread and butter issues kind of fell down and that is why we had three problems on the same day."

Ackerman said the three cases - the Wall Street Journal's website also briefly went down - showcases how a small glitch can ripple into huge problems.

The stock exchange resumed trading Wednesday following a software glitch that shut it down for more than three hours. United, too, resumed normal operations after technical problems forced it to delay 800 flights and cancel 60 others.

NYSE, United and WSJ paralyzed by computer glitches

A federal law enforcement source told CBS News Tuesday that all signs point to a software glitch as being at the root of the problems with the NYSE. In addition, law enforcement sources do not see a connection between the technical troubles at the exchange, computer glitches that temporarily grounded United Airlines and difficulties at the Wall Street Journal's website.

"I think we are so focused on the external attacks that maybe we don't pay enough attention to the internal systems. That is kind of what happened here," Ackerman said, adding that a router going down at United without a replacement ready showed the potential damage of being unprepared.

"You are down for an hour or so. The airlines are so tightly packed that has a ripple effect around the world," he said.

Ackerman dismissed suggesting that this could have been a cyberattack - partly due to the fact that earlier attacks on Sony and government files took months to uncover and then "it slowly drips out piece by piece."

"If it's an issue where the lights go off and suddenly no one can trade stocks, that is more likely to be an IT issue," he said.

And as 25 billion devices are set to be connected by 2020, Ackerman acknowledged these computer problems could become more of a concern for companies and the customers they serve.

"I think we are vulnerable to deliberate actions but we also vulnerable to just the systems not working the way they should because they are so complicated and such a mix of old and new," he said. "Just getting everyone in a company on the same operating system is a huge challenge."