Incident Response Plan
What's an incident?
An incident has occurred if we are not able to deliver a good quality of service within our legal obligations. When an incident is declared we activate our Incident Response Plan. We declare an incident when at least one of the following things are true:
- We have discovered an unplanned interruption to, or reduction in quality of, normal service which has lasted for longer than 15 minutes and is affecting at least 5 users
- Personal data was used without explicit consent (i.e. a data breach).
- Our legal team has advised that an incident has occurred because we're in breach of a law or contract
If we believe there could be an active incident, we practice abundant caution and will begin our incident process—we would rather start the process and close it during the investigation stage than leave a concern unchecked.
Incidents are, by their nature, the product of unexpected circumstances. We learn from every incident, but they do still occur. Examples of the type of issues which Hotjar considered to be incidents can be reviewed on status.hotjar.com.
Hotjar's 9-step Incident Response Plan
Our Incident Response Plan gives us a defined process to rapidly identify the root cause of an incident and deploy a fix. It also helps us manage the process of communicating with our users. To be able to effectively tackle incidents, Hotjar has a team of Incident Response Managers (IRMs).
As soon as an incident is detected, our IRMs are notified. One IRM will then take responsibility for managing the incident and executing our Incident Response Plan. Our aim is to resolve the issue quickly whilst providing support to our users through transparent communication. The process is as follows:
- Set up the incident
- Announce the incident internally
- Prepare a public announcement and support plan for affected users
- Work to identify and resolve the incident
- Announce the incident as identified
- Announce the incident as monitoring
- Announce the incident as resolved
- Complete the customer-facing communications
- Follow up actions
Any declared incidents will be posted on status.hotjar.com. The incident team will update this page as we progress through steps 5-7. The incident status is also posted to our @hotjar_status Twitter account. During step 9, an Incident Post Mortem is added to the status report on status.hotjar.com. In some cases, we may also reach out to customers via email or using an in-app message with further details on the incident.
What is Planned Maintenance?
Planned maintenance ensures Hotjar's infrastructure can continually cope with increasing levels of traffic. Our engineering team periodically upgrades hardware and optimizes various parts of the system.
To ensure the minimal disruption for our customers, we have a dedicated weekly 15-minute maintenance window that engineers can use to perform infrastructural upgrades that may require downtime. The maintenance window is every Saturday between 22:00 UTC and 22:15 UTC, the time with the lowest traffic based on traffic logs.
During maintenance, the app may be slow. In case of downtime, it will be completely unresponsive. To see Hotjar's current status, you can visit status.hotjar.com.