A data breach can happen to anyone, even to the most secure businesses or financial institutions — and cybercriminals could even attack your company’s network. How can you be sure your network is completely hacker-safe? As a business owner, you can’t afford a data breach, as it could cost you your clients and reputation. Employing […]
The old saying, “Pack your own parachute,” comes to mind when I think of data backups or, more specifically, data RECOVERY. However, how many people actually know how to pack their proverbial data backup “parachute” and instead rely on someone else – be it an employee or vendor? If that’s you, read on. Since the absolute WORSE time to check your backups is AFTER a data disaster, all company CEOs ought to know the answers to the following questions NOW so they aren’t unpleasantly surprised later when data gets erased and they’re scrambling to get back up and running: Where EXACTLY is your data being backed up, and how do you get access to it? If it’s being hosted in a remote place, you ought to have the account information and a direct contact you can call if your vendor or employee goes missing with this information. Ideally, it should be in your network documentation that is kept in your operations manual or somewhere you can easily access it if necessary. Who’s responsible for monitoring the backups to make sure they are working? When data is lost, the finger pointing starts. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Well I thought (they/he/she) was in charge of our backups!” only to discover that this person (be it a vendor or employee) actually has no idea that they had such an important responsibility. Keep in mind that many offsite backup companies allow you to store your data there, but they won’t agree to ANY responsibility for whether or not the data is being backed up correctly, completely or in a format that can be restored. How often do you run a test restore? The only way to know if your backups are working properly is to… conduct a test restore or “fire drill” of your data. We recommend running this once a month at a minimum to verify that you can actually restore from your backups in an emergency. If your data is lost, what’s the process required to restore it? Some business owners don’t realize that their raw data backups would take a LOT longer to restore than they imagine. If you are not “imaging” your data (a process that takes a snapshot of your server as is) you will have to reload all of your software, set up the network, reconfigure your settings and THEN restore the data – a process that can take the better part of a week PROVIDED you still have your original software discs and licenses. Our Free Backup Audit will give you the answers to these critical questions. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, give us a call to schedule a FREE inspection of your backup process. At a minimum you’ll know for sure that your data is safe and in a format that can get you back up and running again FAST. Call: xxx-xxx-xxxx or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The trail of devastation left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has reminded us once again that coastlines and even entire regions of the country can be demolished by natural disasters. While catastrophes cannot be prevented, planning around them with a well-crafted disaster recovery (DR) strategy can help minimize the damages and keep your business alive. […]
The WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks were a huge wakeup call for healthcare organizations to update their security software. Unfortunately, hackers evolve at an incredible rate, and they’ve developed a new ‘Locky-like’ ransomware strain that can catch many in the healthcare industry off guard. Using old tricks The new ransomware strain, known as ‘IKARUSdilapidated,’ behaves […]
Businesses that store and process large volumes of data need a highly organized storage and backup system. Although there are various ways to do this — like keeping them on multiple devices or putting them on external hard drives and memory cards — these are not very efficient and can also be misplaced. Google’s new […]
Losing data to a natural or man-made disaster can be devastating – but the protective actions you can take are not. What would happen to your business if you had a major data loss? The possibility is definitely there; this can’t be denied. Data loss disasters come in many forms, ranging from simple human errors to “acts of God” that cannot be controlled. However, you can control how you prepare for them. Here are eight questions you can ask yourself to test your disaster preparedness. First: Do we back up our data? It’s amazing how many small businesses do not have a backup system in place. It’s so easy to assume disaster won’t strike you. But data loss doesn’t always come from huge, cinema-worthy disasters. They can result from simple everyday errors – yet have huge disastrous results. Don’t let this be you. Do we back up all of our account information? Many small businesses tend to keep their accounts data on one employee’s PC, instead of the network which is on their backup schedule. But what if you lose your customer database? Be sure it’s included in the files to be backed up. Do we back up our email files? Ever wish you had that one email from a few months back, in which a customer gave you the “go ahead” – but now they’re refusing to pay for your work? These days, email is increasingly used as legal evidence of agreements or notices to proceed. If they’re included in your backup, you can easily pull up even deleted emails – received or sent. Is our Calendar and Contact information backed up? What if you came to work one morning and your online calendar and address book was gone? What appointments and communications would you miss, and at what cost? Most of the time, by default your Outlook Contact and Calendar files are stored on the individual PCs. Make sure these files are included in your backup set. Do we back up folders and files from each computer? In addition to important information that is stored in shared networks, think about the files that each of your employees create and use on their own hard drives. Spreadsheets, letters, memos, databases – wouldn’t it be a shame to lose all that work? Are we always saving our files to an area that will be backed up? Consider where each and every file your work on is being saved. Will it be included in your backups? Develop policies and educate your employees on where to save their work so it’s included in your backup schedule. Do we back up data frequently enough? This answer to this question is – how much work are you willing to risk? Say you complete an important contract on Tuesday morning, and an employee accidentally deletes it that afternoon. But you only run backups on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Bye-bye contract! A more frequent backup schedule would have saved the day. Do we know where our backups are and how to use them? If you use USB drives, external hard drives, or backup tapes for your backups, are you storing them offsite in a safe place? Even if your files are backed up to the cloud, do you know how to recover them in case of an emergency? Knowing your backup system and keeping it safe will ensure you can get back to business quickly and efficiently. Even if you already have a backup system in place, take a few moments to think about your specific business. If the unthinkable happened, exactly what data would you need to get back up and running? What could you not operate without? Once you identify these things, simply make sure they are included in your backup. Need help? We’re experts in guiding small businesses in setting up a backup system that meets their unique needs. Give us a call today to discuss the options available to keep your business data safe and sound.