Monthly Archives: July 2016

Backup Disaster Recovery: Concerning Questions


Backing up your data is a crucial part of any data security plan.

Regardless of whether you’re working in a small or large business, there are several things you should concern yourself with in the workplace. Besides knowing how you’re going to plan ahead for the future, you should also be thinking of ways to train your employees in case of emergencies. Speaking of emergencies, they’re more common in the workplace than one would think. Whether a business has become victim to the latest hacking attempt, or the organization was damaged in a storm, having a backup disaster recovery plan is important. Of course, though, what are some questions you should be asking yourself? In relation to your recovery plan, here are a few concerning questions to keep in mind.

What Information Needs to Be Backed Up?

When creating a disaster recovery plan, it’s important to consider what data you should be backing up. When preparing for emergencies, many businesses simply store all the information they can, even the data that’s unimportant. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this, it’s still unnecessary and can create problems in the long run. For example, let’s say one of the devices being used to store information was a USB flash drive. Despite the device’s ability to contain gigabytes of data, you may find you’ll run out of room fast if you try to store everything on it. Be smart about the data you plan to keep, while discarding anything that’s unneeded as well.

Lastly, you should always do a double-check when considering what information needs to be backed up on your computer. After all, you never want to accidentally discard anything of value. For example, there might be a project or piece of data you think isn’t needed anymore, but it may be of use again sooner than you think. Overall, concerning yourself with what information needs to be backed up, is an important question in regards to a disaster recovery plan.

Will I Need to Make Any Changes? 

Whether your employees are coming and going, or the policies in your workplace change, the business world is always changing. With that said, the same applies to your disaster recovery plan. Though you may be preparing for an emergency now, you may not need to take action until years down the road. When planning for disaster in your business, don’t just think in the “here and now”, but consider the future as well. Where do you see your business five years from now? Also, how can you use those predictions to make sure your plan runs smoothly? These are some important questions you should be asking yourself.

What Disasters Am I Prepared For?

When most businesses think of the word “disaster”, a tornado that destroys the entire workplace may come to mind. While it’s true that many businesses may suffer loss due to the weather or even a power outage, a disaster isn’t always because of natural conditions. For example, what if a fire accidentally started in your office, tarnishing your files? As a more common example, however, your company could experience a huge loss of information in a data breach. Back to main question, what disasters are you prepared for? When creating a recovery plan, it’s important to take every threat into consideration. Focusing on one type of disaster while ignoring the other, will leave you unprepared for what’s to come. When planning for data breaches or attacks from hackers, for example, you should think of ways to tighten your security. As for natural disasters, you may want to think about transferring your information to another organization. Better yet, you could set up multiple business locations as well.

For more information, contact us today at SystemsNet.

Five Questions to Ask About Proactive Monitoring of Network Infrastructure


Proactive monitoring of network infrastructure is a critical strategy that can help you prevent problems before they develop. It’s important to ask questions!

Neglecting to monitor your network infrastructure is a fundamental mistake that significantly increases the chances of a successful cyber attack and impairs your network’s performance.

As discussed in a recent article from Beta News, companies need to acknowledge that they’ll not only face cyber attacks, but that some of these attacks will likely get past their initial defenses. While it’s important to use anti-malware programs and other first-line defenses that can initially repel many cyber attacks, you need to realize that you’re never guaranteed 100% protection from unauthorized intrusions.

As such, it’s important to maintain layered defenses and actively monitor your network for suspicious activities that could indicate a successful intrusion. Proactive monitoring of network infrastructure is a critical strategy that can help you prevent or detect various problems before they develop into crisis situations.

Keep in mind that while IT disasters can result from an external cyber attack, there are also other sources of IT emergencies, including equipment and connection failures. So not only is network monitoring a critical part of your cyber defenses; it’s also essential for preserving the general health of your IT infrastructure. Network monitoring enables you to respond to a problem in a prompt, effective way without waiting to first hear about it from frustrated or panicking employees who find that they suddenly can’t get their work done.

Ask your Managed Service Provider (MSP) about monitoring services

When you hire an MSP to manage and advise you about your company’s IT activities, make sure to ask them about the kinds of monitoring services they provide for your network infrastructure. The following are five important questions to ask:

  1. Will they provide proactive monitoring of your company’s network? Sometimes, IT personnel take a purely reactive approach to IT problems. They swoop in to try and fix an issue only after employees have started noticing it or business operations have slowed down or come to a halt. Make sure that the MSP you work with offers proactive monitoring.
  2. How frequently will they monitor your network? Ideally, proactive monitoring will take place round-the-clock, every day of the year. It’s not enough to only sometimes scan your network or devices for problems, or limit the monitoring to business hours. Your MSP should offer you a 24 x 7 x 365 service.
  3. How will they respond to problems? Let’s say there are signs of trouble in your network, suspicious activities, or an outright emergency. How will your MSP respond? Who is actually responsible, and what will they do? Are there limits to what their monitoring service can detect? While you don’t need to know all of the technical details, you should get a clear sense of how they will use network monitoring to act effectively and swiftly.
  4. Will they let you know what’s going on? It’s important to establish clear communication between you and your MSP, including protocols for when they notify you about problems. Even when there aren’t any problems, they should give you regular reports about the state of your IT health, along with recommendations for changes to improve the security, productivity, and cost-effectiveness of your IT set-up.
  5. What kind of information will they give you? Ideally, your MSP will use the information they glean from network monitoring to give you a strong picture of your IT infrastructure, its strengths, and its potential weaknesses. They should provide you with advice for how to strengthen your network’s performance and security. Instead of just doing the bare minimum to keep your network going, they should actively contribute to its strength and development, with an eye towards supporting your business goals and activities.

Please contact us for further information about our round-the-clock proactive network monitoring. We’re dedicated to improving and maintaining the health of your IT infrastructure.