Tag Archives: bdr

Does Your Business or Organization Have A Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan?

A backup disaster recovery plan can make all the difference if disaster strikes.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to remind business owners and IT managers that the greatest time to plan for natural disasters is before it actually happens and not during or after they happen. When you review your current plans and strategies, how prepared are you for another pandemic or natural disaster?

COVID-19 continues to be spread from person to person across various states, and states of emergency were already declared in multiple efforts to take on the terrible outbreak. As more decisions need to be made in regard to reopening’s and internal/external changes, now is a great time to pull out your plans and strategies and make the necessary changes to your Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan.

What is a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan?

A Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan is a system of processes and procedures that everyone in your workplace will need to follow if a disaster or pandemic strikes. Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan should be one of the keys to helping your business survive during some of the toughest times that life may throw at it.

Do You Have A Plan?

Unfortunately, the majority of small businesses and many mid-size and large businesses do not have an effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of those businesses will not survive if an outbreak, pandemic, or disaster as powerful as COVID-19 strikes. When a business or organization experiences significant downtime, a business or organization can lose thousands of dollars every minute the business is not operating.

Would your business or organization live to operate during the next year if you are forced to close your doors again for a significant period of time? It does not matter what your level of business is and what industry you are a part of, there is always a chance disaster could strike and impact your place of business.

Prevention Is Key

Before you make any decisions related to your Backup and Disaster Recovery plan, it is important to perform a full risk assessment. When you perform a risk assessment, your results will provide you with the tools you need to prepare you for any type of disaster. When you perform a risk assessment, you should take the following steps:

  • Create an inventory list of your equipment, networks, and security features that are a part of your business
  • Create a list of anything that may be a security risk
  • Gain an understanding of how your systems work and if they are working properly
  • Determine if there is anything in your business infrastructure you may be missing

It does not matter what type of problem or disaster may strike your business, it is important to make sure communication is open and accepted. One person should not be in charge of everything because no one person will be able to help a business or organization recover from any type of problem or disaster. As you prepare your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan, it is important to remember the importance of communication.

Everyone should be aware of whom they can call during the event of an emergency. How many of your employees will take on a lead role? How many communication channels will be available during an emergency? Everyone should be aware of when the Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan should be initiated, and they should be aware of their role.

If you are preparing to create an improved Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan or if you are creating a BDR plan for the first time, please feel free to contact us today for more information.

The Coronavirus Impact: Have You Reviewed Your BDR Plan?

security, cybersecurity, crisis, response, bdr plan

Is your business prepared for the cybersecurity consequences of remote work?

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, the fears of many people across the world are increasing. Unfortunately, hacking and the presence of scams are also increasing. Coronavirus scams continue to appear with increasing frequency. Cybercriminals are not just trying to attack individuals, but they are also targeting businesses in the following industries:  Healthcare, aerospace, hospitality, and Insurance

Hackers want to manipulate the many fears that individuals and business owners have about COVID-19. Everyone is doing their best to not become infected with the deadly virus, but hackers are hoping to infect your personal and business devices with a virus. Many users have already been tricked into revealing some of their most personal information, and it could be through a phishing scam or a recently created domain.

Coronavirus-related scams have unfortunately become a money making enterprise for criminals. People are constantly searching online for more information about the virus, and these are the ones who are the main targets of the scams. It is so important for everyone to be aware of the hacking and scam attacks in order to become a victim.

Why are hackers using COVID-19 to target people?

Unfortunately, hackers thrive on using frightening current events to prey on people with the hope that they will go against their better judgment. Sometimes people’s ability to recognize a threat will dwindle because their fear and confusion will get the best of them. Unfortunately, these types of attempts happen often, especially when there are concerns about the economy or when a natural disaster occurs.

How are businesses impacted?

When you look at everything through a cybercriminal’s eyes, there are hacking and phishing opportunities everywhere. Hackers are always changing their methods and adjusting their criminal activities to take advantage of the fears and concerns of people every time there is an outbreak, disaster, or economic concern.

There are many opportunities surrounding them, and this gives them new ways to manipulate people. Attackers do not care what measures they have to take in order to take advantage of the real concerns that people have. Cybercriminals will do anything for a financial gain, including exploiting the fears that people have about contracting a deadly virus.

Every business and organization is now a target. Businesses that have not taken any security measures to protect their business, employees, customers, etc. can find themselves in a position that it may be hard to get out of.

What does this mean for workplace security?

Unfortunately, many businesses were not prepared to have the majority of their workforce working from a location outside of the workplace. The businesses that were not prepared to transition to a remote workforce have been presented with a variety of challenges. A remote workforce can lead to a variety of security concerns and risks.

As a result, many cybercriminals will look to take advantage of the businesses that are allowing employees to work from home. Unfortunately, those who use wireless networks that are open to others may bring more risks. Public network connections will open the door for the theft of confidential information and several network security issues.

What can your business do to lower its chances of being attacked?

If you currently have a Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan in place, we encourage you to take some time to review your plan. Do you think your plan is effective and efficient enough to provide protection when you need it? Will you be protected against malware and other threats? It is important that you have an accurate snapshot of the health of your systems and that you review your activity and event logs. If you have a significant number of your workforce working from home, we encourage you to ensure your remote-access technologies are safe and effective.

As the coronavirus continues to spread and impact more people, more people will search the web for more information. Unfortunately, hackers will see this as an opportunity to take advantage of your attempt to protect yourself and your family. For more information on how to protect your personal information, your devices, etc., contact us today.

How Often Should You Take Backups?

Backup files and data on internet with cloud storage technology that sync all online devices and computers with network connection, protection against loss, business person touch screen icon

We all get busy and backups is one of the last things on your mind, however its critical when disaster strikes

Backup recovery is something that every business should invest in. Not just because it’s a smart thing to do on every technical guide, but because disasters happen. Big disasters like floods and fire and ransomware along with little disasters like accidentally deleting a Client’s CRM entry. Even run of the mill software updates can corrupt all the data that your software supports. Backup recovery data makes sure that no matter what happens, you can roll back the clock a day, a week, or a month to the last time your data was complete.

But the functional question isn’t whether you should have backups, you should. The question is how often you should take those backups. What happens if your data is lost, and it’s been over a month of active project work and client data since your last backup? That’s an entire month of detailed work gone. On the other hand, you also don’t want to take backups of static assets so often that you fill your storage with identical archives.

So today, we’ve put together a quick rule-of-thumb guide on how often you should back up each type of your data.

Active Data – Continuous Version Control

The data you update every day should probably be backed up continuously. This is a special kind of backup known as version control, which not only takes ‘saves’ of your work but also tracks exactly when changes were made and who made them. Version control ensures that you can quickly and easily roll back any changes that don’t work, remove only the changes made by a specific person, restore versions that were completed minutes or hours ago if an ongoing project or client file is somehow damaged.

Continuous backups through version control give you the most fine-tuned ability to both edit things based on changes and to restore recent version after changes were made that did not ultimately pan out.

Ongoing Project Data – Twice a Day

Data that is updated as a result of an ongoing project may be more practical to uptdate once or twice a day. A database into which entries are added in chunks, for example, or an archive of paperwork for which only a few pages are added per day might be the type of data that you want backed up constantly, but not necessarily minute by minute.

Backups made once or twice a day ensure that your active files can always be restored to a very recent version, even if they are not the type of file that requires version control levels of detailed editing and constant tiny roll-backs.

Workstations and Hardware – Once a Week

Your workstations and hardware are often the hosts to a great deal of useful data, including the software and configurations that are loaded onto them. When you have a full backup of a device, you can reload it from a factory wipe or clone it onto a whole new device in a much shorter time than it would take to rebuild all the configurations, apps, and stored data files by hand. However, workstations and devices don’t change often or drastically enough to need to be backed up every single day.

Weekly is probably the most practical timeline for backing up devices, particularly if your team tends to store files locally and update their settings to streamline their work. A device backed up weekly can be quickly restored to it’s favored functioning state directly after a malware attack, update crash, or other general malfunctions that might require a restoration process.

Infrastructure and Settings – Once a Month

Finally, there are the big infrastructure backups. Your network and its configurations, for example, were not perfect for your business right out of the box. Your tech infrastructure and static company files were carefully built piece by piece and setting by setting until everything worked exactly the way it needs to for your business. It contains your tech stack, your network configurations, and all your security measures.

Backing your tech infrastructure and settings up monthly can ensure that even if you suffer a system-wide outage, physical disaster, or ransomware attack, you can bring the whole system back online. Even if you need all-new hardware to do it.

For more insights into smart IT management and data security, contact us today!

Disaster Recovery Preparation

Businessman shows concept hologram Recovery on his hand. Disaster recovery preparation concept

The key to disaster recovery is preparation for when it does occur.

Computer users come in many flavors, shapes, and backgrounds. Some merely use computers for simple tasks such as checking E-mail, news, weather, and various other data statistic feeds — these are all simple tasks that don’t require thought about computer maintenance or file/data backup. Other users have a more data-sensitive approach where storing files and various other types of data in a computer are a major factor in their day-to-day computer usage — this means that computer maintenance and data preservation take on a whole different sense of priority. Business owners and managers, for example, would not be able to continue operations after an event that causes data loss unless sound data-backup policies are in place — business continuity and uninterrupted profit should be the priority of businesses, therefore the following preparations and protocol should be part of a business’ IT policy.

Self-Service

There are options for self-servicing, although it’s recommended to obtain professional consulting when setting up any of the following options. There are options within computer operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and various other operating systems that provide for either manual or scheduled backups of computer files and data. Sometimes third-party programs are preferable if the native programs within the operating system do not fit the needs of the computer user. Whatever the case, granular control of the backup programs can be achieved through various settings. For example, a date and time can be set to run the backup program. Selection of specific folders, directories, and files can be set for backup. Retention settings can be set that determines how long certain files are kept in storage — this helps to manage storage space. Encryption options are also available for backed up files so that they cannot be read by unauthorized individuals. All of these settings can be set to run automatically — on a schedule — or they can be set and run manually.

Other kinds of self-service might include relatively easy methods such as “copying and pasting.”  This is a manual type of backup where the user will use the computer keyboard or mouse to copy specific files and/or folders over to an external drive such as a flash drive or external hard drive connected via USB ports. Archiving, retention, and encryption of the files lie in the discretion of the user.

Cloud storage is another form of self-service whereby computer users with an internet connection may subscribe to an internet backup service. Automatic or manual backup using these services are optional. Users may configure the service the same way as in computer operating systems expect that storage is on the internet provided by the backup services. Typically, internet backup service providers will allocate a small amount of free storage space to allow testing their platform. If the computer user likes the service and requires additional storage space, it can be purchased.

Outsourcing

As mentioned previously, self-servicing, especially within environments where data preservation is critical, should be done under the advisement of professionals who understand the twists and turns of backing up computer data. However, self-servicing can be extremely burdensome to companies because of the fact that running businesses is stressful enough without having to deal with the technical side of the computer equipment being used. The priority of a business is ideally production — whereby time is not wasted troubleshooting and dealing with the caveats that can come with backing up computer files and data. IT professionals know exactly how to set up and maintain computer backup programs and services, and properly store the data where it cannot be lost, damaged, or stolen. It’s generally recommended for businesses with a high emphasis on production to obtain the consistent services of professionals who thoroughly understand computer backup systems.

SystemsNet specializes in a wide variety of computer technologies and with many years of experience. Please contact us.