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Six Ways Backups and Data Recovery Can Save Your Business (Part 2)

Data recovery on keyboard

Your business deserves a life line

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on backups and data recovery as an incredibly versatile set of solutions. The beauty of building a layered and comprehensive set of backups with smooth recovery procedures is the ability to recover from almost any setback that even remotely relates to your files. Last time we talked about a few of the often unconsidered risks to your files like failed software updates, failed services, and employee mistakes. These less flashy but far more common risks can put any file system at risk if there’s no way to restore mistakes and failed processes. Backups allow you to restore files back to a previous whole and working state. Automated backups can also help you track down exactly when and why a file corrupted or was changed. Let’s pick up where we left off at how backups can be used to quickly recover from and completely shrug off ransomware attacks.

4. Ransomware Attacks
The current generation of hackers have a personal favorite form of attack that not only ruins your day but also has a chance of getting them paid. You’ve probably heard of ransomware in the recent news because it has been used to terrorize a large section of the computer-using population world-wide. While the exact programs evolve like the yearly flu, the method involves infecting your network, maliciously encrypting every file, then demanding ransom payment in crypto-currency. Rather than paying them or losing your files, you can simply wipe the network and implement your data recovery procedures from a recent complete backup. This method also works for almost any other kind of malicious virus, spyware, Trojan, or malware attack.

5. Programming Errors
When programmers and the IT department make mistakes, the consequences often have a much greater effect than the mistakes of a single employee on their personal system. In many cases, a change to the way the company network or proprietary programs work can cause an error left undetected for days or weeks at a time. Here is where having a collection of regular backups is incredibly helpful. No matter how far back the error was made, a good data recovery system can restore the system to its pristine state before the oversight, allowing your team to fix the problem without a massive loss of data.

6. Device Failure
No matter how convenient remote servers and huge hard drives are, there is one final fact about computing that many people forget. Computers are physical objects and data is stored on disks that can break, fry, melt, warp, scratch, or otherwise become unreadable and unusable. While there are extensive recovery procedures that can sometimes extract data from dead equipment, you can be back to work almost instantly by loading a recent backup onto a new machine and reinstalling it into the company network in the old computer’s place.
The data used, processed, and stored by your company is important for continued functioning and any loss of data can set you back by days, months, or even permanently depending on the value and replicability of the data. Fortunately, there’s no need to risk losing your valuable digital assets, because even software installations and settings configurations can be saved. With a complete data recovery plan, you can restore a single document from backup or reinstall an entire computer after a malware attack, and clone a computer with all its data for new team members. Cloud-hosted backups are an important part of a comprehensive business continuity plan as they can be used both for asynchronous disaster recovery and for hot-loading a second environment while the first is repaired.

For more information on backups and cybersecurity, contact us today!

Six Ways Backups and Data Recovery Can Save Your Business (Part 1)

Backups and Data Recovery concept on laptop with business man drinking coffee

Having a plan is crucial to business survival

Data loss in the business world is not something to take lightly. Whether you save things on the cloud, on local company servers, or in personal devices, data is everything to a modern business. Every company has an impressive number of files to defend ranging from your own financial records to the regulation-protected personal information of your clients. Working with computers makes this vital data easy to collect, store, manage, and analyze but it also makes it more accessible and easier to destroy than paper documents. Fortunately, you can make sure your data is safe from both mistakes and attacks the same way you would with paperwork: with backups. When considering your backup and data recovery plan, it may help to think about all the things you might have to recover from. Your business needs a comprehensive business continuity plan is ideal and cloud-hosted backups are an important part of any contingency plan because they can help your business recover and survive through different kinds of disaster.

1. Failed Software Updates

Most businesses use some combination of business management software through which they run almost all internal data. An ERP to manage your assets and inventory, a CRM to store and track all your client and sales data, and your finance department’s preference of economic software all hold vital proprietary and personal information that is necessary for the company to continue functioning. You rely on this software to store your data and make sure to update regularly. However, sometimes an update goes sideways, causing partial or complete corruption of the data stored by the program. Instead of trying desperately to piece together the garbled database entries, a backup can simply bring back the program and all its data to its pre-updated state.

2. Loss of Service

Does your business rely on B2B SaaS services? If so, consider how much are you trusting them to keep important company data safe. Even if they are entirely reliable and trustworthy business partners, it’s a risk to put the responsibility for your data security on anyone else because you never know when the other company might face some massive interruption of service or loss of the data they store. While their services may be incredibly valuable to you, make sure that any important data being stored by another company is also backed up somewhere safe that you have control over. This way, if you suddenly lose access to your B2B services, your company can access its data and serve its own needs until your business partner gets back on their feet.

3. Your Own Mistakes

No long-term computer user has gone through the years completely mistake-free. We’ve all typed something in incorrectly, mis-clicked a menu-button, and slipped up right before an auto-save. Many of us have accidentally hit ‘save’ at the wrong moment or inadvertently copy-pasted over something that does not have an ‘undo’ function. In that moment of panic as you realize that important data has been permanently altered in error, having a complete recent backup is a huge relief. With a comprehensive data recovery system, you can quickly access the file you accidentally altered and be back to work in minutes instead of scrambling for a way to revert your changes.

A good backup and recovery plan is an incredibly important aspect of modern business. Everything from minor employee mistakes to hacker-inflicted destruction can be quickly and smoothly recovered from with the right layered backups and practiced recovery plans. Of course, this is only the first half of our two-part article. Join us for part two next time and we’ll talk about how backups can also help you in the face of ransomware, bugs, and device failures! For more information about how to build the right backups infrastructure for your business, contact us today!

Archives are Great, Backups are Better (Part 2)

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) the new lifeblood of business

With an increasingly mobile workforce on multiple devices, backup disaster recovery for your network is more important than it's ever been to protect your company's data.

With an increasingly mobile workforce on multiple devices, backup disaster recovery for your network is more important than it’s ever been to protect your company’s data.

It wasn’t so long ago that backing up your data involved tape cartridges put in an external drive. You could pretty much leave it alone because the backup might take overnight.

Now companies like Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba and others make slim external drives that plug into a desktop or laptop computer and can hold one-4TB of data and fit into a pocket of a laptop bag or a woman’s purse. A USB 3.0 connection and, depending on the amount of data, well, let’s just say, the backup is quicker than overnight. Flash drives are another miniature form of saving.

The explosion of mobile devices and other technology has put a much stronger emphasis on not only backing up valuable information, but Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR). Notice the “Disaster” modifier. The work force is becoming more mobile, able to work on laptops, tablets or smartphones while on a train or plane. People can work from home or other remote sites, logging into the business network. This means more data like documents, spreadsheets, and Power Point presentations are saved on more devices and platforms. Even some e-mail communications, contact lists, and text messages may be important. While flash drives and external hard drives are still a good solution for individuals, larger small and big businesses need more far-reaching managed solutions.

Mike Monacello, editor-in-chief of Business Solutions.com notes that their annual reviews of BDR solutions have been the most read material on their site. “Not only is BDR the central service of most MSPs (managed Services Providers), but also the reviews have been loaded with great insights from our tester…Many established and would-be MSPs have told us that they find the product reviews to be valuable resources in evaluating new products or confirming their decision to use the products they do.”

A post on The Talkin’ Cloud blog is geared toward how managed service providers should talk to businesses about the need for a Backup Disaster Recovery plan, but it is certainly educational for businesses seeking a solution.

  • Define Disaster: “…For a business, a disaster is more likely to be something small–like an accidentally deleted file, crippling malware or the always-pervasive hardware failure. When discussing disaster recovery, it’s important to make the distinction between a site-destroying event and the failures that are likely to happen…It’s the small things that bring business to a standstill.”
  • Disaster Recovery vs. Backup: The blogger says the difference between the two is essential for the business to understand. The keywords in disaster recovery are being able to be back online quickly. “…Disaster recovery involves creating redundancies that can reduce or even eliminate downtime…”
  • Downtime: Depending on equipment, downtime could mean different things to different businesses. A company that is down for a couple of days can have catastrophic economic consequences. The goal of a managed service provider — and the goal of a business looking for a managed service provider of BDR solutions — is to be back up in a few hours or less. A small monthly fee prevents the thousands of dollars that can be lost during downtime.
  • Service Delivery: A MSP knows there are different types of services and deliveries. They should be able to recommend the best affordable solution for a specific business. Will it be simple or advanced? Will it involve hardware? The cloud? Will it be remotely off site or on site or both? Businesses can educate themselves, too, so they can have a frank discussion.
  • Showing Continued Value: Businesses should be shown or ask to see how the backup recovery works. Since, most backups are conducted remotely and in the background, this is a good idea, as are regular e-mail reports and occasional visits to the business site.

Contact us to discuss your BDR needs.