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Survive Cyber Attacks With A Backup And Disaster Recovery Plan

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There’s no way to predict the future, and Murphy’s Law tells us that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If you and your business or organization do not have a well-thought out recovery plan, your company’s data is teetering on the edge of a cliff without a safety net.

Having a comprehensive and well thought-out data backup and disaster recovery plan in place when there is data loss can help your organization or business survive malicious cyber attacks like ransomware.

In the last few years, we’ve seen plenty of organizations in the news for suffering huge damage from cyber attacks. And there does not seem to be any pointers that cyber incidents are going to reduce any time soon.

However, while cyber attacks as a cause of downtime have almost doubled as the cause of data loss, the rate at which it continues to cause downtime havoc will depend on improvements made to defensive and responsive measures like having a backup and disaster recovery plan.

What are backup and disaster recovery?

There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery.

Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. You might need to restore backup data if you encounter an accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade.

Disaster recovery, on the other hand, refers to the plan and processes for quickly reestablishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage. That plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data center is functional again. (more…)

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Benefits of A Server Computer For Small Businesses

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While cloud computing comes to mind when discussing file storage and sharing, the fact still remains that a server computer may really be all a small business or organization needs to improve business and office productivity.

Can a server computer really help your business? So many small business owners seem to think otherwise. The argument is that the old converted Microsoft Windows desktop “server” computer sitting in a corner is doing just fine.

However, that is a disaster waiting to happen  and it is bound to become a great drag on business and employee productivity. Server computers are built for storing data in a central location which ultimately saves everyone a lot of time, effort and stress. Think about it for a minute. With your corporate files in a central location, there is less need for your workers or users to try and figure out where a specific file is or who is currently using a specific document.  Servers also make it very easy to collaborate on numerous projects and whenever someone updates a file, the new information is instantly available to all.

If your business or organization is still operating in a Peer-to-Peer network environment, you need a network server.

Peer-to-Peer or work-group systems do not provide much in the way of security, and resource sharing can be somewhat problematic. In addition, your organization and users will have problems accessing other workstations, could lose data due to virus or spyware infection, and will likely experience intermittent Internet connectivity problems.

Computers networked in a peer-to-peer fashion may be adequate when you only have a few users on the network, but once you have more then 5 or 6 users on your business network, your organization should really consider investing in a network server computer.

What Is A Server Computer?

A network server computer allows organizations to centralize administration, data backups, file storage, share printers and documents, and host databases. (more…)

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The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan

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The ABCs of a Business Continuity Plan: How To Stay in Business After an Extended Outage

You’ve probably heard this sermon a million times, but we will keep harping on it until small business owners start taking the issue of business continuity and disaster recovery planning more seriously. Especially in this new era of daily reports of ransomware attacks.

Those in the trenches know the familiar drill: you get a call about a failed hard drive, a system that is down, a lost laptop, a folder encrypted by a former employee, or the worst, an inaccessible office. Of course the first statement you make is “no problem, we’ll just restore from backup“. That is until you see the guilty look on the client’s face and the reality hits you: there is no backup or if there is one, it is either not up to date or has never been verified.

Business continuity is about having a plan to deal with difficult situations, so your organization can continue to function with as little disruption as possible. (more…)

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Prevent Downtime, Keep Cyber Thieves At Bay, and Prepare For Disaster

How Organizations Can Prevent Downtime And Ensure That Even If Cyber Thieves Keep A-Knockin’, They Can’t Come In

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Small businesses and organizations in Round Rock, Texas and surrounding cities can prevent downtime, keep cyber thieves at bay, and prepare for disaster by implementing simple backup and disaster recovery strategies.

A study presented at the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks showed that small-business networks are attacked every 39 seconds by some type of hacker or malicious software. Thankfully, having the proper firewall and office network security tools can prevent even the most determined cyber hacker from getting his hands on your network. Are your systems covered?

Does your organization have someone looking after the network who knows what they’re doing? Or is the IT position assigned to the so-called “Accidental IT Person” – an ad hoc position taken on by whoever knows the most about computers? The danger  of not being able to prevent downtime here is that if this person has a full-time job, perhaps as the office manager, or graphic designer, they won’t necessarily be keeping everything locked down and updated.

A good way to prevent downtime is to have a dedicated IT person on staff, or outsource the task to a local computer service company. By leveraging an IT services provider, you will have access to a team of qualified experts. (more…)

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10 Small Business Network Disaster Planning Essentials

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If your critical data is important to your business and you cannot afford to have your operations halted for days – even weeks – due to data loss or corruption, then you need to read this report on disaster planning and act on the information shared.

A disaster can happen at any time on any day and is likely to occur at the most inconvenient time. If you aren’t already prepared, you run the risk of having the disaster coming before you have in place a plan to handle it.

This report will outline 10 things you should have in place to make sure your business could be back up and running again in the event of a disaster.

1. Have a Written Plan

As simple as it may sound, just thinking through in ADVANCE what needs to happen if your server has a meltdown or a natural disaster wipes out your office, will go a long way in getting it back fast.

At a minimum, the plan should contain details on what disaster could happen and a step-by-step process of what to do, who should do it and how. Also include contact information for various providers and username and password information for various key web sites.

Writing this plan will also allow you to think about what you need to budget for backup, maintenance and disaster recovery. If you can’t afford to have your network down for more than a few hours, then you need a plan that can get you back up and running within that time frame.

You may want the ability to virtualize your server, allowing the office to run off of the virtualized server while the real server is repaired. If you can afford to be down for a couple of days, there are cheaper solutions.  Once written, print out a copy and store it in a fireproof safe, an offsite copy (at your home) and a copy with your IT consultant.

2. Hire a Trusted Professional to Help You

Trying to recover your data after a disaster without professional help is business suicide; one misstep during the recovery process can result in forever losing your data or result in weeks of downtime. Make sure you work with someone who has experience in both setting up business contingency plans (so you have a good framework from which you CAN restore your network) and experience in data recovery. (more…)

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Creating A Business Continuity Plan For Your Non-Profit

Is your Non-profit organization prepared for any type of disaster? Do you have a business continuity plan in place? A business continuity plan can be defined as a "roadmap for continuing operations under adverse conditions such as a storm or a crime". It usually covers any event that could impact operations, and cause interruption, loss of or damage to critical infrastructure like major machinery or computing/network resource. Non-profit organizations may not have as many employees or as much equipment, but they are still as vulnerable to disasters as large corporations…

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