Have a Disaster Recovery Plan to Prevent Losing Your Company

Even when everything is going well, running a business can be challenging—all of that is to say that things are especially difficult when everything starts to go wrong, particularly in the realm of business continuity and disaster recovery. While nobody likes to imagine the worst-case scenario, we always like to say that imaging the worst-case scenario can help you prepare for it, and it can take the sting away from dealing with it. 

Consider the Risks 

A disaster recovery plan means that you are considering all of the risks your business is likely to face, as well as those that may not be as likely. Some of them will have to do with your geographic location, like weather hazards or natural disasters, whereas others might involve operational downtime as a result of technology problems or loss of workforce. Regardless, you’ll need to have a plan in place to address the issues that surface in your business continuity plan. 

 

Specifically, you’ll need to consider risks that would hinder your business’ ability to function. They might include things like fires, floods, or weather disasters, or they could include hardware failure and utility failure. One example that we are sure no one considered is the case for a pandemic as a business risk. Most companies were not prepared for something like the COVID-19 pandemic, and it forced organizations to make drastic operational changes on short notice. 

 

You might think it’s possible to have a response to every single problem, but there will likely be something unaccounted for, no matter how well-prepared you think you are. Still, it’s best to think about these situations whenever possible and to do your best regardless, and one great catch-all solution for this is with a data backup and disaster recovery tool. 

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery 

If a business cannot recover data in the event of a disaster, chances are they will lose customers. Whether it’s the result of a malware attack, a component failure, or a natural disaster, losing data of any kind can be problematic. You’ll want to take steps to implement data backup that can keep your business operational even under the worst circumstances. This includes having a reliable and redundant data backup solution for all files and applications. You should keep an on-site backup, but you also must keep some that are available off-site in the event a disaster wipes out your office. A cloud-hosted backup can be extremely valuable in this regard. 

 

A data backup solution is the insurance policy that can keep your organization safe in the event of a disaster of just about any kind. Here are some of the scenarios a data backup solution can help you navigate: 

 

  • Ransomware attacks: If your business becomes a victim of a ransomware attack, you could have hackers locking down files. Sometimes it is more beneficial to just restore a backup rather than entertain hackers with the idea that you will pay a ransom. After all, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will even help you get your files back, and you don’t want to risk your organization’s continuity in that regard, either. 
  • Natural disasters: Some disasters will always take shape for a business, but depending on your location, you might be more prone to experience them than others. If you know that your infrastructure is backed up, you can rest assured knowing that even these unpredictable events won’t impact your operations. 
  • Human error or sabotage: did you know that end users are the cause for 88 percent of all data breaches? You should be ready to protect your data from all kinds of mistakes your employees could make, as well as sabotage from an internal data breach. 

 

These are just three examples of how your organization could suffer without a disaster recovery solution in place. To learn more about how you can safeguard your business from countless threats and possibilities, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006. 

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Positive Redundancy Protects Your Business

You may have seen us use the term “redundancy” on this blog often, and if you are not necessarily familiar with how it might be used in the context of business technology, we understand how you could misconstrue the word in a negative light. However, redundancy is one of the most important concepts to understand in business technology, and it’s key to your business’ continued success. 

The term “redundancy” has two separate meanings. In some cases, it might mean that your organization has something that is simply not needed. It could be interpreted as “bloat,” in a sense, where you have too much on your infrastructure that is bogging it down or making it overly complicated. However, this is not the true definition that we want to highlight today; it’s the other one that is so important for businesses to understand. 

The other definition–and one that we are focusing our efforts on today–is to include extra technology, solutions, data, or otherwise in your computing infrastructure on the off chance that your systems fail. This effectively gives you a safety net in the event of a disaster or similar scenario. When your systems are redundant, they are secure, and when your operations are redundant, it means they can be carried out no matter what unfortunate circumstances your company encounters. 

One service that is often described as “redundant” is data backup and disaster recovery. You know you need to have data backup in place, but not all solutions are equal. Some are much more redundant than others and prevent more downtime, leading to fewer costs associated with the disaster scenario in both the short and long term. Your data is essentially considered redundant if it is stored in multiple locations, and if you are using BDR, then it should be. 

We recommend the three-two-one rule for your data backup needs: three copies of your data total, in at least two separate physical locations, one of those locations being the cloud. 

You can apply this same concept to other areas of technology management, too. Storing information in the cloud makes it more accessible, but you could also apply this concept to hardware procurement. Having additional components and devices on-site in the event your old ones break is just a good precaution to take, and it can help you to achieve redundancy in your practices. 

AE Technology Group can help your business achieve true redundancy with its technology management practices. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006. 

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3 Reasons to Prioritize Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

A businessman selecting a button on a futuristic display with a Backup concept written on it.

One of the most critical solutions for a small business is a data backup and disaster recovery system. It is a crucial element of any business continuity plan, yet many organizations fail to implement one appropriately. Let’s discuss three of the best reasons you must consider backup and recovery now before it’s too late.

The Future Is Uncertain

In business, things can change in the blink of an eye. Countless variables must all be considered when planning for the future. However, specific issues that are impossible to predict could crop up, namely natural disasters and freak accidents that could cause data loss for your company. In situations like these, you’ll be glad to have data backup and disaster recovery on your side. Remember, plan for the worst, so you are never caught off-guard by it.

There are Factors At Play Outside of Your Control

As much as we would all like to think that we have a firm grasp on everything within our domain, there are countless factors in business that are outside of our control. Any business owner who deals with clients and employees or interfaces with the Internet (or technology in general for that matter) has to contend with opportunities for things to go wrong or unexpectedly. Even worse is the fact that hackers could create problems for your business. It’s better to focus your efforts on something you can control, which is protecting your business’ future through the use of data backup and disaster recovery.

It’s a Best Practice

Data backup and disaster recovery are best practices in place but don’t take our word for it. It’s an industry-standard best practice that all organizations should strive to achieve. We like to recommend that companies practice the 3-2-1 rule in which they have three copies of their data in two locations—the original, a copy on an in-house backup device, and a copy in the cloud.

It’s Easy!

The IT experts at AE Technology Group make it easy to implement a data backup and disaster recovery system. We can even automate the plan to take some of the pressure off your organization and eliminate some of the room for error in manual systems. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Don’t Let Data Backup Concerns Hold Your Business Back

IT Engineer Installs New HDD Hard Drive and Other Hardware into Server Rack Equipment. IT Specialist Doing Maintenance, Running Diagnostics and Updating Hardware.

Your business is not unique in the sense that it stores and transmits data during its day-to-day routines. Whether it’s financial information for your clients or employee records, it is more than likely that your business holds some kind of critical data that your operations rely on throughout the workday. Would your operations be able to recover from a sudden loss of data?

While imagining this worst-case scenario might seem intimidating and downright scary, failing to do so is even worse for your business continuity. You owe it to everyone who works so hard to keep your business going to do all you can to protect it as best as possible. To work toward this goal, we recommend a solution that all businesses should utilize: data backup and disaster recovery. Data backup is one of those things that you don’t necessarily realize its true value until you need it most, and failing to have it could put your future on the line.

Data Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Data backups are copies of your business’ data that you can restore in the event of a disaster that destroys the original. These are particularly useful when you suffer a data loss scenario or security breach. Data backup has been done with tape for years, a process that involves setting the tape, running the backup, and storing the tapes in a place off-site in the event they are needed.

Tape is on its way out, however, due to issues that are prevalent in the way that it is fundamentally designed. Modern technology has addressed these issues, such as slow implementation and deployment speed, user error, and storage space. The cloud makes everything involved with the data backup and disaster recovery process so much easier by eliminating the possibility of user error, speeding up the process, freeing up on-site storage, and fully automating the process.

Data backup is only one part of a successful disaster recovery solution. You also need to make sure that you are actually able to deploy these backups when they are needed most. Since disasters can disrupt operations so profoundly, you want to have your backups ready to go in the event of data breaches, natural disasters, or user errors. Failing to have these data backups available puts your operations in jeopardy not just from an operational standpoint, but also from a cost perspective when you factor in downtime and lost productivity.

Your disaster recovery solution should aim to minimize downtime through the use of a cloud-deployed backup to temporary hardware. It’s not meant to be a permanent solution; it just keeps you in business while you work to replace it. A common rule you might hear about is the 3-2-1 rule of data backup. You should have three copies of your data ready to go at a moment’s notice: one on-site or on-network, one located in the cloud for ease of restoration, and one in a secure off-site data center. This redundancy makes for an ideal solution and certainly one that minimizes downtime and data loss.

Implement BDR Today

A data backup and disaster recovery solution like BDR is the best way to approach your business’ continuity concerns. AE Technology Group has the knowledge and expertise to walk you through this process every step of the way, from determining your specific backup needs to the deployment of solutions. To learn more, reach out to us at (516) 536-5006.

Strengthening Business Continuity Is Urgent For Financial Services

strengthening business continuity is urgent for financial services

While most businesses handle at least some customer personally identifiable information on a daily basis, there is little more important than a client’s financial information which consists of what is likely a significant portion of their life savings. Firms that manage investment and savings accounts spend years cultivating relationships with their clients, with complete trust as one of the foundational pillars of these relationships. That’s why strengthening business continuity is so important for financial services organizations.

With data hacks on the rise, financial services organizations must do everything they can to ensure their client’s investments are safe and secure. This also means ensuring they are able to deliver continuous service such as deposits and withdrawals, and even simple account review 24/7/365. Financial services firms must also protect against identity theft and/or impersonation, which can even be more devastating to clients as these types of crimes affect not only their investments, but almost every other aspect of their daily life.

Business Continuity Defined  

In order to understand business continuity, it’s important to define it as it relates to data and information systems. In order for a firm to have continuity of services, they must have a complete solution, not just a plan for backup, but also recovery in the event of a disaster. This means client data is protected both on-premise and in the cloud in order to keep data safe and secure, even in the event of a device failure.

Do Your Backups Measure Up?

Companies still working under the impression that a daily back-up of all corporate data is sufficient, are at high risk for significant problems. This traditional way of viewing backups overlooks many gaps including instances such as when those in charge forget to perform a backup or the process fails in some way. Other potentially disastrous scenarios include losing an entire day’s worth of work after a failure and/or lack of backup validation, which is then discovered to be useless when needed for a restoration.

Other issues can occur from only keeping backups on-site, which means if a disaster such as a tornado, flood, or fire should occur, the backups become useless. Incomplete backups that only include raw data, rather than including other crucial data such as server configuration and application files means it could take several days to get fully back online in the event of a system failure. 

Finding the Optimal Solution

At this point, smaller financial services organizations may recognize they simply do not have the IT resources to implement the right protective strategies to safeguard their clients from irreparable financial harm. Fortunately, there is still a way to fully protect clients and their investments in the event of a disaster, whether natural or manmade. 

For smaller financial organizations, the ideal solution is to outsource their IT needs to a company that also has experience in the financial industry. By partnering with such a firm, smaller companies can be confident they are doing everything they can to protect not only all the valuable assets and information pertaining to their clients, but every online function related to operating their firm. 

An IT firm specializing in the financial industry can handle all compliance and regulatory issues that go along with protecting client data, as well as offering their expertise in the areas of timely hardware and software updates and maintenance, and ensuring the integrity of backups and their restoration process in the event that action becomes necessary. A specialized IT firm can also establish and provide continuous review and maintenance of system security practices within the financial firm. With a firm that specializes both in the IT and financial industries, financial services firms can have the best of both worlds and know they are doing everything they can to maintain the assets and the trust of their clients for decades to come.    

If you are a financial services firm and are ready to update your data backup strategy to industry standards, please contact us.