Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

The backing up of data is a crucial part of any thriving business. Due to its simplicity and ease, it can be overlooked by many. Listed below are the steps needed to ensure your business has a successful backup solution so information can be easily recovered if a situation were to arise. 

Data Backup vs. Disaster Recovery

The terms data backup and disaster recovery have been used interchangeably and although they are closely linked processes, they are not the same thing. The practices of data backup and disaster recovery target a specific part of the organization’s business continuity process.

Data backup is the act of creating a separate, physical copy of your data that can be restored at a later date, whereas disaster recovery is the act of restoring the data using the data backup. Ultimately, one cannot happen without the other; therefore, both data backup and disaster recovery are important to the successful restoration of information for a business. 

Data Backup

It is imperative to understand which data and how much data should be backed up. Not all data is as critical as others, so it is important to determine which information is necessary to keep the business operations afloat during any and all situations. As a general rule of thumb, one should attempt to back up as much data as possible. Ideally, the backup process should happen automatically without the need for employees to run it. User error has been known to negatively harm businesses as data is not backed up regularly, resulting in the loss of pertinent information.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is the process of restoring data after a disaster. The main way to measure the effectiveness of disaster recovery is speed: how fast can data be restored in order for business operations to run smoothly? It is important to consider where the data will be restored from. Best practices indicate that one should have at least three copies of data: two physical copies that can be found in the office on two different devices and one copy stored offsite in the cloud. One should also consider running automated tests to ensure the disaster recovery process will work the way it should if an unexpected disaster were to come up.

Does your business have a backup solution that can restore important data needed to run your company? AE Technology Group has an all-in-one Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) service that can provide preventative solutions to ensure your business can continue thriving when an unexpected situation arises. For more information or to learn more, give us a call today at (516) 536-5006.

Contact Us Today!

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. 

Contact Us Today!

The Major Takeaways from the Big Facebook Outage of 2021

Switching off Facebook. Silhouette of person hands disconnecting plugs, symbol of Facebook global outage

Unless you live under a rock and somehow missed it, Facebook experienced an outage, an inconvenience that kept users from accessing its services all over the world. Perhaps to your surprise, the real ramifications of this outage have nothing to do with people not being able to share pictures of their cats or yell at each other in the comments.

Let’s take a look at the event and what your business can learn from it.

The True Scope of the Outage Went Far Beyond Facebook

The fact of the matter is that not only was Facebook impacted, but so too were the other services it has acquired over the years, including an unlaunched web operating system called Parakey back in 2007 and the CRM platform Kustomer in 2020. Rest assured, Meta (the company that Facebook is owned by) also owns other services that were affected by the outage.

The big issue is that businesses relying on Facebook and its other applications were also impacted by the outage. WhatsApp, for example, is a VoIP and messaging application used by many organizations, so if Facebook goes out, then it stands to reason that this would create problems for any companies that rely on it. It’s the same case for any service that uses Facebook as its login credential. Users simply were not able to use these services during the outage.

You can see how one outage can set off a chain reaction and create problems for countless organizations around the world. It just goes to show that you can’t always rely on one particular solution or service for all of your needs.

Your Company Needs a Backup Plan

If some businesses were crippled by the Facebook outage, then imagine what would happen in the event of a Google or Microsoft outage. Granted, you could be using a solution that is not affiliated with either, and that could go down just as easily. It’s safe to say that no business is immune to this challenge, so you must do what you can to prepare for it.

The key to solving this dilemma is to use the business continuity planning mindset to your advantage. With business continuity, you are actively preparing for your business to not have access to assets that allow it to function. In other words, you should have a contingency plan in place, and your employees need to be able to make the shift regardless of where they happen to be working. If you can make this happen, then you’re in a good spot.

We Can Help Your Company Prepare for Any Kind of Disaster

There is so much that can go wrong for your business, especially where data and access are concerned. Let the professionals at AE Technology Group put your minds at ease with our managed services. To learn more, give us a call at (516) 536-5006.

Data Backup Protects Everything You’ve Built

Data center with server racks, IT working server room with rows of supercomputers. 3D concept illustration of information technology, cyber network, hosting, data backup, render farm, storage cloud

When you have a thorough and powerful data backup strategy in place at your business, you are protecting your operations, your employees, and your customers from an array of terrible scenarios. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t think of data loss in the terms it should be considered in, a complete travesty. Today, we thought we would briefly describe the long and short of data backup and recovery practices that can put your business in a position to secure and restore your data should it be corrupted, destroyed, or stolen.

The Role of Data Backup

The first thing you should know about a backup solution is that it has to take into account the data and systems it is backing up. If your staff is actively adding data to backed up databases, you will want to enlist the use of incremental backup solutions that can be updated as they work, rather than backing up the whole system once per day. The benefit of this is obvious. With solid data redundancy, you won’t have to worry about extremely expensive operational redundancy.

Most modern businesses have a lot of data that they should protect. To effectively do that, we recommend that businesses use the 3-2-1 rule. This states that any organization that wants to ensure data redundancy keep three separate copies of their data, with two being kept onsite for fast recovery and one being kept off site, preferably in a cloud-hosted data center. This ensures that any data is protected and ready to restore regardless of the circumstances surrounding your data loss. Your data is effectively protected against malware attacks, true disasters like fire or flood, or corruption or loss from human error, which unfortunately happens more than anyone would like. By having multiple copies of data, especially copies that are set to automatically backup incrementally, you are ensured that if you need to recover data, that you have as much of your data as possible.

How It Affects Disaster Recovery

Your disaster recovery strategy is likely more than just restoring data from backup, but make no mistake about it, it is an integral part of the process. When your business is hit with a data loss situation, the speed in which you are able to recover from that event is one of the most important metrics, as sustained downtime can hurt any business. So, with getting data restored quickly being a top priority, the 3-2-1 rule becomes important. By having a backup on hand to restore from, your recovery time will be reduced as compared to restoring from the cloud. However, if your business is dealing with a disaster scenario, and you lose the ability to restore from onsite backup, your cloud backup can be used as a server until you can get onsite hardware up and running again.

At AE Technology Group, we offer a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) service that works for any business. Not only do we adhere to the 3-2-1 rule, we have a team of trained IT technicians at the ready to help get your business’ data back, and get your operations running quickly. If you would like more information about the BDR service and how it is a complete solution for your business’ needs, contact us today 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.