Tense_Business_ManTaking Care of Your Data & Your Company

It just happened again this week. One of our customers who uses us solely on a fix-when-broken basis lost data. Why? Their backup was not functioning properly. They needed to recover data, and when we logged into their server it became evident that something had stalled the backup over a week ago. It had not been backing up since then.

Fortunately, the file they needed to recover was re-creatable and not a complete loss. But, what if it wasn’t? What if something bigger had gone bad with a database that gets updated every day? What if the loss was their accounting data, or something that represented thousands of hours of work?

I use this example to underline the need to stop handling technology reactively. Our dependence on our IT systems has changed dramatically. Yet, for many, our view towards preserving our data has not.

Two major things have changed over the years. First, we have become so dependent on our technology that any kind of an outage can cripple our business. Secondly, information theft has become a widespread, 2 Trillion dollar a year business. Many think they are not a target. However, based on how information theft works, through malicious software, we are all a target.

What is the right approach to solving this issue? Be proactive. Protect your company’s data and insure that you are safe.

Here are the Basic Proactive Necessities for Any Small Business Network:

Patch Biweekly – Microsoft and others release security patches weekly. Viruses and spyware are designed to take advantage of unpatched systems. In fact, the programmers who create these malicious apps are reverse engineering the patch releases, because they know businesses won’t apply patches promptly. It is essential to run updates on all systems bi-weekly.
Monitor and Test Data Backups – Your data is just too critical to go without a backup. It is essential that backups are monitored daily and that you test recovery at least quarterly. Systems do fail. It is not an “if” you need it, but a “when”.

Monitor and Update Security – It is imperative to review firewall logs and update your firewall on at least a monthly basis. In addition a regular review of your antivirus software and application of appropriate manual updates is key.

Critical systems monitoring – Serious outages can be averted by continuously monitoring critical systems. Things like server disk space, Internet connectivity, software services and others systems can cause work stoppage if down. Alerts should be generated, when circumstances are such that these outages are likely.

For most small businesses, performing these tasks themselves is not practical. At CT, we have invested in the necessary software and created a process to help you be proactive. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this proactive service with you. In this world, of out of control security threats and ever increasing technology dependence, please make sure you are protected.

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