IT disasters are devastating to the infrastructure of any organization. In a modern office environment IT is the hub of any type of business. Disasters can disrupt IT processes to the point that businesses are significantly impacted. When it comes to disaster recovery many firms believe they will never need a back-up plan; convincing themselves that the likelihood of their organization being affected is minimal. In reality, threats to your IT infrastructure are growing no matter what segment of the economy you operate within.
In each sector an IT disaster can be classified into two different categories: Natural, such as floods, tornados, or earthquakes; or man-made, primarily sabotage or cyber-attacks and more benign causes like human error or power outages. Whatever the cause of your IT downtime, a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan is the key to getting you up-and-running in an efficient manner and with the least amount of disruption.
While every organization has its own unique structure and needs, there are a few key areas that must be considered before deploying a Disaster Recovery Plan. According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning for Information Technology Systems, a comprehensive structure for an IT disaster recovery plan begins with the following:
- The plan development team should meet with the technology team to establish the scope of the plan.
- Gather all relevant network infrastructure documents (network diagrams, equipment configurations, databases, etc.)
- Obtain copies of any existing IT and network DR plans (if any) as well as any history of previous outages and how they were handled.
- Identify the most probable threats to the IT infrastructure, e.g. fire, power loss, human error, cyber threats.
- Identify the most serious vulnerabilities such as lack of backup power, out dated copies of databases.
- Identify what are the critical IT assets.
- Determine the maximum acceptable outage time.
- Choose your IT Disaster Recovery Technology. Choices range from onsite backups to enterprise level cloud disaster recovery. The best recovery strategy depends on the most likely threats to any given organization’s IT operations and resources. The most robust strategy is a fully mirrored recovery site at a physically separate facility.
A quick glance at the news will tell you that you cannot afford to hope for the best when it comes to disaster recovery planning, but where do you even begin? An incomplete plan will not serve you well in the case of a disaster. At Net Works we will partner with you to craft your unique Disaster Recovery Plan. Business continuity is too important to ignore! Don’t risk your organization with poor preparation. Get Net Works in your corner.
We’re here to help you plan for a great 2017! This includes evaluating your Disaster Recovery Planning. At Net Works we take your backup data seriously with daily audits to ensure your backup data is secure and that if anything happens that we can recover your data with minimal downtime or disruption.
Ask yourself “what would happen if someone came and took your server out of the office?” Can you say how long it would take to bring you back up and running again? With our Disaster Recovery we can provide predictable up-time for you and your business.
Schedule a no cost review to be sure that your data and information are secure and backups are properly maintained!
2016 has been filled with news of cyber-attacks and hacking.
- In February the Central Bank of Bangladesh was the victim of a cyber heist that resulted in $81 million in losses and another $850 million in halted transactions.
- In July, the Democratic National Committee’s email servers were breached. The resulting leaked emails caused much embarrassment and lead to the resignations of some of the organizations key officials.
- In September, Yahoo announced that half a billion of its users’ accounts were hacked back in 2014 thus gaining access to names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of births, and in some cases, even security questions and answers. This event alone exposed 500 million people to potential identity theft.
- In October, major websites went down due to a massive attack on one of the backbones of the internet; thus leaving Twitter, PayPal, Spotify and many businesses hosted by Amazon Web Services unable to function.
- Over Thanksgiving weekend, the San Francisco rail system was hacked allowing riders to ride for free while a hacker held the system hostage with the use of Ransomware.
- Most recently, Google announced that upwards of 1 million user accounts were compromised with the use of “Googlian” malware on Android powered smart The company warns that 13,000 additional devices are being infected every day.
The news is continuously flooded with reports of cyber-attacks and it is clear at this point that no one and no business is immune to the dangers of the hacker community. With the onslaught of cyber-crimes, what is a SMB owner to do? You have taken what you feel are the necessary steps to keep yourself safe; installing firewalls and communicating to employees the importance of strong passwords. Even though you have taken these steps, you could still be victim of a hackers. Here are five clues that you and your network might have become victims:
Clue 1) Slow internet connection. When hackers gain access to your network they begin to use your bandwidth for their own purposes.
Clue 2) Unauthorized programs have been installed on your network. If you notice an unfamiliar program that was not authorized, documented or installed by anyone within your organization, that’s a sure sign that a hacker has invaded your network.
Clue 3) Spam emails are being sent from your company computers and email accounts. Spam emails look legitimate because they are coming from your trusted email address. Many of your customers may open them, annoying your subscribers and possibly leaving them open to security threats of their own.
Clue 4) Unfamiliar programs are requesting access to your network; or your Firewalls or other security programs have been uninstalled. If your security systems are dismantled, unfettered access to your systems may be allowed to wreak havoc in your network.
Clue 5) Visitors to your home page are redirected to another site or antivirus solutions are flagging your site. An internet search for your site results in error messages that warn the searcher that malware has been detected on your site. This warning means that hackers have certainly uploaded some sort of malicious software to your system.
If you have noticed ANY of these signs, do not wait any longer. Contact Net Works. We are cyber-security experts and will perform a full security audit on your entire system. We live in a complex connected world; you cannot afford to face downtime or data loss due to hackers. Threats are everywhere, don’t try to take on the hacker community on your own. Contact Net Works today!
Running a business is a 365 day a year job. While you focus on running your business let Net Works focus on keeping you up-to-date on the latest developments in information technology. In the fourth quarter of 2015 Microsoft launched Exchange Server 2016 and implemented updates to its Office 365 service and software suite. While both feature improved security, there are several key differences, which is crucial to understand when making the appropriate choice for your business.
Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud based subscription service and therefore is no need to purchase any additional hardware. The low monthly subscription structure makes it a cost effective option for many small to mid-sized businesses in industries who need to comply with all current privacy and regulatory guidelines. Many business owners do not realize that free email services, such as Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL are not compliant with certain security and privacy regulations. Any company that is found to be non-compliant in regulated industries may face a government fine, as well as have to pay a service to get them back in industry compliance.
In addition to meeting confidentiality requirements, the email service in Office 365 has an added feature called “Clutter.” Clutter utilizes smart technology to learn patterns in users email. If it sees that emails from a specific sender are consistently never opened or immediately deleted it will send those messages to the Clutter folder rather than the inbox.
Unlike Office 365, Exchange Server 2016 is Microsoft’s most up to date and secure email software for on premise options. Some business owners prefer to keep their email server on premises rather than Office 365 due to a higher level of internal control. Depending on your particular business’ needs, it can offer higher performance than Microsoft’s cloud based service. There are some cases where an on premises server is the best, such as businesses that require large capacity file shares (50GB in size or more) or operations that would be bandwidth-prohibitive in a cloud scenario. Offices that have less infrastructure access to the internet would be wise to take this into account during their decision making process.
Exchange 2016 offers all of the same security features as Office 365 and is fully compliant with all privacy guidelines. However, it does not have the Clutter feature that Office 365 users are able to utilize. If you are currently using a now unsupported, or soon to be unsupported version of Exchange, it is past time to upgrade; preparing to move to Exchange 2016 is a must. Any business currently running a version of Exchange Server earlier than 2010 will need to perform an additional step as they upgrade. Files must be moved to Exchange Server 2010 as an interim step as newer versions cannot co-exist with any framework developed prior to 2010. It is important to remember that Microsoft will be terminating all support of any version of Exchange prior to 2010 on April 11, 2017. If your internal IT department has their hands full managing your day to day operations or if you do not have an internal IT department, Net Works can help you ensure a smooth transition as you migrate to the Exchange 2016 environment.
How do you know which option is the right choice for your business? Net Works can help you navigate the confusing world of information technology. You focus on what you do best and let Net Works handle the IT. Contact Us Today!
Let us rid you of those Witches, Ghosts, and Goblins!
With layered network security and 24/7/365 monitoring those monsters will have no chance to invade your space, taking away valuable time for your staff to be productive. Combine that with some great training and education on how to most effectively use your technology we’ll have you home in plenty of time for those trick or treaters coming to your door. If you’re like me you’ve already got your costume ready.
Don’t let your your current technology plan “suck the life” out of your business!
Your days are filled with making decisions that will guide your business into the future. It is easy to put your IT needs on the backburner, but that will lead to days spent putting out IT fires rather than focusing on your growth. In the 21st century technology is at the center of any business. Your entire operation can grind to a halt due to one computer snag; costing you lost productivity and the potential for lost clients. According to recent research by CompTIA, the proactive monitoring that a managed service provider offers, reduces your costs by 50% per downtime incident. Outsourcing your IT needs to Net Works is the best way to ensure that your business is running smoothly. We have the Enterprise level software applications to support your business as well as the wealth of knowledge of multiple IT professionals at your immediate disposal.
Gone are the days where all you needed concern yourself with was a slow internet connection or a finicky printer. The information technology environment of today is endlessly the complex; a major firewall breach that threatens your data, your VPN failing, or your VOIP is not allowing any calls to be made are just three problems you could face. The costs for keeping a modern office running efficiently on your own can be endless as well. You need to be confident that all of your hardware and software will continue to work for you and not against you. This is a job too big for just one computer expert to handle. It is no longer practical, nor preferable, to be a jack of all trades. At the very least a help desk employee and a systems administrator are required. The average combined salary of these positions is $90,000-$120,000 annually, plus the costs of keeping their training and certifications up to date. Even these employees would not be able to handle every computer glitch you are likely to face. In addition to the peace of mind that contracting with Net Works provides, there are many less obvious financial benefits such as leaner overhead, bulk purchasing and leasing options for hardware and software, and software licenses, as well as compliance with government regulations.
Outsourcing lets you focus on your core competencies while Net Works focuses on ours. Instead of just the experience of one person, you gain the knowledge of Net Works’ team of IT professionals. By working with Net Works you benefit from our experience of working with 100’s of clients. We have already seen most of the IT issues you will face and know exactly what is necessary to fix them in a timely manner. At Net Works we let you focus on your business while we manage the Information Technology your business needs to be successful.
Angry customers, negative media coverage, frustrated employees, untold revenue lost, lingering anger from customers: that’s the status for Delta Airlines this week. Of course this is not news to anyone; unless you have been living under a rock you have heard the numerous news reports detailing the Delta computer disaster. Whether caused by a minor power outage at Delta headquarters or an internal computer hiccup, the airline was forced to cancel over 500 flights causing gridlock across America’s airports at the height of vacation season. You may not be running an international transportation corporation, but imagine what would happen to your clients if you had an unexpected IT failure. Think something like this can’t happen to you; think again. The problem that Delta airlines faced was not the power outage at their headquarters, it was an inadequate IT Disaster Recovery Plan. As a business owner you don’t want to be caught off guard in the middle of an IT nightmare. While an IT Disaster Recovery Plan may sound like a great idea you might not even know what one looks like, let alone where to start. Here at Net Works we are your IT partner and are ready to put together a comprehensive IT Disaster Recovery Plan.
The goal of any good plan is fivefold, it should:
• Minimize the disruption of business operations
• Minimize risk of delays
• Ensure a level of security
• Assure reliable backup systems
• Aid in restoring operations with speed
Net Works has a plan for you!
At Net Works, we are your information technology partner. We will work with you to ensure that your unique IT Disaster Recovery Plan focuses on prevention, anticipation, and mitigation. Before any plan is deployed we will: perform a comprehensive risk assessment, prioritize your processes and operations, inventory all equipment and technology resources. Once these steps have been completed we will create a step-by-step IT Disaster Recovery Plan unique to you and your specific IT environment. Don’t get caught off guard. Disaster could strike at any time and, if you are not properly prepared, you too could experience the pain and disruption we now see for Delta. Contact us today to discuss a customized IT Disaster Recovery Plan.