A disaster recovery strategy is vital when running a business. This preemptive solution helps you cope with all sorts of catastrophes while reducing downtime.
You can never be too careful when you’re running a business. Whether you own a small startup or an established enterprise, you need reliable tools to assist your team in their daily pursuits. Unfortunately, information technology can be damaged easily, especially when exposed to today’s wide landscape of threats. A multitude of dangers are constantly swarming around your network, and not all are potential cyberattacks. Physical disasters can be just as devastating.
This blog shows you how to optimize your risk management strategy with backup software and disaster recovery support.
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery—What You Need to Know
Many people put together a defense strategy without actually knowing what these two terms mean. Data backup and disaster recovery are completely different remedies that complement the perfect defensive mechanism. Here’s how they break down:
What Is Data Backup?
Data backup is a file-copying process. Data can be copied to many different platforms, including secondary computers and external hard drives. The most popular (and safest) backup procedure is a cloud backup. It places all your sensitive files within an easy-to-use internet dashboard, so if disaster does strike, all you have to do is log in and retrieve your most important information.
With the right backup software, you’ll always have access to everything you need. This ensures you never lose anything of value, even when disaster presents itself. For the safest measures, you’ll want to partner with a managed security provider (MSP) that can back up your data automatically and regularly.
What Is Disaster Recovery Support?
Disaster recovery complements the work of your data backup software. No business deserves to go through a rebuilding process against its will, but sometimes disaster strikes no matter how prepared a company is. Whether it’s a cyber or physical issue, downtime might be necessary just to get things running again. Disaster recovery can help expedite this process. This preemptive solution allows businesses to restore their most important data quickly and efficiently. So even if your firmware does take a hit, you’ll be able to recover your files and pick up with business when everything stabilizes.
And when you have an experienced managed security professional in your corner, you’ll be able to take advantage of a robust collection of benefits, including:
- 24/7 on-call support
- Flexible cloud management programs
- Redundant backups
- Offsite storage space
With disaster recovery support, you’ll be able to have peace of mind knowing you’ll always have access to your most valuable information in its most relevant form.
Stay Ahead With CTMS
Whether it’s disaster recovery, data backup, or any other form of cybersecurity, the experts at CTMS are the best team to have in your corner. We’ll be there to help restore your data and create a backup strategy that allows you to keep your most valuable assets safe.
Start taking advantage of the best data security solutions from the premier managed service providers in Ohio. Why wait for disaster to occur before you start taking action?
Contact us today to set up your [free IT evaluation] with a certified professional!
Data backup solutions are among the most necessary components of an IT strategy for a business, nonprofit, or any other organization. From business continuity to risk mitigation, a comprehensive backup strategy is what keeps an operation…well, operational.
In this piece, we cover some of the basics, from the reasons that backups are so crucial to some of the ways you, your internal staff, or your outsourced provider can keep your systems working in any scenario.
Why Backup Your Data?
Audits and Taxes
A government agency comes knocking and you don’t have what they’re looking for…what are you supposed to do? This situation can be easily avoided if you take data backup seriously in advance of any audit situation. No one can predict exactly when Uncle Sam will stop by for a visit, but you can certainly be prepared.
Safety and Compliance
Many industries have strict regulatory frameworks that require data backup solutions. This offers two fairly obvious motivations for backing up your data. First, you could be at legal risk if your data is not secured properly. Whether you are working in healthcare or any other industry, you need to verify that your firm is meeting legal standards. Second, data backup and security allows you to keep doing business effectively. If you somehow lose critical records, how are you supposed to do business?
Whether you are simply trying to reduce downtime and enhance productivity or are hoping to mitigate the dangers of a disaster situation (just take a look at the recent earthquakes in California), data backup keeps your organization functional. There are countless threats out there, but by backing up your data—or ensuring that your current provider is already doing so—you don’t have to worry. Peace of mind can go a long way toward helping you achieve your mission.
A Variety of Data Backup and Recovery Services
Whether you have one location or several, a dedicated IT infrastructure system can be built to house a complete backup of your systems and data. While this doesn’t mitigate all risk, it ensures all of your eggs aren’t in a single basket. Also, an onsite solution is easily accessible for both use and maintenance. The advantage here is the control you get keeping from your systems close to home.
Public and Private Cloud
The best cloud data backup service is one that is properly set up from the get-go. There are a number of public options—from Amazon Web Services to Microsoft Azure—and private cloud solutions that can be set up by your managed service provider. Which solution is best for you depends on the needs of your organization and the regulatory standards that must be met for your industry, but the cloud can be a great solution that lets your system be restored from anywhere to anywhere.
This list of reasons and solutions is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a starting point when you’re considering a backup solution. Whether you work with an online data backup company or work with your service provider to create a physical, onsite system, it’s critical that it is working properly before you need it.
Computer Technology Management Service (CTMS) is a data backup service provider that can find the best solution for your organization. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.
Have you heard any of these panic-inducing exclamations?
- Cyber criminals are out to steal your data!
- Vulnerabilities in your systems are being exploited as you read this!
- Regulatory noncompliance could end your business!
These aren’t necessarily disingenuous statements, but you don’t need to panic. By taking appropriate steps, you can focus on your mission and organizational goals instead of cyber security woes keeping you up at night.
This is not to say that you can let your security fall by the wayside. Taking cyber security seriously means having the appropriate policies and strategies in place before an incident occurs. There are some steps you can take on your own, while others might require hiring a firm that specializes in cyber security.
Either way, it’s critical that your organization advances on the path toward true security. From privacy to business continuity, your entire operation can be affected. Below are five tips to enhance your security profile.
1. It Starts With Smart Policy
One of the biggest vulnerabilities within any organization is the staff that works within it. If employees are clicking links in suspicious emails, sharing passwords, or are simply unaware of security threats like malware, you are asking for trouble.
Conduct regular cyber security training to keep your employees on the side of common sense when interacting with coworkers or clients electronically. Have your employees regularly change passwords in company systems, teach them not to click suspicious links in emails (or to verify with the sender first), and consider blocking websites that may contain viruses.
Policy extends from employees’ workstations to their mobile devices as a part of your small business phone solution. Your internal staff should be able to conduct basic training to give you some semblance of security.
2. Don’t Forget Physical Security
When focusing on cyber crime or electronic threats, managers and business owners too often forget good old-fashioned physical threats. Restrict access to servers and data centers to all but those professionals who absolutely need to be there. Other steps can include prohibiting employees from leaving passwords written down and left visible on a desk. These rules don’t need to be draconian and are just as common sense as locking the door at night.
3. Stay up to Date
If you are relying on software like firewalls or antivirus programs to keep your systems secure, make sure everything is updated regularly. Cyber threats are always evolving, and new malware is created every day. Most software platforms have options to enable auto-updating. Make sure these settings are enabled.
Sometimes your systems will need more than just a simple update. For instance, Microsoft will soon be ending its support for Windows 7. It won’t be long before systems that use it will no longer be secure.
4. Use an Effective Backup Solution for Small Business
Business continuity is a critical aspect of any organization’s cyber security strategy. If you don’t have plans and infrastructure in place to navigate the maze of a disaster situation, the loss can be catastrophic. Threats range from natural disasters to intrusion from hackers. Both are dangerous and both can be mitigated with appropriate disaster planning.
Creating offsite backup solutions or leveraging the cloud are both viable strategies depending on your situation and security needs. Cloud solutions for small business have the extra benefit of staying updated per the third item on this list.
5. Consider a Professional Managed Security Provider
Training and software updates can only get you so far. Network security solutions companies are the key to reducing risk and ensuring that your business is protected. Computer Technology Management Services (CTMS) offers a holistic suite of cyber security solutions that range from compliance to system backup.
If you have concerns about your existing security profile or think your internal staff could use a helping hand, give us a call today.
As of November 2, 2018, Ohio’s Data Protection Act, also known as a “safe harbor” law, grants businesses protection from lawsuits relating to data breaches if they are reasonably complying with industry-standard and federal regulatory frameworks. This groundbreaking legislation may soon be mirrored by other states but is limited to Ohio for now.
To qualify for “safe harbor,” as it were, a business must design its cyber security strategy to:
- Protect the security and confidentiality of confidential information
- Protect against any unanticipated physical or cyber threats or other hazards to that information
- Protect against unauthorized access to and acquisition of information that is likely to result in a material risk of identity theft or other fraud to the individual to whom the information relates
Cyber Security Frameworks Enumerated in the Law
The three provisions listed above can fit under a variety of regulatory frameworks. This means that businesses, including those in the healthcare industry, that reasonably conform to these frameworks are granted safe harbor. Although safe harbor does not provide total immunity—and thus businesses cannot use it as an impenetrable shield—it does offer protection against torts, which can result in closed businesses, especially for smaller operations.
The Regulatory Frameworks Under Safe Harbor:
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework
- NIST Special Publications 800-53, 800-53A, or 800-171
- Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program Security Assessment Framework
- Center for Internet Security Critical Security Controls for Effective Cyber Defense
- International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission’s 27000 Family – Information Security Management Systems
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 Security Rule
- Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act
- Title 5 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999
- Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014
Reasonably Conform—What Does That Entail?
There are some situations where safe harbor will not apply. This can include a breach of contract or a violation of other law. Safe harbor is designed as a defense against tort claims claiming that the security protocols mandated by the regulatory standards mentioned above were not met.
To use a safe harbor defense, an organization must demonstrate that they have taken steps to meet all of the requirements under a given framework. Moreover, when these frameworks are updated based on new technology or processes, organizations have one year to conform or they may be forced to abandon the safe harbor defense.
Because many of these regulatory frameworks can be general in their suggestions whereas others can be quite specific (like HIPAA’s 29 required organizational policies), it can be hard for businesses to know if they are meeting standards or not. This is especially complex based on a variety of factors: the nature of the information being protected, the size of an organization, the resources available to that organization, and the availability of compliance tools.
In this sense, a cyber security solution provider like Computer Technology Management Solutions may be required so that organizations can mount the best defense possible and avoid being put out of business. Surveillance and cyber security solutions are not just crucial to keeping a business running efficiently; they are vital to keeping an organization running at all.
Industrial Cyber Security Solutions
Depending on the industry, compliance with one or more cyber security frameworks is critical to ensuring efficient operational functions and privacy. Although compliance can seem like a burden at times, through the Data Protection Act Ohio has added an extra layer of defense and protection for businesses and other entities that are making their best effort to conform and protect patients and other entities they may work with.
By consulting with a cyber security solution provider like CTMS, business owners and IT directors can improve their chances at fighting torts and reduce the risk of harmful data breaches.
Circle your calendars for January 14, 2020. On that day, Windows 7 will become a thing of the past and your network could face some very serious dangers if you don’t upgrade your operating system (OS) before then.
It won’t be long until Microsoft takes Windows 7 off life support. Since this operating system (OS) is nearing its final days, many businesses have begun taking advantage of the latest and greatest collection of office utilities—Windows 10. But users aren’t moving to Windows 10 solely to upgrade their software. The fact is, the cyberthreat landscape is becoming increasingly dangerous, and if you fail to move on from Windows 7, be prepared to confront a toxic mess on your computer system.
The Top Security Risks Windows 7 Causes
You may still have six months to prepare for [Windows 7 End of Life], but it’s never too early to practice some necessary risk management. If you’re not careful and neglect to make the switch to Windows 10 on time, you can open the door to a host of cybersecurity issues.
The Spread of Malware
Malware is one of the biggest problems circulating on the web. Since Microsoft won’t provide any security updates for Windows 7, the likelihood of this OS experiencing a malware attack increases dramatically. What’s most concerning is that malware is just getting stronger and more malicious by the day. If you don’t ditch Windows 7 in a timely manner, be prepared to put up with a wave of viruses, data breaches, and expensive repairs.
More Ransomware Viruses
Ransomware is the most dangerous form of malware found on the web. This malicious software has a mind of its own. If it breaks through your firewall, ransomware can automatically install itself on your Windows OS. When that happens, sensitive data such as credit card numbers, business reports, and customer information can be held hostage until the hacker’s ransom is paid. Don’t expect a security premium to bail you out, because there won’t be any unless you decide to upgrade to Windows 10.
Outdated technology can leave a variety of issues in its wake, but one of the most frustrating is a lack of compatibility. An alarming number of PCs still rely on Windows 7 support, and once End of Life kicks off, most of these computer systems will lose their touch. Expect slower applications, more compatibility issues, and very little peace of mind.
One of the easiest ways to encounter a cybersecurity issue is through one’s inbox. Hackers try to introduce threats through a variety of email attacks. And since the Windows 7 version of [Outlook] has a security deficit, it’s a lot easier for spam, phishing traps, and malware viruses to make their way into your network, paving a clear path to your most valuable data.
Take Advantage of Better Network Security
At CTMS, we are a team of problem solvers who do whatever it takes for you to get the most from your technology. We know that change can be tough, but we’ll make the move over to Windows 10 well worth it.
Work with the top managed service providers Ohio has to offer. [Set up your free consultation] with our team and begin taking advantage of exceptional [computer security], more efficient business utilities, and greater peace of mind!
CTMS is a technology management provider based in Akron, Ohio. For years, our team has offered a variety of technical solutions for our partners in a wide range of industries. Our primary services are IT security, data backup, disaster recovery, and cloud computing, among a host of other IT consulting solutions.