The Importance of Data Protection Before a Disaster

The Importance of Data Protection Before a Disaster

Hurricane Dorian is just one event that can potentially affect a business’s access to its data and reemphasizes the importance of having a data protection plan in place. Other events can have the same effect—cyclones, earthquakes, and hurricanes–suspending business operations for days or weeks.  Even a brief power outage can put your company at risk, not to mention the threat of cyberattacks. Read on to learn more about keeping your business’ data safe and accessible.  Reasons to Safeguard Your Data Data can be considered the lifeblood of your business, enabling transactions as well as access to customer or patient records, and containing a company’s intellectual property. Loss or compromise due to corruption by malware and viruses, or even a brief outage, can result in costly downtime. Not only that, a company can suffer a loss of revenue and even reputation. If subject to industry regulations, a business can incur fines for revealing personal information. These consequences can be prevented with a solid data protection strategy.  Assess Data Protection Needs to Develop Your Plan A data protection strategy starts with assessing your business’ needs. Consider first which data and applications are mission-critical for keeping the business running—for example, phone communications, Internet, and email. Depending on your business type you may need to comply with certain regulations—HIPAA, for example. Consider natural hazards common to your area, and whether you want your data to reside on-premises, or in a cloud data center. With your data in the cloud, it can be accessed remotely and without interruption. If using the cloud, decide which environment is best, whether public or private.   Test Your Plan...
The Importance of Data Protection in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

The Importance of Data Protection in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

In the last week, two earthquakes have shaken southern California, alerting us to the need to have our businesses prepared for a disaster, whether natural or manmade. Not only can fires, floods and earthquakes cause business interruptions, but so can systems failures, human error, malware and ransomware attacks. It’s never too soon to evaluate what needs to be done to prepare your business for a disaster. And a disaster doesn’t have to be large-scale; a power outage of an hour or two can be enough to stall business operations. Read on to learn about the most important things to do before an emergency Make Data Protection a Key Part of Business Continuity Data is the lifeblood of many businesses, its loss or compromise affecting their ability to do business. Data is needed for transactions and communications, among other functions, and even a short period of downtime can have a potentially disastrous impact on revenue and reputation. When considering the data protection aspect of your business continuity plan, focus on your mission-critical data and applications. What do you need in order to stay in business during a disaster, or recover afterward? Perhaps it’s customer records, or an in-house research database. Be sure to get mission-critical data backed up first, so your business can continue operating. Make sure there is failover—when one network backbone falters, another picks up the slack.   Different Methods Can Achieve the Same Goal While the ultimate goal is to remain in business without compromise of revenue or reputation, different methods exist to realize this goal. However, one common thread is the idea of storing data offsite, in...
The Importance of Data Protection

The Importance of Data Protection

Cyber attacks and data breaches are regularly in the news, and often come with a loss or exposure of customers’ data and a loss of reputation to the business. Large, well-known businesses are often in the headlines; small to medium-size businesses, however, are just as much at risk.  Knowledge of cybersecurity practices has yet to keep up with new threats. According to CompTIA’s 2018 Trends in Cybersecurity report, “Businesses with fewer than 100 employees are far more likely than their larger counterparts to feel that their IT security is simply adequate or unsatisfactory. Without a deep resource pool to lean on, smaller firms struggle to address new facets of IT security.” To learn more about protecting your data, read on. The Importance of Data Protection When a cyberattack occurs, customer data can be either lost or get in the hands of cybercriminals. As a result, customers can lose trust in your company to keep their data safe, data that is generated through online interactions with your company. How do you protect this data, your relationships with your customers, and your company’s bottom line? Your business may also be subject to regulatory compliance, such as following GDRP, HIPAA or PCI-DDS. As ever, it’s important to keep antivirus and anti-malware definitions up to date and to monitor your network. Backing up data in the Cloud is also an option to consider. But just as important is to develop a culture of cybersecurity in your organization. Develop a Culture of Cybersecurity Managers and CEOs can set the tone for a culture of cybersecurity by emphasizing the benefits of data protection. Not only...
How To Stay in Business with a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

How To Stay in Business with a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

With technology growing by leaps and bounds, and regulations assigned to protect the data generated by this technology, you need a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place to determine how that data is collected, protected, analyzed and stored. Read on to find out how to protect your company from data loss and its consequences. Why You Should Care About Data Protecting Your Data According to COMPTIA, data protection will be a key trend in 2018 and beyond. Businesses will continue to generate large amounts of data; for some companies, regulations such as PCI, GDPR and HIPAA require protection of data and plans for business continuity in the face of potential data loss. Even without the need for compliance to regulations, businesses need access to their data even in the event of a natural disaster or a cyberattack. How Much Downtime Can you Afford? The average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute. Not only that, but if your business is inaccessible during a flood, fire or other disaster, or simply a power outage, customers can lose confidence in the product or service you provide. Even more serious is the prospect of confidential data being lost or exposed. Having a plan in place can make the difference in whether your business stays in business. What to Include in Your Plan How much data can you afford to lose, and how long can you be without it? The best plan provides for storage and restoration of data during and after a disaster. How long can your systems be down before it affects profitability? How will you restore data that...
Is Patch Policy Part of Your Data Protection Plan?

Is Patch Policy Part of Your Data Protection Plan?

Data security needs to operate on more than one front. Not only does your network need to keep data secure, it needs to respond to threats both inside and outside the business. There are numerous protections, including current anti-malware and anti-virus software and operating system patches, to keep your network stable and secure. Read on to find out how operating system patch policy can be part of your data-protection plan. The Role of Operating System Patches Operating system patches are updates that help maintain the stability and security of your network. These updates come out on a regular basis and are needed to keep systems working. Typically, operating system patches are frequently available, although older operating systems past end of life may no longer have patches. Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 are next up for end of life in January of 2020. Some are vital to your mission-critical systems and must be accessed immediately, while others may pertain to less-vulnerable systems, and can be postponed. How a Service-Level Agreement Can Help Protect Your Data Instead of trying to choose which operating system patches need to be installed now, let your managed service provider take over. Draw up a service level agreement that specifies what services the managed service provider can take care of, including backup, data recovery, network security updates, and operating system patches. Keeping your systems—including operating system patches—current helps protect your data and prevent downtime. The MSP can detect and resolve many problems remotely, outside of business hours.  Problems can be solved before they result in downtime for your business, and a reputable IT business can...