Tag Archives: back up

Why Your Current Antivirus, Backup, And Firewall Have Been Rendered Completely USELESS (And What You Need To Do About It)

16 Aug 17
lverbik
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At the end of World War I, German engineer Arthur Scherbius constructed a device that would become central in another worldwide conflict of unimaginable magnitude over 20 years later: the Enigma machine. The machines, which steadily became more complex with each iteration, consisted of a series of rotors that, by themselves, encrypted messages input via the attached typewriter. Each rotor performed a simple substitution cipher, but when run through multiple rotors, the encryption reached a staggering level of complexity.

Initially used for transmitting sensitive company secrets in the commercial sector, the technology was eagerly adopted by the German military machine prior to World War II. After war broke out across Europe once again, Enigma encoding became central to the operation of the Axis powers, used for sending vital, sensitive intelligence across the airwaves. Due to the complexity of the Enigma system, the Germans were certain that the code would not, and could not, be broken.

But the Germans were wrong. Using photographs of stolen Enigma operating manuals obtained by a German spy, the Polish General Staff’s Cipher Bureau managed to construct an Enigma machine of their own, enabling them to covertly decrypt substantial amounts of Axis intercepts. Ahead of the impending invasion of Poland, the Poles shared their knowledge with the French and British military to expedite the defeat of the Germans. A massive team at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, led by code-breaking master Alan Turing, became the central location for Allied efforts to keep up with Enigma operations.

Germany, still convinced the code was fundamentally unbreakable, continued using Enigma for a wide array of communications. But even the most complicated four-rotor Enigma systems were eventually decrypted. Great pains were taken to ensure the Germans never learned their precious code had been broken, labeling any intelligence gained from Enigma as “Ultra,” keeping the significance of Bletchley Park’s operations under wraps. Ultra-intelligence was used sparingly to avoid German suspicion.

The efforts of the Polish Cipher Bureau, Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, and the hundreds of men and women who contributed to the cracking of the Enigma code were described as “decisive” in theshortening of the war, and, at the high end, are estimated to have saved over 14 million lives.

Much like the Germans who assumed Enigma was uncrackable, most business owners believe their current, potentially outdated, cyber security measures will keep their data safe. But, in the contemporary age where digital information is as precious as gold, cybercriminals are working around the clock to penetrate even the most robust security solutions. You can bet they’ve already created a workaround for your current antivirus. What was good enough before may not be good enough today. After all, it’s simply impossible that a security solution from even two years back could be equipped to defend your precious data from a cutting-edge hacking technology that didn’t even exist when it was created.

Today, companies that fail to stay abreast of the latest cyber security trends — clinging foolishly to their own Enigma — are certain to pay the price down the line. Once the lock is picked, you need a new lock, and criminals are cracking new locks each and every day.

Luckily, as your IT provider, we’re cyber security experts, and we constantly seek the latest and most robust security solutions. Don’t leave your company’s security up to a false sense of confidence. Always be looking at options to upgrade your digital security and make it a sure thing.

Backup

Don’t Rely on Cheap Online Backups for Your Data!

08 Feb 17
lverbik
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Last Night I Was Startled Out Of Bed In A Cold Sweat,

Heart Racing, With Fear Racing Through My Mind…And YOU Were The Reason For My Panic!

Was I having a nightmare? Was I just watching too many reruns of The Twilight Zone? Had I eaten a big meal before bed? No – it simply occurred to me that you might be relying on cheap, online backups for your data!

And if that data was erased, corrupted or destroyed, you might not ever get it back! The thought of that happening scared me half to death!

You see, your business network creates a lot of important data every day, which means you need regular backups to ensure that you always have access to this information. Many cloud storage services offer remote backup for low prices, but the promise of cheap backups is often too good to be true. Instead of getting the reliable storage you need to protect your business data, you may run into frustrating pitfalls. And THAT is what had me up in the middle of the night.

Here are a few nightmares you might run into in real life, if you’re using one of those cheap cloud backups:

Data Restrictions

Some cloud services claim to have unlimited storage. However, there’s always a limit to what a server can hold. Most cheap backup services don’t have the space that businesses need. This makes it impossible to secure all of your data. Getting more space incurs extra fees, and this could be a problem for small businesses with tight budgets.

Limited Devices

Business networks can be extensive. Many cloud backup services only cover the data stored on one machine. This might work for companies that store all necessary data on a central server, but others may require a more extensive backup solution that covers multiple machines and handles larger amounts of information.

Slower Speeds

Running a backup can take a long time when you have a lot of files to copy. A cheap cloud service can’t offer the resources necessary to speed up this process. Many of them put a cap on the amount of bandwidth you get. This could lead to incomplete backups, especially for businesses that need to copy several dozen gigabytes of data every day.

Lack of Syncing and Versioning

One benefit of cloud storage and backup is the ability to sync the latest versions of files across all of your company’s devices. This service can be a lifesaver for businesses whose employees do a lot of remote work using smartphones or tablets. However, cheaper backup options don’t usually include syncing. They also don’t back up multiple versions of files. Versioning is necessary in the event that a current file becomes corrupted and an earlier version needs to be recovered.

Uncertainty

Although data stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, it’s written to physical servers that belong to the company that handles the backups. All hardware is subject to failure at some point. If this happens, you could lose all the data that you thought was safe. That’s why every backup plan needs to have a fail-safe. You should plan to have at least one storage option in addition to the cloud.

Shaky Security

Business data includes sensitive information that requires encryption before being transmitted. This is true no matter what type of backup you use. Not every cheap cloud solution provides this level of security. Anyone can access information sent without initial encryption. This means that customer data and business transactions could be hacked during a routine backup. Data also needs to be encrypted once it’s on the server to prevent intrusion by hackers. Even then, there’s a chance that employees of the cloud service have access to the key that’s meant to provide this protection on the server end.

Cloud Alternatives

With all of these potential drawbacks to consider, cheap cloud service isn’t likely to be the best choice for your business backup needs. Fortunately, there are many other options that can be set up onsite to give you control over what happens to your data.

Is your data being backed up correctly? Contact us for a free analysis.

Backup

Will Your Backups Be There When You Need Them?

06 Jul 16
lverbik
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When the livelihood of your business depends on data stored in your computer network, you simply cannot afford to leave anything to chance. Data preservation and the ability to retrieve it at any point in time is the foundation of business continuity.

Yet the facts about backup failures are shocking:

  • According to the Boston Computing Network, 31% of PC users have lost data due to events “beyond their control.”
  • Analysts at the Hughes Marketing Group found that 40% of businesses that experience a critical IT failure go out of business within one year.
  • In a recent Gartner study, only 35% of backup tests were successful.

Some of the more common reasons for backup failures include unintentional formatting of a hard drive, accidental data deletion, malware or virus attack, firmware corruption, natural disasters, logical errors and continued computer operation when the hard drive is starting to fail.

So how certain are you that your backup system is 100% reliable? Could a false sense of security be preventing you from taking actions that will insure your backups will really be there when you need them?

7 Ways to Avoid Data Disaster Due To Backup Failure

Without proactive measures in place – and Murphy’s Law being what it is – the odds of a successful restoration when you need it most may not be as great as you’d like to think… So what can you do? Here are seven ways to avoid a damaging loss of data due to backup failure.

  1. Insist on regular, remote and redundant processes. A good rule of thumb is 3-2-1. That means three copies of your data stored in two off-site locations, backed up a minimum of one time per day.
  1. Don’t go too cheap on disk drives. Less expensive arrays that save money by doing without features like redundant power supply and hot spare disks may leave your data at risk.
  1. Guard against human error. Make sure people performing backups and restores know exactly what to do – and what not to do. Take people out of the loop and automate wherever possible. And be especially cautious in situations where backups aren’t a part of someone’s regular duties.
  1. Are your backup software settings being checked routinely? When new software or updates are put into service, a change in the way the settings are configured can cause incomplete backups, or backups that fail completely. Do the people who maintain your backups include this on their regular to-do list?
  1. Could some files be getting left out? As resources are added and priorities shift, files and folders can get misplaced or accidentally left off the backup list. Insist on a quarterly or annual meeting with your backup management team to make sure all mission-critical files are included in your organization’s data recovery systems.
  1. Address network issues immediately. Any component in your network that isn’t working properly can introduce another point of failure in your backup process. Every juncture in your network, from a misconfigured switch to a flaky host bus adapter, can hurt your backups.
  1. Ask for help with your data backup and recovery system. You cannot be expected to be an expert in all things. Yet data is the backbone of your business – its protection and recovery should not be left to chance. Why not leverage the knowledge, skill and experience of an expert in the field?

Even with all these measures in place, the best way to keep your organization safe from harm due to data loss is to verify your backup system by performing regular test restores. This will help identify any problems in advance so they can be fixed – allowing you to avoid getting hit with an ugly surprise when you least need it.

The Smart Way To Assure Backup Success

Unless your team has all the time and expertise required to consistently close all open loops in your backup system, your organization may be at risk of serious harm due to data loss.

Contact us today at 317-857-0150 – before disaster strikes.

The Cloud Explained – A Blog Series

08 Sep 14
lverbik
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Have you ever wondered….just what is cloud computing anyway?

According to Wikipedia, cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet). Clouds can be classified as public, private or hybrid.

Cloud computing, or in simpler shorthand just “the cloud”, focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of shared resources.  Cloud resources are usually not only shared by multiple users but are also dynamically reallocated based on demand.  This approach should maximize the use of computing power thus reducing environmental damage as well since less power, air conditioning, rackspace, etc. are required for a variety of functions. With cloud computing, multiple users can access a single server to retrieve and update their data without purchasing licenses for different applications.

Fans of cloud computing claim that it allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs, and focus on projects that differentiate their businesses instead of on infrastructure.  Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance.

 

Is a move to the cloud right for you?  The term “moving to cloud” refers to an organization moving away from a traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) model in which you buy the dedicated hardware and depreciate it over a period of time to the operational expenditure (OPEX) model which uses a shared cloud infrastructure and you pay as you use it.  Follow this link to learn more about the differences between CAPEX vs OPEX. http://www.diffen.com/difference/Capex_vs_Opex

The cloud can also help to protect your data as a back-up solution.  Each day, we create vast amounts of digital content—photos, videos, music, and documents—all of which is just a hard drive crash away from obliteration. Other data-ending events threaten, as well: You could be the victim of a fire or flood, or you may just delete data unintentionally.  But a cloud based backup service offers the advantage of securely storing your files at off-site server locations. This way, your data stays intact and available even if your local disks are stolen or your premises are hit by damage.

Did you know that Techno Advantage offers cloud back-up solutions?  Contact a Techno Pro today for more information.  Keep watching the blog for more great information on cloud computing.

 

Share your thoughts on cloud computing with us.  Love it, not sure, scared to death…we want to hear from you!