Tag Archives: Devices

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.

Employees Keeping Your Data Safe? Don’t Count On It

10 Aug 16
lverbik
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The biggest block to protecting your company’s data is employee ignorance about cybersecurity. In fact, your employees are probably compromising your data right now and aren’t even aware of it.

In case you haven’t read the reports, a statement from one of the many companies recently forced to close its doors following a cyber-attack involving one of their own employees brings the point home:

“Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point. The cost of resolving this issue and the expected cost of refunding customers who have been left without the service they paid for will put Code Spaces in an irreversible position both financially and in terms of ongoing credibility.”

Root cause of the disaster? Very likely a phishing attack that one of their own team members unwittingly played a key role in.

If you want even a ghost of a chance that your data remains safe and secure, you MUST be aware of the five ways your employees are probably putting your company at risk right now:

Risky Passcode Practices

A good rule of thumb is, if you can recall a password, it’s probably not safe. Require the use of a random password generator to keep weak passcodes from being the weak link in your data’s defenses. Invest in a company-wide password protection system. And wherever possible, use two-factor authentication for logins to critical sites.

Working Outside a Secured Network

It’s great that your team loves to collaborate. Just make sure it’s done in a secure network. E-mail-sharing and file-sharing over a non-secured network can lead to leaks. Train your team to share sensitive messages and files only within a secure company network. Even better, invest in encryption and collaboration tools that keep your data extra-safe while in transit. After all, great teams need to collaborate. Just make sure it’s getting done without putting your data at risk.

E-mail Naïveté

Most people are aware by now that clicking on unknown links in an e-mail can lead to trouble. Yet clever hackers are sending ever more appealing e-mails that trick the unwary into clicking. Insist that no attachments from unknown sources are to be opened. And require that users on your network look up unknown links before blindly clicking on them.

Unattended Devices

Walking away from an open laptop in a coffee shop is a recipe for disaster. Yet even at the office, stepping away from a workstation can expose sensitive data to snoops. Insist that wherever your team works, they maintain complete visual control over any screen showing confidential company data.

Malicious Acts

You may find it hard to believe, but employees leaking critical data on purpose happens all the time. It may be for a personal venture – or a personal vendetta against your company. Regardless of the cause, it’s always a risk. And you may not see it coming. Safeguard all data coming into or going out from your company. And always change access codes whenever someone leaves your employ – willingly or unwillingly.

Protecting company data in today’s fluid and fast-changing business environment is tough work. If you don’t have a robust protection plan in place, your critical data IS at risk.  Safe data practices by your employees are absolutely critical to your company’s success and survival.

Need an ally to help protect your data from employee sabotage – accidental or otherwise?  Call us today at 317-857-0150 to schedule a complimentary review.

Is it Time to Go to the Cloud?

26 Jan 16
lverbik
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It’s a commonly asked question: Should we get a new server or go to the cloud? The answer differs, depending on who’s trying to sell you their services. So what’s the answer? Is there just one answer?

If you’ve maxxed out your old server and it’s coming to its life’s useful end, you have an important decision to make. Buying a new server and staying with a private cloud may be beneficial for a majority of businesses, but sometimes a public cloud may work best.

There’s one story, the word-on-the-street benefits of the cloud:

  • increased business efficiency and agility
  • save on IT costs
  • employees can access your company data easily wherever they are
  • easy file sharing, collaboration and conferencing
  • eliminate file backup worries
  • free storage
  • works from any device
  • cloud users enjoy higher revenues* according to a survey by accounting software provider MYOB

All true, the above benefits of the cloud may be best suited for:

  • startups
  • very small companies
  • virtual company
  • company with global locations
  • businesses with high internal IT costs
  • businesses who require mega computing power

But wait—here’s another story to consider. Most small and medium-sized businesses who make up the core of our country’s free enterprise system-the manufacturers, the service companies, the product distributors—these types with existing application housed on their old servers–are smart, savvy, and not switching to the cloud. They instead choose to buy new servers.

Why would they NOT choose the cloud? Didn’t the media world determine it was all-around cheaper and better for companies? The answer for a large segment of the business population—and possibly you—is no.

It’s a cost and ROI story. Established companies running their own applications are finding that migrating them to the cloud and operating them using cloud based applications is in fact too costly when all is said and done—oft times more expensive than the current situation. Companies who were surveyed and did so found that it came in at roughly the same price to switch over—about $100 per month per user. That was the 2013 price for a business to switch over its current infrastructure to one that is cloud based.

So what is the answer for you? Do your cost comparisons, start small and try some free and low cost cloud tools to get your feet wet, and use some free trials to see what may be to your benefit. And let TechnoAdvantage give you a cloud analysis to see if it’s right for you. You may find that the cloud is just too high in the sky so you’ll want to keep yourself grounded with good internal server and outside support from a company like us. Either way we’re here to help you make the wise choice for you.

Crazy Beautiful Innovative New Microsoft Devices Unveiled

14 Oct 15
lverbik
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As an IT service provider it’s our mission to give your business the advantage over your competition –after all it is part of our name. One way we do that is sharing our best finds in technology, and with Microsoft’s latest unveilings, there’s a lot of good stuff teetering on that cutting edge.

We’re avid followers of Microsoft here at Techno Advantage, in case you couldn’t tell by the headline. We can’t help but notice that under the tutelage of CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has steered its ship into new and uncharted waters, bringing the stale ideas of the old regime to a new and brighter place. Not only with the purchase of several companies, but several new products that lift the Microsoft brand to not only work on Windows products, but reaching across the aisle to Apple and Android devices so that customers will have the same familiar Microsoft experience no matter what device you are on.

Following the recent Windows 10 release now comes what MS calls a “new era of Windows 10 devices.”  The company has stepped up the game with its beautiful sleek new Surface touchscreen tablets—the Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book. These incredibly versatile tablets double as laptops. The thinnest. Fastest. Most powerful. Visually stunning. Subtle thoughtful improvements. If you are like me you will be completely enthralled by their elegant video. Surface Book’s fulcrum hinge alone is enough to make me drool.

Microsoft didn’t stop there but has also come out with three new phones that harness the Windows 10 environment in the high-end Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL as well as the Lumia 550, its affordable 4G offering.

Our collective heads took a spin when we laid eyes on the Microsoft Band 2 and HoloLens devices rounding out the new Microsoft lineup. This new band is hard to put into words all it can do, or lets you do, from your wrist. And the HoloLens device is three-dimensionally genius, a holographic computer you wear that’s Matrix and Mission Impossible 3 and every future-is-here thought you’ve ever had, where you can create holograms and “visualize things in real space.” Mind = blown.

We love new ideas and finding new ways to help you run your business better. Contact Techno Advantage for help with the best ideas in technology and productivity.

 

 

 

Service & Support – They Do Exist!

21 May 15
lverbik
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Do you ever tire of picking up the phone for customer service or tech support and reaching any number of auto attendants and prompts?   You wait patiently for that friendly and knowledgeable voice, but instead the call leaves you with unanswered questions and piles of stress and frustration?

You called because you need help with something…but it seems that no one’s home.   Wish you could just talk to a person? Like the good ol’ days….when people used to answer the phone.

Maybe you need to replace some equipment but you’re not sure what’s out there, perhaps the server is down, you might suspect malware or viruses on your computer. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a problem or question and there was a real, live IT expert just a phone call away? Of course it would!

Well, there’s good news. It does exist and it’s on display everyday at the Techno Advantage offices.

Recently, I spent some extra time with Jay and Matt and it really opened my eyes to the value of the monitoring packages and service plans they offer. On a given day, many calls come and go from the Techno Advantage offices, and each one is handled efficiently, honestly and with the client’s best interests in mind. Questions range from, “Can you help me find my file?” to “What steps should I take to migrate to a new operating system?”

Having a monitoring plan with Techno Advantage means that there really is a qualified professional standing at the ready to support your business IT needs. The team at Techno Advantage can monitor your system daily for storage issues, error messages, updates and all those things that you don’t have time to worry with.   If need be, a friendly technician can log-in using the Techno Advantage support portal to see what you’re seeing and walk you through a solution. Now that’s targeted help, when and where you need it!

The GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE packages cover servers, networks, devices and applications, as well as disaster recovery. Click here to see our monitoring plan packages. Techno Advantage has just the right monitoring and service plans to fit your unique tech support needs.

 

Top 4 Data Backup Devices for Small Business

13 Jan 15
lverbik
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You already know you need good, regular backups of all of your business data, but you may get stuck figuring out the best way to manage them. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a scary amount of money to buy and set up a reliable backup system.  Let’s look at a selection of reliable and affordable backup devices to use in your small business.

We’ll look at both locally-attached and network-attached backup devices. USB sticks and external USB hard drives are wonderful for making backups on a single computer, and network backup servers simplify data protection for your whole business.

USB Sticks

USB sticks are small in size and price, but mighty in capacity; you can get as much as 128 gigabytes storage capacity on a USB stick. You have a choice of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices, so which one should you buy? USB 3.0 is the current standard, and it is backwards-compatible so it works with computers that have only USB 2.0.

It only costs a little bit more, so you might as well go with 3.0 drives. USB 3.0 promises a transfer rate of 5 Gbits per second, compared to 480 Mbits for USB 2.0.  Not all USB sticks are created equal, and you want to stick with the best brands: SanDisk, Verbatim, Kingston, Lexar, and Corsair are all reliable and sturdy.

USB Hard Drives

When a USB stick isn’t big enough, USB hard drives offer the most storage for the buck. You can get a portable drive with a built-in USB port.  This type of drive offers capacity ranges from 500MB-2TB, has USB 3.0, and usually comes with a nice backup and recovery software.  Many models come with encryption, easy automatic backups, and a cloud backup option.  Pricing ranges from $60 to $120.

Solid-state Drives

A solid-state drive (also known as a solid-state disk or electronic disk, though it contains no actual disk, nor a drive motor to spin a disk) is a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently.  Solid-state drives (SSDs) are expensive in comparison to hard drives, but they’re durable, small, fast, and have low power requirements. SSDs are wonderful for workloads where it’s worth paying more for a speed boost, like for system files and multimedia production.

Network Storage Servers

A network-attached storage (NAS) server is a type of dedicated file storage device that provides local-area network (LAN) users with centralized, consolidated disk storage through a standard Ethernet connection. Each NAS device is connected to the LAN as an independent network device and assigned an IP address.  NAS allows more hard disk storage space to be added to a network that already utilizes servers without shutting them down for maintenance and upgrades.  You can use it exclusively for backups, or for file-sharing and multimedia streaming.  It will set you back $1,295 for 4TB of storage, and up to $1,895 for 16TB.  These extra-rugged drives run cooler, and they’re optimized for network storage.

Now that we’ve explored the different options, you should know that Techno Advantage offers a backup software option.  We have found that the pre-installed software on these types of devices is usually a watered down or freebie version that will not deliver the results you hope for in the event that a recovery is needed.  Need help deciding which devices and software are right for your business?  Contact a Techno Pro today!