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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
If you’re doing business online, then you probably know about ad blockers and have accepted the fact that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And, as if there aren’t enough obstacles to selling online, there’s a new beast on the horizon that takes ad blocking to another level: It’s called Polaris and it’s a new ad blocking technology embedded in its own Opera browser.
Unlike what we’ve faced in the past with ad blocking extensions in Chrome, Firefox and other popular browsers, Opera’s new ad blocking technology is native—at the web engine level—meaning that it’s more powerful and insidious to get around. Developed by techxperts at Harvard, the technology maps out a sequence for downloading a web page’s info bits, resulting in fewer network trips for the browser, and thus, faster page load times. For businesses that advertise online, it is a little worrisome.
Why is this happening, why!? It’s about improvements to page loading speed. We all know there’s nothing more exasperating than waiting for a page to load. We will sit patiently for about 2 seconds and if it goes beyond that, we’re freaking out and writing complaint letters to the technology companies—or cussing out the computer and getting up to grab a sandwich so we don’t have to deal with watching the spinning “page loading” icon.
Even more than that, people are sick of the bloated online ads that not only suck up bandwidth to load up, but oftentimes obstruct the content you’re reading and refuse to close down when you X them out. Or the ads with the unsavory DOWNLOAD buttons that, if clicked, could send you a virus. Tracking and privacy are also concerns.
So you can’t blame the world if it wants to block ads. Remarked one spokesperson for Opera: “Ad-blocking technology is an opportunity and a wake-up call to the advertising industry to pay attention to what consumers are actually saying.” This means that it might be time for businesses to create better ads—relevant, engaging, non-annoying ads. They might be the only ads that get through if the future of ad blocking is anything like Polaris.
Opera boasts that, with its Polaris ad blocker, their browser runs, on average, 45 percent faster than Google Chrome with Ad Block Plus extension, and 21 percent speedier than Firefox. That makes it enticing enough to worry about.
You probably don’t need to worry about Opera blocking your ads yet since it is a relatively unknown and unused browser compared to Chrome and the other top names. But as it is the way things are going to increase internet speeds, one should take heed and begin to look at the types of ads you’re creating—making them sleeker and smoother and more unobtrusive. And possibly at other avenues that don’t rely so much on ads, such as inbound marketing.
PCWorld has a more detailed techy explanation on the story…
Part of using technology to your advantage includes having a social media presence where your customers are. And that may mean Twitter is a part of your mix. Even if you’re uncomfortable with (or fearful of) this environment, you need to push past that if you want to be a player.
So the primary question now isn’t really Should my business be tweeting? But rather How often? And to follow up on that: What do I tweet?
There are no perfect answers to these questions. The best approach is to just go for it—develop some sort of plan and implement it and see what feels right for your business and your audience. Then keep tweaking it.
The plan might include:
There are many third-party resources out there to help you, including:
We give a tweet about your business and keeping it lively and engaging for your customers, using technology to your advantage. For more ideas, contact Techno Advantage today!
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does—it seems likely there is a new variant to the Cryptolocker virus—that insidious virus known to encrypt all your files and hold them ransom for $300. This new strain may or may not be Crypt, but it was reported recently to have been able to replicate to other workstations and begin encrypting user folders, though many IT peers do not believe that capability exists as yet.
Whether it is possible or not, it’s something to watch out for. The affected business not only was infected across multiple workstations, but also its server by way of mapped drives. The victim in this case saw a web page open at the workstation with a threatening hijack message and links to download the solution that unlocks the user’s data.
Its evil authors no doubt immediately began working on this new poison once researchers from FireEye and Fox-IT were able to reverse-engineer the virus and provide a solution to Cryptolocker’s victims in May of this year. Of course, half a million people had already been affected and 1.3 percent had paid cash to free their files from the criminals—to the tune of $3 million.
Following the forum discussion about this new case reveals that the most likely source of this virus may actually be a flash-based ad on a compromised site that many people in the office could have accessed. It is possible that someone shared a link containing the virus, or perhaps everyone had a program installed already that popped up an embedded ad that was clicked on.
No matter whether the new strain is able to actually replicate to other stations or not, this is a good reminder to take every measure available to safeguard your files. Number one, add this virus’s file names to your file screens: *.aaa and restore_. Two, backup always! Three, get legit anti-virus and monitoring software. Four, patch your workstations. Five, contact the team at Techno Advantage for help selecting the right cloud-based or on-premise backup and storage solutions.
Need more help deciding how to protect your business from a malware attack? Contact a Techno Pro today! And watch this blog for updates on any new malware. We want to keep you informed.
It used to be that Business Intelligence (BI) was reserved only for large corporations with IT budgets to match. But with the advent of the cloud, the growth of software-as-a-service and more competition overall, BI is now within reach for small businesses too, and they’re reaping the benefits.
One 2013 study done by Oxford Economics reported that more than half of firms having sales under $100,000 planned to use BI within three years—representing an increase of 43%. While that offers optimism, you should be careful before embarking on a BI plan. In an article published by Computer World, Gartner research stated that between 70% and 80% of business intelligence projects fail.
So take your time to find out some key indicators of its advantages for your business. Understand, first, what it means, second, what it can do for your business, and third how you can execute it successfully.
What is Business Intelligence? Sounds very James Bond, but a little less thrilling. BI is a software technology that focuses on finding trends in varied sets of data to deliver intelligence you can use to make smart business decisions. It’s facts, figures, data analysis generating reports and charts and other helpful insights you can put to work for you.
Some larger software giants like Microsoft and Intuit have developed solutions for small businesses, giving you the opportunity to leverage this market without a huge investment—and without employing a full-time data expert to use it.
Three top solutions you’ll want to explore and compare are Tableau, Birst, and QlikView. All have user-friendly platforms and each has nuances you’ll want to discover for yourself. But know that BI is an involved process no matter what software you use. So before you step into it, it’s best to define the business need you’re trying to solve, and then determine if you have the operational data required to pull from.
Ready to gather more intelligence on taking advantage of IT in your business? Contact TechnoAdvantage today!
As operating systems go, Windows 7: a sturdy workhorse. Windows 8: not so great. Windows 9: no you’re not crazy, there isn’t one (don’t ask). Now comes Windows 10, and all eyes are on Microsoft to make it work and make it good in order for them to remain a major player and help us forget our sadness from Windows 8. From all reports, this may just be the ticket.
Windows 10 is coming July 29, 2015. So you need to plan.
Should I upgrade? When?
If you’re a Windows 7 platform, you’ve got a good thing going but you should still plan on taking advantage of the free upgrade sometime within the first year. You don’t want to miss out on it.
If you’re a Windows 8 or 8.1 user, upgrading to 10 will be like satisfying that itch that never got scratched when you upgraded to 8. Upgrade within twelve months, for free. After that you’ll have to pay to upgrade, but then you’ll receive free updates beyond that. Why not right away? Bugs, that’s why. Wait a bit and let those pesky critters get discovered and worked out before you take the plunge.
What’s are some great things about it?
Unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 will be standardized to work across-platform, which means the same code will work on all your company’s devices–computers, tablets, phones, and even Xbox when everything is said and done. This is huge in terms of simplifying the user experience, allowing employees to sync up and manage all their communications. And making everything smoother for programmers—no separate PC version, mobile version, etc.
This standardized platform means it’s going to be easier to get all the benefits from its new features. And the truth is that most people probably only use about 20 to 30% of any business applications’ capabilities. You could likely be taking advantage of some pretty cool features that can make your people more productive. One of these features is the enhanced, voice-drive Cortana tool. Or the new Edge browser, designed to let you search right from the address bar. Or the Hub where you can keep all the things you collect on the web. And Web Notes, that lets you write, doodle, take notes and highlighting directly on webpages.
We’ve got a good feeling about Windows 10 and will be reporting more on it as we go. This upgrade goes hand in hand with the new CEO at Microsoft, Satya Nadella—I don’t think it’s coincidence. He’s making big changes at Microsoft; some cool innovative things are happening and he’s putting Microsoft back on the map as a company that helps customers work and play better. Let’s keep our eyes on this.
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The team at Techno Advantage is excited to announce a new VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone solution by Grandstream.
Our fearless leader Jay, recently attended an extensive training program hosted by Grandstream and became a certified partner. We’re thrilled to bring this flexible new system and potential savings to our clients.
Here are three reasons why you’re going to love our new VoIP phone solution:
No monthly fee to Grandstream. The only ongoing fee you would have is your already established data connection.
There are two primary means of connecting a VoIP system – a SIP trunk or a landline. What is a SIP trunk you ask…well, it is an acronym for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). It is a communications protocol for signaling and controlling multimedia communication sessions (AKA internet phone lines). One of the benefits of this option is that it consolidates your onsite communication expenses into a single utility – your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
The other route would be for one of the major phone carriers to install landline phone lines and the VoIP system runs though those. With the phone carrier option, you would pay a monthly service to them, but the VoIP technology and its features are purchased one time only.
Does your business need to use fax? Grandstream has the protocol for internet faxing.
Need to be able to call from your cell phone and have the call appear to be from your office? It’s possible!
We can even use a combination of landlines and internet lines to meet the growing needs of your business.
Contact us on our Grandstream phones today for more information. 317-857-0150