Tag Archives: support

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.

Do you Have a Good, Trustworthy IT Guy?

13 Jan 16
lverbik
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Whoever it may be—guy, girl, company—whoever holds the keys to your IT kingdom had better be someone you can trust, and someone who is doing a good job. You just can’t afford to get this wrong.

Your IT guy is the one with the most access to your valuable network—the heart of your business—and thus the most power to wield for good or evil.

Think about it—if this person were to disappear, would you know where all your passwords, software license, disks, etc., are stored? Do you have complete network documentation should you require another person to step in? Scary. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your IT provider. You should have all YESes. If you answer NO to any of these, you might want to think about finding someone who can do a better job for you.

  • Are they available for live phone consultation? Do they respond in an hour or less when you’ve got emergency tech support issues?
  • Are they keeping your network remotely monitored nonstop, and up to date on security settings, patches and viruses?
  • Are they vigilant about offsite and onsite backup monitoring, or do they not care if you are still using unreliable tape backups?
  • Do they periodically conduct test restores of your backups to make sure they’ll work in the event of a real disaster?
  • Have they give you full documentation of your network, including network passwords, software licenses, and hardware info, or are they the sole keeper of the secrets?
  • Are they always looking for ways to improve your operations, offering suggestions and new ideas? Or are they only there when you have a problem?
  • Are the timely and proactive it responding to your inquiries, providing status reports and progress without you having to hunt them down?
  • Do they explain things in regular people language and not tech talk? Or do they sort of enjoy keeping you in the dark about what they do?
  • Do they bill you at a fixed rate or is it open ended to cover their time and materials?

If you can say NO to any of the above, we’d like to give you a free IT assessment to set your mind at ease. It’s your right and freedom to get the best IT service possible, with someone you trust. We’ll check the “health” of your current operations and look for any places where improvements can be made to help you avoid data loss or other costly errors. Contact Techno Advantage today, and rest easy.

Help Grow your Business with Help Desk Support

30 Dec 15
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Here at Techno Advantage, we believe that a major advantage we offer IT clients in our integrated family of IT management products and services is our Help Desk. Because partnering with you is a priority, your outsourced IT Help Desk is here for you 24-7, at the ready to help you should your system experience a down.

Because IT management can be so complex, we keep things simple—when employees have an IT issue or question, we’re right here. Following are a few key reasons why our Help Desk can mean good things for your business.

  • Knowledge that can save you money. Taking care of your business’s IT needs sounds like it could become a costly endeavor, and it could if not handled correctly. Our Help Desk can provide guidance and wisdom to move your IT program where it needs to go without unnecessary spending. In the long run, you’re going to be glad you saved money that you can funnel into other areas of importance.
  • Keeping everyone efficient. Before small IT issues become big ones, a Help Desk can step in and head off potential trouble. From top management on down, efficiency is higher and workflow is not disrupted when you have a Help Desk to rely on.
  • Save valuable man-hours. A dedicated team solving your IT issues for you means your employees are free to stay productive and focused on the work at hand. We’re your crack IT troubleshooting snipers picking off whatever threatens to slow down your office.
  • More than problem solvers; problem avoiders. Our Help Desk not only provides help choosing the right technology, systems and software that can increase workflow but we follow up with your employees to ensure problems stay solved and employees stay productive and satisfied.
  • The go-to people for technology. Keeping up with the fast-evolving IT industry can be tough. But with our Help Desk professionals, you have the advantage of built-in expert advisors who are tracking with the latest innovations and trends to give you that edge you need to stay competitive.

Techno Advantage provides the technology to support your business with customized solutions in a true partner relationship. Our Help Desk is just one way we can take the burden from you. Contact us for more ways we can help grow your business.

Warn your people about this “Microsoft” phone scam!

11 Nov 15
lverbik
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The call sounds very official. A representative from Microsoft’s technical support team is on the line and they have found an error in your computer system. But don’t worry—they can fix it for you. They just need access to your machine; if you can provide the login credentials they can get to work.

At this point, you may or may not be aware that this is a scam. If, like many people, you provide your login password, the “Microsoft rep”—with your help—will establish a connection into your computer. Next, they may tell you they have found a virus on your system that can cause your data to be destroyed unless you pay a “one-time charge” to have the virus removed. You can send the money via MoneyPak, a prepaid card. At that point, you’d be too afraid to NOT do it. Because who wants to risk losing their data? That kind of loss can be devastating.

What can you do to guard against these kinds of scams?

  1. Be alert and avoid them in the first place. This is your best defense. Fact is, Microsoft or other companies like them will NEVER call you out of the blue to report a problem with your computer. Most major companies just don’t do business that way. You’d have to initiate the service request, create a case, and follow their support plan.
  2. Red flag! A Money-Pak card for payment is just not legit. Most companies will only use major credit cards for service transactions. At the very least they’d have an account number attached to your service plan. MoneyPak is untraceable; these criminals know what they’re doing.
  3. Do not give anyone access to your machine who you do not know and have an established, trusted business or personal relationship with. Again, be sure you verify you are speaking with a member of a verifiable support team with a company you are already doing business with. If you haven’t initiated the service call, then you should hang up.

If you should get in a situation where in your gut you feel you may have been duped, take action immediately.  Power off your computer and cut off the connection between your machine and this scammer as quickly as possible. If you gave them credit card info, then you need to call your credit card provider, and report it as stolen immediately.  They will start running up bills as soon as they get the numbers. Call an IT service provider you trust—if TechnoAdvantage is that provider, we would be honored to help.

Visit Microsoft’s Safety & Security center for information on avoiding scams and how to report them when they do occur.

Let’s keep each other safe out there.

Is Cryptovirus back as a worm?

03 Sep 15
lverbik
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19798163_s (2)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.

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.

 

The Cloud Explained Part III – A Marketing Tool

07 Oct 14
lverbik
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Now that cloud computing technology has already gone past the infancy stages, many industries are realizing the benefits it provides, and are adopting and integrating the technology to fit their businesses. One major sector that stands to benefit a lot from the cloud is marketing, as it has the ability to change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.the benefits it provides, and are adopting and integrating the technology to fit their businesses. One major sector that stands to benefit a lot from the cloud is marketing, as it has the ability to change the ways in which they reach and engage their audience, particularly with regard to distributing and storing mission-critical data.

The most recent technology forecasts released by Forbes, Cisco, Forrester, and Gartner all reveal that there is widespread adoption of cloud computing going on worldwide. The forecasts have been unanimous in their predictions, with over one third of digital content in the world estimated to be stored in the cloud by 2016.

As for storage, it is estimated that the average data storage consumed per household will grow from 464 gigabytes in 2011 to 3.3 terabytes in 2016. Not every household will have large enough storage devices to accommodate that much data, so majority of it will be hosted on the cloud. This will result in an increase in spending towards the cloud, with the studies estimating that the global market for cloud computing will see an increase from $40.7B in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020.

According to Forrester’s research, majority of users in 2020 will be abandoning installed programs in favor of web-based applications. The move is not purely motivated by personal preferences as the companies themselves are pushing for migration to the cloud due to the cost savings.

One of the key effects of the cloud that will benefit digital marketing is that it has provided marketers with more venues from which to approach potential customers.  It has also allowed more individuals to become potential customers. For instance, a person who is watching TV and texting on the couch used to be out of reach of digital marketers. Now, the cloud has made it possible for the same person to access his data through his phone and his TV without even leaving the couch. There’s no need for complicated user interfaces or servers. The person is also more likely to access the Internet simply because it is now possible, making him more accessible to digital marketers.

Here are 3 reasons why marketers are migrating to the cloud:

  1. Multi-device support – with the cloud, marketers no longer need to worry about hard drives or other local storages as their files can be accessed and shared over the Internet using any internet-capable device they have on hand.
  2. Security – Security is no longer an issue with the cloud, as large and established companies have started entering the market, bringing with them their expertise and skills with regard to safeguarding the security of their customers. Additionally, marketers, no longer have to worry about losing data to a hard drive crash or acts of god, as cloud service providers have off-site backups, which means it’s almost impossible to lose data completely.
  3. Low Cost – the real crowning jewel of cloud computing technology is its cost efficiency. There’s no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on setting up an infrastructure as a web enabled device and internet access is all that’s needed to get a cloud based system up and running.  as a web enabled device and internet access is all that’s needed to get a cloud based system up and running.

So, working with the cloud can lead to better marketing, more options, more security and best of all – more money!
Talk to the pros at Techno Advantage today to learn more about cloud computing solutions for your business.