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Business Continuity

Not All Business Continuity Solutions Are Created Equal

For years, you’ve been hearing about the importance of data backup. You hear about it on radio commercials and on the sidebars of oh so many websites, “just make sure to backup your data and everything will be great!

What?!

Well that’s bull%^&*. Okay, maybe not total bull%^&*, but it’s certainly not the whole truth. The truth is data backup alone is not enough. For one thing, you have much more data than you used to. Most likely the data that you have is also much more important than it used to be, and because viruses, disasters and system failures are always looming, the risk of losing your data has never been higher.

Business Continuity Solution

What you need is a business continuity solution. That means you need a backup solution that is useable, non-corrupted and virus-free. It means when disaster occurs (and someday one will) you’ll be back up and running in no time with all of your data in tack.

Not All Business Continuity Solutions Are Created Equal

But here’s the good news: as long as you kick the tires a bit and have a look under the hood, a great business continuity plan is well within reach.

Here are the things you should look for:

Image based backups

For one, make sure your data backups will be image-based. While file-backups handle file and folder backups slowly and one at a time, image based backups take a picture of entire machines. Image-based backups happen so quickly and seamlessly, users won’t even notice, and restores are blazing fast, taking seconds to restore, not hours, or days.

Backups stored locally and in the cloud

Next, make sure your backups will be stored both locally and securely in the cloud. That way you can conveniently pull backups from an onsite device. But let’s say your office gets flooded; there go your local backups. If that happens, having your applications, files and systems in the cloud can save you and your business. Some systems let you virtually open and use your backup directly over the cloud.

Reliable backups

For peace of mind, you’ll want to know your backup is tested for validity. A great business continuity solution examines each backup automatically to make sure everything checks out. Some solutions even send screen-shots of your backups via email so you can verify at a glance that all is well.

Upgrading

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you can easily upgrade as your business grows. Don’t get stuck with an expensive upgrade that requires you to lose all of your backups and you have to start over.

How are you doing?

So ask your Managed Service Provider if their backup solution ticks all of these boxes. If they don’t you should definitely move on to one that does. Backup solutions from DTS InfoTech check all of those boxes!

If you would like more information on Data Backup and Disaster Recovery, download your Free Business Advisory Guide Here.

Don’t worry about some sales guy calling you from our office because you downloaded information off of our website. No one from our office will call you; I promise. We don’t like sales calls any more than you do! We understand if you’re not ready to do that, and if that’s the case, then just read these posts when they come out. We post on a regular schedule.

Need someone to talk with? If you would like to chat about protecting your data, or anything else, call us at 503.359.1275

Dedicated to your success,

Wally Moore
dts|infotech . . . computer networks that work
www.dtsinfotech.com

 

Business Continuity Checklist

Business Continuity (BC) is a very broad subject. There is much to consider and much you can overlook. Los Angeles Valley College may want to rethink their BC planning in light of the ransomware attack they recently had to endure and pay for; this would not have happened if they were prepared. Guaranteed.

This checklist will prepare you to design and implement a successful BC plan that meets the unique needs of your business, not to mention successful defense of ransomware attacks.

Contents

Hybrid cloud backup solution
Instant local virtualization
Proof of backup
Off-site virtualization
Off –site sync method
Multiple data centers
Flexible contracts
US based technical support
Intelligent business continuity

Do you have a hybrid cloud backup solution?

A hybrid cloud backup solution is optimal to achieve intelligent business continuity, as it encapsulates the best of the private and public models to form a feature-rich, highly efficient, and affordable system.

Do you employ local virtualization?

Downtime costs you money. Being down for hours is simply unacceptable. Current BC solutions should allow you to have servers booting instantly locally, so that client services can be restored and back in the right place in a matter of minutes.

Do you employ proof of backup?

What proof (if any) do you have of successful data backup? Your backup vendor should be able to provide screenshot verification.

Do you virtualize off-site?

It’s imperative that your critical business infrastructure can be brought online quickly in the cloud. This allows continuous uptime.

Do you employ an off-site sync method that manages bandwidth?

It’s critical that a BC solution be able to prioritize if data is local or off-site, thus managing bandwidth to provide greater flexibility, increased reliability and higher transfer speeds of your off-site backups.

Do you have multiple data centers, in geographically diverse locations?

This is important for three reasons. First, it ensures that even if data is removed locally, there is a secure copy off-site that can be restored. Second, it saves money because your local device capacity does not have to cover your entire backup repository. And third, in case of a regionalized disaster, at least one data center location must not be affected.

Does your BC vendor offer you flexible contracts and upgrade policies?

Constant change is a fact of life. It’s critical to select a vendor whose goal is to help your business succeed, by offering flexible contracts and upgrade policies as your business changes.

Do you have US-based technical support?

If you are in the middle of a backup or disaster crisis, you need the best technical and customer support available, at the time it’s required.

Do you offer Intelligent Business Continuity?

Only an intelligent business continuity solution takes BC to the next level, to mitigate risk and keep your systems running in the event of a technical or natural disaster.

Conclusion

When an organization has access to all of its data and can quickly restore that data plus applications and operating systems, it has a business continuity plan that provides a competitive edge, and protects all customers and shareholders—no matter what.

DTS InfoTech Can Help

Most small businesses do not have the technical resources to manage their own data. If this describes you, we can help! If you would like more information please give us a call, we’re always happy to chat and the call is free.

Dedicated to your success,

Wally Moore
General Manager and Compliance Officer
dts|infotech . . . computer networks that work
503.359.1275
www.dtsinfotech.com

 

Cure your IT ailments with Business Continuity – Part 1

Business Continuity

As a healthcare company, your patients are your number one priority. Part of your obligation to them is to keep their health-related information as confidential as possible. This information can include their health history and insurance and financial information. Should any of this information become compromised, it can hinder your ability to deliver healthcare services. Healthcare regulations are
constantly evolving and, in order to meet new industry standards, more and more healthcare businesses are actively converting medical records into electronic versions. As this trend continues, it’s no surprise that the industry has been hit hard recently by cyber-attacks.

The companies affected are paying huge sums to recover. Entire systems can fall victim to ransomware, locking healthcare providers out of important patient data. As people’s lives can quite literally depend on a healthcare provider’s ability to access their health information, there isn’t any time to waste.

Keeping your patient data properly backed up and protected will help you focus on what matters to the patients you care for.

A False Sense of Security

While you may be taking some precautions, such as securing and backing up your sensitive data, sometimes that’s not enough. There is a common misconception that data is safe if backed up once a day, but this outdated practice is no longer sufficient for several reasons:

• If you forget to perform the backup or the backup process fails, you’re not protected
• If you only back up your files once a day, you’re left vulnerable to the loss of an entire day’s work
• If you don’t properly validate your backup files, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you actually try to use those files to restore your company’s operations
• If you only back up your files on-site, you could lose them too – leaving you with no way to meet client requests
• If you only back up your raw data, rather than all your application and server configuration files, it could take several days to restore your practice – because you will also have to rebuild your servers, operating systems, applications, etc.

Ultimately, there’s a lot that can be missed when implementing a backup strategy, so it’s important to get it right the first time around.
Keeping your patient data properly backed up and protected will help you focus on what matters to the patients you care for.

How Vulnerable Are You?

If your company identifies as a business that doesn’t have the IT resources to effectively recover from a major outage, make sure you’re weighing all of the factors around the costs of downtime. Here are the facts:

• US businesses lose $12 billion annually due to data loss. National Archives
• 93% of companies that lose their data center for 10+ days file for bankruptcy within one year. Poneman Institute

Best Practices for Healthcare IT

In a 2014 study by the Poneman Institute, 91% of healthcare organizations experienced at least one data breach. The industry as a whole has experienced 125% more criminal attacks on their data than in years passed. Of the organizations who were affected, breaches cost roughly $2 million per company. Attacks on the healthcare industry are clearly on the rise, but there are some precautions you can take to safeguard your data:

• Outsource your company’s IT needs to an expert who has experience in the healthcare industry
• Look for a company educated in HIPAA with a team that’s dedicated to security and compliance
• Ask for references so you can hear from fellow healthcare professionals about their experience with the company
• Don’t sacrifice quality to save money when purchasing hardware. It will benefit you (and your bottom line) to have strong technology in the long run
• Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups
• Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology

Business Continuity

Any company that has not recently re-assessed its backup and disaster recovery procedures should therefore do so in order to conform to these industry-standard best practices. Take it from a healthcare company who has dealt with a fair share of attacks to their data. When their pharmacy fell victim to a destructive robbery, the team at Complete Pharmacy Care was able to get back to business thanks to their business continuity solution. “Because of the physical damage, had we not been on the cloud we absolutely would have gone bankrupt because it would have taken us six weeks to rebuild all of the equipment. But because we could get on the cloud, we brought in laptops and dialed into the cloud and were able to start servicing patients by Tuesday. We were able to start serving patients on a limited basis on Tuesday. We were only down one day. Had we not had a second copy of our data already up in the cloud, we would not be having this conversation.”
Leonard Lynskey, CEO, Complete Care Pharmacy

DTS InfoTech Can Help

Many health care providers are not HIPAA Compliant. If this describes you, we can help you Achieve compliance, Illustrate compliance to auditors and Maintain full compliancy.

For more information: www.dtsinfotech.com/hipaa-compliance-for-small-health-care-practices-2/

Dedicated to your success,
Wally Moore
General Manager and Compliance Officer
dts|infotech . . . computer networks that work
503.359.1275
www.dtsinfotech.com

 

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