Planning for Disaster Recovery

Planning for Disaster Recovery

We hear in the news every day about natural disasters such as fires, floods, storms and even earthquakes, and know the damage they cause. But what about the potential consequences for your business? What if your business stays closed for a period of time, and loses revenue because your information systems are unavailable? Or if a cyberattack occurs that results in a data breach that compromises your business’s reputation? Read on to learn more about how to make a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. The Importance of Having a Plan Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity consists of processes used to prepare for disruptive events, whether natural or man-made. Having a plan will help you know what to do and how to do it in events that can result in downtime for your business. Your plan can prevent loss of revenue, as well as loss of reputation. It can even help keep your business in business. Assessing Your Risks Think first of your mission-critical applications–your phone system, email system and maybe even processing orders. Consider how much downtime you can risk, having these systems out of commission. Tabulate  potential overhead, loss of employee wages and revenue over the course of hours, days or weeks. Systems needing to take priority are the ones that keep your business running smoothly, keeping revenue flowing and employees productive. Other applications, including shared files, can be backed up and retrieved.  Along with mitigating financial risk, a plan can guard against potential damage to your business’s reputation resulting from a data breach, or being unavailable in the event of a natural disaster. Implement, Test and...
Keeping Your Network Secure

Keeping Your Network Secure

A network is only as strong as its weakest link, and if that weakest link is your security, that can compromise the revenue and the reputation of your business. Attacks just from ransomware have increased over the years, by 200% between 2015 and 2016 alone.  There are three fronts to consider: identify the hazards, use technical tools to protect your network, and educate your employees on cybersecurity. Read on to find out more about how to protect yourself. Know the Hazards of Malware and Phishing Schemes With so many businesses finding it necessary to gather, store and monetize customer data, this is an area of vulnerability. Malicious software, or “malware,” can take various forms, from worms and viruses to ransomware, which can hold your data hostage. Some types can simply make your system run more slowly, and some can steal or destroy data. Phishing schemes are designed to steal private data simply by an unwary recipient clicking a link. Technical tools are part of the protection plan. Fight Cyber Attacks with Technology There are plenty of technical tools and applications to keep your system safe. Firewalls and SPAM filters can keep unwanted network communications from coming in and going out. Anti-virus and anti-malware applications keep harmful worms, viruses and other malicious software from infiltrating your network. Be sure also to keep your antivirus and anti-malware programs up-to-date, to guard against the latest threats. Network monitoring can help stop attacks before they start, and operating system patches can fill in any security holes in the network. Along with these tools, be sure to train your employees to recognize security hazards....
Keeping Network Expenses in Check

Keeping Network Expenses in Check

Your network is the backbone of your technology infrastructure, enabling your business to run smoothly. But are you using it in the most cost-effective manner, getting the most for your technology budget? Read on to find out more about how to keep network expenses in check. Start with a Telecommunications Expense Audit Since vendor contracts come up for renewal periodically, look at what you are paying for what you are getting. Start with an inventory of all of your network assets and providers. List and diagram carriers, circuit IDs, and phone numbers, as this information is critical for cost negotiations and in troubleshooting outages. Also, identify any aging equipment that can be phased out and replaced to ensure your productivity and that of your staff. These are some considerations in preparing for renewal negotiations. Consider Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) One way to rein in network costs is to adopt SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Networking) technology. According to IDC, use of software-defined networking is expected to grow to $8 billion in 2018. This technology combines multiple providers of business-class Internet to give optimal performance, with lower costs compared to other alternatives. Since multiple providers are working at the same time, they can keep calls from being dropped and can minimize outages. The Importance of Network Monitoring Network monitoring helps reduce network costs in a few ways. Knowing where network traffic is going helps to identify bottlenecks and other irregularities, preventing outages and resultant downtime before these disruptions occur. Constant monitoring measures circuits both to and from your applications, helping your network adapt to changing conditions in real time. Keeping...
Is Your Network Ready for Business?

Is Your Network Ready for Business?

Your network is under continuous pressure to keep up with the growth of your business. Broadband networks providing instant connectivity are a core requirement for most businesses.  Your network needs to provide fast access to Cloud Services including Email, Online Backup, Unified Communications, Call Center and other applications.  Business systems will be expected to be constantly accessible by customers and employees alike, and your network needs to be ready for this demand. Not only does your network need to be efficient and flexible, it needs to be secure. Consider SD-WAN for Efficiency and Flexibility Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology, which has been a recently emerging technology, is expected to become common in the next few years. Research firm IDC expects this technology to grow by 69% by 2021. Revenue from this technology is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2018 alone. Companies pursuing SD-WAN can mix and match networking solutions to get the most efficient and effective wide area connectivity.  Customers and employees have constant access to the Internet. With this access, however, monitoring and network security are vital. The Role of Network Monitoring and Security To have your network ready for business, it needs to be safe and secure. Not only does the network need constant monitoring, industry standards require rigorous compliance. For instance, online retailers need to keep their customers’ credit card information secure. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are required to comply with HIPAA. Even if your business is headquartered in the United States, you may need to comply with General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR). Endpoint security concerns include keeping anti-virus and anti-malware protections up-to-date. Employees...
Aim for the Cloud

Aim for the Cloud

The time may be right for your business to move to the Cloud. With its many advantages, including cost savings, security, and flexibility, cloud computing also gives businesses a competitive advantage, allowing employees to work anytime,  anywhere. According to an article by Forbes, the trends indicate more and more cloud usage, with an increase from 19% to 57% in 2016 and 2017. By the end of 2018, 80% of all IT budgets will be dedicated to the Cloud. According to the ninth annual CompTIA Security Trends Study, more than 59% reported moderate to heavy usage, and nearly three-quarters have confidence in providers’ ability to produce a secure cloud environment.   Benefits of Moving to the Cloud Why move to the Cloud? One reason businesses migrate is being able to work across multiple devices including mobile, desktop and laptop computers. Cloud computing is scalable and can handle extra demand as your business grows. Not only that, but more employees work remotely, and Cloud computing enables teleworkers to access the company’s cloud-based systems when working remotely. Lastly, moving to the Cloud can, in many cases, convert the capital expense (CAPEX) of hardware and infrastructure to a predictable operating expense(OPEX). Efficiencies of Cloud Computing Predictability of cost is one key reason businesses make such a strategic decision. With Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), businesses can eliminate the up-front costs of hardware and systems updates, and phase out aging hardware. While the business will need to plan for customization, migration, and integration, Cloud computing allows customers to pay a predictable cost for the resources they use. What...
Page 2 of 2012345...1020...Last »