Disaster Recovery Plans: All Your IT Questions Answered

Your company’s time and resources are limited. When you spend time planning for the future, it likely centers around a plan for a project, expansion or improvement. The last thing you want to spend precious time and resources on is planning for everything to go wrong.

However, if you don’t plan for disaster recovery, all your hard work for future growth can disappear, leaving you rebuilding your business from scratch and losing potential revenue and precious data.

What is a disaster recovery plan?

It’s a plan to get back to business as usual. Disasters can range from damage done to hardware by a natural disaster, user error or cyberattacks. A thorough disaster recovery plan is detailed and delegates tasks to a team of information technology professionals and internal employees who can restore your business’ data as quickly as possible. It allows the organization to recover data, gain access to networking technology, reconnect power and repair software or hardware.

When should planning begin?

The good news is that cloud computing and managed IT services makes disaster recovery much less difficult. Your managed services team — a third-party team of IT professionals — can assist your organization in transitioning to a cloud computing system.

The cloud — represented as multiple, secure data centers across the country — ensures that your sensitive and important information is secure. Data is backed up continuously so loss in the event of a disaster is miniscule. Your managed services team will use the latest data backup to restore your systems.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a disaster recovery plan. Your IT provider can work with your organization to determine steps to cover everything from what happens if your data is compromised to finding temporary hardware and software that allows your team to get back to work even as recovery begins. 

What should be in a disaster recovery plan?

Businesses often believe their disaster recovery plan should focus only on the worst-case scenario. However, consider what you need from your IT services and equipment to carry out daily operations. While the ultimate disaster could occur, daily mishaps are more likely, such as a corrupted software program or finnicky phone systems. 

Additionally, it’s important to not only have the guidelines for restoration, your IT team must have comprehensive access to your applications so they can get to work as soon as a disaster strikes. Both IT professionals and internal employees should understand the tasks they may need to carry out if IT systems go awry.

How do I create a disaster recovery plan?

As your organization and its processes evolve, your IT plan should be updated. To create a plan with your IT provider, consider these steps:

  • Establish the scope of the organization’s daily work
  • Gather network infrastructure and access documents
  • Identify threats
  • Review past actions during outages or disasters
  • Build an emergency response team
  • Review the plan with IT professionals and management
  • Test disaster recovery plan
  • Update the plan

Infomax can help create a disaster recovery plan for your team. For more information, call 515-244-5203. 

Why you should back up your data today

No one wants to have a Plan B. Most people spend so much time and energy on the original plan that they don’t consider a backup. However, your business’ sensitive information is too important not to back up in advance. Most businesses have years’ worth of sensitive data, including business, employee, client, financial and tax information, that they can’t afford to have compromised.

The good news is that if you spend a bit of time safeguarding and archiving your company’s data, you’ll spend much less time scrambling for a plan and trying recover your information if the unthinkable does occur. The solution is to schedule regular backups for your company’s important data and documents.

Organizations that still store many of their important files on paper — without a digital archive — clearly face the most risk if natural disaster strikes. However, storm damage can still wipe out digital files, especially if they are stored in the same facility. Findings from FEMA and the United States Small Business Administration indicate that the vast majority of businesses that suffer from a natural disaster fail within the first year or two following the damage. A survey of more than 500 IT professionals by cloud-based backup company Carbonite found that 40 percent of respondents believed their small business would go under permanently if they lost all its files. Worse yet, 58 percent of IT professionals believed they couldn’t handle the loss of any of important data. 

While Mother Nature is unpredictable, cyberattacks can be just as difficult to guard against. About 43 percent of cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses, according to Small Business Trends. The networks that house your company’s information could be compromised through malware. Worse yet, your business could fall prey to ransomware malware, which locks users out of a network until they pay a ransom to hackers. Ransomware attack frequency is growing at about 350 percent annually, according to Cisco. Safeguard your data before an attack occurs.

Even if businesses are lucky enough to escape natural disaster damage and cyberattacks, data files can become corrupted through user or program error. Regularly backing up data ensures that data can easily be restored in the event of data corruption, much the same way as edit history on a document can restore the file.

How often should data be backed up? A proper backup solution program should archive your information multiple times a day. Luckily, Infomax’s iGuard solutions automatically backup your data every 15 minutes, ensuring that your business can recover from almost any emergency situation. Our automatic solution works for your IT professionals. It secures your data to guard against cyberattacks. Additionally, we help your company stay compliant with legal requirements, such as HIPAA, SOX and GLBA. If your data is not breached or lost, you don’t lose yours or clients’ valuable and sensitive information.

To learn more about our backup solutions, contact us at 1-800-727-4629. 

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – What’s the Difference?

When a computer glitch strikes and you get the “Blue Screen of Death,” your heart leaps into your throat. Then you remember your automated backup program. Whew, everything is safe.

But is it?

Backups can give us a sense of security, yet there’s a significant difference between backing up your data and recovering it after a disaster. Despite their distinctions, both are critical for a healthy information technology system.

Data backup is a standard and sometimes simple process—saving a copy (or multiple copies) of information in case the original or working copy has a problem. Backup may occur as a process automated by software, a physical action required of a human being, or as part of Managed IT or cloud services. Backed-up data might be stored in an external hard drive on your desktop, on CD- or DVD-ROM, on an offsite server, or even with a cloud-based service. Regular data backup is an essential part of business, often done on a daily basis to keep copies of records.

But data backup alone isn’t enough. Backed-up data is like a parachute: good to have, but not very helpful if you can’t use it! A recovery plan is the parachute pack and deployment system. A tested, staged, and properly deployable pack is mandatory if you hope to survive disaster.

Disaster recovery includes the processes and people that make backed-up data usable. Since disasters happen at any time, it’s essential that your recovery system be ready and available whenever needed, and your staff must know how to activate that system. Disaster recovery is about the outcome.

There are numerous failure points (human or software), and faith in untested systems can provide a false sense of security. Moreover, everything must be accessible when you need it. Do you know who to call? How to get your data back into use?

Using a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be a critical part of a robust backup and disaster recovery system. Through service-level agreements, your provider becomes an extension of your company, but one with industry-specific expertise and tested recovery systems. A relationship with a Managed Service Provider also functions across your organization, rather than through isolated departments or individual sets of files.

To make sure you’re prepared to bounce back if the worst ever happens, contact Infomax about backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Surprising Benefits of Managed IT

Many businesses are now familiar with some of the primary benefits of Managed IT. They include cost control, troubleshooting and problem-solving, and freeing up resources for activities more central and unique to your business. But, in addition to those common valuable features, Managed IT can provide some surprising benefits to you and your business.

With Managed IT, you can:

Stay up-to-date. Complete management of your IT network includes the critical element of patching and upgrading. Easily left by the wayside when you’re focused on troubleshooting, your Managed IT provider includes regular software patches as part of their services. By keeping you on track with the latest updates for your software and operating system, they’ll help you avoid security risks, eliminate glitches, and solve usability issues. Managed IT keeps all of your systems running smoothly.

Get custom insight. Usage reports and service statistics are par for the course, but your Managed IT provider can also design dashboards and reports tailored specifically for your business. Department managers can see at-a-glance which systems are running smoothly and where action needs to be taken. Custom dashboards provide the insight you need to stay on top of your operations.

Be ready for disaster—and recovery. A Managed IT partnership means having redundant and fail-safe systems. Normally this is a significant investment. But, when you work with a Managed IT provider, the cost of network and data center infrastructure is distributed among various clients, so it’s more affordable to incorporate a comprehensive backup and recovery solution.

Take your information technology to the next level. While in-house IT staff must normally be generalists who can solve any number of problems, Managed IT providers employ specialists whose expertise can be leveraged for your business’ strategy. They provide intimate knowledge of device life cycles, software risks and options, and OS upgrades. Periodic reviews by these experts can make sure you’re operating with the most efficient and effective systems.

Working with a partner for Managed IT is so much more than outsourcing your Help Desk tickets. With dedicated resources, specialized expertise, and a strong relationship with your provider, a move to Managed IT means teaming up with a partner that is invested in your company’s success. Contact Infomax Office Systems to learn more about Managed IT and how it can benefit your business.

Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Why Backup & Disaster Recovery Are Essential

Have you taken the time to plan for the worst? Everyone likes to think they are immune from disastrous situations like fire, flood, or security breaches. But the truth is, without a backup and recovery plan, your business is at risk.

Backup and recovery is a crucial aspect of any company’s business model. It simply refers to strategically protecting your business documents and programs from any type of data loss, and developing a plan to retrieve or reconstitute files in the event they are lost or destroyed. Typically, backup and recovery focuses its plan around electronic databases that are networked across your organization.

Here are a few reasons to design and implement a solid backup and recovery system into your business plan ASAP.

Preemptive protection – A backup and disaster recovery strategy literally safeguards your livelihood. Would your business survive a week if a flood destroyed all of your computers, servers, and hardcopy documents? How would you get back on your feet? By working with a trusted IT provider, like Infomax, you can determine a plan that best fits your company’s needs before disaster strikes. That way, if and when some unforeseen disaster happens you’ll be able to get your business back up and running in a timely manner.

Guaranteed coverage – If you are put in the position of having to rely on your backup and recovery plan, you can lean on your services provider to get you up and running quickly while you deal with the other inevitable aspects of clean-up, like rethinking deadlines or contacting your insurance company. Whether you’re a mom-and-pop shop or enterprise-level business, your IT services provider will ensure that all aspects of your business are included in your backup and recovery plan. For example, Infomax will back up your data automatically through cloud computing every 15 minutes, guaranteeing you uninterrupted workflows in almost any emergency situation.

Peace of mind – Let’s face it, you’ve got enough to worry about. Your day-to-day tasks can be overwhelming enough, without having to consider how your data would survive a disaster. Working with an IT service provider to determine a plan that works for your business will ensure that you have one less thing to stress about, giving you peace of mind when it comes to your company’s data.

Interested in having your data backed up every 15 minutes? Contact Infomax today to get your backup and recovery plan started.