A Question I ask every Business Owner I meet

By Simon Smyth, Director

 

When I meet a fellow business owner, I often find it important to ask them this question. This question should be considered for their benefit and will save them a large amount of money when the time comes. This question is…

Are you protected in the event of a disaster?

If you haven’t read our case study on how much this business lost through a server failure, you should go read it right now. It resulted in thousands of pounds to recover 3 days of lost data and work, and that’s not mentioning the damage on the business’s reputation.

There are a few simple ways to ensure you are protected in the event of a disaster; whether that’s a server failure, a power failure, cyber-attack, internet downtime, or even a social engineering attack.

 

Have a UPS on your Server

An Uninterruptible Power Supply will provide you with emergency power when the main power source of your server fails. If you don’t have a UPS and the power fails, this can be catastrophic.  The result could be a server that simply won’t switch back on again, causing days of downtime.

Server fails can result from power surges, mechanical errors, overheat, out of date security patches, improperly installed software, missing drives, mismanagement or limited capacity.

The cloud

If you want to ensure the safety and protection of your work and data, a new emerging solution is to migrate to the cloud. Rather than saving your documents and data on your PC’s hard drive or server, you save it at a secure data centre and access it over the internet.  This data centre will keep multiple copies of your data both at the data centre and other data centres around the country. From your perspective, it’s exactly like opening a local document or folder.

 

Are your telephones Disaster protected?

If your standard telephone system were to experience downtime for the day – due to the telephone provider or a technological fault – how long would it take to get the phone system up and running? This is an especially important point to think about if your business relies heavily on making and receiving sales calls, as even a day’s downtime can result in a huge loss.

The solution to this would be to move to VoIP. VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol and is similar to your standard telephone system, but runs over the internet. It is a cloud service in itself. You can also use it as a ‘soft phone’ which is a telephone software on your PC. Because it runs over the internet rather than a telephone wire, the flexibility is vast.

If the internet were to fail at your office one morning, all you would need to do is to let your employees know to stay home and use the softphone on their PC instead. It works exactly like if you were making a call from the office, and has the same numbers too. If someone were to call your company, it will go to the softphones, regardless of your location. You can read more about VoIP here.

 

Would you know what to do if your office was infected with malware?

In 2015 74% of SMEs reported a security breach. That’s a huge portion!

The rise of ransomware attacks on small and medium-sized businesses has increased 8 times in the in the past year, according to a new report by Kaspersky Labs. This may be the most painful of all technological disasters, as not only will use lose money from the downtime, but you’ll likely have to pay large amounts of money to get your work and data back (by paying the ransom) - or you can restore from a previous backup. We would NEVER let anyone pay it as there is no guarantee that you will get your data back

 

Malware is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. This is why having anti-virus software on your business’s PC’s are incredibly important.

 

Social engineering attack

What if an employee were to go rogue and attempted to steal sensitive company information? Well, that’s what happened to one of our clients, and we sorted out the problem for them in an instant. Having Outsourced IT support that understands your business requirements well can protect you from instances of this.

It's worth noting that many employees write down their passwords on sticky notes, then stick them to their desk or monitors. Thieves working as cleaners come along and copy the passwords to get access to the system.

Education, combinations of good security software and a business firewall are all required to keep any sized business safe.