If you run your business in Boston, you’re clearly from hearty stock. You battle the snow all winter, deal with the traffic and the tourists, and you still make time to protect your vital business data from countless vulnerabilities. Right? Sure, of course you do. At NENS, we’re all about keeping your data Boston strong, because we all know what threats are out there when it comes to cyber security. So, while we’re sure you’re all over these issues like red sauce on a plate of North End spaghetti, we’ve put together a friendly list of reminders just in case you need a kick in the pants about how to do data backup right.
- You Know That Data is the Lifeblood of Your Company
If you’re doing data right, you know that technical resources are 2nd only to human resources in terms of value to your company. Just as you work hard to retain great employees, you also work hard to protect, retain, and manage your data. You also know that external cyber theft, while a concern, is not the only threat to your precious data. Instead there are some other data bogeymen out there, starting with…
- …Human Error
Really smart execs understand that the biggest threats are often walking around smiling and brandishing their employee badges. Tough to hear? Hate to break it to ya, but if you’re like most companies, you’ve already willingly given your employees easy access to lots of your most precious data. Sure, but if your employees are trustworthy, then what’s the big deal? But here’s the thing: they’re still human. Who among us hasn’t experienced the terrible feeling of working on a file for hours, only to overwrite it through human error? All that work lost in the abyss because of a botched “save.” At NENS, we get requests every day to recover files, directories, mailboxes or databases because someone ran with scissors through their file system. Don’t lose precious time on searching for lost documents or recreating data, and get proactive by talking to IT consultants that have proven solutions (like us!).
- Weather Woes
Power outages happen, and in Boston? Well, they happen a little more often then we’d like to admit. When a computer system suddenly loses power, anything on that computer, including files, databases, customer records, and even financial data, is open to corruption. A single file won’t snow you under, but if it is a database or a file system gets corrupt, then all the files are placed at risk. It’s critical that smart businesses know how to overcome power outages, especially when we here in Boston know that as sure as the Pats will make the playoffs, we’ll get at least one whiteout per year. Don’t let Mother Nature mess with your ability to get business done—protect yourself, and don’t forget your umbrella, hat and gloves, as well.
- It’s 3am: Do you Know Where Your Data Is?
Smart business leaders know that “data” is more than just this spreadsheet or that database; it’s an entire system that needs to be protected and accounted for at all times. We need to keep track of the data we have and create plans to be able to recover it. If not, and if we don’t take time to understand the ramifications of a data loss, we could be gambling with our very business. For example: do you know which systems can’t be down for long periods of time? Do you know the financial impact, in minutes, of each business system? Not all data needs to be treated the same, but you—or someone you trust—should know the difference between data that you can get by without and data that will cost you thousands should it go missing. Smart leaders stay educated, know their numbers so they can make better decisions. Do not be afraid to leverage a Boston IT consultant with related expertise. They know how to keep your data snug and secure.
- Location, Location, Location (And Another New Location!)
As your company grows, so does your dependency on data. Remote locations (well, really the employees at remote locations) may treat the data differently than the corporate location, and may not follow the same policies of backup, protection and verification. This puts all of your data at a risk. Managing the technology and data needs of a company as it scales up is a major challenge, and one that shouldn’t be underestimated. Stop fumbling in the dark and find the IT consulting group that can actually help you move forward without hitting your head on the same spot again and again and again—well, you get the picture.
- Vetting and Verifying Your Backup Plan
There’s this sneaky assumption out there that once someone gets told to backup their data, then all is grand in Candyland. Not so. There is only one way to make sure those little digital 1s and 0s are protected. Don’t say it, no please, anything but that! Sorry but it is true – you’ve got to test and verify your systems. But wait—isn’t it IT’s job to verify? Well, yes boss, but too often IT staff are busy fighting fires, fixing this, tweaking that, repairing a virus and installing a new program for the office admin. Time spent on user requests is not time available for checking and verifying that the backups are functional. A good IT consulting firm or internal IT group has the process, resources and scheduled activities to verify that your data is truly protected, and document your current status to leadership so you can rest easy and get on with running your company.
- The Cloud is Not a Magic Wand
Take a deep breath because this one might really burst a few bubbles. Turns out that data in the cloud? Well, it’s vulnerable because it’s a larger pool of sweet, enticing data. One hack and it opens up access to a full Pandora’s box of data (pictures anyone?), one that’s hard to replace once it’s out. This is not to say that cloud storage isn’t a good—great, even!—solution. Just be sure to conduct the same vetting and verification process of your security systems to ensure your protections are adequate. Want even more peace of mind? Consider keeping a copy of your data with a different vendor—heck, even Microsoft ain’t immune to the occasional hack.
So there you have it—the Boston IT consultants guide to keep your data in tip top shape. If you’re wiped out just from reading this, give us a call, we make the data stress go away. We’re the resident experts on all things data, and we’re happy to make your Boston business that much stronger.