Tag Archives: managed it services

New Year’s Resolution: Craft a Business Continuity Plan

New Year’s Resolution: Craft a Business Continuity PlanNew Year's Resolution

 

Another year of data collection, natural disasters and cyber attacks has come to a close. Although we can only guess at what mother nature has in store for us in 2018, one thing is guaranteed, security threats won’t abate and could get much worse in the new year. And lets not forget the leading causes of data loss in small businesses: human error and hardware failure. All these equate to one simple conclusion, it’s time to move data protection to the top of the to do list and 2018 is the year to ensure business continuity for your organization.

Downtime is a killer

With the importance and reliance on technology in day-to-day business, it is critical that every organization has a complete solution to deal with the threat of data loss and continuity of operations. If access to mission critical applications and data isn’t available within hours following a disaster or human error small to medium businesses can suffer severe repercussions. It’s 2018 – traditional and antiquated backup methods such as tape and disk are insufficient at protecting businesses from the crippling and costly effects of downtime.

A natural disaster, power surge, viruses, hardware failure, or even accidental deletion can wipe out years of data. Businesses cannot afford to lose time attempting to rebuild their lost, vital information. It is critical that the data is recoverable and spun up in a short period of time.

The 4 Business Continuity Planning Essentials eBook is your first bit of homework. This ebook, outlines four distinct but interconnected business continuity planning essentials:

  1. Crafting an employee safety and communication plan
  2. Craft a customer communications plan
  3. Enable IT Uptime
  4. Ensure Continuity of operations and avoid downtime

So what is the difference between Business Continuity and Data Backup?

Although overlapping, these terms represent uniquely different mindsets when it comes to data protection. Data backup answers the questions: is my data safe? Can I get it back in case of a failure? Business continuity, on the other hand, involves thinking about the business at a higher level, and asks: how quickly can I get my business operating again in case of system failure?

Successful backup is the foundation for disaster recovery and business continuity. But in case of failure, you have to get that data back and restore it quickly enough so your business doesn’t suffer. For example, if your server dies, you wouldn’t be able to quickly get back to work if you only had file-level backup. For you to start working again, your server would need to be replaced, all software re-installed, data re-installed and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take hours or even days—and in the meantime, your users can’t get their jobs done.

It is crucial for businesses to know exactly what to look for in a backup solution. This guide outlines the key criteria for SMBs to keep in mind when seeking out total data protection. And this video examines the key differentiators for various types of backup.

Let’s calculate your RTO & RPO

Many organizations do not have a comprehensive way to determine the actual costs of downtime for their business. Utilizing RTO & RPO are valuable in calculating downtime loss and gives SMBs a better understanding of the risks relating to business failure. Thinking about business in these terms puts your backup solution into perspective.

  • RTO (Recovery Time Objective): The duration of time within which a business must be restored after a disaster or disruption to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity.
  • RPO (Recovery Point Objective): The maximum tolerable period of time in which data might be lost due to a disaster.

By calculating your desired RTO, you have determined the maximum time that you can be without your data before your business gets into serious trouble. Alternatively, by specifying the RPO, you know how often you need to perform backups, because you know how much data you can afford to lose without damaging your business. You may have an RTO of a day, and an RPO of an hour. Or your RTO might be measured in hours and your RPO in minutes. It’s all up to you and what your business requires.

Once you determine your RPO and RTO, it’s time to calculate how much downtime and lost data will actually cost you.

Answer the following questions:

  1. How many employees would be affected if critical data were unavailable?
  2. What is the average wage of the affected employee (per hour)?
  3. What is the per-hour overhead cost of the affected employees?
  4. How much revenue would be lost per hour as a result of the unavailability of data?

Add up the average per-hour wage, the per-hour overhead, and the per-hour revenue numbers and you have how much a data loss will cost you. Given that funding and budget constraints can be the top challenge (43 percent) for a business to implement a business continuity solution, calculating your RTO will give you the financial validation needed to justify its purchase and maintenance. The Datto Recovery Time Calculator is the tool you need to evaluate your Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives.

The final piece – Testing

Testing is a vital piece to making sure your backup is functioning properly, establishing true Business Continuity. It is the only way to reveal gaps in your plan and address them proactively.  It is also a great benefit to your employees.  If your team is well versed in the process and procedures things will run more smoothly.

  • Helps validate plan content and ensure that the identified strategies are capable of providing response and recovery results within the timeframes (or capabilities) approved by management.
  • Highlights weaknesses and areas for improvement, or where capabilities fail to align to business continuity and IT disaster recovery requirements.
  • Provides critical hands-on training to the personnel responsible for the response and recovery activities (which ensures an appropriate level of performance and develops confidence).

Testing your plan should also be conducted with an IT solutions company specializing in complete data solutions to maintain the integrity of your system and ensure compliance. The test is scheduled for a time that will avoid an interruption in your business productivity and will have no impact on your network. A virtual test provides the only reliable environment for predicting the impact of change and is an excellent way to test patches or perform upgrades.

Every business has to prepare for the worst. Those that don’t may never fully recover from a disaster. This is one New Year’s resolution you’ll be happy to keep. So grab your disaster recovery checklist and let’s welcome the new year with a rigorous business continuity plan! Ancero certified data protection solution specialists are ready to provide your free, no-obligation business continuity assessment. Ancero is a full service IT company and is proud to be a Datto Blue Partner data service provider. Data Protection could be your best investment in 2018!

Contact Us

Want to learn more about data security? Here are additional resources for you:

13 RansomWare Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Data Protection

CEO? Here’s Why You Care About Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery

HealthCare Company? Cure Your IT Ailments with Business Continuity

Law Firms: Don’t Take A Recess From Business Continuity

 

Say YES to remote work!

Desktop as a Service - DaaSSay YES to remote work!

The world of work is changing and chances are most businesses have already made adjustments to their workforce because of the proven benefits of remote working: reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, improved employee health and attitude. But it’s not just a matter of creating policies or adapting attitudes to support remote work. The leading driver of a successful remote/mobile work program is technology.

Without the right technology to enable productive remote work, your business won’t reap the benefits. The key is a complete, integrated workspace to enable employees to securely access their apps, desktops and data from anywhere, anytime, on any device. So what technology provides that service?

Cloud hosted Workspace-as-a-Service, or WaaS, is an innovative solution perfect for businesses looking to support remote work employees, mobile employees and BYOD environments. It’s also an ideal solution for small business transitioning applications and support to the cloud.

What is WaaS? Workspace-as-a-Service is the provisioning of remote hosted virtual desktops using a remote server to host personal computer desktops simultaneously. With WaaS a major upgrade is integrated quickly, IT staff no longer has to move from computer to computer to perform the same tasks on multiple PCs. The PCs effectively become all the same, all of which are accessing data and applications through the cloud service provider without storing anything locally.

Make your physical workspace more efficient.
A mobile workforce has many faces. There are employees that are mobile within their work environment, moving from terminal to terminal, such as doctors, factory floor workers, and retail associates. For them to remain productive, they need reliable, fast and secure access to corporate apps and data, regardless of location. Workspace-as-a-Service provides employees virtual workstations throughout a facility, where data and applications are accessed via the cloud service on any device. A quick login and they are in their documents, applications and corporate data, securely.

Whether you have virtual workstations throughout your office or virtual desktops for remote employees, there is one stand out benefit – cost savings on hardware! WaaS removes the burden of purchasing, supporting and upgrading local PCs and laptops. Reuse existing hardware and extend the life of your IT investment. The technology itself – the use of a thin client to access WaaS – costs two times less than a traditional PC due to its longer life, absence of a local hard disk, and reduced power consumption.

And security?
If there is no sensitive information stored on any local hard drive, there is nothing to steal or loose. Cloud desktops are locked down, changes are made by an administrator which helps to prevent user initiated problems. And if a cloud desktop gets an infection, an IT professional simply recovers from a golden image and then reloads the user’s profile settings. Recovery is quick and easy.

Your employees are asking for greater flexibility and remote work options. With the help of our WaaS Access Anywhere, you can confidently provide a productive remote work environment, satisfying their requests. Call Ancero to schedule your free evaluation. We’ll discuss your immediate needs, current IT infrastructure and long term goals to ensure your organization is a fit for WaaS.

You can reach our business technology solutions experts at 856-210.5800 or email them at sales@ancero.com

 

New firewalls, new protections, no upfront capital expense!

sonicwall tz seriesNew firewalls, new protections, no upfront capital expense!

Don’t fight the threats of today with the technology of the past. Upgrades are essential to your security. Ancero Managed Security as a Service (SECaaS) combines the security of a SonicWall firewall appliance with Ancero managed IT services, reporting software, and content filtering, plus all related warranty and subscription services in a bundled solution at a low monthly subscription price. Always have a current firewall with no capital expenditure. The SonicWall firewalls and management software deliver the features, flexibility and visibility you need to fight threats without slowing down your network.

With Ancero SECaaS, all the necessary data security components are bundled into a convenient monthly subscription price with no upfront hardware investment required. Deploy a network security solution that fits within virtually any budget!

What’s included with SECaaS?

  • Firewall hardware
  • Advanced software solutions
  • Security configuration
  • 24×7 Monitoring and management
  • On-Demand Reporting
  • Content Filtering
  • Hardware flexibility
  • Ancero support service

Always have a current firewall with long-term flexibility to upgrade equipment as your needs change and as technology changes. Eliminate your capital expenditure with no upfront cost for hardware, and pay a predictable monthly service fee for security instead. SECaaS is available across the entire SonicWall product portfolio – from the smallest to the largest firewall.

Eliminate time consuming management when you outsource your network security to Ancero, the leading managed service provider. We install, configure and deploy your security solution – managing everything for you, plus 24×7 Ancero support. SECaaS includes many of the SonicWall network security services that are essential to your data protection, including their Capture Advanced Threat Protection.

For the full features and list of benefits download our Managed SECaaS brochure.

The #1 selling small business firewall, the SonicWall TZ firewall, delivers the same level of security, performance and manageability as firewalls used by banks, government agencies and large businesses. Watch the video or download the TZ firewall technical data sheet

Ready to upgrade your old firewall? Call Ancero, your full service IT company, to discuss this new Managed SECaaS service 856-210-5800 or email us at sales@104.219.251.195.

Moving? A few things to consider……

Moving? A few things to consider……Office decommissioning

Technology is at the core of your business. It is essential that your IT move is done right the first time minimizing the disruption to the ongoing operation of your business. Your IT staff or VoIP service provider needs to be an integral part of your relocation team to ensure there is little to no downtime for your business.

Moving to a new office is the perfect time to upgrade your communications systems or refresh old technology. While your new location is being built out or renovated it is the ideal time to install a new technology infrastructure. All the necessary cabling, electrical and wireless foundations can be laid to ensure your technology investment functions at it’s best.

Don’t forget what you’re leaving behind. Planning for a move also requires consideration about the condition you leave your former office, or rightly called ‘office decommissioning’. Without a thoughtful process this could be an unintended major expense. Shawn O’Neil of Argosy Management Group, a leader in office relocation, warns not to overlook your old office space. “Neglecting to properly decommission the old office space leaves you exposed to unnecessary costs. The majority of commercial leases contain very specific requirements as to how the old space needs to be turned back over to the landlord. If not, it’s your deposit that hangs in the balance. The removal of unwanted furniture can be an expensive undertaking.”

So how do you dispose of old office furniture, equipment and technology when you move? Thankfully, finding a good way to dispose of old furniture, phones and computers doesn’t have to be such a headache. In fact, there are some pretty good ways to make disposal easy and sometimes work to the advantage of others.

The first step prior to a commercial move is making a comprehensive inventory of what you’ve got and what you don’t want to take with you. Secondly, assess the condition of the furniture and equipment. Is the furniture is able to be broken down and assembled again without issue? Is the equipment in good working order? If yes, then it could be re-sold. Be sure to notate in your inventory list the condition of the items. The more accurate your inventory, the easier the disposal process will be.

Here are a few suggestions for furniture disposal:
• Offer the option to your employees to buy the furniture
• Re-sell to a used furniture store
• Contact the vendor you purchased from, they might buy it back
• Donate to a charity (Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, your local church may need furniture for their offices, etc)
• 1-800-Junk is an option but you will have to pay a fee for removal
If you take advantage of moving as an optimal time for a technology upgrade, utilizing modern technologies will give you a competitive edge and empower business growth. So what can you do with the electronic waste left behind?

Every computer dumped into a landfill represents a missed opportunity to provide technology and tools to individuals and organizations across the digital divide. Ancero partners with The Trenton Digital Initiative – a nonprofit program working to help economically challenged Trenton families gain affordable access to the internet. TDI reconditions, repurposes, and then distributes donated computers to these families for free, as well as providing low-cost, high-speed Comcast Internet service. Ancero serves as an equipment drop off location at 1001 Briggs Road, Suite 220, Mount Laurel, NJ between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm.

Very old or broken hardware should go to end-of-life recycling, meaning responsible destruction that’s safe for the environment. A computer recycler is a business or organization that salvages useful computer parts before breaking down what’s left, safely removing hazardous materials in the process. Always remember to wipe any sensitive information from any hardware before you turn it over for recycling.

For listings of recycle drop off locations in your area visit these resources:
Earth911
NJ State eWaste recycle centers
PA State Electronics Collection programs

Of course, if you donate furniture or technology you’re eligible for a tax write-off so you can still end up with some financial gain in the end along with the knowledge that you are helpings others!

Don’t pay to move an aging phone system or outdated technology when Ancero has helped hundreds of clients to cost effectively modernize their business phone systems and IT infrastructure with options that don’t require an initial capital outlay for the hardware! Moving is complicated and stressful. Entrusting Ancero, a full service IT company, with your IT infrastructure and communication needs gives you one less thing to worry about. Getting you back to business faster, with minimal downtime.