Why You Should Pay Attention To Disaster Recovery

In our last blog, we briefly introduced disaster recovery solutions as part of the business continuity family.  However, disaster recovery is arguably the most important aspect of your business continuity plan.  Today’s blog will go over some of the basic concepts and strategies that are available with disaster recovery solutions.

Since every business operates differently, disaster recovery solutions offer a diverse selection of strategies to work with any business regardless of size or investment capability.  Since some businesses can operate with minimal data, they do not need to over invest in securing their vital information.

While other methods are available, the primary types of file backup are either file or image based backups.  File based solutions backup each file independently whereas and image based approach allows for a faster more streamlined solution as it backups files through image capturing which is more efficient and best suited for large volumes of documents.

These backups can be stored in numerous places.  Everywhere from a USB device to a protected cloud server can be used to store backed up information.

This is where some of the complications and problems can arise.  Since most people who run a business are experts in their craft instead of in the intricacies of data security, it is extremely important to have a clear and accurate understanding of how you are managing your disaster recovery plan.

Here are just a few of the questions that should be considered:

  1. Are you saving everything on a USB?
  2. Are you backing things up to the cloud?
  3. How often are these backups occurring?
  4. Do you have more than one redundancy to better ensure secured data?
  5. When was the last time your disaster recovery plan was tested?

All of these questions are important.  But most importantly, as businesses grow and change, the answer to these questions may change.  For example, if a business is only a few people and they store sensitive data in a few separate files, it may only make sense to secure those files.  However, if the business grows and starts to migrate that data into different file groupings or create new workflows, the information may not be secured anymore since the workflow and organization has changed.

Another issue that faces people who try to manually secure information on USB devices is if a file is compromised and then unknowingly saved to the USB, then the USB becomes compromised too, along with any other computer that gets connected to this device.  In this scenario, not only has the user had their data compromised on the USB, but they have also compromised other devices as well.  Since many ransomware hacks have delayed enabling, people are unaware that they are putting malicious information on to their storage device.

The most important fact about disaster recovery is that there is no perfect solution.  Hackers and ransomware are evolving as much as the security designed to stop them.  That is why it is vital to keep your disaster recovery plan top of mind as your business grows and evolves.

There are countless examples of people how thought a simple or manual solution would be enough only to learn first hand that they were not properly secured.  Hundreds of businesses get their information held by ransomware every year and for many of them it serves as a death sentence.  However, for businesses that utilize proper disaster recovery practices, these threats are minimal and easily mitigated.

The key takeaways are the following:

  1. Have more than one redundancy.  If you have an on-site solution, consider adding a remote cloud backup to ensure your data is safe.
  2. Check and make sure your disaster plan is current with your business workflow no less than once a year.
  3. USB drives can be compromised.  Unplugging something doesn’t ensure safety.
  4. Your backup process should be tested 1-2 times a year to ensure efficacy and timely access.
  5. Don’t try to figure this out for yourself.  CBS and other companies have specialists that can walk you through this process to ensure you receive proper solution.

Your data matters!  Make sure it is protected.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

With all of the new technology and software available in today’s workplace, it can be overwhelming to get an understanding of what is necessary and what is superfluous.  From CRM’s to managed service providers, owners and administrators have a lot of options and strategies to consider when approaching business technology.

One of the most important strategies to consider is business continuity.

Put simply, business continuity is the strategy for maintaining functionality and performance through potential network threats or problems.  These threats range from benign problems like software mishaps to more serious issues like dealing with ransomware.  Most large organizations have processes in place due to compliance requirements or because they have a wealth of private or sensitive information.  A solid business continuity plan allows these corporations to protect themselves from losing sensitive information or experiencing large amounts of downtime due to an unforeseen event.  Anything from weather disasters or hacker attacks can be mitigated by having redundant backups and geographically diverse server locations.

Business continuity has multiple facets that contribute to the overall outcome.  One of the most important pieces is disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery is the piece of a business continuity plan that directly pertains to dealing with data loss, downtime, and external threats.  Since every business operates differently, no two disaster recovery plans are the same.

This is extremely important to highlight because many companies try to approach disaster recovery with a singular approach.  Unfortunately, one strategy doesn’t often apply to more than one business.

When designing and implementing a disaster recovery plan, multiple variables need to be considered.  Everything from compliance protocol, industry, number of employees, number of offices, network size, workflow, and standard operational procedures are just a few of the variables that need to be considered.

There is a wealth of misconception and misunderstanding about what makes for a good disaster recovery plan.  Many people assume that keeping data on an extra thumb drive is sufficient when in fact, the thumb drive itself could be hacked and compromised and then used as a tool to infiltrate other networks.  Disaster recovery solutions are not simplistic by design since proper network security and business continuity demands much more attention to detail and technical insight in today’s economy.

In conclusion, business continuity and disaster recovery plans are vital to any operating business.  These plans allow for maximum up-time while drastically reducing threats to sensitive information and data.  All of these solutions are customized and scalable to allow for businesses of any size to ensure consistent performance and safe digital operations.

3 Headaches Cured with Optimized Scanning

Most people that work in offices are familiar with the standard functions of a copy machine.  Scan, fax, and print are the primary roles of these devices and most everyone understands what these roles entail.  However, what many people do not realize is how some of those processes can be streamlined in ways that enhance profit and reduce time investment.

Good scanning strategies and practices offer a fantastic example of how optimizing integrated processes can result in a boost in efficiency and reduce overhead costs.

So how exactly can good scanning practices help your manage or optimize your business workflow?

  1. Compression – One of the biggest headaches faced by numerous business verticals is having files that are large and slow to load.  Finance, legal, accounting, and healthcare are just a few of the fields where large documents and files are stored and accessed with great regularity.  By utilizing compression software such as PremierCOMPRESSION, you can automatically compress file sizes as they are scanned into your database.  This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to load a file while simultaneously reducing the amount of space you use to save vital data.  Using quality compression software offers a night and day experience to business people that need to access large files regularly.  Furthermore, studies have shown in numerous verticals that there is money to be saved by minimizing file sizes since it allows people to invest less in storing data.
  2. Accessibility – The next headache that good scanning practices can help alleviate is user access.  Even if you have compressed files, they can still be long and wordy and time consuming to read through.  By implementing a full-suite scanning solution, you can make your documents searchable in PDF format.  This is another feature that is popular with organizations that work in the legal, medical, or the financial vertical.  Having the freedom and flexibility to search archived documents with specific data saves time and frustration for people that need to regularly find or reference dated information.
  3. Integration – The last headache that a good scanning solution addresses is organization and workflow.  The key component to this strategy is healthy and responsible software integration.  Since there are hundreds of business optimization platforms available and no two are the same, it is vital to employ a scanning solution that can communicate and integrate with your working processes and systems.  Many free or online compression and scanning tools have challenging limitations when it comes to integration.  Solutions like Panasonic’s PremierCOMPRESSION, allow you to quickly and easily integrate with functional software and workflows.  What is more, these processes can be automated on installation to cater to the exact needs of your business.

Overall, there are a multitude of good reasons to investigate how scanning solutions can help your business.  However, the above three features address common daily headaches faced by millions of working people everyday.  The savings in both time and cost more than justify implementing a proper scanning strategy.

To get started or to learn more about what scanning solutions can do to help your business, give us a call to set up a product demonstration.