OMNINET Plus has been serving the Washington D.C. metropolitan area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical help-desk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Let’s Clear Up Some Major Misconceptions About Data Backup

Let’s Clear Up Some Major Misconceptions About Data Backup

Data backup is a critical component of a business continuity plan, but there are many businesses that fail to understand why data backup is important, as well as what it entails. We want to clear up some facts about how data backup is important, and why you need it for your business. Only with a thorough understanding of how your data backup saves your infrastructure can you effectively use it for business continuity.

Multiple Copies Doesn’t Guarantee Effective Backup
It’s a best practice to keep multiple copies of your data strewn across various parts of your computing infrastructure. One should be in-house, while another should be stored off-site and in the cloud, completely unconnected from your in-house network. However, just because you have several backups of your data doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be effective when you need them most. Regardless of where they’re stored, data backups are still vulnerable to user error and data corruption. To avoid this unfortunate circumstance, make a habit out of regularly testing your data backups.

Data Often Cannot Be Restored from the Original
While there may be an opportunity to restore data following a loss incident, it’s not always a guarantee. Regardless, rebuilding data out of nothing would certainly be a time-consuming endeavor, especially if you lost a significant portion of your data infrastructure. Instead, it’s better and more time-conscious to just restore a backup of the data rather than attempting to restore data from what remains of your data disaster.

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Aren't the Same Thing
It’s worth mentioning that data backup and disaster recovery aren’t the same thing, but are quite closely related. Data backup is the act of taking the backup itself, while disaster recovery is the ability to recover these data backups. Data backup represents a figure known as the recovery point objective, which determines how much data you want to back up at any given time. Disaster recovery, on the other hand, focuses on the recovery time objective, which is how long it takes you to get back to normal operations. Both of these should be clearly outlined in order to guarantee that your disaster recovery can go as smoothly as possible.

One of the best ways to address all of these misconceptions is with a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution from OMNINET PLUS. Our BDR can help your business fully leverage enterprise-level business continuity software that allows for optimal uptime and efficiency. Our BDR can take backups as often as every fifteen minutes--automatically--without disrupting the workday. Furthermore, these backups are captured both in the BDR device and in an off-site data center, from which they can be restored remotely in the event of a data loss disaster. The BDR can act as a server unit while your business makes plans to replace your faulty hardware.

To learn more about BDR and business continuity, reach out to us at 301-869-6890. Our professional technicians would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have over the future of your data infrastructure.

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4 Common Threats that Can Be Alleviated By Backing Up Your Data

4 Common Threats that Can Be Alleviated By Backing Up Your Data

It doesn’t take much to derail a business. Even the slightest disruption in power can lead to an unexpected power-down, and something as simple as a severe rainstorm could lead to floods that wash away your data. The point stands that you have everything to lose, and without data backup and disaster recovery, your business practices could be in danger.

Why You Need Backup and Disaster Recovery
Every organization should have a sound plan to recover any data that’s lost due to unexpected disasters. It’s been proven that organizations that fail to recover lost data within 7 days of the incident, typically go out of business within one year. There are many reasons why data backup and disaster recovery solutions need to be implemented. Here are just a few of the threats that could uproot your business and disrupt operations.

  • Natural disasters: Floods, fires, electric storms, tornadoes, hailstorms, and so on, all have the potential to not only destroy your physical infrastructure, but also your business’s data. Therefore, if you’re in a region that’s prone to extreme weather conditions, you need to consider backup and disaster recovery.
  • Cyber attacks: Data breaches are well-known culprits of data loss. It’s not easy to predict what a virus or malware will do, but most often, they’re designed to steal your data, delete it, or lock it away until a ransom is paid. In all of these cases, it’s best to have your data backed up so it can be safely restored.
  • User error: The biggest threats often come from those who are supposed to have access to your data, not just those who don’t. If an end-user accidentally deletes a file, moves it somewhere it doesn’t belong, or hands over credentials to a hacker on accident, your data is put at risk.
  • Hardware failure: The inevitable part of working with technology is the fact that it will eventually fail and be rendered obsolete. This can happen when you least expect it, and the costly downtime can be a major setback for your business - not to mention the data that could be lost if a server were to go down.

What You Should Look For
Not all backup and disaster recovery services will be the same, nor should they be. You need a solution that’s customized to meet the specific needs of your business. Here are some of the best features to look for in a BDR solution, and why they’re critical for the continued functionality of your business.

  • Cloud and off-site backup: You don’t want to store your data backups on in-house tapes. Rather, you want them secure in an off-site location, like the cloud or a data center. This way, you can know that your data is stored in a compliant location that can’t be damaged by natural disasters.
  • Quick recovery time: You want to be able to rapidly deploy your business’s data to your infrastructure in order to minimize downtime. Tape backup can make this part of the recovery process long-winded and wasteful, but BDR can automatically deploy your data through the cloud, making recovery practically instantaneous.
  • Comprehensive backup: Furthermore, you want to make sure that your data is as recent as possible. Tape backup is inefficient for this purpose, while BDR can take backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes - maybe even more often.

For more information about BDR and business continuity, contact OMNINET PLUS at 301-869-6890.

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Before You Act on a Hack, Know the Extent of the Breach

Before You Act on a Hack, Know the Extent of the Breach

Getting hacked is a scary occurrence. It’s a major reason why you have security measures put into place. You try to avoid it as much as you can, but getting outsmarted by hackers happens to the best of us. The good news is that as long as you approach your hacking incident in a reasonable way, you can limit the amount of damage that’s done to your infrastructure.

Before you do anything else, it’s important to remain calm and not to make any rash decisions concerning your systems, like going public with your hack immediately following the breach. Before informing those who were affected, you need to know who actually was affected. This includes determining how deep the breach has gone, how much data was stolen or destroyed, and whether or not there are still underlying issues within your IT infrastructure, waiting to resurface.

Understand the Full Scope of the Attack
Before jumping to conclusions, begin by assessing what exactly happened to your IT systems. Was it a data breach, and if so, how did the intruders get in? Did they infiltrate through a spam email, or did they brute force their way into your network? Was it the cause of user error, or the result of a neglected vulnerability in your software solutions? These are all important questions that need to be asked, and you need to know the full impact of the hacking attack before anything can be done about it.

Check Which Data, If Any, Was Stolen
The next part of handling a data breach is checking what data was affected by it. Did the hacker make off with any valuable information, like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account usernames, passwords, or other credentials? If you know which files have been accessed, you’ll have a good grasp on the extent of the damage. However, if health records have been compromised, you might be more trouble than you’d care to admit.

Give Your IT Department Room to Clean Up the Mess
Your business needs to conduct a full investigation into the hacking attack, and take preventative measures to ensure that the system has been completely purged of the threat. This includes having an environment available for work while your IT is busy containing the problem and resolving it as quickly as possible. This also includes having the resources available to do so; your budget should be ready to deal with hacks whenever possible.

Find the Real Issue
Sometimes smaller hacking attacks are used as distractions to the real problem. For example, a virus that infects a PC could simply be a distraction to hide a trojan, which may allow the hacker to later access your network. If this happens, any attempts to clean up your systems might be rendered useless, especially if you haven’t found the trojan. You could just be inviting another hacking attack, which is counterproductive and costly.

Keep in mind, sometimes your business might not be the target, but instead just unfortunate enough to be a victim. Phishing attacks, malware, and other threats travel virally, spreading between contacts and getting picked up on unsafe websites by users.

Know Your Compliance Liability
Depending on the types of files that have been exposed to hackers, you might have a full-fledged violation of compliance laws on your hands. This can lead to expensive fines that can break your budget. Knowing where you stand on compliance, as well as what’s involved for reporting it, is a crucial step in handling a data breach.

OMNINET PLUS can help your business handle any potential data breach, and our trusted IT professionals can assist with implementing new solutions to prevent future breaches. To learn more, give us a call at 301-869-6890.

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Kayla Stapylton
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Thursday, 26 September 2019 07:39
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2 Useful Mobile Apps for Every Modern Office Worker

b2ap3_thumbnail_crucial_business_app_400.jpgThe modern office only resembles the office of the past. Sure there are still desks and chairs and cork boards hanging on the walls. There are still printers, copiers, and maybe even a fax machine (although many times nowadays all of those tasks are handled by the same machine). The differences, though often understated, are prevalent; with advancements in technology being the most noteworthy change. The most evident of which, is the widespread use of employee-owned mobile devices.

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Fact: USPS Makes $8 Million Per Year Selling Your Personal Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_data_mining_ups_400.jpgUnless you have been vigilant about covering your digital tracks, you’ve likely got your personal information floating all over cyberspace and it’s being used for who knows what. Most of this personal data is used for marketing purposes, but hackers like to get in on the data-collecting action too. Being aware of how your personal data is collected is the first step towards getting a handle on it.

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There’s an Important Difference Between Data and Information

b2ap3_thumbnail_information_data_400.jpgYou can’t have IT without information, you can’t have information without data, and technology is what creates data so that you can better use your company’s technology to increase sales. Got it? Understanding the flow of data can be confusing. It’s important to have a handle on it so you can leverage your data for the success of your business.

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