Tag Archives: business continuity planning

Your Business is Under Attack from “Them”

What kind of attacks affect businesses in Arizona?

Arizona and Phoenix Metro in particular are not any more vulnerable than other parts of the country when it comes to Natural disaster. As a matter of fact when it comes to natural disasters, Phoenix is listed as the second safest city in U.S. Metro Areas with 1 million inhabitants or more, Rochester, New York being the safest.

      1. Rochester, New York
      2. Phoenix, Arizona
      3. Columbus, Ohio
      4. Buffalo, New York
      5. Cincinnati, Ohio

We are lucky enough to avoid, tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, floods, & wildfires more than most other major cites. Unsurprisingly, many businesses locate their call centers, data centers, and office operations in Arizona taking advantage of the relatively disaster free state and metropolitan area. What then if anything do business need to worry about if we are mostly free from natural attacks? Although we enjoy relative natural stability, mother nature can still pack a wallop when she wants to.

Lightning and Power, and Heat,  Oh My!

Major Metropolitan areas of Arizona can breath a sigh of relief when it comes to most massive natural disasters, however, we are still significantly affected by smaller natural attacks such as lightning which can kick up quite severe in our Monsoon season. Lightning strikes in Arizona annually cause dozens of businesses to lose equipment and data because of their notorious effect on electronics and storage devices. Most businesses are inadequately protected from lightning strikes because they fail to invest in lightning protection equipment and fail to adequately store their sensitive data on high availability backup systems. Arizona heat directly and indirectly affect sensitive equipment and electrical systems in AZ. When the temperatures rise, so does demand on the grid. Older parts of the grid and poorly supplied buildings become more susceptible to “brown outs” and “power spikes” caused by fluctuating power. That variance in power wreaks havoc on computer systems and consequently the data that exists on those systems. As an IT professional I have personally seen power variations damage hundreds of systems in every sort of business over the past dozen years in the Phoenix area. What strikes me funny is the surprised look on people’s faces when I tell them “power destroyed your system”, as if this thought had never occurred to them before. Surge protectors are good, and UPS systems are even better, but the best protection you can buy is in a backup system that continuously backs up your data and keeps your business going, even if a few systems are damaged by lightning, power, or anything else.

What’s the real “attack” threat?

Since so many businesses and so much data is located in Arizona, we face a more menacing threat than any natural disaster. We’re talking about Cyber Threats. Most businesses are not nearly paranoid enough when it comes to cyber crime. Most business spend money on external prevention and internal authentication without addressing data accountability and recovery. IN other words:

“Arizona is a prime location in the world to store Data. Data is more valuable than gold to many people around the planet. This makes Arizona and many businesses located here a major target for cyber criminals, hackers, and data thieves.”

In March of 2013, U.S. Army General Keith Alexander, who is head of the U.S. military’s Cyber Command, said cyber attacks on private companies were getting much worse. He stated that the intensity & number of attacks will grow significantly throughout the year.

May 31st, 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated that cyber-threats pose a quiet, stealthy, insidious danger to the United States. Hagel Quoted, “Cyber threats are real, they’re terribly dangerous,”

The question then becomes, what do we do about it? Prevention is important to be sure. That means implementing the best firewalls, security software, and security policies you can. Equally important, considering the threat, is what to do if your data is stolen, destroyed, compromised. etc. Finding and eliminating the threat are top priorities, next is restoring your data. It’s important to know that your data is stored safely with many revisions available in an offsite location so that you can quickly recover your data. If your live data is corrupt, you need to find revisions of files that are not compromised and bring those back into your live data set efficiently. Does your existing disaster recovery plan account for this?

Remember, cyber criminals do not only exist in a vacuum in China, Pakistan, or Russia, they exist in your organization, your vendors, your public cloud, or your ISP. Sometimes data compromise and corruption occurs by accident from errant software or a careless employee, or even faulty hardware. Prevention and cure are the main focuses when dealing with cyber threats. If your prevention fails, will your cure be quick, efficient and painless, or just as horrifying as the attack itself?

Pull your resources and make Data Security happen within your own company. Work on your business continuity planning and your data recovery planning. If you’re not up to the task, get a professional IT company to help you with the task. Use the best you can find.

To illustrate how many businesses are seeking solutions for Disaster/Data Recovery issues, I’ve researched monthly web inquiries and plotted the results in an infographic that you may find useful.

Disaster Recovery | Infographics

 

If you have questions or need assistance, please reply to this blog or contact us directly. We’re here to help.

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Business Continuity Planning – Your Catastophe Averted

TriYoung and Your Business Continuity Plan

     How many catastrophes can you remember occurring during your lifetime?  I’m talking about things that affected thousands of people – – and businesses.  Since I am undoubtedly older than most of you my list will probably be longer than yours, but we can all relate to the latest – -the Boston Marathon Bombing.  The question is, how many companies in the Boylston Street area in Boston had business totally disrupted because they did not have a Business Continuity Plan?

“The statistics are staggering regarding businesses that do not have a proven Continuity Plan, or any Continuity Plan, in place,” Julie Young of TriYoung Business Solutions, Inc. in Glendale, Arizona, who specializes in Computer Services in Phoenix shared.  “And that can prove to be almost as devastating as the events that mandate the need for one.”

The stats Young alluded to are:

  • 16% of companies surveyed said they don’t need a Plan
  • The closure rate for businesses affected by a major incident within two years is 80%
  • Business that lose data due to a disaster have a 90% closure rate within two years

It is obvious that if you haven’t already done so you need to confer with your IT Support in Phoenix and make sure that they have Business Continuity Solutions in Phoenix available for you. Your IT Solutions should include a clear understanding of what a Business Continuity Plan is, and ways to verify that it will “work” when the time comes.

“There are a couple of viable definitions for a Business Continuity Plan,” Young advised, “and it is, of course, important that you have a firm grasp of them before you design your plan.”

A “standard” definition is: “A series of contingencies that enable key business activities to continue to function in the most difficult of circumstances.”  Claims Management Magazine defines it as, “The process of identifying internal and external threats and establishing specific plans to continue operations under adverse conditions.”  Regardless of the definition you prefer, it is important that you have a plan.  And, there are four steps in creating a proper one:

  • Know your own Business – – Especially the critical components – facilities, IT Systems and people!
  • Determine the risks to these components, and ask a lot of “What ifs…”
  • Create a Plan to ensure the continuation of business during a catastrophe.
  • Test and Revamp the plan.  A poor time to discover that you miscalculated in an area is during an actual disaster!

“Having a plan that was drafted in 2001 after 9-11 and thinking you are ‘covered’ is like having a Commodore 64 and thinking you are on the cutting edge of computer technology,” Young advised.  “Even worse than that,” she continued, “would be to have a circa 2001 plan and not taking a look at it since it was drafted.”

From preserving vital data to ensuring vendor and supply lines stay open, your Business Continuity Plan truly is a necessity in 21st Century America.  If you have questions regarding how you can benefit through the efforts of an IT Services provider in regard to those important issue, you may want to contact TriYoung Solutions at 602-424-1700 and Julie and her staff would be happy to assist you in determining the things that you might be lacking with your current Business Continuity Plan .

To learn more about TriYoung Solutions, go to:

www.triyoung.com

To learn more about this topic go to:

Keeping the Lights On with Business Continuity Planning | Blog

Lessons in Business Continuity Planning Best Not Learned the Hard

Preparing for Supply Chain Disruptions with Business Continuity Plans

Testing Business Continuity Plans – It’s not an Option

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TriYoung Knows IT Services is “Big Business”

     Now that the 21st Century is well anchored in time, “It’s not your Grandpa’s business world” is a reality we all must accept, even those of us who consider ourselves “technological dinosaurs.” And, because by attending to our business we can’t possibly keep up with all of the changes in the world of technology, the idea of seeking an IT Services company has become a necessity and not a luxury!

“To give you some idea of just how big the Computer Services business is,” Julie Young of TriYoung Business Solutions, Inc. in Glendale, Arizona, who specializes in IT Services shared, “you need only consider that in 2013 Global tech spending is forecasted to hit $3.8 billion!”

This represents a 4.1% increase over last year.  A partial breakdown of these numbers show that IT Services spending will increase by 4.5% to some $918 billion; Data Center Systems expenditures will jump to $146 billion, up 3.7% and monies spent on Devices will rise 7.9% to $718 billion.

“With that kind of money being spent, it’s not surprising that IT Services companies are becoming a major player in the world market as well,” Young pointed out.

Young’s comment is supported by the fact that Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a Netherlands-based IT Services firm, has just been named Europe’s top company to work for in 2013.

“We are pleased to have rated the foremost employer across Europe,” D.P. Nambiar of TCS stated.  Nambiar cited the fact that employees are the greatest assets of any company, and TCS has worked diligently to retain their key personnel.

While most of us are not in the market for a firm the size of TCS, we do want to find a firm that meets our needs.  That’s why we need to arm ourselves with as much information and knowledge as we can when we make our choice.
“There are several things you will want to keep in mind during your search,” Young suggested, “including the scope of IT services you are hoping to have provided.”

She was, of course, referring to such issues as IT Consulting; IT Solutions: IT Support; and Business Continuity Planning.  To assist you in your search for an IT Services company, consider the following points:

  • Identify your IT outsourcing goals up front
  • Decide which type of IT Services provider is best suited for your company
  • Don’t let ROI be your only concern
  • Remember that “industry expertise” is not necessarily an advantage
  • Verify “compatibility” between your firm and your IT Services provider

“Unfortunately,” Young said, a pang of regret obvious in her voice, “not everyone in our industry is as scrupulous as one would hope.  So, make sure are choosing a company that has your best interest in mind.”

Young suggested three questions you will want to ask yourself each time an IT Services provider presents a proposal to you:

  • Does the solution suggested actually address a need or issue that I have?
  • How does this technology apply to my business?
  • Will this technology help me generate more business by increasing revenue or productivity?

If you have questions regarding how you can benefit through the efforts of a IT Services provider you may want to contact TriYoung Solutions at 602-424-1700 and Julie and her staff would be happy to assist you in determining the things that you might be lacking with your current IT Solutions program .

To learn more about TriYoung Solutions, go to:

www.triyoung.com

To learn more about this topic go to:

Global tech spending forecast to hit $3.8 trillion in 2013

Now, TCS ranked best employer in Europe

How to Spot an IT Services Provider with an Agenda, Part 1

How to Spot an IT Services Provider with an Agenda, Part 2

Article written by Floyd Allen, professional writer for TriYoung Business Solutions

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julie@triyoung.com

Don’t Be a May Fool Either!

The entire IT world celebrated two major holidays on March 31, 2013.  The first, of course, was Easter.  The second, however, might be a tad bit more obscure – – the Third Anniversary of World Backup Day.  Playing on its proximity to April 1st, everyone advised each other, “Don’t be an April Fool – – Backup your files!”

“The key is,” Julie Young of TriYoung Business Solutions, Inc. in Glendale, Arizona, who specializes in IT Consulting AZ, pointed out with a smile in her voice, “while we might celebrate Backup Day annually, you certainly need to backup your materials far more often than that.”

The first question that might come to mind, of course, is, “what should I back up?”  As part of your Business Continuity Planning in Phoenix you will want to backup any and all devices that contain data.  This includes but is not limited to iPods, Computers, Phones and Tablets. On the personal side are your videos, photos, and songs.

“There are many things to consider in this realm,” Young added.  “I think, though, that these four tips will go a long way to get you started on the right track.”

  • Multiplicity – Make more than one copy of your files
  • Make it a Habit – Regularly backup your data
  • Organize – List the types of storage you use and keep the list in a safe place
  • Backup your Backup – It’s not being redundant nor paranoid, it’s being safe

When you are contemplating Data Backup in Phoenix, or Glendale, or anywhere in the state of Arizona for that matter, one of the major decisions you have to make revolves around the “on-premises/ off-premises” issue.  And, there are benefits to each, including but not limited to:

On-Premises

  • You can verify that the equipment used for back-up is working properly
  • You can quickly test to ensure data was preserved
  • You can easily restore in the event a primary server goes down
    • Often better equipment is employed
    • Typically there is better security and climate controls
    • There tends to be an auxiliary power source at off-premises facilities
Off-Premises

“If you find that much of this is above your understanding,” Young advised, “it would, undoubtedly, behoove you to seek IT Services in Phoenix, or Tempe or wherever you might be located.”

If you still have questions regarding “backup” you may want to contact your IT specialist.  Or, you can contact TriYoung Solutions at 602-424-1700 and Julie and her staff would be happy to assist you.

To learn more about TriYoung Solutions, go to:

www.triyoung.com

To learn more about this topic go to:

Forgot to Backup on World Backup Day? Here’s 5 Cloud Tips to Save Files

Happy World Backup Day! Go Backup Your Stuff! Seriously.

Overcome the on-premises vs. off-premises data backup mindset

Why Choose an Online Data Backup Service. | Actualize

Written by Floyd Allen on behalf of TriYoung Business Solutions

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Backup Disaster Recovery

siris

IRIS provides companies with an advanced insurance policy against data loss and costly downtime by utilizing a revolutionary technology that dramatically simplifies the backup and recovery process.

By employing proprietary Inverse Chain Technology, SIRIS eliminates the inherent inefficiency of the traditional backup chain. SIRIS takes data directly from the server and converts it into virtual machine readable files that can be booted instantly from a web interface or by using any common hypervisor.

This innovative way of storing data allows for instant on-site and off-site recovery and can prevent businesses from having to experience downtime in the event of a disaster, offering the peace of mind that backups will be available at a moment’s notice.

Key Components Include:

  • Vault Server/Desktop offers the ability to backup critical business data in highly configurable snapshots that are stored as virtual (VMDK) images on the Vault BDR appliance. Advanced de-duplication and compression are also included to minimize disk space.
  • Vault BDR appliance will perform granular snapshot and retention policies can be configured as your business requires. The virtual snapshots can be turned on in seconds to offer file level restore, including support for both Microsoft Exchange. Scheduled screenshot verifications of backups are available and bare metal restores to dissimilar hardware are handled with ease.
  • Cloud Vault provides full cloud replication and instant off-site virtualization. All data is encrypted and stored SAS 70 Type II and HIPAA-compliant data centers.
  • Remote monitoring and management is included for the Vault BDR appliance and is also included for all protected servers and desktops.

BDR Requirements:

  • BDR Server (Monthly lease or 1 time cost)
  • Vault Cloud Storage Space (Monthly)
  • Install and configuration.

Product Highlights:

  • Rapid backup and restore of Microsoft Windows servers and desktops
  • Integrated cloud replication with disaster recovery support
  • Enterprise class protection
  • Built-in remote monitoring and management support
  • Hardware independent
  • Fixed price
  • Instant on- and off-site recovery
  • Simplified pricing model

Additional Details:

  • Cloud storage is per protected server or desktop.
  • Cloud storage is calculated on the actual size of the backup files.
  • All options include the Continuum Managed Services Agent.
  • BDR appliance is sold separately.
  • BDR appliance includes Proactive Server Care.

BDR Hardware Configurations

siris

Project Cost

Installation and Setup ($500.00)

  • Network/Server assessment for client needs
  • Order server
  • Install server OS and vault software on BDR Server
  • Install BDR Server at client site
    • – Workgroup and Server installation available.
  • Install and configure BDR client on Server to be backed up.
  • Initial backup seed and upload to cloud vault
  • Restore test
  • Local Virtualization test
  • Cloud Virtualization test
  • Create and update documentation under company name in CRM

Monthly (Lease (option) + Vault Pricing)

  • See Data (monthly) Pricing for appropriate device
  • See Lease (monthly) after 1 year prepaid
    • – No lease charge after 1 year when
  • BDR server monitoring included.
  • Monthly restore test & quarterly local virtualization test
    • – Included with monthly data service contract

Monthly pricing will vary depending on cloud storage space used.

Cloud storage space is optional. Not using cloud storage space provides no offsite backup or virtualization option.

siris
siris

Standard Models Client Options Monthly Cost
Model DEVICE STROAGE / CLOUD STROAGE Lease Option Buy Option Install Data(monthly) Lease Option after 1 yr. (monthly)
S500 – 500GB/1TB $1,500 @ $125 $2,250 $500 $205 $150
S1000 – 1TB/2TB $2,100 @ $175 $3,200 $500 $335 $150
S2000 – 2TB/4TB $3,000 @ $250 $4,800 $500 $460 $150
High Capacity Models
S3000 – 3TB/6TB $4,020 @ $335 $6,400 $500 $560 $250
S5000 – 5TB/10TB $7,020 @ $585 $11,200 $1,000 $960 $250
S10000 – 10TB/20TB $10,900@ $910 $14,400 $1,000 $960 $500
S20000 – 20TB/40TB $16,020 @ $1350 $25,600 $1,500 $1,600 $500
S40000 – 40TB/80TB $25,200 @ $2100 $40,000 $1,500 $1,600 $1,000
Additional 1TB (Cloud Storage): $145 Monthly
Buy options: NO upgrade option / new box will need to be purchased if more space is needed.
Lease option: Client can upgrade the box for $200 + the difference in price of the upgraded model
(Price difference is based off the “Buy Option” price.)
1 YEAR COMMITMENT REQUIRED WITH ALL OPTIONS
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