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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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