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Category: Cloud Computing, Data Backup.

There’s good news and bad news in the cybersecurity giant Symantec’s most recent report on internet threats. And it confirms a pattern that I’ve been increasingly concerned about in recent months, so much so that I wanted to share some important advice and guidance with you.

The good news is that, for the first time since 2013, the overall number of ransomware attacks is in decline. The bad news is that the volume of attacks on consumers is falling because attacks on businesses are rising, up 12% in 2018. Businesses are now the victims of more than 80% of all successful ransomware infections, with bogus emails the cybercriminals’ weapon of choice. 

And ransomware is very bad news indeed, blocking users from accessing their computers or files until they pay a ransom to cybercriminals. It’s all too easy where you or I could simply open an email attachment and innocently allow a crypto virus into our network regardless of whether you have anti-virus protection or not. The reason why anti-virus protection is not always enough is complex, but the bottom line is that the criminals can be a step ahead, spreading far and fast before the anti-virus protections have caught up.  The costs of recovery can be huge – and potentially fatal, especially for SMEs for whom the loss of data and interruption to customer service, for even a few hours, would have catastrophic results. So, first and foremost, think of backup solutions as an insurance policy.  In a nutshell, it’s vital that all of your valuable data is backed up in a safe and secure location, out of the reach of even the most determined thieves.

Symantec’s report reveals that a key reason that attacks on consumers is declining is because consumers are increasingly using mobile devices with their essential data backed up in the cloud.

And this highlights a key vulnerability for many businesses. Onsite backup can be just as vulnerable to the same infection as live systems. This is because once criminals have access to your onsite network they may also get access to your onsite backups. The answer is a secure and managed offsite backup solution.  First, ask yourself these key questions about your data and backup arrangements:

  • Do you know exactly what data you hold – about your customers, your employees, your business, your suppliers, your finances, your products and services?
  • How and where is it stored, and how is it secured?
  • Do you back it up, how, and how often?
  • What would happen if you suddenly lost access to your live data and onsite backups, whether through a ransomware attack, or a flood or fire in your office?
  • How long would it be before this became a serious issue for you – minutes, hours, days?
  • How often do you review your backup arrangements? As your business develops, and therefore your needs change, so will your data backup requirements.  Therefore, it is essential to periodically review your backup solutions.

Another worrying statistic: of 81% of ransomware victims confident that their backup would enable complete recovery, only 42% succeeded! So ACT TODAY and put the right backup arrangements in place, so when the worst does happen recovering your systems and data is possible.

If you’d like a backup review and an informal and confidential chat about your options to ensure you are protected adequately, call us on 03300 886116 or email info@pcsupportgroup.com  

Si Albert

Director, The PC Support Group

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Author

Category: Business, Data Backup, IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

I’ve read several interesting articles recently about data backup and how being unable to access data and systems is the nightmare scenario for all businesses. However, one thing that rarely seems to be mentioned is the act of data recovery. Hopefully, most companies by now realise the importance of having their data backed up but few appear to think about how long it might take to recover the data onto a live system should disaster strike.

Did you know that 90% of companies experience some form of downtime whether it’s a disk or other critical hardware failure, a flooded office or the latest cyber attack?  We’ve all experienced something.  Interestingly, a lot of our prospects when they first contact us have no idea how quickly they could recover.  Unfortunately, some businesses never recover which is not surprising when the average cost of one hour of downtime is £6,500 for a small business and £64,000 for a mid-sized one2.   Very sad when you consider that 93% of data loss issues are avoidable1.

Even IT businesses like us are not immune, the difference being we have robust business continuity measures in places preventing any issue becoming a major disaster.   In fact, only a few weeks’ ago we suffered a power outage for nearly half a day at our offices in Speke, but our services remained operational and none of our clients were left without support.

How did we do this?  We use a six-step disaster recovery plan that helps assess risks, identify weaknesses and put proactive measures in place.  Once you have this plan, recovery is much easier and quicker and therefore less costly for you and your business.  For instance, businesses without a plan experience greater downtime – on average 18.5 hours to get back up and running2.  Time and money that no business can afford.   So, by planning for the worst you can make your business stronger and more resilient today.

To get you thinking, here are a few questions for you to consider:

1: What is your business-critical data is and where it is held?  Is it backed up?

2: Is your backed-up data kept separate from your computer system, in a secure place with restricted access?

3: How regularly is your data backed-up – daily, weekly, monthly?

4: Is the backup process automated and regularly monitored?

5 How quickly could you access your backed-up data?  Within hours or weeks?

6: How long could your business survive without access to its data?

Answering these questions is just the start of protecting your business. Here at The PC Support Group we can help you with further practical advice and guidance.  Our rolling monthly contracts will ensure your recovery is easy and efficient because we’re good at what we do! Call our team on 03300 88 6116 for a chat about how we can help you or email them on info@pcsupportgroup.com

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

1 The Online Trust Alliance’s analysis of security breaches 2017

2 Backbone Connect, an UK IT infrastructure firm, 2018

 

 

 

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Category: Data Backup, IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

World-Backup-Day-Logo

What would you do if you lost everything?

That’s the question being posed on World Backup Day 2015; a global movement to emphasise the importance of keeping a second copy of all your important files.

For our customers, every day is World Backup Day – as you would expect when your IT is in the safe hands of an award-winning official Microsoft SME Cloud Partner.

But for those who don’t have this contingency strategy in place, this is a great opportunity to evaluate:

  • Which files are crucial to the successful continuity (and let’s face it – profitability) of your service provision?
  • What are you already doing about backing them up now, and
  • What should you be doing to minimise the irreversible damage that occurs when your hard drive fails?

If your data isn’t backed up, once it’s gone it’s gone, and losing your files is way more common than you’d think. One small accident or failure could destroy all the important information your business and livelihood depends on.

In fact, research has shown that 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months of the disaster whilst 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration).

The good news is backing up is straight-forward once you’ve set up the backup process. There are a number of different methods – depending on how you want to backup your data and how safe you want to keep it. It’s just a matter of taking the first step of recognising the value of your data.

For more information download our free leaflet on backup advice or fill in the contact form to find out how we can help you manage your backups.

Spam Emails

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Category: Data Backup, IT News, IT Security.

New research suggests that cyber-crime costs small businesses around £800 million a year.

Not only that, but you have a responsibility to put adequate measures in place – if not, you could face fines of as much as £500,000 for cyber breach and data loss under current legislation. Other threats include: social media misuse, hacking, and loss of company devices.

As many as 60 per cent of small firms reported security issues last year, with major breaches costing a small firm on average between £65,000 and £115,000.

Here, we’ve created a useful checklist to help you assess whether you are helping reduce the chances of the worst happening to your business.

How many of the following questions can you answer “YES” to?

Read more »

Rolling Dice

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Author

Category: Data Backup, IT News.

This week saw World Backup Day, so are you still gambling with your I.T?

When you left for work this morning did you lock up your home? Did you lock up your car in the car park or your cycle to the railings? Of course you did, after all you do’nt want anyone ransacking your home or stealing your transport do you? At work you may have a password on your computer, or codes to get you into various parts of the building.

What if I told you that you were still leaving the door wide open for a malicious attack that could literally cripple your business within hours?

Way back in February of 2013 I wrote a blog asking people not to be the hacker’s best friend and now it is time for a reminder. Since publishing that post, we have been approached nearly every week by a business whose website has disappeared or been pointed to another less than family-friendly site – the heart-breaker is that some of these are our clients, who we have regularly reminded to take backups and perform updates.

Read more »

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Category: Data Backup.

Considering the value that the modern day business places upon computer data, you may find it surprising to learn just how many organisations fail to see the importance of backing-up their systems.

Incredibly, it has been found that 53 per cent of businesses do not conduct daily backups – with 32 per cent believing that such a routine is an inefficient use of their time.

At The PC Support Group we know the importance of backing up data on a regular basis and that’s why we’ve produced this infographic; Protect Your Data: Why Backup Matters.

Read more »

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Category: Data Backup, IT Support.

Backup solutions can vary enormously and it is important to be aware of the consequences of choosing one solution over another. While many services provide excellent protection, some cover just data while others cover entire systems. Some enable faster recovery of your systems in the event of a major problem, while others ensure that your systems are safe from physical risks such as fires, floods or theft.

Data protection policies and legalities also need to be considered as some cloud backup solutions may not be suitable for UK businesses due to where the data is ultimately stored.

Data only or full system backup?

Data only backup

Backing up your data is a great start as it means that if there is a failure within your IT system then your vital, irreplaceable business data such as documents, financial information and emails can be safely recovered.

The disadvantage of only backing up your data is that everything else on your system has to be recreated from scratch – which in the case of a server can take several days.

Read more »

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Author

Category: Data Backup, IT News.

Most businesses understand how vital it is to protect the data on their computer systems. Yet despite this, a recent (2012) survey Trend Micro shows that less than 50% of SME’s routinely back up their data.
The causes of data loss are much more common than we might suppose. Terror attacks and disasters such as fires and floods aside, evidence shows that a surprising number of businesses experience data loss due to simple human error such as the accidental deletion or overwriting of files.

Disc or system failure, viruses, failed applications, sudden power losses or surges, over-heating, electrostatic discharge and physical damage to the storage device or medium are also often to blame.

Most remarkable of all is the fact that a comprehensive back up system for a PC or laptop can be put in place for a monthly fee that is little more than the cost of a cup of coffee!

Here are a few data loss statistics every business owner should be aware of when deciding whether or not data backup is essential:

Read more »

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Category: Business, Data Backup.

I think it’s fair to say that most businesses lock their doors at night to make sure that thieves can’t just walk in and take what they want. Many also have alarm systems and some of these link to CC TVs and even security companies that can be at the premises in minutes.

Most companies also have a number of insurance policies in place to pay out if equipment is stolen or if their premises are damaged, say through fire or flood.

In general, this is all seen as sensible and in the case of some insurance policies it’s viewed as so important that it’s a legal requirement.

To me this seems fairly ironic as all this protection and risk management is not protecting the most valuable asset… the company’s data!

Read more »

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Category: Data Backup.

When you consider that the information on our computers is irreplaceable and often far more valuable than the computers themselves, it’s amazing how many individuals and businesses still don’t take data backup seriously.

Despite the importance of information within any business, the vast majority of small businesses do not have adequate backup and data recovery systems in place. Even when a solution is in place it is often fraught with problems; some of which are only discovered when it’s too late.

Home users are no different; often storing treasured photos of occasions never to be repeated in one place with no copy!
So why don’t we protect the information on our computers?

At The PC Support Group we have looked into this and it would appear that a combination of factors contribute to this potentially dangerous situation.

Read more »