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Showing posts from January, 2019

Risk Assessment: The first step in disaster planning

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Risk Assessment: The first step in disaster planning

Before you can begin making any specific plans to handle a major event which threatens your firm's capacity to do business, an analysis of the threats and hazards in the environment needs to be put together. This first step is known as a risk assessment. It details the hazards that have the potential to damage your ability to provide your products and services in a timely fashion.

Some possible major risks could include
Cyber attacksLoss of key personnelLabor disputes or strikesPandemicsWorkplace violenceNatural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.FiresTerrorist attacksCivil unrestIt is also important to keep in mind that any of these above risks could attack a link in your supply chain, which could be just as debilitating as if the event directly hit your business. Because of the strong reliance on just-in-time inventories and lengthy supply chains, the risks are multiplied out beyond just what affect…

What is the Cloud: A Simple Analogy

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What is the Cloud: A Simple Analogy You use the cloud and don't even know it. Do you go to Amazon and create a wishlist? Do you have an email account on Yahoo? That is cloud computing. All your emails are stored on Yahoo servers somewhere. They are on physical servers, of course, but they aren't on your laptop. The advantage is that when you spill your coffee onto the laptop keyboard, you haven't lost all your emails even if you never backed up your hard drive. (If you haven't, shame on you, by the way.) Here is a simple analogy to explain how the cloud works and why it might be a very useful part of your business model. Picture the small, very cramped office space of a little start-up. You and a few coworkers sit in tight quarters with messy desktops buried in mounds of papers, files, and pizza boxes. There is absolutely no room for storage. (Throw the boxes out yourself. There are limits even to cloud technology) It will be a long time until you can afford a larger off…

What is a business continuity plan?

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What is a business continuity plan?

You may hear a lot about business continuity plans and may even hear them incorrectly referred to as disaster recovery plans. So, what is a business continuity plan?A business continuity plan is a total blueprint for how a business or organization ensures that its output–products or services–will continue to be provided with as little interruption as possible, despite a disaster. Disaster could be any major disruptive event. Most commonly, we tend to think of these plans as being developed to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. It should also be noted, business continuity plans aren't just written to handle natural disasters. Anything which threatens output–for example, the loss of key leadership personnel, cyber attack and civil unrest– are prepared for in a business continuity plan.A business continuity plan has several parts. This blog will outline the major four sections that comprise many business conti…

Loss of Data: Causes and Prevention

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Loss of Data: Causes and Prevention The adoption of technology from the simplest of matters to the most complex problems has rendered us heavily dependent on it. We love paying our bills minutes before they are due. We enjoy seeing loved ones face-to-face on our computer screens. We can access and print our extremely sensitive records from government and financial websites in a matter of minutes instead of waiting for the mail for days. The time and resources that technology saves are invaluable, but this convenience has a very ugly side. This convenience brings costs, which could include irreparable financial, professional, and social damage. The technology that is designed to make life easier can also wreak havoc when criminals use it to breach secured, personal information. So how do we tame this beast called 'breach of data security'? Background: The gravity of the problem:To look for a solution, we first need to understand how serious this problem is. Breaches in data secur…

The threats out there: Have you considered their impact?

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The threats out there: Have you considered their impact?

Oct 28, 2012–Hurricane Sandy hit New York, America’s largest city. The consequences were disastrous and resulted in a shutdown of a city of 8.6 million people. Places that weren't supposed to ever close, such as major hospitals, had to be evacuated. It was from the intense flooding of the city that many large corporations and hospitals discovered an unanticipated vulnerability many had never considered: the massive banks of batteries that support uninterruptible power systems and backup generators are located on the lowest floors of buildings at risk of flooding. The flood waters that poured into underground tunnels and subways also poured into the basements of downtown buildings, incapacitating what was a key part of standard disaster recovery plans. Electricity to Manhattan was not fully restored until six days had passed and many emergency power sources were disabled.*

Think you are not subject to hurricanes? Far from a flo…

Be Proactive: How to Avoid Potential Network Failures

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Be Proactive: How to Avoid Potential Network Failures For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), an IT network failure can be devastating because they don't have the resources of large corporations to bounce back from such disasters. Preparation against such devastation may be the only course for them to avoid failure and survive with the least damage if failure occurs. SMBs must be proactive in recognizing the eventuality of a cyberattack or human error that can cause data loss and disrupt business continuity. This is what needs to be done to help prevent a potential failure. Be prepared: Being proactive is an essential step for preparation against a disaster. There are two ways to determine how to best prepare to prevent potential failure of your infrastructure. First, you need to identify the weaknesses throughout your systems, and second, determine how you are going to eliminate those weaknesses and protect your network. Identify the weaknesses: Determine how and why your syst…

It is Heaven! Using the Cloud to Challenge Big Business

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It is Heaven! Using the Cloud to Challenge Big Business Has anyone suggested you begin moving your business to the cloud? Cloud data storage or cloud computing? What is this, anyway? And isn't it something for huge companies? In the last post we explained what cloud computing is. Simply put, it is the offsite storage of your data, and perhaps even the software packages you use. The primary benefit is pretty straightforward. Somebody else pays for all the hardware and support costs needed to store your data. You pack up all your own servers, wiring, etc. and take them to the recycling center, and save money. But is that all it is? There is a much stronger case for a small business to incorporate the cloud in their business model. The cloud allows you to become competitive with the big players in your industry. The traditional issue holding back small business: they do not have the capital to create the infrastructure to compete with large firms. They are too small to enjoy economies o…

5 Ways SMBs Can Save Money on Security

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5 Ways SMBs Can Save Money on Security Small-to-medium sized businesses and large enterprises may seem worlds apart, but they face many of the same cyber-security threats. In fact, in recent years, cyber-criminals have increasingly targeted SMBs. This is because it’s widely known that SMBs have a smaller budget, and less in-house expertise, to devote to protection. Thankfully, there are several things SMBs can do today to get more from even the most limited security budget. And, no, we aren’t talking about cutting corners. Far too often, SMBs cut the wrong corners and it ends up costing them more money in the long run. It’s a matter of taking a smarter approach to security. Here are five smart approaches to take
Prioritize - Every business has specific areas or assets critical to its core operations. Seek the input of valued staff and team members to determine what these are. Is there certain data that would be catastrophic if it was lost or stolen? If hackers compromise a network, or p…