Disaster Recovery. Is it worth it?

Disaster Recovery. Is it worth it?

Accidents and bizarre events occur all the time, but for some unknown reason many businesses surprisingly don’t consider having an IT Disaster Recovery plan a neccesity, and if they do, only a minority fully believe it is successful. Infact according to a recent survey, only 35% of UK organisations have full confidence in their current disaster recovery strategies (Databarracks).
If you are a business where a large portion of your operations rely on your systems and technology, it’s vital, that the worst possible scenarios are considered and prepared for. Yes, it may take some planning and a little investment, but in the long run it could really be the one plan that could prevent the downfall of your business. After all, would you want to have to go and apologise to clients that you lost their data, their invoices, their details, their clients etc etc
Disruption to your business can be costly and IT downtime could have a real impact on your bottom line. According to many disaster recovery companies, the average business will lose in excess of £100k per hour of downtime on average. Can your business afford to take that risk?
Besides, it’s not just financial loss you have to worry about. As mentioned above disruption to your day-to-day operations can also have a significant impact on your business’ reputation and customer satisfaction, giving your preying competitors the perfect chance to snatch away valuable opportunities. Without customers, you won’t have a business to run!

Be prepared be protected

When you think of disruption to your business, it may be natural disasters that could affect your physical office that come to mind. In the UK, we know all too well that bad weather and floods can cause chaos if you don’t have a plan in place for your staff to work remotely. However, it’s actually network outages and human error that account for 50% and 45% of downtime respectively.

The fact is, regardless of industry, no business is immune to IT catastrophes. You could have the latest, most sophisticated defences in place on your systems and highly skilled staff that have been rigorously trained, but network outages and human error are harder to control. It only takes one human mistake or an internet connection failure that is out of your hands to send everything into chaos.

So, is a disaster recovery plan worthwhile? Yes… if you want to run a business effectively, disaster recovery is an essential you need to consider.

Disaster recovery goes hand-in-hand with business continuity so, when putting a plan together, you should utilise the knowledge of an experienced managed services provider like ourselves, who also specialises in Data backup and IT support. Taking this business-first approach means no stone will be left unturned when it comes to implementing your IT disaster recovery strategy across your organisation.
It’s also important and reassuring for you to know you’re in capable hands after the implementation of your disaster recovery plan. Our team at System Integration are able to provide you with robust solutions that are always one step ahead of the ever-changing threats that could affect your business.

By outsourcing your disaster recovery, you also get to benefit from our amazing IT team, who have a vast array of technical abilities and are committed to helping your business succeed. In summary, if you do not have a disaster recovery plan in place and you use IT, you are taking a risk and as much as we love having calls and enquiries from local Wiltshire businesses requiring our help, Disaster Rceovery is the one project that is avoidable and never easy to clean up after the fact. Get in touch with us and let us put your mind at ease… ​

The right way to get rid of an old computer

The right way to get rid of an old computer

If your business is just about to purchase some new hardware i.e. Computers or laptops it is an exciting time. But, have you ever thought about what happens to the old ones?
If your equipment is old, and let’s face it in IT terms 3 years, is old, you may be scrapping them. Simple, you may think, switch them off and put them in the bin. Or maybe you are going to sell them, in that case you may browse through your files and delete the ones that may be sensitive or personnel.
Maybe you could put your laptop on a strong magnet for while and hope it deletes everything..
Unfortunatly though, throwing a old computer in the bin, holding it over a magnet or a pressing the delete button is not the answer.
Unless you correctly clean up and remove your data from your hardware, it is open to cybercriminals. And they have the skills to be able to get hold of any information you leave on there, records of purchases, passwords, even old purchases you have done online will leave a trace, that means card details and logins to tools such as Paypal.

If you are business owner and are in the situation whereby you refurbish or change your hardware on a regular basis, you need to ensure that a specialised dat cleanup is required for any laptops, tablets or PCs that you get rid of.
It has been found that most business are actually unaware of this and believe that it would always be done by the individuals or business that is removing them.
If you think this is the case then you are very wrong.. In 2016 an experiment was performed which consisted of a company buying 200 used hard drives. Of the 200, 134 of them were found to have confidential data on them. A whopping 67%!

If this was a drive form one of your business PCs, what information would cyber criminals be able to get their hands on? Old invoices, CRM records, email address of clients and maybe even their bank account details.

As you could imagine, if this does happen to your business, buying new PCs would be the last thing on your mind, unless you need them to find solicitors on Google Search….

Why you should not rely on the delete button….

  • Every hard drive has an index, similar to ones you see at the front of a book. A drive index has a record of all the files that are needed to run the system and all the files you record on there.
  • Every time you write data onto the drive, the system makes a record of it in the index, this then helps it to find it quickly when you call the file back up in the future.
  • The issue with this very simple and normally very robust process is that, when you delete a file on a drive, the index does not work the same to that you find in a book.
  • Example being, lets delete page 5 from a book. The result would be page 6 becoming page 5. The book index would then require amending to reflect the fact there are now less pages and as it’s visible, you know it’s been removed.

Unfortunately this is not the case on a drive.

Delete a file and the drive index will say there, but this is all that changes. The index. The actual file will stay in it’s location until it has been written over. So if you simply press delete, any hacker can go through your drive and still find all your data…

What you should do?

Well you can buy software and have a go at doing it yourself. But, if this is something your are not experienced at doing, it is still a risky business. If you are business that is updating PCs on a regular basis, you need to be sure that you have IT experts helping you, ensuring that all drives are correctly cleaned.
And you should never look at removal old PCs as a simple task. It is best to have a specific dedicated process for removal of old hardware. Know where your old computers are going, have an inventory and auditing process. This may be slow and delay the rollout of new machines, but it’s always better than having your old, or worse still an ex clients data, come back to haunt you.

At Systems Integration, we don’t just repair PCs, we offer a full range of IT services for Swindon Businesses, including safe disposal of your unwanted computers We can help with migration any needed data, help with backing up the information to your server, then wipe or destroy the hard drives for you.
We assess the age of your old computers and either dispose of them for you or point you in the right direction of computer recyclers.

Make upgrading your PCs a happy office time. Get in touch with us and let us ensure that your data remains safe and it does not come back to haunt you.

Back up or not back up? That is the question.

Back up or not back up? That is the question.

We have previously mentioned the importance of backing up and what your business should be looking for from any backup product. In May of this year, data and how everyone uses it was brought to the forefront with the introduction of GDPR, but it isn’t just personal data that we have to be wary of.
Data is collected and used in such a variety of ways that it’s very difficult for any law or industry regulation to fully encompass what and how you should backup – even when there’s expectation around data security, they can never account for your company’s exact circumstances. This month we are going to take a look at the legal implications of not doing so correctly.

In May this year we were introduced to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation aka GDPR. What did it mean? Basically it put every company that deals with sensitive data in the spotlight. All business need to be able to demonstrate methods of data security, retrieval, deletion and backing up. If you are assessed and it are unable to demonstrate that you have measure in place to do this you could be facing a world of pain, both for your firms reputation and for your business finances.
To put it in comparsion, in 2016 penalties for those companies who failed to protect customers data was approximately £2 million, but, with GDPR in place, those fines today would have added up to be £160million!!.
So if you were not backing up and taking care of your data before, you really need to start thinking about it. Even more so when the Information Commissioner’s Office starts investigating and implementing fines for those who don’t comply…

These days most service level agreements/contracts to have penalty clauses, meaning your business could be subject to a reduced level of compensation for work done – or you could even end up paying damages if missing a target leads to adverse financial implications for your customer. Imagine being in the final stages of a project with the dealine approaching and your firms IT network is infiltrated by a virus..what do you do? If you have everything in a secure back up, nothing, simply retrieve it and carry on. You may lose a few hours work, but that is nothing compraed to having to explain to a client that their is nothing
Think about what failing to deliver in line with a contact do to your business? What would it do to the customer to whom your services or products are being delivered?
Having your data backed up would never put you in the the unfortunate position of having to explain to a client you have not met teh agreement that both parties signed up to. Pending the contract, it could also prevent any legal proceedings against your company for failing to meet any contractual agreements.

If you have staff, then you probably pay them. These finacial details are personel, if you lose them you’re inviting the complex and swift impact of employment law.
Losing their data could lead to non-payment of wages. The result of which can be financial woes for your employees. Whether or not your staff have signed formal contracts matters very little, the act of having previously paid them means a ‘deemed’ contract has been created – which you stand to break if you lose crucial data.
It would be almost definite that you could easily collate this data again from the indiividuals, but employers who fail to pay their staff are immediately exposed to any financial penalties levied on the the employees i.e. penalties for missed loans, morgtages, bills etc.
Having your data backed up avoids all this…..

The actual cost of not backing up is huge. You can be fined, your business would be in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and who would do business with a company that has had its data breached?
Something to ponder over is the fact that according to Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: United Kingdom, data breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.48 million..Do you have that much spare cash laid about? Doubtful….

If you have any questions on security of you IT system and how backup of your data can help save you and your compnay, then please get in touch with Systems Integration, Swindon’s IT experts and we will show you how to ensure your business and data is protected.

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