About a week ago I was approached by a representative of Backup Technology, a leading British firm providing online backup and data recovery services with an offer to write a guest post for the blog. I explained that I was happy to publish guest posts if they were relevant to the audience of small and home-office computer users and as long as the author’s affiliation with the company in question was disclosed. Not only do I feel strongly about the principle of transparency even when I’m not actually being paid or offered any goods and services, but the FCC is apparently about to rule on what bloggers are allowed to publish on behalf of vendors, and I’d prefer not to run afoul of the law.
Apart from anticipated FCC rulings, however, it’s a good time to get a guest post, because I’ve spent most of the past week recovering from last week’s trip up to Eureka for my cousin’s LVN pinning ceremony. (That’s what they call graduation when you’re a nurse.) I’ve barely had time even to look at the bombardment of backup-related e-mail messages, much less formulate my own topic for a column.
I do want to acknowledge that two different people from SocialSafe wrote in to say thanks for last week’s (actually Monday’s) post from Michael North about Facebook backups. (Now if only someone would invent a comprehensive backup tool for LinkedIn, one that would back up all your group discussions, Answers, and recommendations along with your contacts…)
On to what our colleagues from across the pond have to say to us:
In the modern era, almost every company is dependent on their IT systems to function day-to-day and any kind of unforeseen circumstance could be potentially devastating. Anything from the smallest power cut or server failure to an all out natural disaster could bring business to a grinding halt, any interruption to a company’s IT is financially damaging. For SME’s the means to restore business functionality from anywhere at any time is paramount and many companies are integrating remote backup facilities into their plans.
In every aspect of digital life it is proving vital to introduce a fully integrated disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity is maintained and any downtime caused by unexpected circumstances is minimised.
It’s not only unexpected disasters that need planning for, companies and governments around are finding out more and more frequently cyber crime is on the rise. The recent attacks on Twitter and Facebook show a new level of cyber threat that are almost without motivation and have only malevolent intent.
The need for a disaster recovery plan is not limited to enterprises but with the increased threat of cyber crime and cyber warfare, governments worldwide are recognising the need for specialist defences against such attacks. NATO has set up a cyber defence facility in Estonia codenamed K5. The American government has launched a national cyber security strategy and the UK has responded by creating two organisations, the Office of Cyber Security and the Cyber Security Operations Centre.
In this increasingly cyber-driven world the key to protecting your assets is to get educated on the need for planning and incorporation of the necessary systems. No longer can anyone, whether you are an SME, major financial institution or major world government, put data storage, backup, disaster recovery or business continuity on the back burner.
While it usually takes a certain level of popularity to attract virus designers and DDoS attacks, there’s no denying that everyone needs to maintain some level of security and that an outage for any reason can cause serious problems for a business, as we mentioned a few weeks ago. If your backups are infected, you could re-introduce vulnerabilities into your system when you restore. That’s why you need to turn off system restore if you discover a virus on your system and have to use a special removal tool.
I’m sure Backup Technology would appreciate it if you checked out their business continuity services while examining your own company’s disaster preparedness. If you’ve actually used their services, write in and tell us about it. And if you’ve had to deal with a cyber-attack, write in and tell us about that, too. You can post comments on the blog (allow some delay for moderation) or e-mail me: sallie [at] fileslinger [dot] com.