Why Are Backup and Disaster Recovery Procedures Critical for a Business?

If you’re unsure about whether or not your business can benefit from an IT backup and disaster recovery plan, you need to determine if your business can continue to operate without crucial data and applications. If you find that your business would be unable to function without these, you’ll require a backup and disaster recovery plan to keep your operations in order.

Here are some of the main reasons for businesses to implement these plans.

Avoid Machine and Hardware Failure

While there have been plenty of advancements made in the reliability of technology, there are still imperfections present that could result in occasional failure. Although it can be expensive to make sure that hardware failure doesn’t occur, it may be necessary if you want to keep your business operational and avoid unexpected shutdowns. Back up all necessary data using a trusted managed hosting provider, which can prevent interruptions in the event of system failure.

Prevent Human Error

Human error will always be a factor in business operations, but making sure your data is consistently backed up allows you to prevent this more effectively. Efficient processes and a reliable quality assurance program can help reduce instances of human error, but an online backup plan can further eliminate this issue.

Major Disasters are Unpredictable

Natural disasters are potentially devastating for IT infrastructures if backup and disaster recovery plans aren’t in place. Many businesses even wind up with downtime of up to five days or longer if a major disaster causes business interruption, which can result in the company going out of business.

Customers Expect Information to Be Accessible 24/7

Today’s consumers expect the information they want and need to be accessible whenever they need it. If a company’s customers can’t access the information they want when they want it, they may wind up turning to a competitor who can meet their demands.

Consult with Professionals for a Reliable Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

If you want to make sure your business is prepared for a disaster of any kind that could result in data loss or system shutdowns, you need to implement a data backup and disaster recovery plan that can help you avoid these issues. You’ll not only be able to maintain efficient business operations, but you’ll also keep your customers satisfied.

While it may be difficult to manage your IT systems and infrastructures on your own, you can always turn to a managed service provider that could provide an IT backup and disaster recovery plan and much more. Your business doesn’t have to be vulnerable to potentially devastating system shutdowns and data loss if you take the steps to adequately prepare for them, and a managed IT provider can help make sure you’re always ready to handle the unexpected.

Differences Between Disaster Recovery and Data Backups

Disaster recovery planning is a crucial part of a business’s IT strategy and is increasing in popularity as the risk of security breaches and network outages continues to increase. Oftentimes people confuse data backups with disaster recovery plans, with the misguided belief that backup is enough to constitute a disaster recovery plan. However, this is merely a step in a complete disaster recovery strategy.

There are several key differences between data backups and disaster recovery plans to keep in mind.

Data Retention Requirements

Backups are normally performed day-to-day to ensure data retention for a single location, if only to copy data.

Disaster recovery requires the implementation of the recovery time objective (RTO) to designate the maximum amount of time a company can go without a functioning IT system following a disaster. Typically, the ability to meet all RTO requirements entails the inclusion of at least one duplicate of the IT infrastructure in another location to enable replication between both disaster recovery and production sites.

Ability to Recover

Disaster recovery involves the transferring of primary environment systems to an alternative environment that can help maintain continuity of data.

Backups are ideal for immediate access if you need to quickly restore a document, but it won’t be of much help if your entire infrastructure is compromised at any point. Data backup doesn’t include physical resources needed to recover from a system crash, either.

Other Resource Needs

A backup is merely a single copy of data that can be restored when needed, while disaster recovery requires a completely separate alternate environment to contain data in the event of the primary environment’s compromise. This will include not only data backups, but also physical resources, connectivity, security, and software backups.

A Complete Planning Process

Planning a data backup is simple, since the only main goals are to meet the recovery point objective (RPO) and data retention requirements. However, a complete disaster recovery plan will need additional planning, which includes determining the most mission-critical systems, generating a recovery order and a communication process, along with a valid testing method.

Ultimately, the benefits and necessity of a DR plan outweigh those of a simple data backup, mitigating both risk and downtime to maintain compliance and avoid outages. You should make sure you have a complete disaster recovery plan in place, with data backup as one of the initial steps in the process.

Consulting with Managed IT Experts

One of the best ways to make sure you have a sufficient disaster recovery plan in place is to consult with managed IT experts, who can help with your strategy. You may not be aware of all of the aspects of a disaster recovery plan, but experienced IT experts can provide you with a system that works, while allowing you to redirect your focus on other areas of business.

With a complete disaster recovery strategy in place, you’ll be able to keep your business up and running without the potential loss of data and money.

Which IT Security Threats Are Most Common?

While internet security continues to develop, so do the many threats that face users today. Cyber attacks may be inevitable for many users and businesses alike, but there are ways to counter them through the use of sufficient security measures.

These are among the most common cyber threats that companies and individuals are likely to encounter.

Read more

Fulton May Solutions Ranked Among Top IT Providers Again

Fulton May Solutions was recently named to the 2017 MSPmentor 501 list—the IT channel’s most comprehensive ranking of leading Managed IT Services Providers (MSP’s). We’re proud to be recognized as one of the world’s most successful, progressive and innovative MSP’s for the second consecutive year.

The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue during 2016, up more than 15% from a year earlier.

“On behalf of MSPmentor, I would like to congratulate Fulton May Solutions for its recognition as an MSP 501 honoree,” said Aldrin Brown, Editor in Chief, MSPmentor. “The managed service provider market is evolving at a rapid pace and the companies showcased on the 2017 MSP 501 list represent the most agile, flexible and innovative organizations in the industry.”

Whether it’s getting more proactive, staying secure and compliant, preparing for the unexpected, moving to the cloud or simply looking for ways to save on technology services, turning it over to a first-caliber MSP makes good business sense.

Find out for yourself why Fulton May Solutions is ranked among the best.

Who Needs IT Consulting Services?

Business leaders and supervisors have undoubtedly seen the impact that modern technology has had on multiple industries throughout the economy. Advances such as the internet, automation technology, and cloud computing have completely changed the way most businesses conduct their daily activities. Without a doubt, the businesses that are going to maintain a competitive edge in today’s landscape are going to be those who maximize the potential of these technological advances; however, the rate of technological advance may be too fast for business leaders to educate themselves and make informed decisions. That is where qualified IT consulting services come in. With this in mind, who needs IT consulting services?

Read more

5 Reasons Why Managed IT Services are Crucial to your IT Strategy

Development and implementation of an IT strategy is crucial to further advancement of your organization’s ever-growing performance goals. However, this task is hindered by a stagnant or diminishing budget. It can be overwhelming for IT managers to maintain a feasible budget for their business in conjunction with ensuring the performance, security, and operational goals are met. Budgeting experts advocate a predictable cost model such as managed IT services.

1. Predictable cost structure
Costs for an IT department include—but are not limited to—equipment, personnel and training to keep up with industry standards. Managed IT services incorporates these costs into one predictable monthly charge. With the expansion and evolution of your business, this single monthly cost can be scaled to meet business demands and address out-of-scope work.

2. Advanced risk management
The insurance industry calculates risk and promotes that insurance provides you with peace of mind. Managed IT services reflects that very same assurance.
Coverage can include:
-Any combination of coverage for the LAN, WAN, proprietary systems, user management or monitoring and alarms.
-Extended support models provide various levels of support (24×7, 8×5, on-incident, custom) that cater to a variety of business needs.
-Managed Services Providers (MSP’s) provide proper documentation, which can help mitigate sudden loss of critical IT personnel.
-Transferring incident response and other certification requirements, such as HIPAA for healthcare and PCI-DSS for financial institutions.

3. A shift in focus to your core business:
Building and progressing a business has enough challenges as it is. Building and maintaining fundamental IT infrastructure can be just as daunting. Companies choose to outsource their IT to a third-party MSP to then concentrate on revenue-generating initiatives.

4. Future-proof strategy:
The future holds an abundance of technical challenges for the security and operation of your business. Delegating the task of maintaining infrastructure parallel to current industry developments gives you the opportunity to focus on other aspects of your organization. Managed IT services is staffed with specialists that handle basic routers and firewalls to complex network environments and support. Let the experts focus on your company’s adaptation to market demands, while you dedicate your time to growth and achievement.

5. Better value:
Value of your business operations is crucial to success and customer satisfaction. Value is the outcome that weighs your investments. Managed IT services models have evolved over time through the hard work and commitment of many integrators and providers. Dedication to the perfection of its delivery resulted in benefits and features that greatly contribute to the equilibrium and profit of your company. Lower monthly costs, constructive operations, expert skill sets, more stringent service level agreements (SLA’s) and attractive service level objectives are just a few notable examples from an abundant list.

IT is at the core of most businesses; it is the underlying business engine. Your company could be investing substantial capital on building in-house operations for hardware, software and the skills required to maintain them.

However, the onsite IT staff may be limited to certain operations that are less modern, and a lot rarer, than the wide-array of operations needed for managed IT services.

What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware programs were released in the beginning 2013 that targets all versions of Windows computers, and most recently Apple Mac computers. These ransomwares will encrypt files using a strong encryption that is almost impossible to crack. When it has finished encrypting your files, it will display a Ransomware payment program that prompts you to send a ransom payment in order to decrypt the files.
If the payment is not made in time, access to all of the files will be lost. The only good way to recover from a Ransomware attack is by restoring from a backup (if you have one, and hopefully it’s recent).

How do you become infected with Ransomware

This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to from Fedex, UPS, DHS, or even invoices. These emails traditionally contain a zip file that when opened will infect the computer. These zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files , office files or any sort of document that can use macros. The ransomware infection can also spread and wreak havoc on your network if not stopped.

How to prevent infection

Do not open emails from unknown senders. If you see anything suspicious, feel free to forward the email to SUPPORT@FULTONMAY.COM, or you can call us at 312-207-2200 to speak with a security engineer and how we can help.

PLEASE REMEMBER VIRUS PROTECTION IS NOT PERFECT AGAINST THESE THREATS. THE BEST DEFENSE IS USING YOUR GOOD JUDGEMENT WHEN THESE MESSAGES DO ARRIVE IN YOUR EMAIL

How Much Does IT Consulting Cost?

How Much Does IT Consulting Cost? Like many other consulting services, the cost of IT consulting will vary depending on the company and services provided. There are many different aspects of IT, and some businesses that are larger than others will require more extensive consulting to help manage their IT department. Before you can determine […]

Why Do Companies Outsource IT Services?

Why Do Companies Outsource IT Services? While many businesses might feel more comfortable keeping all of their IT on-site, the fact is that in-house IT may not be the most efficient. Businesses want full control over their IT, but oftentimes there aren’t enough employee resources to maintain IT systems and perform technical heavy tasks. Outsourcing your […]