The Meridian Blog: Tech News, Tips & More for SMB and Enterprise Environments

Be Prepared: Avoid Data Disasters with Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and when it comes to information technology, Murphy was an optimist.

Data is at the heart of any modern organization. If critical data is lost due to accident, database corruption, theft, hardware failure, or even natural disaster, business continuity can come to a halt. Data backup and disaster recovery may not be at the top of the list of topics for discussion at the company picnic, but maybe it should be.

Because data is the heart of any enterprise, it's crucial to protect it and be able to recover data that gets lost or corrupted despite your best protective measures.

Read on for:

  1. Why backing up your data matters
  2. What data should be backed up
  3. How data should be backed up
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No More Excuses: Erase Tape Backups From Your Business Continuity Plan

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Tue, Dec 20, 2016

I saw a payphone last week, and it wasn’t even in a museum...

It reminded me of how we're sometimes slow to embrace technological advances. First, there was resistance to cell phones (the brick-sized Iridium phone didn’t help the cause). Then, there was recognition that big change was on the way (massive advertising didn’t hurt). Today, most of us wouldn't even leave home without our smartphones.

In fact, mobile phone adoption is so widespread that some people even develop Nomophobia, or the fear of being without a mobile phone. Even more surprising is the fact that — according to the UN — worldwide, there are more people with mobile phones than there are people with access to toilets. Which segues into today’s blog topic: magnetic tape data backup systems.

Magnetic tape as a backup storage medium is still used by many today, and it may never go away completely, just like green screens and typewriters can still be found in some offices (and museums). But, the Digital Age is upon us, and it’s time to embrace disk drive storage and really embrace cloud-based backups, and let magnetic tape go the way of the payphone.

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Top 5 Risks of Using Outdated Technology

Juliana Lee

Posted by Juliana Lee
Thu, Apr 14, 2016

The rotating hourglass. The spinning rainbow ball. The constant string of pop-up notifications begging for this update or that patch. You've been there before. At one point or another, we've all felt the frustration that comes with using outdated technology.

Unfortunately, using outdated technology in business comes with much bigger risks than just pain and frustration. In fact, according to this Microsoft infographic, 70-80% of the top 10 malware could be avoided if technology was updated correctly.

Read on to learn the top 5 risks that will make you re-think using outdated technology.

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Business Continuity Planning: Don't settle for satisficing

Jasmine Lancaster

Posted by Jasmine Lancaster
Tue, Jan 12, 2016

When choosing or creating a business continuity plan suitable for your organization, “satisficing” is not a viable option.

Simply put, satisficing is accepting an available option as satisfactory. The trouble with that is, when your business continuity plan only reaches satisfactory levels, you are choosing to sacrifice your company’s ability to deliver products or services in the event of a disaster or disruptive incident. So, when thinking of your company’s long-term success and all of the hard work that was put into it, settling for satisficing could be disasterous.

Read on for ways you can protect your data and choose the best partner to assist in creating an ideal business continuity plan for your organization.

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5 Data Backup Method Options for SMB Business Continuity Plans

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Data backup is essential for any business, and the small-to-midsized business (SMB) is especially vulnerable to the effects of a data loss, either as the result of a natural disaster or a data breach. After deciding on the type of backup to use (full, differential, and/or incremental), as I discussed in a previous blog, the next step is to choose a storage medium (or mediums).

Choosing the right data backup method for your small business is a serious matter. Often the best route is to consult with a managed services provider (MSP), preferably one who is brand agnostic and who aims to understand your business.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and each data storage option has its pros and cons. Read on to learn about each of these five data backup methods:

  1. Magnetic tape
  2. Hard disk drive
  3. Optical media
  4. Solid state storage
  5. Cloud-based storage
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3 Types of Data Backups: Full vs. Differential vs. Incremental Backups

Erjon Xhepa

Posted by Erjon Xhepa
Wed, Aug 26, 2015

August and September signal the end of summer, the beginning of a new school year, and the start of hurricane season. As we approach the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy — which raced up the East Coast in October, 2012, destroying homes, businesses and even some data — we're reminded just how important data is to today’s business, especially the small-to-midsized business (SMB).

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 25 percent of small businesses never recover from a data loss. Every organization should have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan — and a key component of that plan should include a data backup system.

Data backup is a big topic, and businesses first must to determine what type of backup is the right choice for their business (full back up, differential back up, incremental back up, or a combination). Then, they must decide on how to implement it (tape storage, hard disk, optical storage, solid state storage, cloud providers, etc.).

RELATED: No More Excuses: Erase Tape Backups From Your Business Continuity Plan

In a different blog post, I'll detail the specific hardware and software backup methods available to SMBs in order to implement a data backup plan. In this article, I'll stick to outlining the 3 basic types of data back ups:

  1. Full backup
  2. Differential backup
  3. Incremental backup
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Biggest Data Breaches in 2015 (Part 1)

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Jul 28, 2015

Cyber security is a huge issue, impacting organizations of all sizes — from giant multi-national corporations to small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) — and, it is no longer just a story for geeks. As I write this blog, I am looking at the front page, top-of-the-fold headline story in today’s Washington Post about hacked automobile electronic control units (ECUs), where attackers took over the steering, braking, and speed controls on targeted vehicles.

2014 was a record year for major data breaches and, unfortunately, 2015 is on a pace to break that dubious achievement. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in San Diego, CA, there were 783 data breaches tracked by the ITRC in 2014, and over 85 million records were confirmed exposed. So far in 2015, as of June 30, the number of breaches captured on the ITRC Breach Report totals 400 incidents with over 117 million confirmed records at risk. The ITRC defines a data breach as an incident in which an individual name plus a Social Security number, driver’s license number, medical record or financial record (credit/debit cards included) is potentially put at risk because of exposure.

RELATED: 2014 Security Breaches That Impacted SMBs and Consumers

In follow up blogs, we will discuss government legislative initiatives regarding data breaches and potential business implications. As a refresher, here is a re-hash of just the biggest hacks so far this year — although there were many more than those listed in this article.

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Business Continuity Lessons From the NYSE and United Airlines Outages Last Week

Caroline McKee

Posted by Caroline McKee
Tue, Jul 14, 2015

Last week, technical difficulties almost simultaneously prevented United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange, TD Ameritrade and the Wallstreet Journal from being able to carry out normal business operations. This not only impacted the individual companies experiencing the outages, but also inconvenienced the travelers of 4,900 flights, caused those trading in the New York Stock Exchange to lose potential trades to competitor exchanges instantly, and briefly shook consumer confidence — nearly throwing the American economy into uncertainty.

What does this mean for your company? 

Though your company may not directly impact the national or global economy in the event you were to experience technical difficulties, every business is capable of suffering financial and legal implications when normal network operations go awry. However, MSPs like Meridian can offer several solutions to help you implement a system to protect your company and its data from a technical disaster like that of last week's new headlines.

Read on to find out why business continuity planning is worth it, along with the "BEES" of Data Protection:

  • Backup 
  • Encrypt 
  • Evaluate 
  • Secure 
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Business Continuity Planning for SMBs – How MSPs Can Help

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Thu, Mar 26, 2015

If time is money then logically, lost time must equal lost money. Downtime due to a disruption in the business process, for any reason, is difficult, if not impossible to recoup. A business continuity plan (BCP) that addresses how an organization can continue functioning after disaster strikes is essential for any organization, regardless of whether it's small or large, profit or non-profit.

Because information technology (IT) is so ingrained in the business process, any BCP must include the organization’s IT systems. In fact, IT plays two positions on the business continuity team, one on defense and another on offense. A BCP aims to secure the IT network and critical data, and employ IT proactively to ensure business continuity in the event of a business disruption. 

This was exactly the case right here at Meridian last month when one of the snowiest winters in recent memory shut down our headquarters here in the Washington DC metro area on several occasions. Luckily, our ability to stay connected and to work remotely allowed most of our operations to function smoothly — after all we are in the managed IT services business!

 Of course, the BCP will of course vary from enterprise to enterprise, but most will include these core units:

  • Risk Analysis
  • Business Impact Analysis
  • Network Failure
  • Disaster Recovery and Response Plan
  • Testing
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Do DC SMBs Need Cyber Liability Insurance for Security and Business Continuity?

Robert Bruce

Posted by Robert Bruce
Tue, Mar 17, 2015

The insurance business dates back thousands of years to the ancient Greeks, who issued maritime policies for their seagoing vessels. Fast forward to the 21st century and enterprises of all sizes now have a relatively new type of coverage available, cyber liability insurance. It has only been available for about a decade, and the demand for cyber insurance is quickly gaining strength.

As an SMB leader, you may find yourself asking questions like:

  1. What is cyber liability insurance?
  2. Do I need cyber insurance for my business?
  3. How much coverage do I need?
  4. What segments of your business should be covered?
  5. Who provides the coverage?

Because cyber liability insurance is a relatively new product in a complex industry, there are no pat answers to any of those questions. Read on for a closer view into the cyber insurance landscape, both from the customer perspective and from a managed services viewpoint.

Read More

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News, best practices and more to help you get the most out of your office technology. Whether you're an SMB owner who wears a lot of hats, or an enterprise IT director, facilities manager or just someone who wants to work smarter — this blog has the resources you need to maximize the business impact of all your tech investments. Be sure to subscribe to receive email updates about new posts!

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