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Presidential Wisdom That Rings True for IT Leaders

They say history repeats itself, so in honor of President’s Day this month, we’ve collected a few tidbits of wit and wisdom from our founding fathers and applied it to navigating the challenging world of small business IT. "It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future." - James Monroe It’s hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been, or even where you are for that matter. That’s why having “A Plan” for IT always starts with a thorough assessment of your company’s network infrastructure.
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Recovering From Network Downtime -- RPO and RTO, Two Acronyms to Know

At some point, nearly every business will experience a network interruption. Whether caused by a natural disaster, hacker, or human error without a plan already in place, recovery will take longer than it should. Do you know what to do if the systems you run your business on suddenly become unavailable? The first step is to list all of your systems -- hardware and software, services, and vendors. This list, obviously, needs to accessible should your system crash. Having a hard copy and/or a copy backed up in the cloud is a very, very good idea. Then you need to prioritize what systems need to be online quickly to minimize losses.
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Excuses We Hear About Failing to Plan for Business Continuity

I originally had “disaster recovery” instead of “business continuity” in the title of this post.  Then I remembered that while disaster recovery is important, it's almost like white noise to many SMB leaders.  It's easy to think “The chances of a disaster affecting my business are minimal.” (Tell that to the poor folks in the Carolinas.) However, disaster recovery isn't only about getting your business fully operational after a disaster (a disaster defined as any event – man-made or natural – that disrupts normal business operations). Equally important in disaster recover efforts is the planning to ensure the business remains operational in the event of a disruption – the business continuity aspect of disaster recovery.
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Is Your Office Prepared? 16 Questions to Ask Yourself About Disaster Recovery

Before getting into this post, let's quickly talk about disaster recovery.  Most people see the word “disaster” and think of hurricanes, fire, flood, tornadoes, volcanoes, or other natural disasters. Of course, those can and do cause business disruption. However, what disaster recovery is really about is ANY event that disrupts your business operations – many of them caused by simple human error. Sure, your office could catch on fire or you could be flooded and see your business documents float away. More likely is a server crash that knocks out your network for an hour (or a day or a week). Or someone opens a phishing email, letting in a ransomware virus, and your office loses access to its data. The key question to focus on in disaster recovery is this – how long can you afford to have your operations disrupted?
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How Much Will a Data Breach Cost You? It Depends

We've written about security quite a bit – and our open house last month was focused on security topics. As we bring more managed network services to you, we'll continue to focus on security issues – risk, cost, tips, etc. Most business leaders we talk to understand, at least generally, that cybercriminals are on the prowl and the they could be at risk. Even in our personal lives, it's hard to block out the numerous TV and online ads we see daily. But they – you – have a business to run and you're often focused on two things: What's it going to cost? What's it going to cost me if I don't do it?
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Why Hackers and Cybercriminals Love Small Businesses Like You

Being a small business has a lot of benefits, you might: Differentiate yourself from the corporate competition by offering a more personal feel. Make decisions about the direction of your company without having to get approval from a board. Have a high employee retention rate because your team is loyal and knows that you will make decisions with their best interests in mind. But what about the downside - specifically when it comes to securing your IT infrastructure (if you even have one)? Many small to mid-sized businesses (SMB) fall into the trap of thinking that because they are small, they are immune from a cyberattack. What would a hacker want with a small business? You’re the “little guy.”
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Your Business Information IS Your Most Important Corporate Asset – Keep It Safe!

Buying something intangible is a tricky thing to grasp, but in some cases, completely necessary without even a second thought. Take insurance for example. We insure our cars, our homes – even ourselves – without even thinking. It’s just what you are supposed to do.  Even behaviors - we lock up our cars, our homes, and our valuables if left unattended. It’s second nature. Technology, on the other hand, is something that we as humans have been slower to protect.
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Stop Losing Documents - What You Need to Know About Data Backup

Have you ever lost a document you were working on? We all have at some point. The ramifications can range from annoying (on a personal level because you have to recreate the document) to devastating (on an office-wide level if you lose your business-critical documents). Backing up company data is one of the basic responsibilities of every IT department for every business in the world. Backing up data is also one of the most overlooked and accident-prone IT processes across businesses. What would happen to your office if you couldn’t access your documents ever again? Here are six simple reasons you should ensure you back up your data – and four reasons to consider outsourcing it.
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The 5 Most Common IT Problems Your Company Faces

Not many things change as quickly as technology, so we've updated this post to reflect current IT trends. The original post is below because those are still common IT issues – just maybe not as common as the new 5 most common IT issues!  Network Security/Data Security Security isn't only a problem for large companies. Every company is at risk of being hacked. In fact, small businesses are at greater risk because many of them don't even have a security policy.  Complacency is not a defense. The average ransom asked in the recent WannaCry ransomware attack was $1,300 – hackers are targeting smaller businesses. Take a look at these stats from Cyber Security Statistics – Numbers Small Businesses Need to Know :
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