Category Archives: Business Continuity

“Asigra Partner” Engagement Levels

Asigra is recognised in the cloud backup and data storage industry as one of the most reliable software to protect data. It is impressive that Asigra gives respect to its resellers and declares them “Partners” of Asigra. Asigra understands well that fact that business environment demands effective partnerships that can support and expand its wings. It is the reason why partners of Asigra are given responsibility to understand business needs of clients and provide them the relevant services. It provides support its partners without discrimination and help them in providing managed services to customers. Partners are given the opportunity to sell Asigra software along with its supportive tools.

Partners of Asigra have made it easy to provide data backup and recovery services across all platforms. Channel partners are fascinated by the Asigra Assurance Partner Program and are fully engaged to sell the Asigra software. All partners, who have signed up to this assurance program are able to sell services to customers without any competition from Asigra, as it only leases the software on a seat basis. Partners can get the support they need from Asigra and offer data backup and storage service with recurring revenue based on amount of data calculated on a per GB.

Partner program developed by Asigra has covered the gap that was noticed in the market. Partners are able to avoid huge expenses of software development and maintenance by simply signing up as a partner. Such partners are given the opportunity to use or add Asigra’s centralised online backup and recovery system to entertain their customers. With the help of Asigra, partners are able to gain confidence of clients without investing great amount of resources.

Asigra offers friendly environment to partners. It does not interfere in dealings of partners. This means, Asigra does not compete with its partners and never sells actual backup services and does not have a data centre. Asigra makes certain that its partners are given the possibility to market their services in the market. Asigra gives favour to partners and assists them from start to finish. It gives training, guideline, advise, and required material so that they know the product before marketing.

Luckily, Asigra partners have all the tools to provide high tech services. Customers interested in cloud backup and recovery services develop internal local cloud, multi-tenant public cloud or a hybrid cloud that offers both public and private clouds. Asigra’s partners have competence to fulfil requirements of customers accordingly. Customers develop trust when they are given options to select involvement level according to their business demands.

It is true that partners of Asigra get high payouts and profits. There are various partner levels and intensive commission programs. Asigra gives authority to Named Partners. Partner levels include:
• VAR Hybrid Partners – partners can resell software;
• MSP Hybrid Partners – these are able to resell software and manage their own vaults;
• 3D Hybrid Partners – these are given the authority to resell platform, supervise wholesale vault, and improve cloud infrastructure.
Partners can select one or more program to enlist their business plan in.

Asigra software is agentless and is responsible to provide all inclusive cloud backup and storage services for databases, desktops, servers, mobile devices and email. Asigra handles all mobile devices such as Android, iPad, tablets and iPhone. Partners of Asigra can resell data protection services that customers demand for hot databases, virtual servers, email and more.

Managed Service Providers for Cloud Data Backup & Recovery

In the cloud backup and storage market, Asigra is considered cost effective, resourceful, compliant, secure, and reliable solution. Asigra software was launched in the year 1986 as data backup solution. Service providers, who are interested to provide data backup and storage services to organisations, consider partnering with Asigra to offer a reliable and secure service. Asigra software can be configured to scale up or down; makes data management easy, and offers high tech solutions, with excellent features.

In fact, Asigra cloud backup and recovery software can access the network to prepare backup for applications, operating systems, and file systems by utilising high tech industry recognised standards. Asigra architecture saves time, offers support, and requires a few resources to work. Managed service providers are able to encrypt important data of clients. Asigra is reliable to transmit encrypted data from desktop, repositories, laptop or remote offices without any security threats.

Since Asigra launched its software back in 1986, no hacks has been reported. As a result, there has not been any data loss or breaches. The software allows all kinds of data to be backed up with the help of a digital signature. All important data on disk is based on self-describing format. Asigra software activates certificate of destruction automatically for particular data that is wiped out from the repository. Security procedures are improved through password rotation and password management features. There are options to create new effective passwords that can be changed randomly on regular basis to improve security.

The Continuous Data Protection (CDP) feature of Asigra offers unrestricted granularity. Customers are given advantage to recover data through RPO (Recovery Point Objective). When CDP files are saved by users at computers, backup is made to avoid data loss. Moreover, this software pays attention on any change in target file and brings same changes in backup file as soon as these changes are noticed. In other words, Asigra is dependable backup option, effective for email backup, as well as file system to enhance recovery procedures of critical data.

Benefits of Asigra CDP:
• CDP gives surety that updated data on hard drive is backed up;
• Traditional backups were able to recover data that was backed up only. However, CDP is automatic and it is backed up to the cloud happens as soon as data is saved on the drive;
• CDP offers latest type of data protection system, where record of previous data is also maintained;
• Asigra can optionally make local backups and encrypt the data and backup to a centralised repository. As a result, recovery time objectives and backup window are decreased to a minimum.
Service providers understand the significance of legally compliant Asigra. Automatic disk based solutions are capable to work without human interference. In order to recover important information, backed up data is collected from offsite repositories through private or public cloud.

Asigra’s on-boarding features minimise time needed to go to market as well as operational costs for backup and data recovery. It allows service providers to develop a variety of services along with numerous service level agreements. Through self service option, end users are given chance to create new accounts and integrated vaults. Clients are able to do these tasks without interference of service provider. In short, MSPs that are using Asigra software are able to meet the demands of customers.

How Do You Protect Company Data Found in Laptops?

Portability feature of laptops have given convenience to its users. It is a fact that portability nature of mobile devices has made it easy for bandits to target laptops to make some money or get access to restricted data. It is necessary for laptop users to take some additional precautionary measures to protect their laptop data from loss or theft. Today, most enterprises allow employees to work using laptops and the mobile workforce is growing steadily. These enterprises have an overriding concern to keep their sensitive information safe. Here are some guidelines that will enhance security of your laptop data:

First of all, there must be primary security protocols for laptop to protect data. Use of password, anti-virus software to work against malware, and hard drive encryption are some of the ways to improve security. In addition to malware threats or theft, data loss is possible due to human error. In order to cope with such situations, it is necessary to activate on-going continuous data protection on to a secondary portable drive. To improve security of data, the laptop drive can be partitioned. The removable drive should be stored away from the laptop to prevent simultaneous loss.

Companies should clearly communicate with all of its mobile workers that laptop data must be backed up on a regular basis in to their online repository vaults. Whenever a laptop has made an online connection, an automated alert should be generated reminding the user to backup the data. Easy to use, client based software should be installed. The owner of the laptop should be given access to upload important data online to the remote servers using the client interface. It is important to disclose that user ID and password to access and upload or download data online should not be saved in the laptop itself. It needs to be kept in a secure location, away from the laptop or its case.

To reinforce a secure environment, the company should have a policy to allow data downloads in an emergency situations only. Laptop must only contain data that is related to ongoing tasks. It should not have access to data that is not currently in use. Users of laptop must be given training on how to download data, and they should only keep relevant data on the drive. Unnecessary data must be deleted or removed from the laptop disk. It is necessary to perform laptop data cleaning whenever the laptop is returned back to the company after completing a field trip.

To protect data, laptop users should use private networks only. Usually, open networks are in access at hotel rooms, airports, stations and conference centres. Open networks are not safe for laptop users. It is easy for hackers to connect hacking programs with open network and compromise your data, including emails, password, and all data stored in the laptop.

Laptop users are required to encrypt data before transferring from laptop to office network. Encryption data requires specific key, password or PIN number. In other words, only authorised users, who have the right key have the right to use encrypted data. Moreover, only Virtual Private Network should be used to prevent data loss. If you cannot get access to Virtual Private Network of your company, it is good to use network from reliable service providers. It gives guarantee that all data is fully protected and not in range of other users.

Non-Compliance is Very Expensive

For enterprises and businesses, compliance is a term that shows the company is following laws and regulations concerning business, personnel and clients. For businesses, compliance is not optional. In fact, it is obligatory for organizations and divergence to this act results in form of penalties.

 

Accounting scandals of a number of corporations made it necessary to establish an act therefore the Act Sarbanes Oxley was passed against such companies. As a result, non compliant enterprises have to face penalties such as loss of D & O insurance, imprisonment, heavy fines and lose exchange listing. It is given that investors do not have an interest to invest in non-compliant organizations. In case, CFOs or CEOs give fake certifications, they will face charges of one million dollars fine for their un-willful wrong doing. On the other hand, charges for willful doings are up to five million dollars. In addition to penalties, CEOs and CFOs can be imprisoned for up to ten to twenty years based on the evidence presented.

 

HIPAA is an act concerning health insurance portability & accountability. HIPAA is applied to service providers dealing with health care departments. The act also equally applies to health care associates. If service providers are unable to meet the demands of HIPAA Act, they will be fined severe penalties. Health care providers are castigated when they ignore standard of HIPAA. In such cases, the Secretary has the right to charge $100-$50,000 for each violation, up to a maximum of $1.5 million for identical provisions during a calendar year.

 

Another important part of HIPAA is its relation to personal health information (PHI). When sensitive information such as PHI of patients is disclosed, health care providers are penalized for their carelessness. In case this infringement is willful, up to $50,000 penalty, with a year imprisonment or both is imposed on the wrong doer. Conversely, if the violation is done with false pretences, an amount of $100,000 is imposed, with five years imprisonment or both. However, if such violation is for to get commercial benefits, a fine up to $250,000, with 10 years of imprisonment or both is imposed.

 

Punishments related to PCI-DSS and data protection act impose charges of up to $500,000 for data breaches. Non-compliant companies not only get charged fines, but also have to face long lasting penalties, such as credit card activity shut down, loss of business, staff cost during recovery process, detailed and increased audit requirements, charges of printing clients’ notification, printing costs, emailing costs, as well as loss of clients’ trust.

 

Controllers of non-compliant data are also punished by Data Protection Act. They are required to get registration and follow data protection act to become qualified for processing sensitive information of customers. If data controllers do not get registration, they can face litigation and penalties. On the other hand, data controllers and agents who misuse personal client information in other ways that are not mentioned in the act, they could be charged under the civil or criminal act sanctions.

 

In short, non compliance can be terrible and costly for companies.

What is Distributed Denial of Service Attack?

DoS & Its Types
Denial of Service (DoS) occurs whenever a website stops to offer services. Denial of services is the result of some attack or presence of too many online visitors on a specific site.

There are many kinds of attacks that disable a system. In some cases, peer-to-peer software is used to corrupt the firmware. Among all types of attacks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is most common. DDoS brings a lot of traffic to a website that is impossible to handle. Networked computers are used by hackers to bring a flood of traffic to disturb business continuity. As website is designed to handle a limited number of customers’ requests at a time, it crashes when flooded with too much traffic.

DDoS Attacks Frequency
DDoS attacks occur on frequent basis. According to Wikipedia, DDos occurs on an average of 28 times per hour. What is more ironical is an increase in the number of attacks on regular basis.

Who are DDoS Attackers?
There are many reasons that compel hackers to use distributed denial of service attack. One cannot pin down exact reasons and who the attackers are. It is believed that DDoS attacks are used by competitors against a business as deceitful tactic.

Objectives behind DDoS Attacks
Attackers use DDoS attacks to get ransom money. Companies are warned to pay an amount, otherwise their system will crash. Once company pays the given amount, it becomes the target of hackers for long term. On the other hand, companies that refuse to pay the ransom suffer due to hindrances in business continuity and downtime, which means to shell out for system recovery and their business reputation.

Sometimes, DDoS attacks are the result of a protest. When hacker groups have conflict with the actions of certain groups, they attack their websites to show reaction. There are many hackers that just use these attacks for the sake of pleasure or to cause trouble for others.

Companies Affected by DDoS Attacks
Steam, Sony Playstation Network, and Xbox Live Network of Microsoft are some of the significant companies that are affected due to DDoS attacks. Side by side large scale companies, small companies are harassed by these attacks because they do not have preventive measures to mitigate the effects.

Unintentional DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks can be accidental. It may happen that a lot of visitors have found something interesting on a website (video, picture or article) and visit the site at the same time. Website might not be ready to handle an increase in number of visitors, therefore, the system stops to give service any more.

DDoS Attacks are Expensive
Nuestar reported* that DDoS attacks cost more than $100K in an hour for almost 29% businesses. Due to these attacks, customer support centre was affected more than any other department.

In a nutshell, businesses must have an influential plan for DDoS and business continuity. Best practices should be used to reduce the number of DDoS attacks. As a result, the affects of downtime on clients and business can be controlled.

* https://goo.gl/kkwKzT

Fundamentals for Managed Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Services

Many companies are facing problems due to unsatisfactory data recovery plans. Some of them are not paying attention to key points; whereas others do not have relevant strategies. For companies, it is highly important to have appropriate backup and recovery system. For this purpose, they search for reliable services which give surety of business continuity, even if disaster strikes. It is often assumed that plan for disaster recovery (DR) is similar to business continuity (BC). In fact, plan for DR covers IT operations and infrastructure, whereas BC plan covers entire organization.

 

There are some fundamentals which DR Service providers must consider. The following five fundamentals give guideline to develop a well executed DR and BC:

 

1/ White Glove Service

It is the responsibility of the service provider to arrange disaster recovery plan, handle accomplishment, make schedule for backups and provide testing facility. White glove service works to improve recovery plan to support business resiliency. As a result, clients get enough time for other business concerning tasks.

 

2/ Undisturbed Deployment

There are many companies that do not have proper system for recovering data. In traditional Information Technology, it is a bit challenging to plan, implement or administer projects that need money for investment, time and staff. Only a managed solution can give instant and reliable results. Service providers must have straightforward unending management with automated procedures to update the recovery of applications and data system.

 

3/ Clients’ Control over DR Plan

Only a managed service provider gives some control to clients over DR operations. For this purpose, clients are given relevant tools to test disaster recovery plan, system backup and folders and files recovery processes. Though white glove treatment is provided, clients must have enough knowledge to carry on simple recovery operations. Clients’ know how of recovery operation is critical if you are pressed with RPO and RTO.

 

4/ Proper Tools for Smooth Integration

For managed disaster recovery, clients must be empowered with relevant tools. White gloves services supply tools that can simplify the managerial aspects and help in seamless consolidation of IT environment of the company while integrating personnel, processes and tools that are already available.

 

5/ Affordable Solution

When companies get DR management service for business continuity, they need vendors that are within their budget. Vendors are providing solutions for business continuity that most of companies cannot afford. Service providers can make disaster recovery plan affordable, as well as beneficial for clients by offering cloud computing services. One of the advantages of the cloud is that companies are able to scale up or scale down depending on the resources needed while only paying for the resources they have used.

 

Disaster Recovery as a Service is the dominating segment of DR market. By 2018, MarketsandMarkets projects that the DRaaS segment will reach the $5.7 Billion figure. Therefore, IT providers are given an opportunity to get maximum profit in the coming years. If you are an IT company planning to get a slice of the DRaaS market, please contact us and we will assist you in reaching your goals.

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