Tag Archives: ASAP

Disaster Recovery Planning and Cloud Backup – Part I

A disaster recovery plan is essential in today’s business environment since disasters can occur in so many way and do so more frequently with every year. A historical year that really heightened the awareness of disaster recovery planning was 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of businesses in the Gulf Coast Region with most not having a disaster recovery plan in place. Even now 2016, there has been unprecedented tornado, flood, earthquake and other disasters taking place all over the world; some regions receiving the worst disasters than others. Does your business have a disaster recovery plan in place? If not, do not delay after reading this article. Learn from others’ mistakes and put one in place ASAP.

Plan Well

Your plan must detail how your business will handle a disaster. One critical component of your plan needs to be putting a cloud backup and recovery system in place. For those of you that do have one in place, you need to start with a risk analysis. You need to consider risk factors like: malware infestations, virus attacks, human error such as accidental deletion of data or natural disasters. While these are obvious to most, your backup service provider going out of business is one that tends to get overlooked too often. You need to verify its viability the best you can. Unfortunately, we have learnt over the past several years that even the biggest of companies can fail almost overnight.

Prioritise Risks

Once the risk factors have been identified and listed, you must rank and prioritise them. Each one should be given a ranking that is determined on the basis of probability and impact and then given a risk rate of low, medium or high.

Show me the Money! 

Budgets can have a bearing on disaster recovery plans, as every plan comes with an associated cost. If you are planning to get your data off-site to guard against the possibility of natural disaster, you need to ensure that your information is stored in secure facilities that are in different geographical locations.

Geographically Dispersed Data

Military grade security points that your data be stored at least 2,000 miles away from your business, the point where your original data is stored. If fulfilling this military grade security is not an option for you, then make sure your cloud backup service provider backs up your data to a secondary and geographically separated data centre. Ensure that the online backup company itself has its own disaster recovery plan in place. Ask them if they have performed any type of fail over testing to ensure they are adequately prepared.

In Part II, we will further discuss the relations between disaster recovery and cloud backups.

Windows XP: End of Life

Tuesday 8th April 2014 marked the end of life for Windows XP. The archaic OS, which has been one of the most popular of the Windows operating systems released in the last 13 years, finally reached EOL (end of life) yesterday and was put to eternal rest. The software giant will still release “virus warnings” related to the OS, however no fixes will be offered as part of update packages.

Microsoft will no longer be releasing any Operating System updates after the last batch were rolled out yesterday. Therefore, the highly popular OS will no longer be supported.

Many readers will be thinking, “this makes no difference to me, I upgraded to a newer Windows OS many moons ago”, well hold on there sister, because you may well find yourself caught short by this momentous clocking off of one of the world’s biggest support teams.

Millions of devices still use Windows XP, it’s thought that roughly 25% of all desktops are still running on it. Some of these devices are the backend to important services we use everyday, such as ATMs.

The cessation of further security updates leaves these devices open to securityvulnerabilities as hackers develop ways to bypass any remaining security flaws in the OS itself. If such a vulnerability were targeted towards an everyday service like ATMs, the knock on effects would be huge, affecting millions of people across the globe.

ATM machines are just one example, but if something so common as this can be affected it is reasonable to assume that other everyday services will be affected.

XP itself was released in 2001 originally with a 10-year support life. However, after realizing its popularity in 2007 Microsoft decided to extend this support life to accommodate the many users. But, all good things must come to an end, and Windows XP is no different. The extent of its expiry as yet remains to be seen, but it seems only a matter of time before we read the latest story about exploitation of a security flaw.

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