The Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist
World Backup Day is March 31st, 2018. Take the pledge to backup your data here.
Prepare yourself before disaster strikes. When it comes to data backup and disaster recovery (BDR), being prepared for potential disasters is key to keep your business running. It’s not only important to have a disaster recovery solution you trust, but to make sure you test it as well.
Keep this DR checklist on hand.
Prior to a disaster ever occurring (and unfortunately, it’s a matter of when and not if) ask yourself the following:
- Do you have a disaster recovery solution in place?
- Do you trust it?
- How often do you currently backup these systems?
- When was the last time your backup was tested?
- How long does it take to recover from your current backup solution?
- How long can you realistically be down? 1 hour? 1 day?
- How much production time on your servers are you willing to lose?
- When a disaster occurs, is there an offsite copy?
- How much data is on your critical business systems?
- How many employees would be affected if the critical systems failed?
- What would be the average wage of the affected employees (dollars/hour)?
- What is the overhead cost per hour of the affected employees (dollars/hour)?
- How much revenue would be lost as a result of a system failure (dollars/hour)?
- What is the financial cost of downtime to your business?
The disaster moment has occurred—time to walk through the following steps:
1. Assess the problem and its impact on your business
Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it may affect you.
- Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
- Have files been deleted or are servers/workstations down?
2. Establish recovery goals
Recovery is what makes a BDR solution different from a simple backup product. Plan out your road to recovery.
- Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
- Identify critical systems and prioritize recovery tasks.
- What date/time should you recover from?
- How long can your recovery take?
3. Select the appropriate recovery type(s)
To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery procedure must be followed. Think about which approach will best get you to your end goal.
- File restore OR
- Local virtualization OR
- Off-site virtualization
4. Verify the recovery and confirm functionality with users
Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.
- Test network connectivity.
- Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment.
5. Restore the original system(s), if needed
If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best.
- Bare metal restore OR
- Virtual machine restore
6. Self-assess afterwards
After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently?
- What precipitated the failure?
- What ongoing issues need to be addressed?
- What can be done better in future DR scenarios?
Olean, NY— February 2nd, 2018 — Databranch, Inc., an information technology solution provider specializing in Managed Services, Networking, Data Protection, and Security today announced it has achieved a Silver Datacenter competency, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft Corp. customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment. To earn a Microsoft silver competency, partners must successfully demonstrate expertise through rigorous exams, culminating in Microsoft certifications. And to ensure the highest quality of services, Microsoft requires customer references for successful implementation and customer satisfaction.
“This Microsoft Datacenter competency showcases our expertise with today’s rapidly evolving cloud technology market and demonstrates our knowledge of Microsoft’s hybrid solutions including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Server,” said David Prince, Databranch President. “Through our achievement of this competency we are better able serve as technology advisors for our clients as they evaluate and determine the right Microsoft server solution for their organization.”
“By achieving a silver competency, organizations have proven their expertise in specific technology areas, placing them among the top 5 percent of Microsoft partners worldwide,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “When customers look for an IT partner to meet their business challenges, choosing a company that has attained Microsoft competencies is a smart move. These are highly qualified professionals with access to Microsoft technical support and product teams.”
The Microsoft Datacenter competency is earned by demonstrating expertise and commitment to delivering flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solutions tailored to businesses and organizations of all sizes. Because of our focus in helping clients adopt the right server solution to accelarate their business operations, we invested and attained this competency to project our readiness to address the rising customer demand for hybrid solutions and networks that utilize both on-premise and cloud technology.
The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners strengthen their capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers and, with 640,000 Microsoft partners in their ecosystem, to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.
Over the weekend, the world experienced one of the most severe ransomware outbreaks in history, with businesses of all sizes in over 150 countries impacted. As ransomware becomes a household name, one thing is for certain: Global cybersecurity has reached a moment of emergency.
So here are the critical questions for your business:
Do you have backup and disaster recovery system in place?
Is all of your software up-to-date?
How’s your antivirus/firewall?
Is your Microsoft patched?
If you are a Databranch Managed Services client, your SonicWALL Gateway Security Suite, Symantec End Point Protection, Proactive Maintenance/Microsoft Patching, and Datto Business Continuity solution have provided an excellent first line of defense and we are diligently working to keep your business protected from future attacks.
This is just the beginning of ransomware attacks in 2017 and we would like to help get your business ready for what’s to come. We are offering a complimentary security/data protection assessment this week to anyone who needs peace of mind that their network is secure following this weekend’s attack.
Call our team today at 716-373-4467 x 15 or email email@example.com to schedule a time for us to come review your network.
Olean, NY (April 18, 2017) – Databranch, Inc. today announced it has achieved exclusive Blue partner status with Datto, the leading provider of total data protection solutions for businesses around the world.
Databranch, Inc. has exceeded high standards of performance to qualify for Blue status in Datto’s partner program, the highest classification provided by Datto. The Blue status includes the utilization of VIP technical support services, marketing development funds, a hardware insurance policy, competitive and flexible pricing, early access to new products, and a complimentary pass to Datto’s annual partner conference. Datto Blue status represents the top 5% of partners, worldwide.
Databranch has been a Datto partner since 2012 serving clients regionally, nationally, and globally. Databranch company president, David Prince, said “Datto has been a lifesaver for us ever since we adopted the solution. It’s given me peace of mind knowing we can recover in any situation. Since we cover such a large geographical region, being able to get a client back up and running remotely has saved valuable time and money for our clients; especially when dealing with inclement weather or urgent issues.”
Prince says, “Databranch is excited to be recognized as a top Datto Blue partner and we look forward to utilizing our new benefits to better serve our current Datto clients and continue to introduce the Datto solution to businesses and organizations looking to protect their critical business data.”
“It’s such a pleasure to see Datto partners excel in their businesses,” said Rob Rae, Vice President of Business Development, at Datto. “Databranch, Inc. has demonstrated their extensive knowledge in the business continuity market, and has completed the requirements of this exclusive, top tier of our Partner Program. We welcome Databranch, Inc. to Blue status and look forward to growing our partnership even further.”
Established in 1985.
Databranch, Inc., is an IT consulting and outsourcing provider serving local, national and international businesses in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania since 1985. We help our clients use information technology to cut costs, increase efficiencies and enhance customer service across four main areas: managed services, networking, business continuity, and security. Learn more at www.databranch.com.
Datto protects business data and provides secure connectivity for tens of thousands of the world’s fastest growing companies. Datto’s Total Data Protection solutions deliver uninterrupted access to business data on site, in transit and in the cloud. Thousands of IT service providers globally rely on Datto’s combination of pioneering technology and dedicated services to ensure businesses are always on, no matter what. Datto is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut and has offices in Rochester, Boston, Portland, Toronto, London, Singapore and Sydney. Learn more at www.datto.com.
Our February Client of the Month is Ira Katzenstein, Executive Director of Cattaraugus & Wyoming Project Head Start. He has been administering the entire program for the area’s children and families since 1985 and began working with Databranch shortly thereafter.
Our partnership began at the dawning of the computer age when offices began to implement computers and Head Start needed a unique monitor to accommodate someone’s vision impairment and our relationship has been ongoing ever since. Throughout the years Ira recalled, “We have looked at other providers and have not found a comparable service. When the chips are down, Databranch is here for us and that’s critical. I have an obligation to get the largest value for our organization and I believe we receive that from the Databranch team. When something happens a technician is here at our office working to resolve the issue and that’s something you’ve consistently provided during the years we’ve worked together.”
From Ira’s perspective the biggest benefits Head Start receives as a Comprehensive Care client are, “Knowing that we are as up to date with technology as we can be within our budgetary constraints. We have a system in place that has grown with us and will continue to grow and evolve. I have peace of mind knowing that we’re on the right course and in good hands.” Jeff Bussard, Databranch Account Manager, emphasized how fulfilling it is to work with an organization that values technology and is open to implementing new advancements when they become available. They were an early adopter of our Datto business continuity solution and have always recognized the importance of good security practices. On a personal level, we greatly enjoy working with the Head Start team because of their friendly, welcoming environment and great sense of humor.
The key to our longstanding relationship according to Ira, “The people. You have a heart and that’s important. You understand the nature of our organization and are willing to work with us within E-Rate compliance requirements. Overall, your customer service is just outstanding.”
To learn more about Cattaraugus Wyoming Project Head Start and how they serve our local community visit their website – http://headstartnetwork.com/
Here’s an important
question most businesses don’t think about: what would happen if your in-house
IT guru suddenly quit? Most business owners think it would only be a temporary inconvenience
when, in fact, the opposite is usually true. Want to know how much you are at
risk? Ask yourself the following 6 questions:
you have written network documentation about your computer network? What
software licenses do you own? What are the critical administrator passwords to
your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured? What
hardware do you own and when do your equipment warranties expire? Are there
cloud vendors for email, online storage, etc. that you don’t currently have?
You should NEVER allow a single IT person to keep this information under their
full control over your network and company. If they suddenly left for any
reason, this could lead to huge consequences for your company.
you know where your backup files are stored and if they are being stored
properly? If you are like most business owners,
you’re too busy dealing with the “crisis of the day” to think about system
backups and probably leave tasks to your internal expert. If your database gets
fried and your tech is nowhere to be found, you might be in a lot of trouble.
you have a written plan for restoring your network fast in the case of a
disaster? If you don’t have a fully tested
disaster recovery plan for your office, you could be at serious risk without
ever knowing it until something happens.
you know where all of your software is stored?
Bad things can happen to computers and servers, and the situation can be made
worse if you are not prepared. Taking a minute to organize and store your
software in a secure place can save you a considerable chunk of money in the
event that you need to restore a program on your systems. If you don’t have
access to the software or don’t know where it is located, you might be forced
to buy the software again.
you know what routine maintenance must be done to your network?
I know that the very idea of learning about and keeping track of all the
servers, workstations, and peripherals on your network probably gives you a
major headache, but it is important information to maintain. If your in-house
expert leaves, who will take over?
you know how to protect yourself from an ugly security breach if your in-house
computer expert leaves? What happens if your
in-house expert splits with no warning AND has access to your company’s
network? As soon as humanly possible, you should disable his or her access,
including remote access to y our network and all cloud based applications.
So how did you
do? If you answered “no” to even one of these questions, you need to get the
answers now before it’s too late. Click here to get started or call
716-373-4467 x 15 to speak with a Databranch Computer Expert!
- Cyber Thieves Keep A-Knockin’ But They Can’t Come In. A study presented at the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks showed that small-business networks are attacked every 39 seconds by some type of hacker or malicious software. Thankfully, having the proper firewall and office network security tools can prevent even the most determined cyber hacker from getting his hands on your network. Are your systems covered?
- Downtime Should Be A Thing Of The Past. Thanks to monitoring and maintenance tools that are openly available, any reputable computer company can now actually notice when things go awry and prevent your computers from having issues. Hot fixes, patches and security updates are generally items that, when maintained on a regular basis, keep a network healthy and up and running. If, for some reason, your network still has some kind of downtime, cloud-based remote management tools allow you IT professional to access your system from anywhere, getting you up and running more quickly than ever before.
- If Disaster Strikes, You Can Be Back Up & Running In Minutes Instead of Days. In addition to lost data, many businesses’ operations would be completely down for days or weeks if a major disaster like fire, flood or theft ever occurred. Here’s where Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions (BDR) can help you feel very thankful indeed. Most of today’s BDR solutions include a “virtualization” component, which means an exact “picture” of your server and computers is taken throughout the day and stored elsewhere. If you ever need to get back up and running, your IT company simply restores that image… and you’re back in business.
Want to feel thankful instead of frustrated with your computers? To claim your free disaster recovery assessment call 716-373-4467 x 15 or click here!
Our October Client of the Month is Peigi Cook, Director at Corning Children’s Center, a year round childcare and education setting serving up to 160 children from 6 weeks old to five years until they leave for kindergarten, located in Corning, NY. For over 20 years Peigi has led the Children’s Center and seen their data and technology needs grow and change tremendously.
In 2011, Databranch had the opportunity to respond to an RFQ the organization sent out and was chosen as their new provider. Peigi recalled, “We were looking for better documentation of what was being done to our network and a more proactive, engaged interface with our provider. When you hire someone to manage your technology you expect them to know more than you do and you want them to utilize their expertise to tell you what you should be thinking about. We chose Databranch based on their rigorous documentation and reporting on a sustained basis.”
The biggest benefit for the organization since becoming a Comprehensive Care client for Peigi has been, “No downtime and a sense that when work is done it’s done with a focus. Which means for us that when we have work done, we know it’s done right and that it will be done efficiently.” According to Peigi, the relationship has been relatively easy from the beginning and the key to our longstanding partnership is mutual respect, honesty, and an appreciation for the work each of us does. She stated, “You have always been really good at listening to who we are, our challenges, and working within the parameters we need to live in. I’m sure every client you work with has different operating environments and priorities and that’s never been an issue because you pay attention and value who we are. I wouldn’t be happy with someone that’s always trying to upsell us. You’ve been good at understanding that and working with us within our means. That counts a lot.”
One unique way we’ve worked with the Corning Children’s Center to aid their mission and maximize their IT budget is training their Operations Director, Delores Folk, to function as an internal super user, addressing easily fixed user issues. Peigi emphasized that this has enabled the organization to save money and our training expertise has been invaluable in bringing her team up to speed technically. To conclude our interview Peigi remarked, “We appreciate the quality of your staff. They’re smart. They’re respectful. They’re focused. They get the work done without glitches or hiccups.”
Databranch President, David Prince, had the following to say about our relationship, “It’s a pleasure to work with Peigi and her staff at Corning Children’s Center. Over the five years we’ve been working together we have collectively made enhancements and improvements to their technology infrastructure which has resulted in increased reliability and productivity for the staff. It is a privilege to partner with someone who cares so deeply about the mission of her organization.”
To learn more about the Corning Children’s Center and how you can support their mission to set the standard in early care and education by inspiring learners, leaders and dreamers visit their website http://www.corningchildrenscenter.com/supporters/
Our September Client of the Month was Kathy Miller, IT Manager, at Cameron Manufacturing & Design, a leading producer of metal fabrications, weldments, customer machinery, and engineering services located in Horseheads, NY. Kathy has been involved in many different aspects of IT at Cameron Manufacturing starting in a programing role, moving to customer service, and then transitioning to database management, all leading to her current Database and IT Administration/Management role.
In early 2015, Cameron Manufacturing had a very talented IT staff member that took a position at another company closer to his home, leaving the business with an IT void that needed to be filled quickly. Kathy recalled, “At that time, IT technicians with experience were very difficult to find. Databranch had the qualifications and talent to fill our needs. I had positive and successful interactions with my current contacts at Databranch and wanted to continue that relationship”
Databranch had been partnering with Cameron since 2008 for software renewals and we were excited when the opportunity arose to take our business relationship to the next level and welcome them as a Comprehensive Care Client. The biggest benefit for the organization according to Kathy has been, “Regular maintenance of our servers and client PC’s as well as an improved data recovery plan. I think Databranch is very responsive to our needs that fall inside and outside of our monthly service agreement.” Recently, one of the servers managed by Databranch was infected with Locky Ransomware, but because of our familiarity with their environment and their adoption of our preferred business continuity solution, Datto, we were able to identify and respond to the issue within the first fifteen minutes of the work day, restoring their server and all infected files by the end of the day with little disruption to users.
Since becoming a Comprehensive Care client, Kathy feels her peace of mind concerning the business’s technology has greatly improved. She knows that all work will get done in a timely manner without having to hire and have experts in multiple fields on staff. In regards to the Databranch team she says, “I think all the staff members are very prompt and have great qualifications to get done what is required at Cameron Manufacturing. There have been no issues with the staff, service, and support we receive from Databranch.”
Databranch Account Manager, Jeff Bussard, who has worked with Kathy for many years had the following to say about their relationship, “I like working with Kathy Miller from Cameron Manufacturing because she has a great attitude. When it comes to IT solutions, we are able to work together to find the right services or products to improve processes for Cameron Manufacturing and Cameron Bridge Works. We hold a level of trust that enables us to solve problems quickly and efficiently, which helps support the mission of the business and we look forward to partnering with them for their IT needs for many years to come.”
1) Defend your computer
- Strengthen your computer’s defenses. Keep all software (including your web browser) current with automatic updating (or follow the directions of IT staff). Install legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware software. Never turn off your firewall.
- Don’t be tricked into downloading malicious software. Stop and think before you open attachments or click links in unusual email, text, or instant messages (IM), on social networks, or in random pop-up windows. If you’re unsure if a message is legitimate – even from a coworker – contact the sender to confirm using a different device and another account.
2) Protect company data and financial assets
- Don’t put confidential information in email, instant, or text messages; they may not be secure.
- Beware of scams. Never give information like an account number or password in response to a phone call, or email or other online request.
- For the most sensitive transactions – Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, payroll, and the like – consider a dedicated computer not used for email or web browsing.
3) Create strong passwords and keep them private
- Lock devices, company routers, and online accounts with strong passwords or PINs. Strong passwords are long phrases or sentences and mix capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t disclose passwords or PINs to coworkers.
- Use a unique password on each account or device containing personal or business data, and change them regularly.
4) Guard company data when you’re on the go
- Treat all public Wi-Fi networks as a security risk.
- Choose the most secure option – it could include password-protection or encryption – even if you have to pay for it.
- Confirm the exact spelling of the wireless network you’re connecting to – beware of clever (slightly misspelled) fakes, such as www.micrsoft.com.
- Encrypt all confidential data on smartphones, laptops, flash drives, and other portable devices in case they’re lost or stolen.
- Never make financial and other sensitive transactions on any device over public wireless networks.
- Use flash drives carefully. Minimize the chance that you’ll infect your company network with malware:
- Don’t put any unknown flash (or USB) drive into your computer.
- On your flash drive, don’t open files that are not familiar.
What to do if there are problems
Using a web service
When using email, a social network, or other service, report:
- Scams, obscene material, or aggressive behavior to the service. For example, in Microsoft services or software, look for a Report Abuse link or contact Databranch.
- Any misrepresentation of your organization – for example, a phishing scam that pretended to be from your company – to your system administrator.
Theft or loss of company data or other assets
If sensitive company data or accounts have been compromised because of theft or loss of a laptop, smartphone, or other device, or because of a breach of network security or an account:
- Report it immediately to IT or security personnel, if your organization has them, and to the bank, when appropriate.
- Change all passwords used to log on to the device.
- Contact the service provider for help in wiping the data from smartphones and other devices.
Content courtesy of Microsoft Community Connections