Call (716) 373-4467

Our July Client of the Month is Jackie Gregg, Controller at Control Chief, a manufacturer of industrial crane remote control and locomotive remote control solutions. We have had the pleasure of working with Jackie since the early days of Databranch and have enjoyed partnering with Control Chief for their IT needs since 2009. Our mission is to help our clients succeed through effective planning, implementation and management of their technology and as Jackie says in the video below, “What do I have? I have peace of mind. I can go on vacation for a week and know that my servers are going to run and my people are going to keep working. If there’s a problem all I have to do is pick up the phone and I’m going to have someone here onsite with the problem fixed and that’s well worth the price we pay you every month. Would I recommend Databranch? Highly.” 

 

 

 
 

Sitting Duck

Small businesses are under attack. Right now, extremely dangerous and well-funded cybercrime rings in China, Russia and the Ukraine are using sophisticated software systems to hack into thousands of small businesses to steal credit cards, client information, and swindle money directly out of your bank account. Some are even being funded by their own government to attack small, virtually defenseless businesses. 

Don’t think you’re in danger because you’re “small” and not a big target like a Target or Home Depot? Think again. 82,000 NEW malware threats are being released every single day and HALF of the cyber-attacks occurring are aimed at small businesses; you just don’t hear about it because it’s kept quiet for fear of attracting bad PR, lawsuits, data-breach fines and out of sheer embarrassment.

In fact, the National Cyber Security Alliance reports that one in five small businesses have been victims of cybercrime in the last year – and that number is growing rapidly as more businesses utilized cloud computing, mobile devices and store more information online. Quite simply, most small businesses are low-hanging fruit to hackers due to their lack of adequate security systems.

As a local IT support company, we work day and night to protect our clients from these attacks – and unfortunately we see, on a regular basis, hardworking entrepreneurs being financially devastated by these lawless scumbags – We are determined to WARN as many businesses as possible of the VERY REAL threats facing their organization so they have a chance to protect themselves and everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Free Report Reveals The Critical Protections Small Businesses Need Today

We want to do everything that we can to stop cybercrime, so we have put together a FREE Executive Report titled “7 Urgent Security Protections Every Business Should Have In Place Now” that we have made available at no charge here on our website at www.databranch.com/sittingduck.

Download your free Report today at www.databranch.com/sittingduck or by calling our office at 716-373-4467 ext. 15.

During this time of year the threat of fire, flood, severe storms, water damage from office sprinklers, and even theft is very real.

One of the most valuable assets for any company is its data. Hardware and software can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot! 

As a reminder to all of our clients and friends, here are some simple things you should do to make sure your company is ready for any natural disaster.

  1. Back Up Your Data Remotely! Everyone knows that data should be backed up on a daily basis, but many people still use in-house backup systems that will get damaged in a natural disaster or fire, and can easily be stolen. We recommend backing up all data to an off-site location, and we offer this as a service to our clients.
  2. Use a Quality Surge Protector With Uninterruptible Power Supply Battery. A high quality surge protector combined with an uninterruptible power supply battery backup will go a long way in protecting sensitive electronic equipment from surges and other electronic irregularities that can destroy your computer’s circuitry.
  3. Make Sure Your Servers Are Off The Floor Or In The Cloud. If your office gets flooded, having your equipment off the floor will prevent it from being completely destroyed. Server racks can be purchased and installed very inexpensively.  Or consider moving your critical server equipment to the cloud and be protected no matter the weather!
  4. Have A Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan. Every business should have some type of plan in place for continued operation after a disaster. Would people know where to go? Who to call? How to log in and access data remotely? Hopefully you’ll never need it, but having a simple plan will make you sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a way to continue to operate when disaster strikes.

FREE Report: The 10 Disaster Planning Essentials For Any Small Business

Don’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in an instant! This report will reveal important planning strategies you should have in place now to protect yourself from common data-erasing disasters including natural hazards, human error, cyber criminals, hardware failure, software corruption and other IT failures.

Download this FREE REPORT today at www.databranch.com/10essentials

When it comes to avoiding downtime, Databranch, Inc. is among the best of the best. The IT consulting/outsourcing provider and Datto partner has been operating out of western New York for over 30 years, delivering managed services, networking and security.

David Prince, President of Databranch, is a big fan of the Datto business continuity solution. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, so we have a good idea of what does and doesn’t work. Tape backup has proven to be unreliable and can add days to the recovery process. For years, I was on a quest to find something better, and Datto has been that and more ever since we’ve partnered with them,” according to Prince.

He cites the ability to extend support to clients remotely as one of the biggest features that help his business thrive. According to Prince, Datto has helped grow his business, and differentiate Databranch from other MSPs.

“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,” said Prince. 

Working in such a large and diverse region, Databranch serves a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing. One of those clients is Clarion Sintered Metals, a powdered-metal manufacturer located in Pennsylvania. Clarion runs a 24/7/365 operation, so downtime is never an option.

When Clarion’s servers crashed, Databranch was there to save the day and keep operations running as normal. Thanks to a proactive MSP and their Datto solution, Clarion didn’t suffer any downtime.

To learn how Databranch and Datto protected Clarion, download the full success story here.

To receive more information about how Databranch and Datto can help your organization fill out the form below to be contacted by a Databranch business continuity expert!

 




 
Take this quiz to find out!
 

How can you tell if you are receiving poor or substandard service? 

 
How do you know if your computer guy is doing everything possible to secure your network from downtime, cyber-criminals, data loss, or other frustrating and expensive disasters? 
 
Could your current computer guy actually be jeopardizing your network?

 
If your computer support company does not score a “YES” on every point, you could be paying for substandard support. 
 
  • Do they respond to emergencies in 30 minutes or less?
  • Are they easy to reach when you need them for non-emergencies?
  • Do they offer ongoing maintenance to keep your systems running smooth?
  • Do they proactively offer new ways to improve your network’s performance?
  • Do they provide detailed invoices that clearly explain what you are paying for?
  • Do they complete projects on time and on budget?
  • Do they follow up on your support requests quickly?
  • Do they offer a guarantee on their services?
  • Do they arrive on time and dress professionally?
  • Do they have other technicians on staff who are familiar with your network in case your regular technician goes on vacation or gets sick?
  • Do their technicians maintain current vendor certifications and participate in ongoing training?
  • Are you confident they aren’t learning on your time?
  • Do they give you their full attention rather than seeming constantly rushed?
  • Are they adamant about backing up your network and having a disaster recovery plan in place?
  • Do they offer to meet with you regularly to review your business plans, your network status and their own performance in supporting your company?
  • Do they provide frequent updates, status reports and follow-up calls and e-mails so you don’t have to manage their progress on projects?
  • Do they offer flat-rate or fixed-fee project quotes, rather than giving themselves a wide-open playing field with “time and materials”?

 

Unless you’ve been living in a tomb, you know you should be backing up your computers and server. But here’s something you probably DON’T know that will come back and “bite” you: simply having a backup of your data is NOT ENOUGH to guarantee you could be back up and running fast in the event of a disaster.

Having a data backup merely means that you have a copy of your company’s data stored somewhere; it does NOT mean you have a way to instantly restore your network back to normal – a shocking dose of truth most business owners discover after they’ve experienced a major network crash or data-erasing disaster.

For example, if your network dies because of a hardware failure, your entire company is down, period. No e-mail, no printing, no accessing your database, customer records, and more. Until whatever caused the problem can be fixed (which might involve ordering replacement parts), your business is deader than a doornail.

 

So You Reach For Your Backup Only To Discover…

Your information is there, but without a server, you have nowhere to load that information, and no way to access it. On top of that, a backup only holds your data, not your operating system, settings, or software applications. So even if you can load the data, you can’t actually use it without re-loading all the software applications—no small feat. Even IF you have all the software disks and key codes (most people don’t), it could still take days — possibly weeks— to rebuild, and the costs can run into the thousands.

 

That’s Not The Half Of It

The three most common causes of server downtime are hardware failure, software corruption and human error. But nearly 20% of businesses suffer damaging downtime from fire, flood, theft, or other natural disasters, and 44% of them never recover—and that’s mostly because they didn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.

A disaster recovery plan covers more than just backup. It maps out how to get your business restored and running again in every possible scenario.

For example, if another company in your office building has a fire, the police may quarantine your building preventing you from even entering your office. Or if a major storm knocks out power, Internet or the phone lines, you need a plan “B” for servicing customers, taking orders and keeping things rolling.

 

3 Crucial Components To A Disaster Recovery Plan

  1. Have One! As the old adage goes, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” When it comes to disaster recovery, nothing could be more accurate. If something happens to your office, will your employees be able to work from home? Do you have an alternate plan for your phones? Where would you temporarily set up shop? How quickly could you get technology equipment you need to function like computers, scanners, or printers? How will you access the Internet? Make a point to document the answers to these questions.
  2. Onsite Server “Virtualization.” In a downtime situation, virtualization is basically a business owner’s lifeline to his business. Once only available to big businesses with deep pockets, this now affordable technology can literally get you back up and running just as you were before the disaster… in as little as 24 hours. If the disaster doesn’t take out your whole office, virtualization can have you back in business the same day.  Here’s how it works. A second server makes exact copies of everything on your server—operating system, software applications and data—every 15-60 minutes. This server replica, also known as an “image,” can take over if your main server fails or gets corrupted. No need to re-load software, reconfigure your network, or re-load your data. In as little as 30 minutes, everyone in your company can get back to work, just as they were before the downtime. Compare this to the days or WEEKS it could take without virtualization; the productivity and money savings is staggering. Side Note: If you are still using old tape backups, you NEED to throw them away and virtualize your server with an offsite backup!
  3. Offsite Image of Your Server. Fire, flood, theft, natural disasters, or even faulty office sprinkler systems can physically damage your office equipment, including your server and your backup system.

 

Head this off by having an exact copy (an image) of your server’s operating system, settings, programs, and data sent daily to an offsite location. Also, make sure this image can be quickly loaded on to a server and shipped to you. With this in your plan, a tornado could rip open your office and destroy everything, yet you could be back up and running within a few days.

 

     Want To Make SURE Your Business Can “Stay Open” 
After A Disaster? FREE Disaster Recovery Assessment Shows You How

 Because it’s Halloween, we’re giving away a FREE disaster recovery assessment to any of our clients who want to upgrade to our new DataGuard Intelligent Business Continuity Solution. This service will make sure:

  • Your files are automatically backed up multiple times per day right over the Internet. No more rotating and storing tapes or running the risk of tape failures!
  • Your data is safe from fire, floods, storms, viruses, hackers, hardware malfunctions, and human error!
  • You can back up ALL of your data and not be limited to the size of your tape drive.
  • Should a disaster occur, you can be back up and running the very next day…we GUARANTEE it.

We normally charge $500 for a Disaster Recovery Assessment but it’s yours FREE if you schedule an appointment before Halloween, October 31st! To get started, call us at 716-373-4467 or send us an e-mail to alasky@databranch.com

Happy Halloween!

When was the last time you seriously thought about your business’s disaster recovery plan? If you’re like most small businesses you’ve thought about it briefly and then put it aside as something that is not pressing and can be dealt with another day, when your to-do list is shorter or you have more time. According to a Forrester Research Study 24% of companies polled had experienced a full data disaster and with less than 40% of all small to medium-sized businesses properly and regularly backing up their data, many are unable to recover. Now is the time to put in place a backup and disaster recovery planbefore your company experiences an unexpected disaster and becomes one of the 70% of businessesthat goes out of business within two years of suffering a serious data loss.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is believing that a disaster will never happen to them. For many people the word disaster is associated with big weather events like hurricanes or earthquakes and the ensuing damage from flooding and fires but disasters are day-to-day occurrences. When it comes to technology many of us have done something that could endanger our data to the point of no return, whether it’s accidently downloading a virus from an untrusted email attachment or deleting something by mistake, and it’s important to plan for the human error we all are susceptible to. Your data is the backbone of your company and keeping it safe from all potential negative forces is key.

At Databranch, we promote implementing an intelligent business continuity solution and our preferred solution is Datto. Having an intelligent business continuity solution not only ensures the backup of your data but provides a speedy recovery leaving your business with very little downtime. You may be thinking, “It’s OK, we’re a small business, not a multi-million dollar company, we can afford to be down for a few days” but according to the National Archives and Records Administration, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within the year. It’s time to consider the actual cost of downtime for your company including how much it would cost to pay employees that aren’t able to work and what it would cost to lose a customer because you couldn’t provide service to them in a timely manner. (If you would like to see your recovery time and downtime costs try this calculator (http://www.databranch.com/managed-services/data-disaster-recovery/rto-calculator).

We know it can be hard to change from something that has been working for you and that you are familiar with, but the reality is traditional backup solutions like tape and disk are no longer sufficient. With traditional solutions it can take weeks to recover your data, there is high risk for human error in creating the backup, it’s difficult to test if your backup is working properly, and when recovering data, tape failure rates exceed 50%. This does not mean we are suggesting you eliminate local storage and put all of your data in the cloud. Instead, we recommend a hybrid cloud solution to all of our customers through Datto.

Having a hybrid cloud solution gives your business the best of both worlds. You can perform easy local restores from your on-site Datto device but also have the reassurance that if something happens to your local device your data is safely located off-site in the cloud, in two separate bi-coastal data centers. This means that once set-up you will have three distinct copies of each file automatically backed up, eliminating the possibility for human error. At Databranch, we can monitor your backups, verify a successful completion, and take action if a backup doesn’t complete successfully. You no longer have to worry if your data is being backed up correctly and can have the peace of mind that if a disaster strikes, you won’t find out that an important file has been corrupted or backups haven’t taken place for months; both problems that often occur with traditional backup. By implementing a Datto business continuity solution your downtime is drastically reduced and with the virtualization capabilities of the SIRIS device, you can turn your device into a virtual server, keeping your business running while potential problems like server failure are being addressed.

In today’s day and age it’s essentially impossible to be without access to your business data. Technology is critical to everyday business practices and having a backup and recovery system you can count on is imperative. The time to develop an intelligent backup continuity system is now, not next week, not when your schedule calms down, but today. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Databranch can help provide a solution for your company’s business continuity and disaster recovery needs. If you would like to learn more, please call us today to speak with an Account Manager, or visitwww.databranch.com/Data-Disaster-Recovery

 
 
 

Over the past few months we have had a few clients come to us with the same problem, their computer is locked and they can no longer access their important files or applications. Databranch has been able to help all but one recover their systems. The difference between the clients we could help and the one we could not is backup. This is why we emphasize the move to business continuity and our preferred solution, Datto, to all customers and prospects. It’s that important. When we have succeeded against this newest strain of malware, the victims have all had a recent, comprehensive backup to restore from.Below I will breakdown what ransomware is, ways to prevent it, and how to take back your computer if you happen to be hit.

What is Ransomware?

  • Malicious software (Malware) that infects your computer and restricts access until you pay a ransom to unlock it.
  • Common strains are CryptoLocker and CryptoWall

Signs That Your System has Been Infected

  • Any prompt asking you to pay money to decrypt your files. One common reason the attackers give for locking your machine is that you have done an illegal activity on your PC and are being fined by your local police force or the federal government. Always remember that these are false claims attempting to scare you into paying the ransom and that reputable organizations would never work in this manner.
  • Increase in pop-ups especially concerning your anti-virus or memory usage.
  • Sudden changes in your computer speed. If you turn on your computer one morning and it’s running much slower than the day before you should investigate what’s causing the changes.

Should I Pay the Ransom?

  • NO – There is no guarantee that paying the ransom will make the criminals hand over the key to your files and by paying you may be allowing them to gain greater access to your system and strengthen their attack.

How Can I Prevent Ransomware?

  • Have a business-class anti-virus installed and performing regular updates on your server and computers. We recommend Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud Edition.
  • Keep all software up to date. Applying updates as soon as they become available is imperative to keeping the bad guys out. When you wait because you’re too busy or don’t want to deal with possible changes or a computer restart, you leave your network exposed because the most common reason patches are released is to fix security flaws in your programs.
  • Make sure your business has a firewall installed on your network and that it is turned on at all times. Having a firewall defending your network is a great first step to block out hackers and viruses. (Want Databranch to manage your anti-virus, Windows updates, and firewall? Click here to learn about our managed service offerings!)
  • Avoid clicking on any links or attachments from unknown senders. If you receive an email from someone you know and regularly communicate with and it looks suspicious, trust your gut and reach out to the sender before opening anything from them.
  • Be wary about what websites you visit and what software you download. Recently, ransomware has been found in advertisements on popular sites like Yahoo and oftentimes the “free” software you find online is riddled with malware.
  • Prepare for the worst and implement a backup solution that stores your data off-site and is not directly attached to your device. Click here to learn more about Databranch’s recommended backup solution.

My System has Been Infected! What Should I Do?

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Disconnect your computer from the network.
  3. Contact Databranch or your IT service provider. Ransomware is continually evolving and becoming more destructive. Databranch can help remove the malware from your system and restore your data from your most recent backup.

Have you experienced a ransomware attack? Share your story or ask any questions in the comments below!

Request your free security risk assessment and consultation with a Databranch Security Expert here:

If you are still using Symantec Backup Exec.cloud for your company’s backup it’s time to move to a new solution. January 6, 2015 is the last day services will be available and it could be sooner for those whose current service ends before that date.

What does this mean?

  • You will no longer have access to any of your data stored in the cloud. Symantec has made it clear that there will be no exceptions.

What should I do?

  • Determine when your subscription ends. You can do this by logging into your Symantec portal and clicking on the Subscription link.
  • Restore your stored data prior to the end of your subscription. If you need assistance, please contact us.
  • Choose a replacement backup solution and migrate prior to your subscription ending. Our Databranch Account Managers have been working with current clients and helping them transition to either a new cloud backup solution or a full-fledged business continuity solution and we can do the same for you.

Don’t get caught with an expired subscription and no way to retrieve your precious business data! We want everyone to feel confident that their data is protected and easy to access at all times, even during times of disaster. If you have any question or need assistance with your transition, please contact us at 716-373-4467, sales@databranch.com, or click here to Get Started.