WinRAR, a Windows data compression tool that focuses on the RAR and ZIP data compression formats for all Windows users (win-rar.com), recently announced that it had patched a 19-year-old security vulnerability that allowed cyber attackers to install malicious files on users’ hard drives. The problem many users will face is that the software does not auto-update so they will need to go through the manual update process to ensure their computer is no longer exposed to the security vulnerability.
What Should I Do?
Databranch recommends users uninstall WinRAR from their systems. WinRAR is a program that used to be needed to create zip folders and unzip folders but now this function is built into the Windows Operating System.
How Do I Uninstall WinRAR?
Find the Control Panel in your Windows Explorer.
Click on Programs & Features
Select WinRAR and Press Uninstall Program
How Do I Find Out About Vulnerabilities Like This Sooner and Protect My Business From Being Affected By Cybercrime?
Databranch offers managed service plans to proactively monitor, detect, and remediate identified security vulnerabilities like this. We were able to remove this program from our managed client’s machines as soon as it became a known issue and our clients were able to continue working without interruption.
To learn more about becoming a Databranch Managed Services client, call 716-373-4467, email email@example.com, or fill out the form below to get started!
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.”
Our June Client of the Month is Mary Comstock, Treasurer at Dura-Bilt Products, Inc., a manufacturer of aluminum products including awnings, sun rooms, screen rooms, storm windows, and doors. Dura-Bilt has been in business since 1958 and Databranch has had the pleasure of partnering with them for their IT needs since 2004 and their DSL days. The key to our longstanding relationship according to Mary, “You guys treat us very well. It’s the service that we’ve gotten that keeps us here with you and loyal. If you see an issue you’re reaching out to us immediately to get it resolved. You’re more of a proactive than reactive provider and I feel like family in the sense that we know about each other’s personal lives outside of business relationships. Can you go someplace else and find IT cheaper, probably, but will they give you the same service probably not.”
Since becoming a Databranch Comprehensive Care client Dura-Bilt has seen many benefits including speed of reaction time, employee productivity, and peace of mind. From Mary’s perspective, “When we have an issue it’s addressed very quickly which really makes a big difference. I can call and talk to someone immediately and I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than an hour for a response. Employee productivity has gone up because we have less downtime from computer issues and everything seems to run smoothly. Just knowing I have people out there who are very knowledgeable and take care of our needs very quickly gives me peace of mind that we can get back into business processes very quickly”
One memorable service challenge our businesses worked through together occurred in 2011 when the Dura-Bilt office flooded. During our interview Mary recalled, “We needed to setup a makeshift office and you guided us through what steps we should take to make sure that we kept any damage to a minimum and it worked. We were back up and running the next day. We had computers in the break room, walls were torn down, and we were working at coffee tables but I give a lot of credit to your team for being there for us and walking us through all the steps we needed to take to make it through that.”
Databranch makes it a priority to stay up-to-date with the latest technology especially in the area of business continuity and Mary emphasized how valuable this is to her and Dura-Bilt. “Your team is always looking at what the next step is before I would even think of it. For example with the Datto, our latest device for backups. We always had an in-house backup and we’d have to take the drive out and off-premises and now we don’t need to worry about that since we have the cloud backup and the Datto machine itself. You guys are always one step ahead of us which says a lot.”
When asked about Databranch’s relationship with Dura-Bilt, Databranch President David Prince had the following to say, “We are grateful for our long standing partnership with Mary and Dura-Bilt Products. They are truly one of our favorite clients and a pleasure to work with. If a measure of success is the quality and strength of the relationships you develop along the way, we have a very successful relationship with Dura-Bilt and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
You Already Take Security Seriously… Why Not Take Security to the Next Level with Strong, Easy-to-Manage Passwords?
Password Management as a Service
Your business has always taken security seriously and been mindful of protecting your data. You’ve invested in firewalls, anti-virus programs, spam filtering, and backup/disaster recovery tools. But when is the last time you considered the first line of defense beyond all these security measures? Passwords are used to protect your systems, data, and online accounts; however, the difficulty of remembering strong passwords often puts people off creating them. Interested in learning more about Databranch’s new password management service? Reach out to a Databranch Account Manager at 716-373-4467, firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to get started.
Our Password Management as a Service offering makes it simple for you to use strong passwords while delivering the following benefits:
Ease of Use
Your staff members can easily reset their own Windows login passwords without needing to call the help-desk and wait for a response.
Your staff members will no longer waste time hunting for or trying to remember passwords, and through one-click login tools…
Improved Operational Efficiency
Your staff members will be able to consolidate website favorites/ bookmarks across all computers using one click login tools…
Your staff members will use more complex passwords as opposed to easily remembered passwords – and each password will be unique.
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 neverrecover—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
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.
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!
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 email@example.com
In honor of National Small Business Week, we are sharing our top three reasons small business should consider outsourcing their IT. Databranch has been serving small to medium sized businesses throughout Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania with their information technology needs since 1985.
1. Worry-Free IT
Small business owners wear many hats and so do their employees. Outsourcing your IT needs allows you to focus on what you do well, running your business. One reason many small businesses don’t prioritize IT is because they don’t have a large enough need to justify hiring a full-time IT staff member. When you work with Databranch to manage your technology infrastructure, you have access to our full engineering team with over 100 years of combined experience and certifications from the leading technology industry vendors. This means that when you have a problem, we fix it and your company’s “computer expert” no longer has to spend their valuable time addressing each user’s computer issues. You also don’t have to worry about your IT guy going on vacation, calling in sick, or managing their time because we always have someone available to address your issue during business hours and our service coordinator allocates just enough time to each engineer to efficiently solve your problems.
2. Predictable Costs
Outsourcing IT allows small businesses to budget for their technology expenses. Clients who have managed service contracts with Databranch know what their monthly fixed cost is and have found that partnering with us is more affordable than hiring an internal IT staff member. When organizations take a proactive approach to IT, there are fewer financial surprises because problems are addressed before they become disasters and hardware refreshes can be budgeted for.
3. Preventative Maintenance and Future Planning
The cornerstone of our managed service plans is proactive maintenance. This includes monitoring and alerts for all covered devices, Windows patching, and monthly server maintenance to optimize performance and maximize uptime. This proactive network monitoring has prevented costly downtime for our clients by identifying imminent operating system or hardware failures and allowing the issue to be addressed before it has impacted the functionality of the production systems. When businesses take a proactive approach to IT they are able to plan for the future instead of just reacting to immediate problems. Databranch helps our managed service clients prepare for the future with Quarterly Business Reviews. During these meetings we review our monthly maintenance reports, discuss any recent services or network changes, and have strategic technology planning conversations with our clients.This is especially beneficial for small businesses who often don’t have an internal technical resource.
Interested in learning more about how Databranch Managed Technical Services can help your small business? Click here to learn more or call our office (716-373-4467) to speak with a Databranch Account Manager.
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