The 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report is out!

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Do you have $3.9 Million to cover a data breach?

The 2019 report is out and it’s not pretty!  Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost of a data breach will run your organization a cool $3.9 million! The bad news doesn’t stop there either.  There is time loss, resource strain, and, probably the most glaring consequence, hits to the company reputation.

You can check out the full report here:

2019-cost-of-a-data-breach-report

And if you need sound advice on securing your data or help to prepare for a breach.  Give us a shout!  Let’s Get to Work!

 

Testing Your Data Recovery Plan

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Whether it is human error, a weather event or a technical issue, a disaster is likely within the lifetime of your systems and data. Being prepared for disaster recovery is important to ensure your data and operations are protected and that downtime is minimal.  Backup and recovery is not just about having a plan on paper or a phone tree of contacts or a script for customers.  Preparedness comes from frequent testing of your backup and recovery solutions.

How often should tests be conducted? The answer to this question depends on your industry, regulations, compliance standards and the nature of your data and processes.  Think through these factors and plug in business leaders to determine the appropriate testing plan.

Quality is important. Each backup and recovery test should be treated as the real thing. Formal recovery procedures should be followed and proper documentation should be part of each test.  Be sure to review your testing plan against industry best practices or work with a trusted business partner to develop a solid test plan. After each test, a review should be conducted on the results of the test and what worked well and what did not.

Understand the environment. As part of your backup and recovery plan think through which business or IT situations put company data at risk for a disaster.  This will allow your team to conduct more real-life testing scenarios.  This exercise can also help you better understand periods in the year when risk may be at its greatest and the types of business functions, IT processes and customer interactions that open data up to risk.

Practice makes perfect. One of the biggest benefits of frequent testing is that your team gains a level of experience and confidence with your backup and recovery plan. By practicing they can react more quickly in an actual disaster event.

Backup and recovery planning is an ever-evolving function of the business. As your business changes so does your data backup and recovery needs. Make this critical function a key part of your team’s agenda.

Current Cloud Trends

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In Monday’s blog post, we discussed why small and medium-sized businesses should consider the cloud, especially when it comes to data protection and disaster recovery. Today, let’s again look at a recent cloud trends webinar featuring Joe Lyden, Evolving Solutions Cloud Sales Specialist, and James Keating III, Evolving Solutions Business Technology Architect. Below we focus on what the key trends are in the marketplace.

Some current cloud trends of note are:

  • A growing focus on management of Amazon Web Services (AWS) workloads by traditional co-location providers. Companies who at one time may have been seen as AWS competitors are actually now offering AWS management
  • Public cloud vendors: “a two-horse race.” Network World reported Gartner research showing that Amazon and Microsoft Azure are by far the clear dominant players in the public IaaS market
  • People want to talk cloud. The Evolving Solutions team, as James Keating points out in the webinar, is seeing this first hand. More companies have someone who is responsible for cloud and Gartner reports that 6 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies have hired or are looking to hire a director-level person to oversee cloud strategy
  • Cloud as part of the technology tool belt.  No longer is cloud consider “new” or “something for that project in the future,” instead the cloud is seen as a standard tool that the technology team can tap to improve current operations, meet new demands and drive innovation

Here are also specific use-cases our team is seeing. First, more businesses are turning to the cloud for disaster recovery, because disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) provides businesses more protection and resiliency at an affordable, pay-as-you-go price. More businesses are also looking for an integrated monitoring service – cloud and on-premise systems together. Finally, businesses are also developing what we call a “private hybrid.” In other words, companies are asking what applications work best on-premise and which applications work best in the cloud without intention to bursting into the cloud. This is neither a true hybrid or public cloud.  This scenario is what our James calls, “a private cloud with a side of public cloud storage or backups.”

Want to talk more about how current cloud trends are shaping up and what that might mean to your company? Contact Evolving Solutions to discuss. You can also listen to Joe and James’ full cloud trends webinar here.

Why SMBs Should Consider the Cloud

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Last month Joe Lyden, Evolving Solutions Cloud Sales Specialist, and James Keating III, Evolving Solutions Business Technology Architect, discussed current cloud trends during a lunch webinar. Over the next two blog posts, we will look at several parts of that discussion. Today, let’s focus on cloud solutions for data protection and important factors for cloud success.

How important is your data?

  • 81% of companies that have experience an outage in the past 2 years were down for more than 2 days
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster
  • 51% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) have an IT business continuity plan in place. Flip that number and it could mean that 49% are not fully prepared
  • $10,000 is the estimated average cost of a single data loss incident

In today’s marketplace where you are expected to be “on” 24/7, data protection and business continuity are key to staying competitive.  Through the cloud, SMBs can now more than ever access cutting-edge, reliable data protection, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions at an affordable price point. Disaster recovery as a service is becoming an important and affordable entry point for many businesses when it comes to cloud adoption.

Small and medium-sized businesses especially are stretched when it comes to time and resources, but in today’s marketplace you are still expected to provide reliable, always on service. Cloud solutions allow SMBs to do just that – providing any-sized businesses with enterprise-class technology.

Take a step back.  The cloud is “not magic pixie dust” as Joe Lyden points out in the webinar.  Just like with other technology projects, you must have a clear cloud strategy, specific objectives and a clear understanding of what will integrate well. Testing is also extremely important.  The right cloud partner can help SMBs navigate cloud solutions available and weigh in on what would work best for your situation.

Look for our next blog post on Wednesday, April 27th where we will cover current cloud trends. You can also listen to Joe and James’ full Cloud Trends webinar here.

Back up with Brains

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Joe Garber walks through four types of analysis that can be applied to backup and disaster recovery (DR) in a recent article for NetworkWorld.  He writes, “Data is the DNA of the modern organization and found in the cloud, behind four walls and at the network’s edge.  Data is also growing at a greater speed than ever before.  This unique combination of growing data complexity, sprawl and volume is forcing IT to rethink traditional approaches to backup and recovery.”

Today let’s take a look at the four types of analysis that he describes as giving back up and disaster recovery “brains”. The analysis types include:

  • Environmental
  • Retrospective
  • Predictive
  • Prescriptive

Each provide a different look into your network and when combined Mr. Garber writes, “they allow enterprises to be proactive in prioritizing data, predicting resource utilization, mitigating risk and optimizing infrastructure in order to reduce the burden on resources and manage the costs.”  Here are the definitions of each:

Environmental – with data spread inside and outside of the company environmental analysis allows IT to determine how to manage back up and delivery of information.

Retrospective – this analysis takes into account historical back up and recovery success and failures. It also can be used to determine how resources are best utilized and used to prioritize data so back up can be optimized to meet service levels.

Predictive  – as the name implies, this type of analysis can help IT plan for future capacity needs. Using historical patterns it can also help to identify potential back up and DR  crunch points that need to be resolved.

Prescriptive – this analysis looks at what is happening now and provides steps to solve problems when they occur.

In closing Mr. Garber adds, “As organizations adjust to the reality of a changing IT world — with increasing volume, variety, and velocity of information sources, which have expanded beyond the four corporate walls — they must also expand their information management practices to keep pace with the increasing demands.  In short, they need to move from defense to offense.”

Share how your DR is moving from defense to offense this year.