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An office fire is one of the most horrific things that can happen to a business owner. Once you know your staff are safely out of the building, your thoughts then turn to what else you could lose in the fire. The data you lose can be even more damaging to your business than the physical losses you experience. It’s the phone call that no one ever wants to receive, but it’s something any business owner or office manager should prepare for.
Is Your Data Backed Up?
Whilst you have insurance for these types of emergencies, you might start to think about what needs to be replaced and soon realise there was no backup for your data. Maybe your automated backup stopped working and you put off doing the manual backup or asked someone else to do it. But what happened to the backup in the fire?
The Reality of the Situation
For businesses who experience this kind of data loss, the chance of going under is greater than the chance of survival. 50% of businesses that lose data during an emergency end up going into administration, whilst 93% of businesses that lose their data for longer than ten days will go under within the next year. For companies that experience a severe fire, 70% of them go out of business within five years, with 30% closing within a year. It’s time to take action to protect your future today.
A Reliable, Verified Data Backup
For businesses of any type or size, having a robust data backup is a serious requirement. While a fire is certainly one reason to consider this, there are many other emergencies that will necessitate a backup, from spilling a cup of coffee or losing your laptop to something more extreme like ransomware. Though it takes extra work to back up your data and secure your network, you can feel safe knowing that you are protected during an emergency.
Check Your Backup Is Functioning Properly
Many companies today fail to check that their backup is still working, resulting in panic from business owners who realise it stopped working months ago. It’s critical to check that the backup is going ahead and to verify the data to check it’s backing up correctly. You should back up literally all data, including projects, accounts, emails and website content. Anything that would have a negative effect on your business if it was lost, make sure you back it up.
With so many different ways to back up your data, there’s no excuse not to start the process today. A great IT service provider can help you understand the options available to you and protect you from any emergencies in the future.
Protect Your Devices
Without locking your devices in a fireproof box, there’s no way to guarantee protection of your devices from a fire. However, you can take plenty of steps to minimise the loss you would experience during an emergency. Firstly, we encourage you to make sure every device is fully insured with business insurance or their own insurance. Make sure that the insurance covers accidental damage, theft and damage from disaster. Take the time to run through what you would do if a device was stolen. How would you get the data back and know that you are protected? Create a procedure for your company for various scenarios so everyone knows how to react if this does occur. Ensure that everyone in your workplace knows who to contact if it does happen so the plan can be used and all data can be wiped from the device.
Also, make sure you follow these top tips in your workplace:
- All data on your devices should be encrypted
- Use multi-factor authentication if possible on devices
- Password-protect devices and software
Know What Devices Your Business Has
As businesses grow, it’s easy for office managers to lose track of the number of devices in a workplace. Questions you should be able to answer include:
- Who uses which device in the office?
- What happened to older devices when they were replaced?
- Who in the office uses more than one device?
Make sure you create and regularly update an inventory in your office, which should also be backed up. It will make keeping track of the devices in your office much easier, especially with more people working from home. When someone leaves the company, you can double check that all devices have been returned so there are no issues or security concerns further down the line.
If your business hasn’t already started to reduce its paper consumption, this is something we highly recommend doing. As well as being kinder to the environment, it also offers additional benefits for business owners. During a fire, you wouldn’t be worried about shelves and filing cabinets packed with critical paper records. Make your life easier by creating a digital copy of everything in your office. You can then store this securely online and back it up.
Planning for a disaster is a crucial activity for businesses of all shapes and sizes and those who prepare in advance are the ones with the greatest chance of surviving. By following the tips listed above, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your data is backed up and you are prepared for all eventualities.
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In the past, life was so much simpler when it came to protecting your computers from viruses. However, with the introduction of the internet and an increasing number of greedy people in the world today, hacking has now become a profession for many individuals. Automated tools make hacking businesses easier than ever before as cyber-attacks are impacting companies each day.
Being aware of the different ways you could be targeted is the first step to defending your systems. Keep reading to learn about the nine most terrifying kinds of malware to prepare for.
Today’s malware doesn’t just include viruses, which is why companies need to look at protecting themselves with a stronger solution than just antivirus software. Viruses can attack your system by infecting, reformatting or deleting files, often leaving your computers very difficult to clean up. Viruses quickly take over your network after replicating themselves, making it impossible to complete even your basic daily tasks.
Since the 1990s, worms have been taking down networks after a single person opens an infected email. Cleaning up after worms can be almost impossible. There are many cases where companies find that they have to delete or quarantine files that are affected. The worst-case scenario even involves rebuilding your computers from scratch as worms replicate themselves and exploit other software. One of the worst examples of this type of attack was the ‘iloveyou’ worm, which affected 50 million Windows machines in 10 days.
Trojans have replaced worms in recent years and are now one of the most popular hacking tools. Trojans take advantage of a lack of security knowledge and will usually arrive in an email attachment. This is one of the most challenging types of malware to defend your network from as they are easy to write and can look incredibly authentic. Make sure you educate your team on the importance of not opening emails if they don’t recognise the sender.
4. Malware Hybrids
A malware hybrid takes any two of the three options we’ve listed above and combines them to create malware with unique attributes. For example, the malware might appear to be a trojan but have the power of a worm. These attacks can be very hard to clean up after, causing havoc for businesses that fall victim to this type of malware.
If you talk to an IT professional today, they’ll most likely tell you that ransomware is their top concern when it comes to malware as businesses of all shapes and sizes are the target of it. This type of malware encrypts your data and holds it hostage, so you might lose your customer records, emails, files and anything else you store on your network. You’ll then be asked to pay thousands of pounds in cash or cryptocurrency to retrieve your data. Ransomware is usually triggered by opening an attachment or landing on an unsecured site. To avoid devastation from a ransomware attack, make sure you…
- Back your files up regularly
- Train your team to spot the signs of an attack
- Do not open any suspicious emails
6. Files Malware
Files malware isn’t necessarily considered to be a different category, but it still poses a huge threat to businesses today. About 50% of malware attacks are delivered in this way, although that figure is only continuing to increase. Traditional malware relies on files to infect your network, but files malware relies on memory or parts of computer systems without files. For this reason, it’s much harder to both detect and control this type of attack.
Another challenging type of malware to both detect and stop is adware. While it’s not necessarily as dangerous to your system as other options on our list, you’ll find that it can slow down your computers or make you vulnerable to other attacks. If you discover that anything has been installed on your computer without your permission, ensure that it is dealt with immediately to avoid further issues.
You can probably guess that malvertising is a combination of malware and advertising. This type of malware is hidden by advertising, but it shouldn’t be confused with adware. Malvertising takes place when a criminal pays for an advertisement on a real website. However, when you click through on this advert, it will redirect you to a malicious site. Alternatively, malware might be installed straight to your device. What’s even more worrying about malvertising is that even genuine adverts can be attacked in this manner and you might not even have to click through to experience the issue. In this case, it would be referred to as a drive-by download attack, which is almost impossible to notice and avoid.
The final terrifying type of malware you should be aware of is spyware. As the name suggests, this type of malware is used to spy on you. Spyware will monitor the sites you visit and anything you type, learning about any activity you perform on your device. Used to find login information and passwords, companies risk losing valuable and confidential information. Spyware is activated in the following ways:
- Pop-ups or notifications
- Downloading media from unreliable sources
The impact that malware can have on businesses can range from delays to your working processes all the way to bankruptcy. By making yourself more aware of the risks that your business faces every day, you’ll decrease your chances of becoming the victim of an attack. Within your organisation, you’ll want to create a culture where cyber security is taken seriously and your employees are educated on these risks.
Working with an IT support partner can offer you software, training and procedures to help protect your business. Make sure you can defend your business before an attack instead of leaving your company with the difficult task of cleaning up afterwards. An IT partner will take the hard work out of your hands and offer you the solution you need to look after your business for many years to come.
Click the link below if you’d like to book a free demo to discuss how iceConnect can protect your business from all online threats.