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Posts Tagged ‘disaster recovery’

‘Petya’ Ransomware Outbreak Goes Global

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

As you are may be aware, ‘Petya’ is the latest global Ransomware outbreak.  Just a month ago it was WannaCry.  Petya does WannaCry one better.  Instead of merely encrypting all your data files on all vulnerable servers and computers on your network, it makes them unbootable without paying the ransom and even then the odds of a successful unlock are less than 50%.

If you run the latest Windows operating systems and have automatic updating turned on you should be protected from this variant.  If you don’t you may be exposed to severe risk. Regardless, Ransomware is hands down the #1 source of unexpected IT data loss and downtime and is a much more likely risk than fire or natural disaster.

How to permanently protect yourself against this and future Ransomware as well as other IT disasters such as crashed drives, human error, fire, flood etc.

This week it’s Petya but you never know what is going to happen to your IT systems or when.  We’ve seen a $2 part in a sprinkler head break and flood a server room on a Friday night leading to IT disaster.

Clients First’s EverSafe solution is a hardware, software and services solution that actively protects you against all unexpected IT downtime.  Even if some of your key applications are in the cloud, it’s likely you still have some data and systems on-premise.

EverSafe continually backs up or ‘snapshots’ your entire IT infrastructure, including your ERP software as frequently as every 5 minutes.  It actively looks at the backed up data and will send out immediate alerts to you as well as us if it detects the latest snapshot has files being affected by RansomWare.  In the event this occurs, we can track down the source machine, address the infection, while simultaneously restoring all the affected files quickly from the last unaffected backup.

If one or more of your servers suffers a failure like a crashed hard drive, the EverSafe device can boot up a 5 minute old ‘clone’ of the affected server(s) and be online servicing your users again literally in minutes.

If you had a site disaster like a fire or flood, we can boot up the backups we are continually sending to our cloud data centers.  They will run on the EverSafe enterprise hardware in the cloud and your users can work from home or alternate locations until your facility is moved or repaired.

To learn more or see a demo, check out www.eversafe-backup.com  If you have any questions about this or any other IT related issues or needs, please contact me at mchinsky@clientsfirst-us.com

So You Want to Build Your Own PC? Tips for the Beginner

Friday, May 26th, 2017

In this post, we invited a guest blogger, Jackie Edwards to write about the idea of building your own PC.  This is a surprisingly popular past time.  It’s a great way for you or your children to learn much more about what makes that PC on their desk actually tick and is a way to build a much more powerful ‘rig’ at lower cost than the pre-built machines often sold by Dell, or at retail stores which have alot of the purchase price in marketing and shelf space versus premium components.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of powering up your new PC after you assembled it with your very own two hands. Building a home PC will not only give you an extreme sense of pride and a can-do attitude towards technology, but it is also a great way to save money on buying an expensive pre-built model.

Whether you are building your PC for business or pleasure, there are a number of techy tips that can prevent you from committing common mistakes and costing yourself money, time, and stress. Whether you are a first-time builder or an experienced computer maker, you can always learn more about your budding machine to make the process unfold evermore seamlessly.

Foolproof Tips As You Begin

Sometimes, we trust too much in the power of Google and our devices and forget that you should return to the basics as you begin the build. Though this might seem trivial, it is crucial that you have cleared a large enough space to actually build the PC. If your space is cramped and wires from other speakers or lamps are getting in the way, you are more likely to mess up the PC’s cables and cause yourself a lot of confusion.

Also, if you have purchased a variety of new components for your PC, you will probably have a mass of those ancient-seeming white manuals lying around your construction site. Tip: read them. Oftentimes, manuals will include simple tips that you might miss on your own, such as listening for a ‘click’ when you connect your RAM. It is also helpful to keep a list of all of your steps in the building process, so you can easily retrace each action you took along the way if you run into problems down the line.

Now That You’re Ready…Pay Attention

Again, something that might seem basic, but you should be extremely aware of every step you take in your entire PC-building undertaking. Buying incompatible components is a common mistake, as you may have purchased all of the cheapest options to save money. Compatibility is obviously essential to your PC running correctly, so you should consult an online compatibility check before you go ahead and confirm an order.

Once all of your components are in order, you are well on your way to success if you manage to bypass the ambiguities of installation. Jamming cables into parts that seem to fit will most likely lead to you damaging needed wires. Consult your manuals, or Google, before you go on forcing things into places at random. Many of your cables and components are equipped with a nice clicking sound if you have plugged something in correctly, so be aware of that as you build.

It is also important that you treat each installation as its own project. Though it may seem simple to install RAM, your motherboard’s standoffs, memory, and even the outside fans, these are steps that can go terribly wrong. As stated, pay careful attention to the task at hand and make note of it on your step-by-step list before continuing onto the next phase.

Once you have your PC built and start using it, make sure you have a premium disaster recovery solution to address the disasters that can happen like fire, flood, or even Ransomware.  One such solution, EverSafe will ensure you can fail over to an almost identical clone of your server or desktop within 5 minutes.

Keeping in mind all of these pointers as you tackle the nitty-gritty process of PC-building will ensure that your machine functions like it was assembled by a pro. Before you know it, you’ll be your very own tech-support with your working PC and new best friend.

RansomWare Attacks Up 50% in Last Year

Monday, May 1st, 2017

goldeneye-ransomware-skull.jpg

According to ZDNet, in THIS article, Ransomware attacks are up a whopping 50% over the last year.  They are now the #1 source of data loss and business downtime exceeding all other reasons.

This article gives you the details and even history of RansomWare which actually dates all the way back to 1989.

Ransomware creators are now working with criminal enterprises where instead of selling the Ransomware to the criminals, they take a 50% cut on all proceeds.
On average, Ransomware takes a victim offline for at least a week.  That alone could shutter many small businesses.

The rise of BitCoin has helped Ransomware.  In the earlier days, credit cards were used for payments but most major credit card processing companies banned the use of credit cards for this purpose leaving no way for the creators of Ransomware to get paid for the unlocking keys.  With BitCoin, they have a completely untraceable way of getting paid, although its orders of magnitude harder for the victim to figure out how to buy and transfer BitCoin versus using a credit card.
The best way to avoid Ransomware is via vigilence around your users Internet activities.  The usual warnings of never clicking unknown links in email or web pages.   However, its almost inevitable that someone may not be careful, or may be in a rush and it only takes one person in your office to unleash Ransomware on every computer.

Using our EverSafe! solution, you will get an immediate notification if Ransomware is detected on your network.  At that point, you can remove the Ransomware. Without EverSafe!, removing Ransomware usually leaves your data that has been encrypted, now forever destroyed.
With EverSafe!, you can just restore all of your data how it appeared only minutes before the infection, and you are back up and running with virtually no downtime or data loss.

Automatic Server Failover – A New Information Page

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

If you’ve ever wanted a solution that doesn’t just back up your data, but ensures that no matter what happens, virus, disk crash or disaster, your company can be up and running again in minutes, your wait is over.

Our new information page summarizes EverSafe! and includes and short informational video as well.

EverSafe! constantly replicates your live servers all day long.  In the event of a problem, you can quickly ‘flip a switch’ and be operating on the EverSafe! appliance while you wait the hours, days or even weeks to address your primary server issues.  In the event your entire building is damaged or destroyed, EverSafe! is sending copies of your servers to two bi-coastal data centers in the cloud which you can bring online and operate from in less than 30 minutes.

Its just that simple.

See it here:

Standby server

EverSafe Backup & Business Continuity

Monday, September 16th, 2013

ERP & CRM software requires a Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity solution

EverSafe! Backup & Disaster Recovery Solution is the solution that Clients First Technology Solutions brought to the market last year.   It continues to build momentum in our ERP & CRM market space and with so many different threats to your IT Systems continuity, its more important than ever to consider.

If you use ERP or CRM software in your day to day business cycle, you know how important these systems have become to the daily operations of your business.  Have you ever thought about how you would run your business if these systems suddenly became unavailable for days, weeks or even months?  Imagine, no ability to take orders, produce products, track inventory, enter shipments, track accounting etc??

Many of you today are sitting on this exact possibility and may not even know it.   Admiral Turcotti, who headed the Space Shuttle Columbia investigation made the following statement: 

“Don’t confuse the likeliness of a problem with the consequences of it.”

 

Just because it’s unlikely that your server’s motherboard will short out, your building will burn down, a $1.00 part in your sprinkler head in your server room breaks, or a $10 O-Ring in the Space Shuttle would be defective, should not be confused with the consequences if it does.

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