What’s your backup plan for business data? – Online Backup Saves the Day for Dougherty County Clerk of Court’s Office

January 23, 2012

WALB.com reported on January 23rd, 2012 that the Dougherty County Clerk of Court recently experienced what many businesses fear:  complete data loss by a simple “computer glitch”. More than 11 months of office data were wiped clean. The office estimated that it would have taken one year for employees to manually enter the data back into the system, which relies on data being stored electronically.

More than 11 months of records from Dougherty County civil and criminal cases disappeared from their computer files Wednesday.

This afternoon they were restored, but the city Information Technology folks aren’t sure what happened. Clerk of Superior Court Evonne Mull says fortunately the computer back up worked as it was supposed to. If it had failed it could have meant a monumental amount of work.

Now she has already taken steps to make sure the glitch doesn’t happen again. 

Workers at the Dougherty County Clerk of Courts office were relieved when their computer backups restored all the data files since February 11th, 2011 until January 18th, that just disappeared Wednesday.

Fortunately, Dougherty County Clerk of Courts’ story has a happy ending. Their data backup plan allowed them to quickly restore their lost records and save tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The I.T. department continues to look into the computer glitch, to find out what happened, and make sure their hardware doesn’t have any issues.

Evonne Mull has worked with her case management service, that provides the back up system, to make sure it is reliable. Now they will test the back up programs daily.

She recommends anyone that keeps data should make sure those back ups are in place and working properly. Mull had already applied for overtime for her office workers to re-input all those files.

Fortunately, they won’t have to do that.

Many businesses experience the same unexpected data loss that Dougherty County Clerk of Courts office did. For those that aren’t properly backing up data, it’s a very costly disaster. Data destruction comes in many forms: computer glitches, human error, deletion, theft, and of course, natural disaster. Develop a strategy for backing up your data. Whether you have servers, PCs, a laptop fleet, or external drives to backup  – SOS Online Backup has a solution.

View the original article on WALB.com by clicking here.


FBI and DHS Recommend Data Backup to Lessen Risk of Cyber Attacks : Data Backup & Recovery Plan 2012

January 22, 2012

Have you ever wondered how easy it is for criminals to access your files on your PC? Unfortunately, it’s very easy. It goes without saying that your data is very valuable to you. All kinds of sensitive information is stored on your computer: financial data, taxes, photos, and even items like music that you’ve paid for. If you own a business with several computers in use, you’re probably keeping valuable customer data as well as proprietary company data on those PCs. All of this data, if not properly backed up, is vulnerable to erasure or theft at any time.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security recently released a report on cyber attacks. This report provided several recommendations on mitigating the risk of cyber attacks on individuals and businesses, which mainly employ the tactic of backing up data and protecting it safely off site, where it cannot be tampered with or accessed.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourage businesses and individuals to use mitigation strategies and best practices like:

  • Implement a data back-up and recovery plan to maintain copies of sensitive or proprietary data in a separate and secure location. Backup copies of sensitive data should not be readily accessible from local networks.
  • Regularly mirror and maintain an image of critical system files.
  • Encrypt and secure sensitive information.
  • Use strong passwords, implement a schedule for changing passwords frequently, and do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Enable network monitoring and logging where feasible.
  • Be aware of social engineering tactics aimed at obtaining sensitive information.
  • Securely eliminate sensitive files and data from hard drives when no longer needed or required.
As a business or an individual, keep in mind that laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft. They are mobile, lightweight, and contain precious data. By scheduling backups regularly, you’ll always be able to recover data to a new machine or laptop quickly and easily.
The report was originally posted on US-CERT on January 19th, 2012.

Key Man Online Backup : Evaluate your Data Backup Plan

November 25, 2011

Most businesses have some sort of remote users.  Whether they are travelling salesmen, users from satellite offices in another state, or just the small business owner working from home, these users generate the important documents and data that make businesses thrive.

How are these remote documents protected?

Traditionally, a user stores his or her documents in the ‘My Documents’ folder on a system.  This user-specific folder is located on the local hard drive, be it on a laptop or a desktop.  In traditional business networks, this folder is redirected or synchronized to a hard drive on the server when the machine logs into the network.  Files worked on at home are then stored on the network, to be backed up with the normal process.  If the laptop is lost or stolen, only the files that have successfully completed this synchronization process are protected and recoverable.

Unfortunately, some businesses are more tolerant of data loss than others.  Imagine the presentation the salesperson worked on at the hotel the night before the meeting disappearing along with the laptop.  Since the files weren’t synchronized, the presentation is lost.

Online Protection – All the Time

Though most of my customer use online backup to protect their servers only, lately I’ve been identifying a need that is piquing my customer’s interest.  Just like small business may purchase ‘key man’ insurance, I’ve been presenting the concept of ‘key man’ online backup.

While not every machine in a network needs to be backed up individually, there are certain key players that may need more protection.  These remote users are the most common.  By backing up these machines individually, a business can prevent the coverage gap that occurs during the normal synchronization and backup process.  By protecting these files during this critical juncture, businesses can be sure that important data will always be available.  Even with a stolen laptop, their presentation can be downloaded to another machine, allowing the show to go on.

So who in your organization are these key players?  Whether you are the CIO or Network Administrator, identifying these key players is critical.  I’ll list some of the key players I’ve identified over the years.

Key Players

  • Remote Sales Force – Tweaks to presentations and marketing material need to be made on the fly.  Make sure the changes are protected on the fly as well.
  • Network Administrators – These professionals are constantly monitoring your network, documenting and gathering important data about your network health.
  • Executives – Look, I’ve been a network admin.  The last thing you want to do is tell the boss that his document didn’t synchronize.
  • Accountants – Sometimes the best time to balance the books is at home.  Don’t let a full night’s work go to waste.

Identify the key players in your business when you evaluate your network backup plan.  Decide your tolerable level of loss and make sure those machines that need to be protected are protected.  As always, simply identify what material is going unprotected and for how long.  After that, the decisions are easy.

 — The Backup Master


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