Bitback Blog

What To Look For In An Online Backup

There are many things I believe you need to have in an online backup.

While Carbonite, Mozy and the countless others are decent products they lack the following:

1. Triple Military grade encryption – Files encrypted locally before sending, sent through an encrypted tunnel and finally re-encrypted at rest on the data server.

2. Support that knows your business and knows you. Most companies just want a million customers, and get them with super low prices. Quantity over quality. And support that neither knows you or your particular backup needs.

3. No storage penalties for keeping different versions of the same file – At Bitback we never charge you storage space for the same file that has been changed and re-saved. And we keep those versions forever. So you can get back the original spreadsheet you made 2 years ago. The others delete after 30 days.

4. Tier III & Tier IV data centers – make sure you backup uses them, or your data may be on low-end equipment with little to no security. At Bitback 2 people have access to the data center. How many have access at Google or Carbonite? I don’t know either.

We respect you and truly appreciate your business.

Thanks for reading,

Mike

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Bitback Cloud Online Backup Tip #2 – How To Protect a File Using Windows Explorer

Bitback Cloud Online Backup Tip #2 – How To Protect a File Using Windows Explorer

Setting a file to be protected is easy with Bitback Cloud Online backup

1. Open Windows Explorer

2. Locate file you want to protect

3. Right click on the file and choose “Protect with Online Backup and Recovery Manager”

4. That’s it:

 

Any issues please contact me.  Thanks for reading.

Mike

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Bitback Cloud Online Backup Tip #1- How To Share Files From the Golf Course

 

Tip #1 on using Bitback Cloud: How To Share Files From the Golf Course (or anywhere)

I did this one without sound – to prove how easy it is to do.

Any issues / questions? Contact me.

 

Was it easy? Did you need an audio walkthrough?

Let me know!

Mike

 

 

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8 Business Backup Mistakes and What to Do To Fix Them: Part 4 (Final)

 

Issues #7 and #8

7  Automatic Scheduling of backups  – unless you have plenty of time on your hands to manually back up each PC/Server/Laptop/Mac that you use in your business; you have to have automated scheduling. Set it and forget it – just like a rotisserie cooker. This coincides with issue #6 above. You have to be alerted to problems, and daily reports sent to your email, is the way to do it. Most backup clients have scheduling these days and it can be set to run at a  minimum every hour. Since most only back up the file changes, this is not a big deal.

7a.  CDP (Continuous Data Protection) –  Another function that goes along with this is CDP. This means that the moment a file is changed, it is backed up. Make a change – it’s saved to the cloud.  We had a client once that needed raw data files created by a lab instrument to be saved automatically. This took care of that for them automatically.

8 Backups of Databases –  Not all backup software handles databases such as Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL Server correctly. They can back up the database backups themselves, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Some backup companies have products that are specifically made for Exchange, SQL , Sharepoint and Server versions. They have granular and transactionally consistent backups. Which means you can restore a single message or an entire mail store. Which also means you can restore SQl and Sharepoint databases to the last transaction performed. Which may be important for your business.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?

Thanks for reading!

Mike

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8 Business Backup Mistakes and What to Do To Fix Them: Part 3

 

Issues #5 and #6

#5 You need a plan and some testing.

If you live in the Souteast you have a better chance of getting a hurricane. In the west it’s forest fires. Natural disasters are out there and businesses need to plan for them. But that’s only half of it; they need to test their plans. What’s the point of having a disaster recovery / business continuity plan if it doesn’t work when you need it? So test it beforehand. Some things to help you achieve these goals.

First some simple questions to help you get started:

  1. Are you backing up everything? Are you sure?
  2. Who is responsible for testing? How often do they check?
  3. Do your backups run automatically? If not, who manually runs and verifies them?
  4. When did you last restore or test your restore process?
  5. Have you tested a full restore of your system?
  6. Do you keep offsite copies of your data?
  7. Does the offsite backup use encryption?
  8. What security measures are in place?
  9. How far back can you restore your data?
  10. For legal reasons can you recover an email that was deleted last month?

If you couldn’t answer the questions above – find a local data support specialist to help. Many have free templates you can download to help with the process, or even work with you to fill them out properly.

Some other questions might be:

  1. What’s my most important system?
  2. Do I need this restored to new hardware? Can my backup handle that?
  3. How do I back up my SQL, Sharepoint or Exchange servers?
  4. How long can I be down before my business seriously suffers?

Your plan must include questions like these, and your testing must live up to the answers.

 

#6 Alerts and reporting –  You need to have a backup solution that can alert you when there is an issue with your backup and send regular reports about what (and wasn’t) backed up. Otherwise you won’t realize it unless you are diligent enough to check yourself, or you try to restore and find it. By then it’s too late!

Alerts should warn and send reports regarding many things:

  1. A file is corrupted.
  2. A file is locked and cannot be backed up.
  3. The backup never ran.
  4. A PC, Server or laptop wasn’t backed up.
  5. Files were deleted.
  6. A process can’t run, it needs administrator settings.

These are just a few of the things that you should be made aware of automatically. Without them you’re really flying blind.

Thanks for reading – what do you think?

Dave

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Bitback Cloud online backup version 5.3 – free upgrade!

 

Online cloud backup version 5.3

Online cloud backup version 5.3

Just a short update today:

Bitback Cloud PC  Version 5.3 rolled out last week. On our quest to continue to develop award-winning online backup software, we’ve added several features that our business and enterprise users will find very, very useful.

  • IT administrators can now define and backup network locations
  • We have again improved the speed of initial backup
  • And, our engineers have made some code changes to improve the speed of subsequent backups

These upgrades are free (as always) and can be found here: User guides and downloads  at our sister site bitback cloud.com  download for free – or upgrade from an earlier version

We’re continuing to develop enhancements and improvements to make your online backups easier, faster, and more intuitive. We love to get your feedback.

Thanks,

Dave

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8 Business Backup Mistakes and What to Do To Fix Them: Part 2

 

Issues #3 and #4

Today I talk about two more issues that affect business backup decisions that could lead to big mistakes. We all know backing up your business is important, so be sure you do it!

#3: Disaster Recovery (From last week’s article):

  • How long until your company is in trouble with data loss? 40% said 72 hours, 21% said 48 hours, 15% said 24 hours, 8% said 8 hours, 9% said 4 hours, 3% said 1 hour, 4% said within the hour.
  • 30% of companies don’t have a business continuity program in place. Around 60% of companies think their data backup and business continuity plans have significant vulnerabilities. Only 59% of those polled test their data backup at least once a quarter.

If your company doesn’t have a comprehensive plan to recover after a disaster – get one. Go here and request a FREE copy of Bitback Cloud Disaster Recovery Template. We are happy to give this away for free (a $999 value!)  and we can also work with you to make sure it’s filled out and tested.

The companies that fail are companies that aren’t prepared for the unthinkable. So find a Disaster Recovery Template, it may save your business.

#4: Full System backups – If your entire PC, server or laptop is not being backed up then chances are some important information is not being backed up missed. PC’s today create and use tens of thousands of files and even to IT consultants and experts it’s hard to be sure that you are backing up to right stuff. This is why we feel that it’s important to utilize an image based backup.

Image based backups clone your entire PC into one image file, which is stored safely and can be used to restore your PC. “But I back up all of my files!” you say. Really?

Do you still have your Operating System CD/DVD?

Your copy of Office, Adobe or your favorite PC game?

Did you write down all of your email settings and rules?

Something as simple as your desktop shortcuts and internet shortcuts?

What about all of the upgrades you’ve performed over the years?

The Microsoft patches?

These are the things an image based backup will restore – in around 30-40 minutes. If you have to buy a new hard drive it comes blank and you will need to restore and recreate everything. And that will take more than 30-40 minutes, guaranteed.

Thanks for reading,

Dave

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8 Business Backup Mistakes and What to Do To Fix Them: Part 1

 

Issues #1 and #2

You have insurance for your home and car. If you own a business you probably have insurance for that as well. Data backups are an insurance policy for your data, whether it’s personal photos or business accounting files. Similar to insurance it’s easy to overlook needing it until you have a data loss event. With viruses, malware, fumbly fingers and natural disaster, you can’t ignore the need for backups any longer.

In posts here and to follow  I’ll give you an overview of some things to know about backing up your data and how to avoid mistakes. But first, statistics to ponder:

  • 93% of companies that had major data downtime for ten days or more as a result of a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.

 

  • How long until your company is in trouble with data loss? 40% said 72 hours, 21% said 48 hours, 15% said 24 hours, 8% said 8 hours, 9% said 4 hours, 3% said 1 hour, 4% said within the hour.
  • 30% of companies don’t have a business continuity program in place. Around 60% of companies think their data backup and business continuity plans have significant vulnerabilities. Only 59% of those polled test their data backup at least once a quarter.
  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year. 70% fail within five years. Gartner estimates that only 35 percent of (Small & Medium Businesses) have a  disaster recovery plan.
  • According to a recent NFIB National Small Business Poll (USA), man-made disasters affect 10% of small businesses, whereas natural disasters have impacted more than 30% of all small businesses in the USA. Hurricanes are by far the most destructive force causing power failure, flooding, customer loss, and the closure of many businesses.

As a business owner it is vital that you take a serious look at what you are currently doing – and tweak it to make sure you are covered. It’s really not a question of’ if’, but ‘when’.

 

Today we look at issues #1 and #2

Email Archiving comes in at number one.  Email and it’s backups are probably one of the most overlooked items in a company’s back up arsenal. Microsoft Exchange users (and others) just assume their email is backed up. Many times it isn’t – at least not in the way they think. Email administrators usually back up the main Exchange Database File (.EDB) that holds all of the mail. This helps to restore the entire mail database – but does nothing to help restore a single email that a user may have deleted. To back these up there are several Exchange backup tools that backup at the granular level; allowing the restoration of a single email or account. If you use an online email solution such as Gmail, then you’re email is kept in the cloud and the backups are taken care of for you.

What to do? Talk over your email situation with an expert. You can always ask me; or ask another local IT backup service. I’ll talk over all of your options and you can decide how you want to proceed.

2 Backing up files that are in use:  When your backup software runs, it needs to be able to back up files that are in use by you or others. For example, if you create a new Word document and leave it open while a backup occurs, this file may not be backed up. Your software needs to be able to back up these files, as open files are most often used and most often in use. Does your backup software back up open files?

What to do? Again you can always ask me, or contact your companies support data center to see if they support this functionality.

Next time I’ll go over issues #3 and #4 which deal with Disaster Recovery and the Full System Backups

Thanks For reading

Dave

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Data Backups for the Medical Profession and HIPAA

Can a PC Backup Stop You From Grinding Your teeth?

The Dentist.

Carl ran a successful dentistry practice.  His patients loved him, and business was booming. He did everything correctly; marketing, accounting and computer backups. Carl had his “IT guy” install a USB drive that he connected to his main PC. Every night it backed up his patient records, accounting records and his other office files. By the way – this is NOT HIPAA compliant!

On Monday another PC in his office failed.  Carl had spent several hours setting up the files on this PC to back up to his attached backup drive. Carl was confident he could get the data back. He installed a new hard drive (after hours) and powered up the machine. Nothing happened except for a message on the screen “No operating system found”. Carl said “No problem” and proceeded to spend the next 2 hours re-installing Windows 7 (after he found the disc). He booted the PC up and windows loaded! He then spent 4 more hours loading his email, installing updates & patches, Microsoft Office, accounting client software, his patient management client software, his printers and a few external pieces of hardware.  It was now midnight and he hadn’t even started restoring the data yet. That took another hour.

The next day Carl (being very sleepy) thought there had to be a better way. He did some research and found a backup device that automatically backed up every machine in his office, and had an off-site HIPAA certified backup. If it had problems the device would email him (pretty cool). The best part was that the device did image based backups; which meant he could restore an entire machine in under an hour! No reinstalling everything. The company that installed it did all the work for him, and Carl could even access the files he needed from the backup device while the PC was restoring.  (Even from the golf course).

Ok a silly story, but one with a moral. Don’t just back up your stuff; make sure you can get your stuff back (in a timely manner). Better yet, outsource that work to a company that only does backup.  Not all back up strategies are created equal.

Thanks for reading, what do you think? Leave a comment!

Dave

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Protecting Your Business Data

 

Defending your company’s data is a lot like defending your home. You need locks, maybe an alarm system and 911/Police.

This is the model many IT consultants are recommending to clients. Most small-business owners aren’t concerned about data theft; and they should be. How many times have you heard about a large company losing data, having outages etc. especially in states like North Carolina when hurricanes are a fact of life. The truth is that these things happen to small businesses as well – you just rarely hear about it.

Many companies worry about viruses on their computers, but this isn’t the biggest area of concern today. Since 2003, most cyber crime has been committed by hackers utilizing malware to steal information.  Most people worry about bad things getting in, when sometimes it’s the stuff that goes out (your information).

Most information thieves get in via links in e-mails. When an employee clicks on one of those links, the malicious software, creates a network of computers called a ‘botnet’. Information thieves can use that network to steal valuable client information or alter the company’s files. The best way to protect yourself is to be paranoid, imagine the thieves ‘already in’ your company network. Install Antivirus, but also install anti-malware software – they are different.

Business owners and their staff need to be trained on what to look for in email links, basically don’t click on anything you aren’t expecting. They need to treat all attachments as potentially bad. Have your Antivirus/Anti-malware  software scan them. You do have this software, don’t you?

Business owners need to be careful with employees that work remotely outside their secure networks. Who knows if they even use an antivirus or anti-malware client? Once a file is damaged or information is lost only a backup can get it back. What if it’s a clients’ information? They may not be a client much longer.

The bottom line is you need to do a business assessment regarding risk and data loss. A lot of businesses will say “nothing’s happened to us yet,” but it’s always a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’. How long can you be without your data? How do you handle a data breech? Think about it before it eventually happens.

Back up your stuff.

Thanks for reading,

Dave

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