How to Use Dropbox and Box Without Putting Your Data at Risk

As software creators have increased their adoption of cloud technologies the result has been growth, proliferation, and expansion of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market. This growth has allowed SaaS application providers such as Box and Dropbox to evolve from being elementary services for sharing files among friends, to advanced and integral business solutions. Box and Dropbox have become complex combinations of file hosting and cloud storage, data sharing and synchronization, and collaboration tools.

Though Box and Dropbox do a great job supporting business needs, they neglect one of the most crucial aspects for business operations — backup and restore functionality. Unfortunately, both Box and Dropbox provide business customers a false sense of security that their data is properly backed up and can be retrieved in case of emergency. SaaS application providers only provide very limited cloud backup and restore capabilities that do not meet the needs of many business customers.

So, you are probably wondering… How do you improve the safety and security of your critical data stored in Box or Dropbox, and preserve it from being lost or corrupted?  How can you restore the required data anytime and anywhere, so your business does not fail due to the accidental or intentional deletion of that data?

Dropbox and Box are not backup solutions

As mentioned above, both Box and Dropbox originated as file sharing and storage solutions. Like many of their SaaS application provider peers, the notion of backup and retention (beyond file version history) is foreign to their offerings.  As such, lack of the full-featured backup and restore options fail to meet critical requirements for business continuity and disaster recovery planning. For example, with Dropbox for Business provides 180 days to restore files and folders from when they were deleted; the same retention period applies if you want to revert the changes made to a file (file version history is limited). Box for Business and Box for Enterprise provide only 100 days for the same. Such retention policies won’t let you effectively secure your data in case it was infected or corrupted beyond those periods. Moreover, after your data has been completely removed from the deleted files, it is permanently gone, without any chances to get it back.

How Infrascale can help your Box and Dropbox backups

Infrascale Cloud Application Backup for Box and Infrascale Cloud Application Backup for Dropbox offer cloud backup of your SaaS application data and provide an effective way to fully control your data, risks, operations, and costs.

Always have a plan B (for backup!)

No matter how advanced and reliable your business technologies are, the good old “extra copy” of your data will never lose its value. It can save your nerves, time, efforts, and in some cases, the entire business. Remember that no one is immune to logical mistakes and human factors leading to data loss or corruption.

Infrascale Cloud Application Backup provides comprehensive protection for your frequently changing Box and Dropbox data, so it can be restored quickly and easily in the event of data loss or corruption. With flexible and easy data recovery features that include point-in-time, granular, cross-instance, and self-service restore, you can export your Box and Dropbox data to your own Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Box, or Dropbox storage.

Automate what can be automated

Backup must be automated. Only an automated scheduled backup gives us the opportunity to restore data either from this hour, yesterday, or from many months ago. The elimination of manual copy-and-paste backups will save you time, effort, and money.

Infrascale’s approach to cloud backup is expressed in a single statement: set it and forget it. Infrascale Cloud Application Backup allows setting up and configuring automated Box and Dropbox backups to be run daily, every three days, or weekly. But at the same time, it is important to perform your backups anytime you want. That is why Infrascale Cloud Application Backup allows you to back up your Box and Dropbox data on demand, alongside the scheduled automated backups.

Divide and conquer control

It’s bad practice to put all your eggs in one basket. When you operate with today’s huge volumes of data, your backups should provide both logical and physical separation from the data itself, preferably on a different cloud or physical storage. Human errors, malicious intents, outages, sync errors, hackers, or malware, could lead to the loss of data anytime and anywhere.

Infrascale Cloud Application Backup offers a reliable and completely separate cloud storage location (from your original SaaS storage), where your Box and Dropbox data is backed up automatically, and removes the need to place the data on a local device or a file share. Your data is securely archived within the United States (default), or optionally to the European Union or Australia.

Too much is never enough (when it comes to data retention)

As said above, Box and Dropbox offer limited backup data retention periods and file version history for restore. This can result in a complete nightmare if you need to get your data months and years from now.

With the long-term backup retention and unlimited file version history, Infrascale Cloud Application Backup makes sure your Box and Dropbox data files are findable and retrievable at any point in time.

Knowing is half the battle, but execution is everything

Knowing what data backup and restore is, and what backup and restore solutions are there in the market, is one thing; but to procure, to configure, and to test them adequately and efficiently is where the most benefit is.

With the assistance from Infrascale onboarding specialists and customer service, you can be sure your Box and Dropbox backup queries will be resolved in a professional and timely manner. Furthermore, if you prefer to deep dive into how Infrascale solutions are built and operate, and to take the full control over your data backup and restore solution, we encourage you to visit the Infrascale documentation hub and YouTube channel for more details.

With these simple yet effective concepts in mind, Infrascale is committed to providing the SaaS application data with protection and cloud backup that your business requires. We treat your data as if it were our own.

Ready to take your Box and Dropbox backup to a new level, thus improving your data protection and reliability? Learn more about how Infrascale Cloud Application Backup for Box and Infrascale Cloud Application Backup for Dropbox can help you to protect your critical data.

How to Protect Laptops and Desktops Using Endpoint Backup


Interviewer
– John Gilroy – Host, Federal Tech Talk Podcast from the Federal News Network
Interviewee – Chris Bayne – Infrascale, Chief Solution Architect

A Conversation about Endpoint Backup with Chris Bayne, from Infrascale

John Gilroy, host of the Federal Tech Talk Podcast sat down with Chris Bayne, Chief Solution Architect at Infrascale to discuss how businesses should protect their laptops and desktops using an endpoint backup and recovery solution. During the interview Chris defines endpoints, describes endpoint backup, and discusses why endpoint backup is important for businesses and business risk managers – especially given the increase in remote work environments and looming threat of ransomware.

What is an Endpoint?

John Gilroy:  Hi Chris. It is a pleasure to meet you and thank you for taking time to speak with me. With the current pandemic and the increase in work-from-home employees, there has been a lot of discussion about endpoint protection. Please help me understand.  What is an endpoint?

Chris Bayne: Thank you, and that is a good question. Simply put, an endpoint is any device that is physically at the “end point” of a network – I.e. a device that communicates back and forth on the network to which it is connected. Laptops, desktops, mobile phones, tablets, servers, and virtual machines can all be considered endpoints.

With workforces becoming more mobile and users connecting to corporate networks from endpoint devices all over the world, data is everywhere. Companies need to protect this data, even when it resides outside the four walls of an office building. Due to the increase in remote work environments and the proliferation of endpoint devices, any endpoint represents a vector for cybercriminals, where attackers could execute code and exploit the vulnerability of whatever protection the endpoint may or may not have.  In addition, the data on these endpoint devices such as Android and iOS phones/tablets, Windows and MAC desktops/laptops, or/and Windows servers, must adhere to more stringent corporate retention requirements.  

What is Endpoint Backup?

John Gilroy:  Thank you for defining endpoints.  Now help me understand what endpoint backup is?

Chris Bayne: The SANS Institute, the most trusted and largest source of information security training and certification in the world, recently found that 44% of respondents admitted that one or more of their endpoints had been compromised in the past 2 years. The risk associated with the rapid rise in connected endpoint devices has highlighted the critical need to protect important endpoint data.  Forward thinking organizations are adopting solutions to address this risk, such as deploying an endpoint backup solution.

Endpoint backup solutions enable the transmission of data from an endpoint — whether Android and iOS phones/tablets, Windows and MAC desktops/laptops, or Windows servers — to the cloud for safekeeping. These solutions then provide restoration of that data to help protect businesses against lost information due to malicious or accidental deletion, solve for insufficient device data retention policies, detect, and/or prevent cybersecurity threats including ransomware attacks.

Why is Endpoint Backup Important?

John Gilroy:  Why is endpoint backup so important and what is driving the increased interest in endpoint backup?

Chris Bayne:  Let’s start with two givens: 

  1. Data is Mobile, Data is Everywhere: With workforces becoming more mobile and users connecting to corporate networks from endpoint devices all over the world, data is everywhere. Companies need to protect this data, even when it resides outside the four walls of an office building.
  2. Backup is Good: Why?  Backing up data is just good sense to combat accidental or malicious deletions, hard drive crashes, lost/stolen laptops, and retention requirements.

With a given of data proliferation, the ugly trend is:  bad guys are paying attention and using new vectors of attack on endpoints and remote workers – via malware and ransomware.

By all indications it appears that remote work is here to stay, and it’s not a passing trend that will go away when society reopens. It is a new way of life for businesses and their employees, and it is, therefore, very important that they have a secure, easy to configure, and easy to manage endpoint protection solution in place.  The pandemic has certainly brought that all to light.

The large increase in work-from-home environments and increased use of BYOD (bring-your-own-device) in corporate work has had a significant impact on IT departments. IT departments have a lot less security control over off-site devices, and the infrastructure protecting those endpoints. Unfortunately, the bad actors know this, as seen by the almost 400% growth in ransomware over the last two years. During a ransomware attack, malware encrypts a victim’s files, and then payment is demanded to restore access to the victim’s data. Research shows that every 14 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack, and that 60% of SMBs close within six months of being a victim of a cybersecurity breach.

Endpoint Backup: A Ransomware Case Study

John Gilroy:  These trends are very interesting. Can you provide an example of a business that was impacted by ransomware, and how they responded?  

Chris Bayne: Absolutely. One of our MSP partners provides a point-of-sale solution to their end customers. Five of their customers were impacted by ransomware attacks within a couple of months of each other. Of those five customers, three had deployed the Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) endpoint backup solution, and two were running a competitor’s solution. From the Infrascale backups, the three ICB customers were able to restore their data very quickly from backups taken prior to infection, and their business was back to full, pre-infected productivity within hours! The customers that were not running the Infrascale solution were down and unable to process credit card transactions for several days! This downtime resulted in significant lost revenue. Based on a recent Infrascale survey, conducted with over 500 C-level SMB executives, the average per hour downtime cost for an SMB customers is between $20,000 and $50,000.  Thus, each ICB customer saved an estimated $320,000 to $800,000 in potential costs by deploying an effective and reliable endpoint backup solution.

What is Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB)?

John Gilroy:  Please tell me more about your Infrascale solution for endpoint backup and recovery

Chris Bayne: Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) is our direct-to-cloud endpoint backup solution that protects business devices including laptops and desktops – as well as servers such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL databases. ICB provides simple backup, fast restore, and protection (detection and mitigation) from ransomware for their endpoints. Optionally, it can also support Windows bare metal systems on virtual and physical machines. There are three foundational elements that sets ICB apart as a cloud endpoint backup solution:

  • Ease of Use
  • Security
  • Ease of Management

Our goal is to arm IT administrators with robust ransomware detection, monitoring, and management tools — while still providing end-customers with an easy-to-use and robust backup solution. With just a few clicks, it can be up and running on a Windows, Mac, IOS, or Android device.  ICB protects the most critical data, including files and folders, SQL databases, Exchange data files, and QuickBooks and other accounting files. Equally as important, it makes recovery and the restoration of the critical data and business processes fast and easy – both for end users and for administrators.

The ICB ransomware detection capabilities identify when an attack occurs, so you know the optimal recovery point. In addition, Infrascale Cloud Backup keeps an unlimited number of versions of the files that we are protecting. Therefore, if a data corruption occurs, you will be able to quickly restore your data. The ICB management tools are designed to help administrators and IT managers. A single pane-of-glass management interface enables customers to remotely manage, remotely restore data, build polices and deployment rules, as well as manage reporting and alerting to monitor backup operations. ICB also provides granular monitoring and automated reporting – as well as integration with Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)/Professional Services Automation (PSA). 

How can I find out more about Infrascale Cloud Backup?

John Gilroy: Chris, this interview has been great, and I really appreciate your time. How do I find out more about Infrascale Cloud Backup?

Chris Bayne: The best place to get more information about Infrascale Cloud Backup is from the Infrascale Cloud Backup product page.  I also recommend watching our live-streamed video recording from Cloud Field Day 8 and/or a visit our YouTube channel. Lastly, the Infrascale documentation portal provides a wealth of information on our endpoint backup solution – or you can contact a Infrascale sales representative for more information and to schedule a demo.

The Need for Endpoint Backup is Rapidly Expanding Amid the Work-From-Home Movement

Smart Organizations Will Want to Reassess Their Laptop Backup and Mobile Backup Strategies

 

This year has provided many of us with an unprecedented array of choices in how and where we work: the kitchen table, the extra bedroom, or even a chair beside the backyard barbeque.

COVID-19 has brought the work world into the comfort or discomfort of our homes. Gallup said 62% of employed Americans report having worked from home at some point during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The pandemic has required both employees and employers to make big adjustments in our work approaches and environments. Many suspect this trend will not disappear as society reestablishes itself. In fact, indications suggest that remote work is here to stay. This new way of life for businesses and their workers has important data protection implications for how organizations protect, backup, and recover their critical business data. 

Remote Work: The New (More Productive?) Normal

Many of the world’s largest tech companies are leading the way on the path to a permanent remote work world. Where these tech giants go, other organizations of all types and sizes will follow.

Google plans to let employees work from home through at least July of 2021. For the foreseeable future, Google workers are allowed in the office only “to complete the job duties they can’t complete from home,” the company said. 

Mark Zuckerberg recently said that up to half of Facebook employees could work remotely within five to 10 years. Both Square and Twitter have also announced that their employees will be allowed to continue working from home permanently following this global health crisis.

Many startups seem to be following suit. The Kung Group, an executive coaching and consulting firm, recently surveyed more than 500 founders of venture-based companies. Seventy percent of the group said that they would allow some or all of their employees to continue working remotely even after their offices reopen.

The vast majority (76%) of those founders have seen that worker productivity has either remained the same or improved in light of the remote work movement. Embracing the expanded work-from-home trend long term can benefit businesses by allowing them to redirect spending on office space and related costs to more strategic pursuits. Sixty-five percent of founders said that if stay-at-home orders were lifted tomorrow, they would still not allow their employees to return to the office. Lastly, 66% of the Kung survey group said they are reconsidering their investments in their physical offices altogether.  A new, more productive, less real estate-intensive remote work world has arrived.

Ransomware Was Already a Huge Problem Now It Is Accelerating

With more frequent work-from-home activity, ransomware attacks have increased beyond their already-significant growth. Ransomware is a type of cyber attack for which bad actors encrypt an organization’s data to bring its IT infrastructure and associated operations to a standstill until the impacted entity pays the attackers a ransom to decrypt that data.

Ransomware is a massive threat of extreme frequency and impact. Astoundingly, a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds and that time is shortening! This is alarming since ransomware tends to be very costly; the average ransomware payment amount is $84,116. Every minute that a company can’t access its data to conduct business, it loses revenues and reputation.  

Sadly, bad actors have identified this time of crisis as a great opportunity for ransomware. A July Threatpost story said the pandemic has led to a sharp spike in ransomware in the U.S. more than doubling year-over-year.

People may feel safer at home, and they may well be. But that doesn’t mean the data and devices they are working with are safer. In fact, they’re not, and smart businesses need to address the looming threats.

Your Endpoint Data Will Be Lost or Corrupted You Need to Be Ready

One key challenge that businesses face today is how to quickly (and reliably) back up critical data – wherever employees work, and on whatever endpoint devices (laptops, mobile phones, tablets) they are using.

It is not a question of if your endpoint data will be lost or corrupted. It is just a matter of when it will occur. 

The increase in the remote workforce and cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware and malware, require that businesses reevaluate their current backup and recovery practices. Revising your backup and recovery strategy is more important than ever. As with every great strategy, it’s not just about the tools you deploy, it’s also about the plan for recovery. 

Secure and Easy-to-Use Backup for Remote Work Operations

The Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) solution provides businesses with the data protection and endpoint backup and recovery solution they need in this changing and distributed work environment.

ICB protects your most critical data, including files and folders, SQL databases, Exchange data files, and QuickBooks and other accounting files. It fulfills endpoint backup and retention requirements for: Android and iOS phones/tablets, Windows and Mac OS desktops/laptops, Windows Servers, and other storage devices. Equally as important, it makes recovery and the restoration of the critical data and business processes fast and easy both for end users and for administrators.

ICB addresses the important challenge of security. It protects organizations and all of their remotely located employees and assets against ransomware attacks by providing anomaly detection, proactive alerting, and unlimited file version history for easy rollback. Each of these features helps to facilitate prompt detection and expedited (and painless) recovery from a ransomware attack. If and when ransomware hits, a company can avoid the ransomware payment and be back up-and-running in a few hours minimizing the business impact.

The Infrascale Cloud Backup security solutions help organizations with device loss prevention and remediation via features such as endpoint geo-tracking and remote wipe. Data in use and data in transit is secured through technologies such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and AES 256-bit encryption.

Managing Remote Work Operations Can Be Hard But ICB Makes It Easy

Organizations that adopt the ICB endpoint backup solution will benefit from a number of administrator-friendly capabilities. Infrascale provides a single pane-of-glass management interface to remotely manage, remotely restore data, build polices and deployment rules, as well as manage reporting and alerting to monitor backup operations. If the UI is not preferred, there are robust API/SDKs available.

ICB is ideal for today’s remote work environment because it allows for automated (silent) installation to branch offices and site-specific policies for the office or for the home. Administrators can automate deployment of remote backup agents the same agents that have minimal impact to the host system (and that can be hidden from the end user).

Alerting and monitoring is highly customizable and allows for granular monitoring and automated reporting. After all, the administrators must know of issues that occur in the work-from-home environment and whether data is at risk.

When Infrascale Cloud Backup is deployed by a managed service provider (MSP) there are additional integrations with professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools for billing, reporting, and other management capabilities — minimizing the need for administrators to have to access multiple dashboards. 

Infrascale Enables You to Protect Data Wherever It Roams

Remote work is the new normal and ransomware is on the rise in these unprecedented times.

Inaction is dangerous and can jeopardize your business. Sixty percent of small and medium businesses close within 6 months of being victims of ransomware.

Smart businesses will establish plans to contend with the growing remote workforce and the increase in cyberthreats that creates. Those plans will include implementing endpoint backup solutions. Infrascale Cloud Backup makes endpoint backup easy for remote workers, while meeting enterprise requirements for security and remote management. This is a tool that rises to today’s challenge.

ICB ensures that wherever your data is – and whatever device it lives on – you’ll be ready. 

Infrascale presents Endpoint Backup Protection at Cloud Field Day 8!

It’s 2020 — it’s not a matter of IF your organization is going to be subject to a cybersecurity attack or data loss, it’s a matter of WHEN it occurs… and how you are able to deal with it.   

Infrascale presented a feature overview of Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) – highlighting solutions for data loss, ransomware, and recovery for both – at Cloud Field Day 8 on July 17, 2020. The session titled, “Infrascale Cloud Backup – a Deep Dive” was live-streamed and demonstrated how the data protection problems that business customers are currently facing are addressed via the Infrascale Cloud Backup solution for endpoint backup and recovery. Cloud Field Day is a Tech Field Day event – with a live audience of industry experts (invited from around the world) – where enterprise IT companies share their products and ideas through discussions and demos. The Infrascale team (comprised of Brian Kuhn, Chief Operating Officer, and Chris Bayne, Chief Solution Architect) discussed the importance of endpoint backup and recovery for business customers.

What are the trends impacting endpoint security necessitating strong backup and recovery capabilities? 

There are several important trends that contribute to the escalating endpoint security risk. These include the growth of global remote workforces, the surge of ransomware attacks, and the increase in corporate compliance requirements. By all indications it appears that remote work is here to stay and is not a passing fad.  Due to Covid-19, work from home or via remote office is a new way of life for many businesses and their employees. This new “work environment” definition has become entrenched, and it appears that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this increase in remote work environments has coincided with an exponential increase in cyberattacks and ransomware threats.

Did You Know? 

  • 76% of SMBs in USA reported a cyberattack in 2019 (Ponemon Institute) 
  • Every 14 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack (Cybersecurity Ventures)  
  • 60% of SMBs close within six months of being a victim of a cybersecurity breach (Cybersecurity Ventures) 

 

What is Infrascale Cloud Backup and how is it different? 

Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) provides direct-to-cloud, SaaS-based, endpoint backup protection for laptops and mobile devices – as well as servers such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL databases – all in one solution. ICB also supports bare metal system backup needs on virtual and physical machines.  

During Cloud Field Day 8, Infrascale discussed the three cornerstones of the Infrascale Cloud Backup solution: 1) Ease of Use, 2) Security, and 3) Management. These foundational elements support ICB’s primary goal of arming IT administrators with robust ransomware detection, monitoring, and management tools — while still providing end-customers with an easy-to-use and robust backup solution.

How is Infrascale Cloud Backup easy to use? 

ICB backs up most critical data including files and folders, SQL databases, Exchange data files, and QuickBooks and other accounting files. These backups occur wherever you work, including iOS & Android Phones, Windows and Mac OS, Windows Servers and either on or off network devices. ICB enables quick and easy restores through local NAS/Drive support, Live protect and advanced remote recovery capabilities. 

Will ICB protect my data from malicious or accidental corruption? 

Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) endpoint backup protection provides detection and mitigation of ransomware attacks by preventing the infection of backupsThis is done via anomaly detection, proactive alerting file version history, and easy rollback via centralized and MSI/Policy management.  ICB also provides protection for lost or stolen devicevia IP geo-tracking for Windows, supports Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and offers the ability to wipe lost or stolen devices.  

How does ICB improve the MSP’s management experience? 

Infrascale Cloud Backup delivers the management tools that administrators and IT managers need. These tools include automated install, policy management, and security set-up for remote workers or branch offices. In addition, ICB provides the ability to meet remote servicing needs, and offers granular monitoring and automated reporting – as well as integration with Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)/Professional Services Automation (PSA) … and so much more!

Listen to the Cloud Field Day 8 Videos and learn more 

Please view the Infrascale Cloud Field Day 8 video presentation here. If you would like additional information about ICB, please see our Infrascale Cloud Backup site  or contact your Infrascale representative.  

Infrascale Answers Three Key Questions Every Business Professional Should Be Able to Answer

Consider this: 

  1. What would you do if your work laptop was lost or stolen? 
  2. How would you respond if you discovered your laptop were infected with ransomware? 
  3. How easy should it be for you or your IT support team to come to your rescue? 

Unfortunately, these three simple questions strike real fear into most business professionalsThey don’t know how to react, don’t have a plan to quickly retrieve their lost or corrupted data, and don’t know if their IT Support team can come to the rescueIt’s 2020 — it’s not a matter of when your organization is going to be subject to a ransomware attack or data loss (because it will happen)it’s how you deal with itBased on a recent Infrascale survey conducted with over 500 C-level SMB executives, we have uncovered some important facts:  

  • Nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents admit they do not feel their businesses are adequately prepared to address and prevent unexpected downtime from disasters – including lost/unusable laptops  
  • 37% have lost customers, and 17% have lost revenue, due to this unanticipated downtime  
  • Roughly half (48%) said their per hour downtime cost was between $20,000 and $50,000 

Therefore, those three questions seem pretty important to answer. 

On July 17th, at 9am ET, during Cloud Field DayInfrascale executives will provide how we help answer the questions aboveCloud Field Day is one of a series of Tech Field Day events where companies such as Infrascale share their products and solutionsThese sessions are live streamed and the recordings made available for later viewing. 

Brian Kuhn, Chief Operating Officer for Infrascale, will be joined by Chris Bayne, Chief Solution Architect, in presenting “Infrascale Cloud Backup – a Deep Dive.”  Infrascale Cloud Backup (ICB) provides endpoint protection (think laptops and mobile devices as well as backup for servers including Microsoft Exchange and SQL databases – all in one solution.  ICB’s mission – arm IT administrators with robust ransomware detection and management tools (to manage the unwelcome, but anticipated needs of those questions above), while still providing end-customers with easy-to-use/robust backup. 

Mark your calendars for July 17th (9am  Eastern Time) and join Infrascale during the Cloud Field Day Livestream at https://techfieldday.com/appearance/infrascale-presents-at-cloud-field-day-8/ . 

 

A Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan Will Help Your Business Weather the Hurricane Season

Severe weather events used to dominate headlines and get top billing in nightly news broadcasts, but our world has changed significantly in the past months and weeks.

Considering the current state of affairs, it would be easy to overlook the risk that major weather events pose to businesses that lack disaster recovery plans. But to do so would be a significant and costly mistake.

Hurricanes Call for Disaster Recovery Plans

Hurricanes are the most violent storms on Earth. They can have devastating effects and leave a trail of destruction in their wake. And the hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin – covering the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico – is upon us.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season and a 30% chance of a near-normal season for 2020.

NOAA says we should expect 13 to 19 storms with winds of at least 39 mph. Six to 10 of those storms, it says, could become hurricanes, which generate winds of 74 mph or higher. NOAA suggests that is likely to include three to six major hurricanes, with winds exceeding 110 mph.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines a disaster recovery plan as a written document for processing critical applications in the event of a major hardware or software failure or destruction of facilities. 

NIST, a U.S. Department of Commerce organization, says that a disaster recovery plan is used when an enterprise must recover from a loss of capability over a period of hours or days. It adds that a disaster recovery plan may involve processes and procedures for recovering one or more information systems at an alternate facility.

Meanwhile, TechTarget says that “a disaster recovery plan is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work after an unplanned incident.” It adds that a disaster recovery plan should be applied to all parts of an organization that depend upon a functioning IT infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery Planning Strategies for Protecting Critical Information Assets

We all know from experience how devastating such weather events can be to businesses. For example, Hurricane Sandy took many New York data centers offline with flooding and power outages, leaving customers without access to their critical business applications.

Nothing can be done to stop hurricanes from hitting landfall or otherwise impacting human habitats. But businesses can prepare to mitigate the effects of unforgiving natural disasters.

From a systems and data availability perspective, businesses need not be victims of a hurricane. The same is true for data loss on personal machines, which consumer backup can prevent.   

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan in Information Technology?

Rarely do people and organizations have the ability to prepare themselves for disasters. But in the case of an impending disaster such as a hurricane, a business can prepare by putting in place a disaster recovery solution (with a disaster recovery runbook) that maintains at least one backup of crucial data offsite — ideally with the ability to boot critical systems.

There is no excuse not to backup data safely and securely offsite. 

Backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service options make it accessible to do that and easy to spin up critical systems after – or even before – an event to ensure a business experiences as little downtime as possible. 

Limiting and eliminating downtime is extremely important for businesses, as Infrascale research has highlighted the heavy costs of business downtime. A survey of small and medium businesses (SMBs) indicates 37% of these organizations have lost customers and 17% have lost revenue due to downtime. Losing customers takes a heavy toll on businesses, considering that it can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one.

Disaster Recovery in Action — And In Advance

Infrascale recently worked with a client whose head office is in a hurricane-prone area. As a preemptive measure, this client “failed over” its entire operation to the cloud before a hurricane hit. The company invoked its disaster recovery plan and transferred operations from its on-premises office to the disaster recovery alternative location — in this case, to the Infrascale Cloud. The company did this intentionally to control flow of data and processing rather than waiting for disaster to strike and then acting after the fact. This advance action ensured nearly 100% uptime (with only a brief hiccup to point to disaster recovery systems).

This company is a paragon of managing business continuity — preparing for the disaster and executing its disaster recovery plans and runbook. Businesses like this one use the Infrascale runbook editor — a drag-and-drop, graphical orchestration workflow editor – to create runbooks that specify the order in which machines are recovered, create groups of machines to boot simultaneously, and specify time intervals between system boots to ensure a smooth, stress-free system recovery.

Most businesses should be replicating their data securely offsite, either physically or in the cloud. This is particularly important for businesses with operations in disaster-prone areas in which physical media may become compromised. In such cases, cloud-based disaster recovery is really the best option.

Good Disaster Recovery Goes Beyond Backup

Regular backups that replicate to an off-site location are a step in the right direction. But companies also need to address Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) as part of their disaster recovery plans. That’s why many companies are embracing Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions, which instantly boot systems and applications to the cloud when they go down due to hardware failure or a natural disaster.

Our always-on world calls for such solutions — and Infrascale delivers. 

After all, how long could your business go without such mission-critical applications as Active Directory controller, CRM, or email? With the Infrascale Disaster Recovery as a Service offering, you don’t have to wonder, because these critical applications will stay up and running.

If your organization does not already have a disaster recovery plan in place, now is the time to get started. Disaster doesn’t have to strike twice.

PRODUCT RELEASE: INFRASCALE DISASTER RECOVERY v8.0

We are thrilled to announce the latest release of the Infrascale Disaster Recovery product: IDR v8.0. This latest release, generally available on June 1, 2020, brought many exciting new updates to the IDR. Thank you to our Product and Development teams as we continue to strive to exceed our Partners’ expectations and continue toward our goal of eradicating downtime and data loss for all businesses.  

THE HIGHLIGHTS 

User Interface Refresh

The new IDR appliance user interface offers improved visibility of backup performance and look and feel consistency with the Infrascale Dashboard.

New Infrascale disaster recovery bare metal image engine

Infrascale has developed a new bare metal disaster recovery image engine (released in v7.1) that optimizes the Infrascale DDFS technology. Backups are quicker, more reliable, and 2-5 times faster! This is the new default engine for bare metal.

Configurable boot verification settings at an endpoint-level

IDR customers can now set boot verification settings at the end-point level as to avoid false alarms for slow, large or non-standard systems.

Ability to download folders from backup during browse and restore

This new feature enables the download of whole folders of data directly from the Infrascale appliance UI, This provides an easy to use restore option in addition to restoring through an agent and to a NAS share.

Elimination of repeated false alerts on Dashboard monitoring

The Infrascale monitoring and ConnectWise / Autotask integration functionality has been optimized to provide MSPs with better efficiency and lower false negative “noise” levels.

Examples:

  • Infrascale will not show a Monitoring system alert or raise a ConnectWise or Autotask ticket if a backup job failed, but was retried and subsequently completed successfully.
  • Additionally, alerts will not be generated for a backup that didn’t run, when the user explicitly disabled it.

Overall, these updates were released with many other Infrascale product improvements and bug fixes. As our technology continues to improve and evolve, keep your eyes peeled on our docs portal for all the details. You can always access this information at docs.infrascale.com.

Looking for the detailed release notes for IDR v8.0? Check out the release notes here.

Stay tuned for more exciting product updates down the road, including the release of an agent-less Hyper-V backup engine to provide increased performance and reliability. This backup engine, built from the ground up will provide important benefits for MSPs with large VMs such as MS SQL Server and MS Exchange.

Infrascale Product and Support Team

Infrascale Survey Highlights the Heavy Costs of Business Downtime

37% of SMBs Have Lost Customers and 17% Have Lost Revenue Due to Downtime

 

Los Angeles – May 13, 2020 – Downtime is a major challenge for small and medium businesses (SMBs) today. The IT systems of nearly a quarter of SMBs have gone offline in the past year, according to new research from Infrascale, a cloud-based data protection company providing industry-leading backup and disaster recovery solutions. SMBs said the downtime creates business disruption and decreases employee productivity. More than a third (37%) of SMBs in the survey group said they have lost customers and 17% have lost revenue due to downtime.

“Customer retention is essential for business success,” said Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale. “It can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, and when customers leave, businesses lose out on vital profit and operational efficiencies. Especially in today’s competitive environment, it’s challenging enough to retain customers. With all the cost-effective solutions available, downtime shouldn’t be a reason for concern.”

Nearly a fifth (19%) of SMBs admit that they do not feel their businesses are adequately prepared to address and prevent unexpected downtime. Of those SMBs that said they feel unprepared for unexpected downtime, 13% said they do not feel their business is prepared for unexpected downtime because they have limited time to research solutions to prevent downtime. More than a quarter (28%) attributed not feeling prepared for unexpected downtime due to IT teams at their organization being stretched. The same share (28%) said they don’t think their business is at risk from unexpected downtime. Yet more than a third of SMBs (38%) said they don’t know what the cost of one hour of downtime is for their businesses.

The Infrascale research is based on a survey of more than 500 C-level executives at SMBs. CEOs represented 87% of the group. Most of the remainder was split between CIOs and CTOs.

 

Downtime Can Prompt Valuable Customers to Head for the Exit

“Customers today are extremely demanding,” said Reeder. “They are intolerant of delays and downtime. The Infrascale research highlights this business reality.”

Thirty-seven percent of the SMB survey group admitted to having lost customers due to downtime issues. This problem was especially pronounced among business-to-business entities; close to half (46%) of B2B businesses have experienced such a loss. As for business-to-consumer SMBs, a quarter (25%) said they have lost customers due to downtime problems.

 

Downtime Also Leads to Business Disruption and Loss of Productivity and Reputation

Loss of customers and revenue are just two of the downsides of IT system-related downtime. Downtime also can hurt employee productivity and adversely impact a company’s reputation.

SMBs said the biggest downtime risks are business disruption (29%) and decreased employee productivity (21%). As noted above, nearly a fifth have lost revenue (17%). Reputation impact (16%) and cost (13%) came in next.

Software failure (53%) and cybersecurity issues (52%) are the most common causes of the downtime that creates these business challenges, according to the Infrascale survey group. A significant but far smaller share of the SMB survey group blamed downtime on hardware failure (38%), human error (36%), natural disaster (30%), and/or hardware theft (24%).

 

SMB Downtime May Not Last Long, but It Is Still Costly

A tenth of SMBs (10%) said their per-hour downtime cost was more than $50,000. Thirteen percent said their per-hour downtime cost was between $40,001 and $50,000. A quarter (25%) of SMBs said the per-hour cost of downtime for their business was between $20,001 and $40,000. A slightly larger share (26%) said they incur a loss of $10,000 to $20,000 for each hour of downtime, while 27% said their cost of downtime per hour was under $10,000.

The good news is that the survey group indicated downtime typically lasts for minutes instead of hours. More than a fifth (22%) of the survey group said their downtime events typically last anywhere from five to 15 minutes. Just less than a fifth (17%) of the group said their downtime commonly stretches on for 15 to 30 minutes, and another 17% said an hour. Just 6% said over an hour.

“The downtime duration results may seem reassuring, but in today’s challenging and fast-moving business environment, every second counts,” said Reeder. “Even if your company was down for minutes, just think of the reputational damage it can cause as well as real costs when data cannot be recovered. There is really no excuse these days for not backing up your data.”

 

Despite the Many Downsides of Downtime, Some SMBs Remain Unprepared

Nearly a fifth (19%) of the B2B survey group said they do not feel their business is prepared for unexpected downtime, and B2C organizations feel even less prepared. More than a quarter (27%) of B2C survey participants said they believe their business is unprepared for unexpected downtime.

“These survey results illustrate that there’s plenty of room for improvement when it comes to business uptime,” Reeder added. “Organizations can benefit from application and server backup, ransomware mitigation, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), encryption, and state-of-the-art endpoint protection. Investments in such solutions enable them to avoid downtime and enjoy business continuity, which are essential for a growing and thriving business.”

 

About Infrascale

Founded in 2011, Infrascale provides comprehensive, cloud-based data protection by delivering industry-leading backup and disaster recovery solutions. Combining intelligent software with the power of the cloud, Infrascale removes the barriers and complexity of secure, offsite data storage and standby infrastructure for real-time disaster recovery. Trusted and recommended by leading independent industry experts, Infrascale equips its customers with the confidence to handle the unexpected by providing greater availability, better security and less downtime when it comes to their data. Visit www.infrascale.com or follow us on Twitter at @Infrascale for more information.

 

Media Contact

Hannah Ruark
hannah@bospar.com
540-599-7887

 

World Backup Day 2020

Coming up on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is World Backup Day. Your workforce, as are many others globally including ours, are likely now embracing a new normal of working from home – which means that you simply must ensure you’re backing up those computers that are now out of the office.

We are in a new world now. For many of us, our lives have changed overnight. As the world adapts to these unusual circumstances, don’t let accidentally deleted files, or even Ransomware hackers, become your priority by default. Backup your data and sleep – at least a little bit – easier at night.

Our conference calls from home look much different during COVID-19 than they did just a few weeks ago, and while we love the laughter that our pets and children bring, there’s additional risk involved when our delicate laptops are on the table.

Human factors aren’t the only risk to take into account, given the recent news: In the past month alone, Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common. Two of the latest examples in the healthcare space include hackers targeting the World Health Organization as well as a medical research firm on standby to work on a COVID-19 vaccine. Ransomware attacks happen across any industry, so unfortunately nobody is safeguarded against data breaches or data loss.

There are also additional security concerns for organizations which previously did not have a distributed workforce. While you’re ensuring your workers can feasibly work from home and have the technical support they require, your data could be left exposed and vulnerable. With this in mind, as World Backup Day approaches, there’s no better time to ensure your data is secure and always accessible.

Data protection plays an essential role in business continuity, and now is the time to address these vulnerabilities. As always, we remain committed to our customers and we’re standing by to best support you during these turbulent times.

If you’d like to review or discuss your backup or disaster recovery needs, call us on +1.877.896.3611.

From the CEO’s Desk: Infrascale COVID-19 Action Plan 

I’m sure you are inundated with information about the increasing escalation of the COVID-19 situation. These are trying times but working together we will be able to make it through.  

Thus, I wanted to briefly share with you some of the actions we have been taking at Infrascale to ensure we are there to support you for your backup and disaster recovery needs. 

As a global organization that has employees and customers all over the world, we have been closely monitoring this situation for some time. I want to personally assure you that Infrascale has been taking actions to protect the health of its staff so they can protect their families and communities. We have also put in place cross functional work streams across employees, financial, supply chain, sales & marketing, product, engineering, and customer success.  Some examples of such actions include: 

  • Starting in January we locked in our hardware supply chain for future infrastructure requirements. 
  • A few weeks ago, we suspended all travel and have been in regular communication with our staff to take the necessary measures to protect themselves, their families, and their communities – including working from home. 
  • As a global organization with offices and remote workers around the world, we already have the technology systems in place that allow us to work outside our physical offices and support remote operations in a secure data environment.  
  • We are centralized on cloud computing applications and have the highest-level access to several collaboration tools to ensure we can keep in regular and visual communication with all our team members and customers.  
  • Our leadership teams are staying up to date on the latest information from governments, public health officials and experts in various industries so we can help our customers adopt best practices for business continuity and mitigation of losses. 

We greatly appreciate your understanding, cooperation, and confidence in our team during this time. We want to reinforce that we are here to help you in any way we can, and particularly to support you with your business. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.  

Together we will work our way through these uncertain times, and I will continue to personally keep you informed of any relevant developments at Infrascale regarding this situation. 

Together with you – Onward and Upward,

Russell P. Reeder
CEO