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PREVENTING VIRUSES, WORMS, SPYWARE & SPAM


The internet is an amazing place that allows each and every one of us easy access to a wide variety of resources. Unfortunately, there is an increasing amount of viruses, worms, spyware and spam that can easily infect your computer. Your computer in fact may already be infected and you may not even know it.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTING DATA LOSS

Data loss itself can come in a variety of forms. A virus can infect your network deleting documents throughout the company. An employee might maliciously delete sensitive documents. An important document might be accidentally overwritten by using the same filename. An electrical outage might cause your server to crash and damage the hard drive storing all company data. The company database might become corrupted. There are a very wide variety of potential technical disasters just waiting to happen.

SAVE MONEY WITH A DOMAIN ENVIRONMENT

We routinely encounter businesses that have setup their networks in a “peer to peer” or “workgroup” configuration as opposed to establishing a domain. A peer to peer network is a configuration that was made popular in 1992 with the release of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Peer to peer networks were easy to setup and required only a basic knowledge of computer networking. In Windows XP, this technology is often referred to as “File & Printer Sharing.” Many businesses forego the cost of establishing a domain due to their belief that a peer to peer network is quicker and therefore cheaper to setup. However as we will demonstrate in this article, establishing a domain provides your business with a complete business solution that will serve your needs now and into the future.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTING DATA LOSS

Data loss itself can come in a variety of forms. A virus can infect your network deleting documents throughout the company. An employee might maliciously delete sensitive documents. An important document might be accidentally overwritten by using the same filename. An electrical outage might cause your server to crash and damage the hard drive storing all company data. The company database might become corrupted. There are a very wide variety of potential technical disasters just waiting to happen.

In the networking world, it is a known fact that not all companies adequately protect themselves from data loss. According to data loss statistics from Info Security News Magazine:

  • 93 percent of companies without a recovery plan go out of business within five years of a loss disaster.

  • 50 percent of those businesses who do not recover their data within 10 business days never fully recover.

  • Critical business functions cannot continue for more than 4.8 days without a data recovery process.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT DATA LOSS?

To adequately protect your business from data loss, it is important to:

1. Store all Documents such as Word and Excel on the server.

We frequently find that companies are not storing all of their documents on the server. In fact, most documents are oftentimes being stored on the hard drives of staff members’ computers. In this configuration, if a computer hard drive failed then the data stored on that hard drive may be lost. By storing all documents on the server and backing them up, you will insure that all staff documents such as Word and Excel can be recovered.

2. Store all Mail and Contacts on the server.

We frequently find that internet mail and company contacts using Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express is being stored on the hard drives of staff members’ computers. As with the previous step, if a computer hard drive were to fail then the mail being stored on that hard drive may be lost. By using a mail server such as Microsoft Exchange Server, all mail and contacts are stored on the server.

3. A
utomate a Daily Backup Job.

With all of your data being stored on the server rather than on the hard drive of staff members’ computers, your server should then be automatically backed up on a daily basis.

4. Use backup software that adequately addresses the backup requirements of your data.

If you are using Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server, it is important that your backup software be using the appropriate Backup Agent. Without the appropriate agent, your backup software will be unable to backup this data.

5.
Make sure all staff log off the network each night.

If all staff do not log off the network at night, it is possible that they may be leaving files open. Although they may have closed an application such as Word or Excel, Windows may in fact be keeping the file open in the background. With the file open, this file will be skipped in the backup process without an Open File Backup Agent. An Open File Backup Agent is an optional agent for your backup software.

6. Review your Backup Logs.

It is important to review your backup logs on a routine basis. Your backup logs provide you with important information regarding the backup process. Sometimes your backup media fails. Sometimes open files are being skipped. Sometimes your backup job has not been configured to backup newly created directories.

IMPLEMENT A COMPLETE BACKUP RECOVERY PROCESS

If you require assistance in implementing a complete backup recovery process, we would be very happy to assist you. Please feel free to give us a call at (541) 345-0408.

 

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