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10 Things You Must Know to Prevent a Costly Disaster

In less than 60 seconds, you are about to learn 10 things that could save you days – or even weeks – of downtime, not to mention the undue stress on your company and potentially thousands of dollars lost, due to data disaster.

1. Keep a Written Plan

Simply thinking through in advance what needs to happen when things go south on you, and documenting it, can go a long way toward getting your network back up and running quickly if your system gets hacked, flooded, or compromised by human error or equipment failure.

Be sure to have a secure offsite copy of your passwords, licenses, vendor contact information, system serial numbers, and warranty information.

2. Hire a Trusted Professional to Help You

Trying to recover data after a disaster without professional help is business suicide. One misstep can result in weeks of downtime or permanent data loss. To improve your odds of a quick recovery, work with a pro who has experience in both setting up your plan and helping you recover when a loss occurs.

3. Have a Communication Plan

What if your employees can’t access your office, e-mail, or phone system – how should they communicate with you? Make sure your plan details the alternatives, including multiple ways to stay in touch.

4. Automate Your Backups

The #1 cause of data loss is the human error. If your backup system depends on a human doing something, it’s a recipe for disaster. Always automate your backups so they run like clockwork.

5. Keep an Off-site Backup Copy of Your Data

On-site backups are a good first step, but if they get flooded, burned, or hacked along with your server, you’re out of luck. Always maintain a recent copy of your data off-site.

6. Be Able to Access and Manage Your Network Remotely

By establishing a remote access connection, you and your staff will be able to keep working if you can’t get into the office. Your IT provider or consultant can quickly handle an emergency or routine maintenance and you’ll love the convenience.

7. Image Your Server

Storing your data off-site is great but, bear in mind, if your system goes down, the software and architecture that handles all that data must be restored for it to be of any use. Imaging your server creates a replica of the original, saving you an enormous amount of time and energy getting your network back in gear. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing your preferences, configurations, or favorites.

8. Document Your Network

Network documentation is simply the blueprint of the software, data, systems, and hardware that comprise your company’s network. Any IT provider or consultant worth their weight in silicone should create this for you. It will save you time and money in the event your network needs to be restored.

It also speeds up everyday repairs and maintenance on your network when technicians don’t have to waste time figuring out where things are and how they are configured. Plus, it may help with insurance claims in the event of losses due to a disaster.

9. Maintain Your System

While fires, flooding, and other natural disasters are certainly a risk, it’s even more likely that you’ll experience downtime due to a virus, worm, or hacker attack. That’s why it’s critical to keep your network patched, secure, and up-to-date. And don’t forget: deteriorating hardware and corrupted software can wipe you out. Replace and update them as needed to steer clear of this threat.

10. Test, Test, Test!

If you’re going to go to the trouble of setting up a plan, make sure it works! Have your IT pro test at least quarterly to make sure your recovery systems work properly and your data is secure. After all, the worst time to test your parachute is after you jump out of a plane.

Do you need help getting these 10 items implemented? Garner IT provides all of the above as part of our complete plan. We would love to help you ensure your business is protected from a disaster. Give us a call at 850.250.3210 or stop by our office at 1330 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL 32401.

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