Remote IT & Security. Is your business and corporate data at risk?

Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed our approach to remote IT and security. We went from offices full of collaboration and activity to at home offices now exposing businesses and corporate data to increased risk.  At Thrive, we hold a daily management meeting to review and discuss the implications of a remote workforce during this experience. Many organizations are following a similar protocol as well, and although it has taken some getting used to, it has shined a light on how well we are able to collaborate remotely.

Our president, Marc Pantoni, mentioned the other day on one of these calls that the focus at the beginning of the Work From Home period was stability but as it matures, many organizations will start to focus on risk management as they were during prior to this unplanned event.

Over the years, we’ve seen disaster recovery tests become quite commonplace but now we’ll start to see pandemic tests or WFH tests become much more prevalent.  This isn’t fear mongering, it’s prudent risk management.  I surmise that like many of you, my work from home plan was my laptop sitting on a home office desk or perhaps a kitchen table.  My home office did not have all the trappings of my branch office. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten quite efficient at WFH and for many end users that environment is here to stay even once we all return to the office semi-full time.

Securing that location will now become a higher priority.  For many senior leaders and high-tech workers, we will look to high value yet low effort solutions to protect the household.  For years network security companies have added a feature to their devices that is not very widely used that can provide “clean” network connections.  This function, usually called transparent mode, introduces unified threat management appliances into home networks without changing the overall topology of the environment.  This means that we can add intrusion prevention and malware protection at the network level without the needing to swap out the consumer wifi solutions, which are very popular.  Fact is, having malware on a home network is as big of a problem as it is on an office network regardless of where it resides.

To understand this concept a little easier, here’s a simple network diagram:

Home Network

These solutions are extremely straightforward to setup and maintain as opposed to creating a branch office inside a home office.  It allows for added protection of all devices on the network without the headache of redesigning the entire home network.

If you have questions or concerns about remote IT and security, Thrive is here to help. CONTACT US TODAY!

How the Cloud is Changing Disaster Recovery

There is nothing any business fears more than a complete collapse of its IT systems. The financial cost of such an outage can be great, and additionally retrieving the data and rebuilding the system into its former state is often an extremely time consuming and logistically complex proposition. Businesses have literally gone under due to such IT issues, and although this is something that many companies dread, often SMEs don’t have sufficient provisions in place to provide effective disaster recovery.

It is a basic facet of human psychology that we often assume that the best case scenario will occur, and nothing fundamentally will go wrong. This tendency is amplified in the case of disaster recovery, where providing satisfactory backup for a business can involve a certain financial outlay.

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What Is a Hybrid Data Backup Solution?

In the current economy, many businesses across the globe are seeking alternatives to costly data backup methods. A popular solution to costly backup methods is cloud backup, which works well as a strategy for business continuity planning and disaster recovery. Data backup and storage in the cloud means that the cloud service provider takes responsibility for costly backup hardware and redundancy methods. The company seeking cloud storage pays a monthly subscription fee, which is based on the amount of backup and storage which is required.

In order to successfully backup and store data in the cloud, you must choose a reliable provider that has a track record for using multiple backup servers, advanced security, and immediate access and recovery in the event of a disaster. A lot of companies prefer to pursue the best of both worlds by combining the speed of local backup with the security of cloud backup. This concept is known as hybrid backup and is more cost effective than tape methods and other offsite storage methods.

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Key Components When Conducting a Business Impact Analysis

When it comes to keeping your business up and running, it is all about the time factor. Time determines how fast you can recover business operations in the event of an outage or natural disaster. If you have already completed a risk assessment, the business impact analysis ensures that you do not incur additional expenses which can result from slow recovery time.

Although you may have already completed a risk assessment and you know what critical business operations must be recovered, this will not matter unless you can recover them within a reasonable amount of time. By conducting a business impact analysis this will ensure efficient business continuity in the event of a catastrophe.

So what are some of the key components you should consider when conducting a business impact analysis?

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Essential Tips on Implementing a Business Continuity Plan

The events of September 11, 2001 changed a lot of things including the manner in which businesses assess risk and devise plans to deliver critical services in the event of a disruption. Although catastrophic events have a minimal probability, the businesses that plan carefully for business continuity are the ones that stand the best chance of continuing their services in the event of a disaster.

It does not take a monumental catastrophe to disrupt daily operations of a business. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a power outage or intermediate interruptions that result from a storm or an attack instigated by cyber criminals.

Having a business continuity plan in place means arranging to continue to deliver services which are the most critical to business operations and identifying the resources which are needed to support business continuity. In order for a business continuity plan to be effective there are key critical components that must be present during the planning process.

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Benefits of Network Protection Services

Network Security in today’s high tech environment is now more important than ever. Hackers and cyber criminals have gotten very sophisticated in the methods they use to carry out exploits. For many companies this means added layers of security and infrastructures which create a network with many different facets.

In today’s economy many businesses do not have the resources which are required to implement the necessary equipment and employ staff with the skills to maintain network security. This represents a very real challenge for companies in terms of data security, business continuity and productivity. This is where network protection services can be invaluable when it comes to protecting company assets. (more…)

Different Types of IT Support and How They Can Help Your Small Business

With more businesses deploying different types of technology to increase productivity, it can become a monumental challenge to stay current with every IT process that requires support. If you are struggling to keep up with the increased demand for IT, the good news is that there are professional IT support services available that can help you relieve the burden of trying to stay on top of every aspect of your IT infrastructure.

It is important to note that the size of your business will be the key factor which determines the type of IT support you require. If you are a small business it is less likely you have a comprehensive IT support staff. For medium to large sized businesses you may have a partial IT support team or a full-fledged department that may be over extended.

To choose the approach that is best for your business it helps to know what options are available to you when it comes to outsourcing IT support. Many quality IT support services will work with you to plan the best approach however, here is an overview of the different types of IT support services to help you get started.

IT Support for Small Business

While some companies prefer to employ an in-house IT team others find it more cost effective to outsource IT support. This leaves more time for new IT initiatives which support company growth and revenue. Here are some of the ways that you can outsource IT support to a qualified IT support provider: (more…)

Do You Know What “The Cloud” is?

Can you define ‘Cloud Computing’? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to the “Digital Software and the Cloud Report” from the market research firm NPD, just 22% of U.S. consumers could explain it.  To add to the confusion, when you attempt to find the true definition on the Internet you get a wide variety of answers, but which is the right one?

Thrive Networks took to the streets of Boston to ask people what ‘The Cloud’ means to them. As expected, we got a variety of responses. Some were more accurate than others.  Watch the video below to see what we mean.

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What You Should Consider Before Using Cloud Storage

There are many advantages to storing your data in the cloud.  This is the primary reason that cloud storage has increased in popularity during recent years.  Many businesses are realizing the benefits of cloud storage in terms of cost savings, convenience, and accessibility.

Like anything else, when it comes to protecting important data there are things you should consider (more…)

Data Backup: A Life Saver

Lightning can strike any time, and in any form. It can be a power surge leaving your hard disk useless or an over flooded bathroom sink leaving your equipment blown out. It can also be as simple as lack of attention. Whatever the deal is, it will certainly bring one question to your mind – do you have a backup of your data? Sadly the answer usually is no. Many people lose several months and sometimes years of work in such situations.

Why you need a Backup

A backup is your safety net in case of a disaster. Data can be lost due to corruption such as unauthorized access, viral spyware, accidents and mistakes. Any of these can happen any time and cause you problems and not to mention – mental stress. To avoid such difficult situations it is best to get a (more…)