Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery plans are vital, not just important. Data becomes lost, deleted, purged, corrupted, all the time. Without that measure in place, data is truly lost.

There does seem to be confusion on what constitutes a Disaster Recovery plan, however.

While many systems have some form of data retention, they lack the necessary measures to be considered “disaster recovery”. This leaves security, compliance, and continuity all in question. Office365 is one of those systems.

What Office365 does

Office365 is a subscription-based service for Microsoft’s popular applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

While Office365 uses language like “file-sharing and online storage” and “Microsoft-backed 24/7 Security”, at the end of the day, it is a singular system designed for Microsoft’s product line.

To present an example, as long as e-mails from Outlook are in an uncorrupted state, not deleted or purged beyond the unrecoverable period, and not beyond 3 years, you have your content. That is a standard retention policy for an active email system. But that sounds like a lot of conditions, am I right?

Likewise, collaborative platforms like OneDrive and SharePoint allow multiple users to access necessary documents. However, even those systems require a back up for catastrophic events.

Microsoft only provides any form of recovery under the following events:

  • Loss of service due to their hardware or infrastructure failure
  • Loss of service due to natural disaster or data center outage
  • Short-term (30-day) user-error with recycle bin/version history
  • Short-term (14-day) administrative error with soft-delete for Groups, Mailboxes or services-lead rollback

What Office365 doesn’t do

Under that same example mentioned above, if your email were to become encrypted via ransomware, that is not a situation in which Microsoft will support or recover.

Even in more common events, like an employee leaving, data that is lost in that user’s account is unrecoverable.

Microsoft does not support any of the following events:

  • Loss of data due to departing employees and deactivated accounts (outside retention period / delete and recovery periods)
  • Loss of data due to malicious insiders/hacktivists deleting content
  • Loss of data due to malware/ransomware
  • Recovery from prolonged outages
  • Long-term accidental deletion coverage with selective rollback

Where a Disaster Recovery Plan kicks in

A true data backup functions in one of three ways; an image backup, file and folder backup, or infrastructure redundancy.

Backups succeed by offering a replicate of your data, separated in a geographically different, unconnected storage so if you needed to recover any email or even rebuild the entire email system, you could from the last back-up.

You can’t have a disaster recovery and continuity of business policy without a back-up solution.

And Office365 is not a back-up solution or disaster recovery plan.

PHISHING

Download our infographic and learn how to identify a phishing scam when you see one.

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ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

Implementing a data backup plan is not necessarily as easy. There are multiple factors to consider depending on what your organization’s needs are. Here are some key things to consider:

  1. What are your total per hour costs?
  2. What is your “opportunity cost”? How much revenue do you bring in per hour?
  3. What type of data do you primarily produce? For example, office documents, images, publications, audio, video, etc? Or more data-driven, email, CRM data, web data, etc.?
  4. Where does your data reside?
  5. What is your recovery time object?
  6. What is your recovery point objective?

Answering these six simple questions can help you determine what type of data backup strategy your organization would be best suited for.

There are a ton of backup solutions on the market, which is fantastic. However, there are really only three main methodologies to data protection employed today:

Image Backups

Think of this as a picture of the entire dataset at a moment in time. This is useful in the event that there is a catastrophic failure, like a fire, a server crash, or some other major event that requires rebuilding the infrastructure. This method offers quick recovery but can be more expensive to deploy.

PHISHING

Download our infographic and learn how to identify a phishing scam when you see one.

File and Folder backups

This is what people normally think of when they hear backup. This is the one-by-one copying of files from their original location to another location. This is the most common way to do “backups” and is good for scenarios where files are lost, deleted, infected with a virus or some other scenario where you just need to be able to retrieve that copy.

This method is often the least expensive method but is time-consuming to recover if a lot of data needs to be restored. However, is very efficient for restoring small sets of files, which is the most common type of recovery needed.

 

Infrastructure Redundancy

This is a more complex combination of the previous two methods, where the entire dataset, including the server operating systems and all, are copied around to multiple locations in a way that ensures full redundancy of the data and your access to it. Certainly the most expensive, but the best method for ensuring maximum business continuity.

Every solution on the market is some version, or combination, of these three main methods.  

To determine the best strategy for your business or organization you need to get the best answer possible to those first six questions.

Just an Example

Let’s say you’re a small organization of 10 employees. Your organization brings in $150,000 a month and your costs are $100,000 a month. Your team works an average week in terms of hours and most of your work is done on spreadsheets and word documents. You have a “machine” in your office that you store the bulk of your data on. That device is shared but everyone still stores the files they work on regularly in their my documents folder. 

Sound like you?

Ok, so we answered the questions (from above), let’s do some basic math:

(Monthly Costs/Average hours per month) + (Monthly Revenue/Average hours per month) = Hourly Downtime Cost

The above scenario would look like this: ($100,000/180) + ($150,000/180) = $1389 per hour.

This is the dollar amount of a disaster. And while it’s a gamble (to say the least), the consequences can get even more severe than a dollar amount.

For a Michigan Dr’s office, a disastrous ransomware attack even went even as far as costing the future of the practice.

Hardware can be replaced. Software can be replaced. Data cannot. Not without some form of backup, disaster recovery/business continuity strategy. There are, literally, businesses that have closed or been severely hampered by not putting any focus or investment in business continuity, and no one wants to redo something they spent all day on. This is one constituent of your IT budget that you want to spare no expense.

Eric Hubbard

Project Manager, ITonDemand

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Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

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Disaster recovery plans are vital, not just important. Data becomes lost, deleted, purged, corrupted, all the time. Without that measure in place, data is truly lost. There does seem to be confusion on what constitutes a Disaster Recovery plan, however. While many...

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Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

read more

ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

I Forgot to Save My Word Document, Can I Recover My File?

I Forgot to Save My Word Document, Can I Recover My File?

We’ve all done it. You get so involved in your work that you forget to save the word document you are working on and then something catastrophic happens. Either Word crashes or you lose power and all is lost. Or is it?

We have a recommendation for you that will help save you from this dreaded scenario. Turn on Auto Save in your office programs. If your computer shutdown or crashed, here’s a quick set of steps you can take to recover your work.

To Access AutoRecover files follow these simple steps:

1. Go to Microsoft Word.

2. Go to Files tab.

3. Select Recent.

4. From the menu, choose Recover Unsaved Documents.

5. Browse for the file in the list.

6. Click on it and restore it.

Of course, we can’t recommend enough that you have a backup solution in place. As we mentioned in a previous article, backing up your data is essential, particularly if you are a business. Of course, photos of the kids are very important too!

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Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

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Disaster recovery plans are vital, not just important. Data becomes lost, deleted, purged, corrupted, all the time. Without that measure in place, data is truly lost. There does seem to be confusion on what constitutes a Disaster Recovery plan, however. While many...

read more
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Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

read more

ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

I Lost a File, Can I Get It Back?

I Lost a File, Can I Get It Back?

Lost Files

We’ve all had that moment where you are looking for a file that mysteriously disappeared from a folder. Let’s dive into some possible solutions to the age-old problem of finding something you’ve lost.

Misplaced files

The first thing to figure out is if you simply put the file in a different folder or if it is actually gone. If it is on your computer, you can simply go to your File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac and search for the file. Depending on what you named the file, you may get a lot of
other files with similar names, but if you order by date or file type, you should be able to track it down with some work.

Truly Deleted Files

Once you’ve established that it is truly gone, first check your Recycle Bin (on Windows) or your Trash (on Mac). If the file is not there you may be able to find it from a backup. If you don’t have a backup, well you may not be fully out of luck. There is free recovery
software available that can search your memory for files that have been deleted from your recycling bin. Check out TechRadar’s list of free software here.

While not 100% reliable, you may be able to recover some of your old work…maybe.

Prevention

The biggest solution to losing files is to never lose them in the first place. And the best solution for that is a backup through some type of online or local backup system. This is one of the top reasons we suggest using online storage or virtual storage for all files. Most data servers have a regular backup and even a rollback feature so that you can see previous versions of files. So if you accidentally delete a few pages from a file and close it, you can still recover a previous version.

If your company doesn’t have an online storage or backup setup, give us a call and let us see what we can do to help. This capability is so important to us that we include backup in our standard plans.

You might be interested in our last article if your dealing with a slow computer.

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Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

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Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

read more

ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

Hurricane Irma Update – Ocala IT Services

Hurricane Irma Update – Ocala IT Services

We wanted to provide you, our valuable client, with a quick update on the status of our team and our rebuilding efforts. First, everyone on the team is grateful for the patience our partners have displayed as we work to get back to full capacity. We still have staff members in our Florida location that are without power, internet and gas to move around.

Our office in Ocala does have partial power restored and we are looking to be fully back in business within the next day or so, according to the local utility. We were able to get a few of the team members online today to bring our capacity up to higher levels and are starting to see a decrease in the backlog of requests. We are continuing to work on getting to all of our partners. Many of our partners in the Florida area are starting to have power restored to their offices. We are focusing heavily on getting them back up and running.

We truly appreciate your help in determining priorities, you have been wonderful in helping us sort through and get to the items that are most pressing. Thank you very much for continuing to provide this additional piece of information when requests are made, it has proven invaluable in the last couple of days.

We want to thank you again for your business and look forward to getting back to full strength by the end of the week.

As always, thank you for your business and support during this devastating weather event.

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Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery plans are vital, not just important. Data becomes lost, deleted, purged, corrupted, all the time. Without that measure in place, data is truly lost. There does seem to be confusion on what constitutes a Disaster Recovery plan, however. While many...

read more
Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

read more

ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293

 

What if this email link leads me to a virus?

What if this email link leads me to a virus?

Email is the most common vehicle for malware.

So, before you go clicking on any unknown links and have to call ITonDemand to resolve any virus or malware issues, use these tips best safety practices to protect your computer and system.

Hover, Don’t Click

You open an email and embedded in the text is a link to an unknown website. At this point, our instinct should be to ignore the link and move on. But, what if that link is sent from someone you know, a friend or family member who unknowingly forwards a link to the funniest joke ever, an outrageous news story or a link promising “real weight loss results.”

On some occasions, it’s almost tempting to click the link – maybe it’s a joke that promises to be the funniest one you’ve ever heard. Is clicking the link worth the risk of infecting your computer with a virus or compromising your personal data? One way is to hover over the link with your cursor – don’t click— and see if the full URL appears in the bottom left corner of a browser page. If the link appears to take you to some site you don’t want to go, don’t click on it.

Use a link scanner

In addition to the hover method, there are web-based tools and add-ons that can be used as well. One tool type you might want to use is a link scanner, a plug-in that allows you to enter the URL of a questionable link and check to see if it’s safe to click.

In a review of link scanners, PC World recommends URLVoid, a free service. However, PC World noted that a service like URLVoid cannot “properly handle” shortened URLs from web services like Bitly or TinyURL. For those shortened URLs, PC Mag recommended the service Sucuri Site Check, which automatically expands shortlinks and determines if they are safe to click. While Sucuri can be used to check the longer URLs, PC World said a service like URLVoid checks more sources, so it is more effective. For Android-based mobile phones and tablets a security app like Web of Trust (WoT). The app provides warnings against viruses, spyware and malware attacks.

Another option

Or… You could make an even better decision of going with ITonDemand’s Core service offering and let us worry about your Anti-virus protection. Not only does that include access to the expertise of the technicians on the helpdesk, but you are getting the security of knowing you have a team of professionals standing by, waiting to catch the next virus spotted in your system and eradicate it on the spot. Just think of the hassle you avoided by going with the Core service and getting security solutions set on all end points.

And of course, if you are unsure about a link, or just have a question for our team regarding a suspicious email, we’re here to help you. We’re your partner in this and we would rather you ask, than risk it.

PHISHING

Download our infographic and learn how to identify a phishing scam when you see one.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In:

Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Office365 is not a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery plans are vital, not just important. Data becomes lost, deleted, purged, corrupted, all the time. Without that measure in place, data is truly lost. There does seem to be confusion on what constitutes a Disaster Recovery plan, however. While many...

read more
Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data Backups and Disaster Recovery

Data backup is a critical part of an organization’s overall disaster recovery plan. The concept of data backup is simple: you make copies of your data and store them in a different location in case data is lost or destroyed.

read more

ITonDemand was created over a decade ago to help support businesses and organizations IT services.  We kept hearing from businesses, like yours, that they just wanted their IT to work. And that is what we do.  We make your IT work for you.

1423 Powhatan St, Alexandria, VA 22314

233 SW 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471

info@itondemand.com

800-297-8293