How do I implement an IT Disaster Recovery Plan?

There are 5 key steps to consider when implementing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan:

 

Step 1: Identify the risks: in what scenario would your data or IT systems be at risk? Consider natural disasters, power failures, cyber-attacks.

Step 2: Impact: analyse the impact an IT failure, data breech or data loss would have on your company. Consider staff downtime, reputational damage, loss of earnings.

Step 3: Strategy: think about short and long-term contingency plans. If the internet goes down, do your systems allow your employees to access their work from home?

Step 4: Test: it’s important your strategy is tested, staff receive the relevant training in the event of an incident and the disaster recovery plan is updated and reviewed regularly.

Step 5: Talk to an expert: QiC has a wealth of experience working with businesses to ensure they have an adequate IT disaster recovery plan in place. If you’d like help or advice contact QiC on 01962 711000.

5 Top Tips for Choosing the Right IT Service Provider

1. Competence
What training or certifications do they have to make them competent enough to work on your IT systems? Any reputable IT service provider will have a recognised association with the products they supply. For example, QiC is an approved supplier of Dell and Microsoft products, including Office 365, and a certified supplier of Maximizer CRM software. Customer references should also be available on request.

2. Flexibility
Can your service provider offer a package that suits the requirements of your business? There should be a variety of service packages available to you, including ‘Pay as You Go’ Consultancy, where you’re billed as and when you need assistance; Fixed Rate Maintenance, where you pay a monthly fee for peace of mind that your network is covered for both pro-active and responsive support; Block Hour Arrangements, where you purchase a set number of hours each month, normally at a reduced rate, which you can call upon as and when you need them.

3. Ease of use
What’s the process for reporting problems? Is there a help desk for you to call, or do you send an email to request assistance? Think about what option would be best for you in the event of an IT failure.

4. Dispatching technicians
What happens if you need an engineer on site? Although it’s possible to fix most issues remotely, you may feel more confident if an engineer is available to come to your office and fix the issue on site. QiC offer an emergency call out service to get an engineer to you as soon as possible.

5. Billing
Once you’ve chosen a provider you’re confident can supply a competent service in a timely fashion, you’ll want to make sure you’re billed fairly and can clearly see what you’re paying for. Your provider should be able to show you an example statement and provide fully itemised bills as requested.

QiC’s Top 5 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

1. Emails – Most Ransomware attacks occur as the result of a user opening an attachment that has come in on an email. This email may look innocent enough, and in some circumstances could even appear to come from somebody within your own company. All users should be extremely cautious before opening attachments. If there is any doubt that the attachment could be malicious, contact the sender to ensure it’s legitimate. The same advice applies before opening links in emails. These too can be a source of Ransomware and should only be ‘clicked’ if you are 100% sure that it is a valid link. If in doubt, contact the sender before actioning anything within an email.

2. Websites – Malicious websites can be a source of attacks. Only go to reputable websites where possible. Do not click on links to get to them, it is much better to type the initial web address into your browser and navigate to the page you want.

3. Anti-Ransomware Software – due to the nature of ransomware attacks, anti-virus software is not able to fully protect you. QiC is now offering a specialist new anti-ransomware software from Sophos, one of the leading security vendors. It compliments your existing AV product, offering good protection levels at a reasonable cost.

For a short overview of Intercept X, the new anti-ransomware software from Sophos, click here.

4. Security Patches – Your PC’s and Servers should be security patched on a regular basis. If your organisation uses QiC to patch your systems, take advantage of our Healthcheck Service, then you can be assured that everything is up to date. If not, you should choose to apply Windows Updates to your systems as soon as possible. Individual software such as web browsers may also have their own security patches that should be applied where possible, refer to the vendors website for details.

5. Backups – In the event that you are hit with a Ransomware attack, you will be faced with two options. You can pay the Ransom or get your systems ‘cleaned’ and then restore backed up data. If you have employed QiC to look after your IT systems, then QiC will make sure that you have valid backup copies. If you, or a third party, look after your backups, please ensure they are valid before requiring them! Test restoration of data is one method to ensure this happens.

 

If you have any further questions regarding Ransomware attacks or would like to find out more about our services please contact QiC on 01962 711000

What additional features of Office 365 should I be using?

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription, and explore the additional benefits it could be bringing to your business – there’s far more to it than just the Office suite!

Features you may want to try…

Planner – Make it easy for your team to create new plans and organise/assign tasks. Share files, chat about what you’re working on and easily receive progress updates.

Sway – Create and share interactive web-based reports, presentations and newsletters right from your phone, tablet or browser. ‘Sways’ are easy to share and look great on any screen.

Yammer Social Networking – Tap into knowledge across your organisation. Yammer is an internal social network for your employees, allowing them to share ideas, work collaboratively and progress projects faster.

OneDrive for Business – Office 365 offers 1TB of storage for every user, allowing them to access their documents virtually anywhere. Share files with others inside and outside your organisation, control who can see and edit files and easily sync documents with PCs/Macs and other devices.

How Can QiC Help Your Business?

QIC offers a range of cost-effective IT support services to small and medium sized businesses throughout the South of England. These services include…

 

• Full Microsoft Office 365 set up and support, including email hosting and management

• Server management and optimisation

• Backup solutions for your business-critical data

• Installing and administering anti-spam and anti-virus solutions

• Ensuring you have remote access to your work applications and documents anywhere in the world

• Sourcing and installing new PCs, servers, printers and other IT hardware

• Fast onsite response to IT issues

• An hourly rate for support of a budget-friendly monthly service charge

 

Contact us today on 01962 711000 for more information and a no-obligation quotation!