What happens when your employees can't get to work?

There was a time when waking up after a massive snowstorm was a joyous occasion. You’d sit down to watch TV or listen to the radio, hoping to hear your school’s name on a list of those closed for the day. There really wasn’t anything better in the winter than a snow day.

Sadly, however, those days are long gone. There are a lot of perks to being an adult, but one of the drawbacks is that having an entire office stay home for a few days when the weather gets rough simply isn’t an option.

That being said, working from home poses a lot of challenges too. Aside from having to deal with kids loudly enjoying their snow day, remotely accessing business applications can be difficult.

Forcing employees to come in during a blizzard is reckless

Many more thoughtless employers believe the answer to this problem to be simply requiring employees to get to work regardless of the weather conditions. While maintaining business continuity is incredibly important to profits, at the end of the day your employees are really the only irreplaceable part of your operation. With the U.S. Department of Transportation having found that more than 31 percent of fatal weather-related car crashes happened due to snow and ice between 2004 and 2013, requiring people to come into work under such conditions could prove to be deadly.

Don't force your workers to come in on a snowy day. Driving in the snow is dangerous.

What’s more, getting to the office in a blizzard can actually be illegal. During winter storm Jonas in January 2016, New York City and Long Island were forced to ban traveling. This included trains and city mass transit, and also driving in the tunnels and onto bridges. So not only is forcing employees to come in during a massive snow storm incredibly heartless, it could be illegal.

Working from home is a start, but there’s a catch

All this being said, your business likely can’t just stop operations for a few days while a storm blows over. Your clients and partners demand continuity, which means employees will have to work from home when the snow falls heavily. Certain business applications are absolutely vital to your company’s work, and yet quite a few of these systems may not be able to be accessed while at home. They require employees to be in the office when utilizing them, severely cutting down on what your employees can do while at home.

While this is clearly a major problem for employees that rely on mission-critical applications to get their work done, there are other logistics to be considered when implementing a work-from-home initiative in the wake of a disaster. According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of Americans have a broadband connection at home. While that’s still a majority, it shows a massive hurdle many companies will have to overcome when trying to maintain business continuity after a disaster. A proportion of your employees may not have high-speed Internet at home, which means their ability to stay productive is going to severely drop.

“Employers need to have a plan in place.”

Proper planning is vital

What all this means is that employers need to have a plan in place for the eventuality of workers being snowed in. This includes having a lengthy discussion with employees about their home situations, including their ability to connect to the Internet if the need for them to work from home should arise.

It also means that cloud-based disaster recovery is an absolute must for those businesses operating in colder climates. Blizzards are a very real threat to business continuity, and not being able to access your applications in the event of such a disaster could be costly to your operations.

Consult with an ISG Technology disaster recovery professional today and save yourself the headache of an adult snow day.

Winter storm in the Midwest highlights need for disaster recovery planning

Although it came a little later than usual, winter is finally here for much of the United States. Many parts of the U.S. have been blanketed in snow recently, but it would appear the Midwest has received an extra helping. Winter storm Ilias has made its presence known, with its icy fingers reaching from Kansas all the way to Tennessee and beyond.

Thankfully, no deaths have been reported yet as a result of Ilias. That being said, the occurrence of yet another cold and icy winter certainly isn’t welcome, especially for companies trying to maintain business continuity. Heavy storms like Ilias are incredibly threatening toward the livelihood of a business, and organizations should take steps to prepare a disaster recovery plan for them.

“Snow can very easily cause a roof collapse.”

What happens when your facility is damaged?

Although winter storms may not be as flashy or as obviously disruptive as other natural events like tornados, they can still cause some heavy damage to your company’s building. Snow may not seem heavy to you, but that’s only because you’ve only ever picked up enough to make a snowball. When it begins to pile high on your facility, snow can very easily cause a roof collapse if left unchecked.

What’s more, extremely heavy winter storms have been known to cause power outages. Nemo, a massive blizzard that ravaged the Northeast in 2013, caused the outage of more than 650,000 businesses and homes in the area, according to USA Today. The massive power of this particular blizzard shows that your business is completely open to the elements. The building housing your company simply cannot be 100 percent protected against the weather, and as such you’ll need a disaster recovery plan for when things go wrong.

What about when people can’t get to the office?

While damage to your office building would be terrible, everything contained there is just stuff. The part of your organization that really matters is the people working every day to further your business. Your employees should be your first concern when thinking of a disaster recovery solution for winter storms, as commuting to work in snowy conditions is incredibly dangerous.

Winter ice can result in car wrecks. The road can be a dangerous place in the winter.

Ilias emphasized this point recently when the roads near Kansas City froze over, causing multiple car accidents in the metropolitan area, according to KMBC. When storms get this bad and having your people come into the office becomes a liability, will your business be able to function? You obviously don’t want your employees to be in harm’s way, but how can you keep up business continuity if none of your employees have access to work-related resources?

You need a disaster recovery plan now

Waiting until tragedy strikes your business to make a disaster recovery plan is like putting your seatbelt on after a car accident: The damage has already been done. Anyone who doesn’t have protection against events like winter storms should absolutely be looking into disaster recovery solutions. Thankfully, ISG Technology can help you on your journey toward a more prepared workplace.

Check out ISG Technology’s page on disaster recovery planning and contact a DR expert today!

ISG Technology: Who we are

We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog discussing what ISG’s services can do for you, as well as what kinds of specific problems we can fix. We’ve even done an opinion piece here and there about current trends within IT. What we haven’t done so far is explain what kind of a company we are on a more personal level.

As a modern company, it’s really important to us that you not only understand what we do, but who we are. In an effort to fully introduce ourselves to you, we’d like to explain the three guiding principles that drive our company’s innovation each and every day: people, technology and service.

“People come first.”


When it comes to business, even the business of technology and machines, people come first. When we’re considering initiating a business relationship with a company, the first thing we do is try to fully understand the people who work there.

The reason we do this is simple: We can’t figure out how to fix your problem if we don’t know anything about who you are and what you need from us.

For the average managed services provider, solving an issue starts with what the MSP can do to fix the problem, followed by how the company is specifically going to solve it and finally finishing with why that particular situation was a problem in the first place. While this gets the job done most of the time, we at ISG think these companies have it backwards.

We begin our problem analysis by first figuring out why this obstacle is in your way. Starting here works better because it allows us to fully understand all aspects of your particular situation, without coming in with any preconceived notions. After this, we begin to work on how we’re going to fix the problem, followed by a full and detailed investigation into what the actual problem is.

What this means is that you can rest assured ISG will solve the problem you’re actually having, and not the one you think you’re experiencing. While you may think you need simple malware removal – something ISG could easily provide for you – it may turn out that you actually need comprehensive firewall protection services. By figuring out why a situation is a problem for you first, we can diagnose the root cause of your dilemma and provide a solution based on your company’s specific needs.


Technology is evolving at a truly remarkable rate. The Pew Research Center found that in 2015, about 68 percent of American adults owned a smartphone. In 2011, that number was closer to 35 percent. In four short years, smartphone usage had almost doubled, showing how fully technology has been integrated into our everyday lives.

Technology is everywhere, and with around 84 percent of your American clients identifying as Internet users, being on the forefront of this revolution is absolutely vital to stay profitable. That being said, keeping up with the latest and greatest in technological innovation is extremely hard when you’re trying to run a business.

To anyone working outside of IT, something like server virtualization can sound like magic. Just wrapping your head around the concept of fitting multiple, virtual machines on a single server can be impossible if you don’t understand the finely tuned technology behind it.

Thankfully, our team of highly trained tech wizards can make this magically complex technology simple and easy to comprehend. With ISG, you can rest assured that you’re getting the technology your business needs, from experts who truly understand it.

ISG tech experts are extremely knowledgeable. Our tech wizards can help bring the magic of modern technology to your business.


Although you obviously want a cursory understanding of the technology you’re investing in, we know that you want IT solutions to just work. You don’t want your business goals to be hampered by constantly having to figure out what’s going wrong with the services provided to you, and as such, ISG has always been focused on providing a quality service to all of our clients.

Whether it’s disaster recovery services, or even online backup of your mission-critical data, we value giving the businesses we work with the best product we can. Investing in ISG is investing in consistency, and nothing is more important to us than making sure your IT problems get solved as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

If you’d like to learn how ISG can help bring your business to the next level, make sure to check out the list of managed services we offer on our homepage.

Join the ISG Technology Team

Is your company ready for a power outage?

When the word “disaster” comes up in a conversation concerning your company, you probably think of tremendously damaging events caused by nature. Most people jump to thoughts of raging fires or blistering winds from a tornado. These are obviously incidents to be concerned with, but what about the less-flashy disasters that may befall your business?

You’ve probably got a fire extinguisher somewhere on your premises, and you also most likely have a procedure in place for a strong tornado, but do you have a disaster recovery plan for when the power goes out?

Power is about more than keeping the lights on

Keeping the electricity flowing is an absolute necessity for business continuity. So much technology goes into the daily operations of organizations these days that having the power go off unexpectedly can have serious effects.

Power outages are extremely costly. A power outage can be a serious drag on your company’s profits.

According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime has been calculated to be roughly $5,600 per minute. That means that a power outage lasting only an hour could cost your business up to $300,000. That’s a huge expenditure for a single point of failure within your organization, and points to the highly important role electricity plays in the enterprise today.

Think of all the actions your business conducts that require power. Everything from using a VoIP phone system to talk with clients to simply sending out companywide emails all require your organization’s office to have power. Once this connection to the grid is severed, your ability to continue business is completely destroyed. Electricity is at the center of just about everything you do at work, and the loss of it can be devastating.

Power outages more common than you’d think

While the statistics about network downtime in and of itself should be enough to convince you of the importance of disaster recovery planning, the truly frightening aspect of losing power is how common it is. In fact, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty has discovered that these kinds of incidents happen a lot more than the average person would suspect.

The company’s research found that from 2010 to 2014, power outages were the 10th most likely cause of disruption to business continuity. Although other, more natural forms of disaster beat out loss of electricity, this study still shows just how vital power is to the average business’s continued profitability.

“Take the time to make sure your company is safe.”

Disaster recovery planning is a must

With the knowledge in hand that your company’s power is absolutely vital to business continuity, it’s time to take action. The only way to truly be ready for a trying event such as this is to have a plan that comes in the form of a disaster recovery solution. Not only will a solid disaster recovery plan allow you to mitigate the risk of a power outage, but it will also make sure your business doesn’t fall victim to other disruptive events.

However, it’s important to note that there is a certain level of expertise necessary in the creation of a plan. Your IT team is undoubtedly talented at what they do, but they probably don’t have the experience required to make a disaster recovery procedure.

Many people like to think that doing something in-house will end up being cheaper. This may be true of other functions, but not so for disaster recovery. In fact, a study conducted by Computer Economics found quite the opposite.

Of the organizations surveyed in the report, 92 percent stated that their expenditures in the creation of a disaster recovery plan were the same or even lower than when they attempted to do so with internal staff. There are obviously many reasons behind this, but chief among them is the fact that tasking your internal IT team to create a plan pulls their attention away from internal goals.

This not only wastes the time of these employees, it also wastes your company’s money. Allowing an outside firm that actually knows how to set up a disaster recovery procedure lets your workers get back to keeping your business up and running, thereby increasing efficiency.

If you’ve ever thought about creating a disaster recovery plan, there’s been no better time than now. Waiting until an unfortunate event actually hits your company could result in major downtime for your services, which is going to cost quite a lot of money. Take the time to make sure your company is safe and contact an ISG Technology disaster recovery specialist today.

What to know before deploying: Cloud capabilities

Cloud environments are being used for more things within every industry. Its advantages come in many flavors: IT executives polled by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services named business agility, collaboration and cost savings as the biggest drivers for cloud adoption. In fact, a full 72 percent of those surveyed reported that collaboration was the best business benefit of deploying virtual environments. After all, with the cloud, business partners can more easily communicate and share documents from remote locations.

This is only the top of the list of cloud benefits. Let’s take a look at how the cloud was used in 2015 and how it’s likely to be used as this year progresses:

“The cloud presents itself as the ready answer to DR problems.”

Disaster recovery and business continuity

Keeping companies afloat was right up the cloud’s alley in 2015. Cloud Tech contributor Monica Brink noted that one of the biggest trends seen throughout 2015 was the use of the cloud as a disaster recovery tool. As IT budgets diminish and cloud adoption grows, these kinds of virtual environments present themselves as the ready answer to DR problems. The market for Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service, as a result, continues to grow. Projections in a report published by MarketsandMarkets indicate the DRaaS market will be worth $11.92 billion by 2020.

IT management

As mobile devices continue their entrance into the workplace and new computers are constantly added, network administrators have their work cut out for them to try and manage the growing number of endpoints any one organization has to deal with. A poll conducted by IT management provider Autotask found that the increase in endpoints is more easily managed with the cloud. Around 55 percent of the IT service providers surveyed said they had seen significant or steady growth in the number of endpoints they have to manage.

The majority of these respondents noted that they used the cloud to manage all of these endpoints. With network virtualization and cloud computing, it’s easier to view, manage and define all the devices on any one network, and that in turn enhances security.

Cloud storage

The market is looking good from the cloud storage end, as well, and related verticals are beginning to show the impact of the cloud. For instance, the video surveillance market is on the incline, according to MarketsandMarkets. This vertical is expected to be worth a total of $18.28 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual rate of 22.41 percent. As a result, the cloud storage market will also exhibit some growth, because where else are companies going to store those surveillance videos if not in the cloud? The value of this market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 40.55 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to Research and Markets.

The cloud is used to enhance business agility and decrease complexity within an organization.The cloud is used to enhance business agility and decrease complexity within an organization.

Unified communications in the cloud

The CIOs polled by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reported that collaboration tops the list of priorities in terms of cloud adoption – and it’s for good reason. When the cloud is paired with powerful communications technologies that bring all methods of contact into one suite, it becomes monumentally easier to exchange ideas and get business done. According to MicroScope editor Simon Quicke, small to medium-sized enterprises are adopting cloud-based UC at a faster rate than ever before. These communication tools are flexible, cost-effective and reduce complexity within an organization.

All of these capabilities are going to be crucial for IT managers to take advantage of in 2016. By streamlining business processes and investing in managed cloud environments, your company can make sense of complicated IT processes and increase agility where it counts. Contact ISG Technology today for more information about how the cloud can go to work for your business!

Is your business ready for a winter storm?

With snow finally falling in many parts of the country, winter has finally made its presence known. The first snowfall of the year is truly a wonderful event, and yet it poses a serious risk to businesses. Heavy snowstorms can cause damage to a company, both to physical infrastructure and the ability to conduct business.

In fact, AccuWeather found that winter storms cost the American economy $3.7 billion in 2014 alone. This number only accounts for the physical damage to buildings, leaving out the devastating cost snowstorms can cause in terms of downtime.

“Winter storms cost the American economy $3.7 billion in 2014.”

Although that number is frighteningly high, heavy snowfall doesn’t have to completely disrupt your revenue stream. With the right tools, and the right help from an experienced disaster recovery provider like ISG Technology, any business can weather the storm.

You’ll need to prepare the office

Just because you’re not able to control the severity of a snowstorm doesn’t mean you have to be at its mercy. Like many parts of life, failing to prepare for heavy snow is preparing to fail. There really isn’t anything big you can do to get ready for one of these storms. Rather, there are a lot of little ways you can prepare your company for massive snowfall.

Ready, a public service campaign created by the American government, has a large list of ways people can prepare for heavy snow. The list is targeted mostly at the average citizen, but it works just as well for a company preparing a disaster recovery plan for the winter.

Everyone should have rock salt and sand ready in the event of icy roads. This is great advice for companies with their own parking lots, as having clients and employees getting stuck in the ice every 10 minutes simply isn’t good for business.

Pushing cars in the snow is no fun, invest in salt and sand now. Having salt and sand will help you avoid the embarrassing situation of pushing a client out of your parking lot .

On top of that, businesses should invest in shovels for days when snow falls during work hours. Note here that the word used was shovels not shovel. Nobody wants to scrape ice and snow off of pavement alone, and your employees will thank you for spending the extra money.

Get help from the experts

Although all of this is all great advice for those wishing to ready themselves for the winter, there are a whole host of other aspects to consider when making a winterized disaster recovery plan.

Do you know how long your IT systems will last without maintenance in the event of a major snowstorm? How about what to do when the snowfall gets too heavy and crashes through your facility’s roof?

These questions and many more all require a disaster recovery expert to answer them, and attempting to make a plan without experienced personnel simply isn’t feasible. Thankfully, ISG Technology is here to make the process simple, easy and affordable.

If you’d like to make sure your business is ready for winter, or any disaster that might come your way, make sure to check out ISG Technology’s disaster recovery page today.

3 reasons why your business should consider colocation

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. It seems like new innovations are coming out every day, each with more benefits than the last. One of these incredible jumps forward has been colocation. Basically, this is where companies bring their own servers to an outside data center and share space – or colocate – with other companies.

Colocation has revolutionized enterprise IT, as many organizations have jumped into this innovation with both feet. In fact, the market surrounding this feat of modern technology is expected to absolutely explode in the years to come. According to 451 Research, the global data center colocation market is projected to be worth around $36 billion by 2017. That’s a huge amount of money for a single service, and simply goes to show how popular this innovation has become in recent years.

So, to bring more exposure to this incredible advancement, we’d like to take some time and discuss the top three reasons why your business should consider colocation.

Colocation is an interesting innovation with many benefits. Colocation is doing a lot for enterprise IT.

1. Affordability

The first – and perhaps most important – benefit of colocation is the cost savings that it can provide to organizations. Servers are absolutely necessary for modern business operations, but their care is incredibly expensive. The electricity used to power them alone is a huge expenditure, not to mention the fact that you need to hire employees to make sure the machines are safe and well maintained.

This is probably the biggest reason why so many companies are opting to switch to colocation services for their computing needs. Although you’ll still have to provide your own servers, sharing space in a single data center means sharing electricity costs. That’s good news for the environment, and it’s also a great way to slim down that budget.

What’s more, colocation providers have highly trained staff on duty 24/7 making sure your machines are kept safe and sound. This frees up your own IT team to work on internal goals and projects, rather than simply paying them to maintain the servers. In a way, you’re paying less money to get more done.

“Average network downtime costs around $5,600 every minute.”

2. Reliability

While saving money is always a good thing, businesses need more than that. Companies need to know that their services will be provided at all times, as the loss of these capabilities can be extremely expensive.

According to Gartner, the average network downtime costs around $5,600 every minute. This makes a lot of sense, considering the importance of connectivity in the Internet age, although that amount of money being lost every minute should be extremely frightening to the average business owner.

This fear of downtime is driving a lot of company leaders into colocation services, and for good reason. Colocation service providers often also offer disaster recovery planning. This means that these companies will be much more prepared than your organization at dealing with a disastrous situation, therefore ensuring the uptime of your mission-critical services better than your company ever could on its own in its own facility.

3. Scalability

Sure, your company may only need a single server right now, but don’t you think that will change as your business grows? The whole point of the American Dream is to start small and eventually work your way up to massive success, but is your company prepared for that?

Scaling up on your own can be incredibly frustrating, as finding the space for new servers is not easy. Your company’s office probably has a finite amount of space, and while growth means more computing needs, it also means more employees. How will you find space for your servers if you have more workers than ever? Once again, this is is where colocation comes in to help save the day.

One of the best parts of colocation services is the fact that you can scale your company’s operations up or down to your heart’s content. Taken on a lot of new business and can’t handle the workload? Just rent more space. Had a bad year and don’t need as much server space? Scale down. Colocation services are almost entirely customizable, allowing your computing operations to grow or shrink with your business.

Colocation really is an incredible innovation. It allows your company to receive the server power it needs, without forcing you to buy space you don’t. If you would like to see what colocation can do for you and your business, contact ISG Technology today. Our years of experience in the field will allow you to leverage this amazing technology to benefit your company.

4 aspects of disaster recovery you probably haven't considered

Regardless of the industry your business operates in, having a disaster hit your company is always a possibility. Whether it’s a tornado, equipment failure or just human error, something bad could happen to your business at anytime. This may sound like a gloomy way to view the world, but it’s simply the reality of the situation.

That being said, there is something you can do to mitigate the risks of a catastrophic event. Having a plan in place has long been seen as the best way to maintain business continuity after a disaster. Sadly, many company leaders haven’t considered all sides of disaster recovery before making a decision on it. To that end, we’ve put together this list of four aspects to examine about disaster recovery planning.

1. Your business can easily shut down following a disaster

Although you probably don’t like to think about it, the fact of the matter is that your business is only one major disaster away from shutting down. According to statistics from the Institute for Business and Home Safety posted on the Small Business Association’s website, about 25 percent of smaller businesses don’t come back after a disastrous event.

Disaster recovery planning mitigates the risk of events like a fire. Don’t let a fire ruin your business.

Creating a successful and functioning business takes a lot of time and effort, and the prospect of losing all that hard work due to a single disaster should make you seriously consider how your company is approaching disaster recovery. If you don’t have a solid plan, or just don’t have one at all, your business could very well shut down for good due to a single tragedy.

2. Not having a plan is expensive

When taking on additional expenditures, many business leaders like to talk about how much the service is going to cost. While this is certainly a good place to start for other ventures, the expenses of creating a disaster recovery plan aren’t what you should be focused on. Rather, you should be discussing how much not having a plan is going to cost you.

This is because the absence of a procedure generally results in higher costs in the wake of a disastrous event. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach increases 10 to 15 percent if the organization doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.

The reason for this is simple: Not having a plan typically creates confusion. Confusion in the wake of disaster often creates panic, which results in employees running around not knowing what to do or where to start. This causes more downtime, which means a higher cost to your company’s bottom line.

3. Just having a plan isn’t enough

So now that you’re fully aware of the importance of having a disaster recovery plan in place, it’s time to discuss testing this procedure. Once again, this is another area that many companies tend to take lightly at their own peril. Creating a disaster recovery plan and then never testing it is almost as bad as never having made one at all.

“Roughly 23 percent of organizations with a plan have never tested it.”

This is because it is impossible to predict what kind of challenges your organization will face during a real disaster if you never test for them beforehand. According to a survey conducted by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, roughly 23 percent of organizations with a plan have never tested it. While this is a disturbing fact by itself, the truly frightening aspect of this is that 65 percent of those that did conduct a test didn’t pass their own inspection.

Basically, this means that a majority of the 23 percent that never test have a faulty plan and don’t even know about it. Having some sort of procedure in place is obviously the first step toward preparing for a disaster, but never testing this plan pretty much negates its ability to save your company’s business continuity.

4. All disaster recovery plans are not made equal

On a similar note, it’s important to understand that just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that it’s effective. This again harkens back to the importance of testing, but having a good procedure in place starts with the plan’s creation.

The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s survey speaks to the importance of diligence in the creation of a plan. The study created a metric for grading the preparedness of each organization within the survey, with a grade of A  being the highest and an F being a failure to prepare. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents received a D or an F, meaning they were in no way ready for a disaster.

“Organizations need to focus on having the right plan.”

This again shows that simply having any sort of plan won’t help your company when disaster strikes. Organizations need to focus on having the right plan, and one of the best ways to do this is to get help from disaster recovery experts. There are simply too many aspects to consider when making a procedure for your staff to do it in-house, and there’s nothing worse than discovering your plan is lacking after a disaster has hit your company.

Anyone worried about the safety of their business needs a disaster recovery solution, and ISG Technology has the experience to create a plan that is just right for you. We’ve spent years developing procedures for all kinds of companies, and we can help you keep your business online when times get tough.

If you’d like to see what ISG Technology can do for your company, make sure to check out our page on Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity today.

3 things the boardroom needs to know about disaster recovery

Keeping a business running takes a lot of hard work and effort from the boardroom. A modern company of any size has quite a lot going on, and executives are constantly busy with tasks that keep the money flowing. This generally means delegating work that isn’t of an immediate concern to other departments. A lot of the time, creating and developing a disaster recovery plan falls into the category of work that gets pushed to the IT department.

While your IT employees certainly know more than the boardroom about the operations of your technological equipment and data systems, that doesn’t mean you should avoid taking an active role in disaster recovery. A solid plan in the event of a catastrophe is vital to any company’s continued success, and as such there are a few things every executive needs to know about disaster recovery.

“Disaster is coming to your business.”

1. Data loss and downtime are an eventuality

When discussing disaster recovery in the boardroom, it’s important to realize that it isn’t a conversation about if you’ll need a plan, but when you’ll need to implement one. Talking about an event that disrupts your company’s ability to conduct business is uncomfortable to say the least, but pushing this discussion to the side as a mere possibility is unproductive and seriously dangerous. Whether you want to think about it or not, disaster is coming to your business. The question is whether or not you’re ready for it.

The 2014 EMC Global Data Protection Index supports the eventuality of downtime in the modern workplace. This survey of 3,300 IT decision-makers, which was conducted for EMC by Vanson Bourne, found that 64 percent of respondents had encountered a data loss event in the previous year. This alarmingly high number simply goes to show how important a serious discussion is about creating a disaster recovery solution. Bad things can happen anywhere at any time to anyone, and acting like you’re above these kinds of events will only make your company fall harder.

2. Outside forces are the least of your worries

When you think about the word “disaster,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Maybe it’s a tornado ripping through your company’s headquarters, or maybe it’s more subtle like flood waters seeping into your basement and destroying your electrical equipment. Well, when it comes to disasters that result in data loss, these events can’t hold a candle to what your employees can do.

Tornados aren't the only disaster you have to worry about. The worst disasters are a lot more discreet than a tornado.

According to the 2015 Data Health Check study conducted by Databarracks, the leading cause of data loss is human error. The report found that 24 percent of all data loss events studied had roots in people making some kind of mistake. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stop trusting your staff. Your employees are the backbone of your business, working day in and day out to make the company successful.

That being said, no one’s perfect. People make mistakes, and sometimes these missteps end up costing the company big time. Your employees are in constant contact with company data, which means they are the biggest risk factor when it comes to data loss. This is why it’s absolutely vital for the boardroom to take an active role in disaster recovery implementation. While each worker is a vital cog in the machine in your company, they’re also a liability, and this risk needs to be mitigated with a solid disaster recovery solution.

“Your staff simply doesn’t know enough about disaster recovery.”

3. It’s cheaper to outsource

With the number of resources offered by the Internet, a lot of people are opting to work on something themselves rather than hire someone to do it. While this is fine when it comes to a new porch or changing your oil, developing a disaster recovery plan in-house simply isn’t a good idea. To begin, your staff simply doesn’t know enough about disaster recovery to implement an effective plan. Your IT employees obviously know more about your data systems than anyone else, but creating a plan that mitigates risk in the event of a data loss event may not be in their wheelhouse.

While this should be enough to convince you to outsource a disaster recovery solution, recent data from Computer Economics has found that doing so is actually cheaper than creating a plan in-house. The IT Outsourcing Statistics 2015/2016 found that 92 percent of IT organizations surveyed found that they spent the same amount of money or less outsourcing their disaster recovery plan than when they created one on-site.

This means that by creating a disaster recovery plan with your own employees, not only are you getting a less effective solution, but you’re also paying as much or more than if you’d gone to a disaster recovery expert. Obviously, your IT department is going to play a vital role in the creation of a plan in the event of a disaster. However, your company would be better served if these employees spent their time working on internal IT goals rather than developing the plan all by themselves.

Executives have a lot on their plates when it comes to keeping a company operational. That being said, the boardroom needs to take a more active role in promoting a solid disaster recovery plan for their business. Companies without a solid plan are a ticking time bomb, and if your enterprise doesn’t have a disaster recovery solution, now is the time to act. Thankfully, ISG Technology is here to help. Take a look at our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity page and see why ISG Technology is a leader in disaster recovery solution development.

3 reasons why CEOs need to care more about cybersecurity

When it comes to things like cybersecurity, the person in the company with the most to say is generally someone from the IT department. CEOs and other executives obviously are aware of the ever-present possibility of a cyberattack, but when your day-to-day responsibilities involve work outside of technology, it can be easy to forget just how vigilant hackers are.

While this is a pretty big trend in multiple industries, we believe those outside IT need to take a step back and understand the reality of the situation they’re dealing with. Cybercriminals are a lot more active than the general populace thinks, and sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the problem doesn’t fix anything. CEOs shouldn’t just be scared of cyberattacks – they should be terrified.

Cybersecurity is a big concern. CEOs need to be more concerned with cybersecurity than they currently are.

1. Hackers work tirelessly to steal your company’s data

One of the biggest mistakes company leaders make when discussing cybersecurity is underestimating what hackers can do. A lot of people have this idea in their heads that breaking the law is taking “the easy way out,” and as such many executives assume these individuals are lazy.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although stealing information and data from helpless businesses is certainly a detestable act, being able to do so demands immense amounts of time and energy. Hackers are often highly skilled individuals, and one of the perks of a cybercriminal lifestyle is the challenge of breaking into new and interesting systems.

“Hackers created 317 million new bits of malware in 2014.”

Breaking into these networks often requires malware that has been designed to exploit a particular vulnerability, so it’s no surprise that hackers created 317 million new bits of malware in 2014, according to CNNMoney. These men and women are working constantly to steal what’s yours, and any CEO should keep this in mind when developing a cybersecurity strategy.

2. The company’s reputation may never recover

With all the data breach incidents covered by the news in recent years, clients are warier than ever about trusting companies with their personal information. Choosing the wrong business used to just mean a bad service, but now it could very well translate to losing money as well as control over your online life. The modern consumer is constantly taking this risk when he gives his personal information to a company, and he’ll drop any business that can’t adequately protect it.

This is why it isn’t shocking that the Ponemon Institute found that a data breach could force a decline in the value of your company’s reputation by as much as 31 percent, depending on the specific incident. clients simply cannot give second chances these days, and companies are quickly discovering the pitfalls of having a lax cybersecurity managed services provider. It just isn’t worth the risk, and any CEO who doesn’t value security should absolutely prepare herself for the inevitable reputation damage of a serious data breach.

3. Your reputation may never recover

Although you’re obviously very concerned about your company, let’s be honest: Your own reputation matters to you. It’s not vanity or an overinflated ego that’s driving that feeling; it just means you value all the hard work you’ve put into getting yourself to where you are today.

That being said, the only reputation that won’t recover as quickly as your company’s after a data breach will be yours. Clients are obviously extremely fickle in today’s market, but their opinion of your company can possibly be slowly swayed with a lot of hard work and rebranding.

A CEO’s reputation, on the other hand, will be pretty much destroyed if the company becomes the victim of a data breach on a large scale. Just take a look at Target’s former CEO, Gregg Steinhafel. After the dust settled from a 2013 hack that allowed 100 million clients’ personal data to be stolen, Steinhafel agreed to give up control of the company and step down, according to Forbes.

Steinhafel isn’t the only CEO to have his reputation irreparably damaged following a massive data breach. Noel Biderman, CEO of Ashley Madison, left the company he founded in 2001 after a massive cyberattack exposed the information of many of the site’s users in July 2015.

While the IT department is obviously very concerned about the possibility of a cyberattack, CEOs need to be even more involved in the process of looking into cybersecurity managed services. Malware removal, disaster recovery solutions in the event of a cyberattack and 100 other things all need to be considered in this modern world. Thankfully, CEOs don’t need to go about this alone.

ISG Technology has years of experience in the cybersecurity managed services space, and can help you make sure your company is as secure as it can be. Although hackers and cybercriminals are certainly scary, this fear doesn’t have to be paralyzing. Contact an ISG Technology cybersecurity expert today!