Quotables: 2016 Cloud Backup Survey (Clutch)

Clutch, a leading technology research and consumer review company, recognized Mark Anderson as an industry leader when publishing their 2016 Cloud Backup Survey analysis. Mark provided his expert IT consulting insight to interpret the results of Clutch’s survey.

Read the full article on Clutch’s website:

https://clutch.co/cloud/resources/cloud-backup-survey-opinions-and-usage

Are you in need of expert IT consulting?  Anderson Technologies is a St. Louis IT consulting firm that specializes in system administration for small businesses.  Let us help you today!  Give us a call at 314.394.3001 or email us at info@andersontech.com.

What are Quotables?  This is a category in our posts to highlight any professional publications that benefit from our expert IT consulting advice and quote us in articles for their readers. 

Top Considerations When Selecting a Cloud Backup Provider

In the past two years, 63 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) began using an online or cloud-based backup service.

Clutch, a B2B research firm, recently surveyed 304 SMBs who use cloud-based, online backup solutions to determine how businesses use the technology and what they think about it. Mark Anderson, Principal and IT Strategist for Anderson Technologies, was one of several industry experts to review and provide feedback for Clutch’s publication on the survey’s findings. Specifically, he pointed to three factors that SMBs should consider when selecting a backup solution.

  1. Level of Service Offered

A big name does not automatically equate to big results for your business. SMBs surveyed listed Apple iCloud as the most popular backup solution used at work, followed by Google Drive and Dropbox.

Top 3 Backup Services Used at Work

However, despite these services’ popularity, they do not have full-service offerings. They may not meet a business’s more complex backup and recovery needs.

The prevalence of these three services point to companies focused on performing more file-level backups versus “bare-metal” backups. Companies wouldn’t be able to quickly and efficiently recover an entire server this way, and depending on their tolerance for downtime, they should investigate augmenting these offerings with other, more robust options.

  1. Capability to Perform Dual-Destination Backups

Do you want to store data both on-premise and online? If so, make sure your online backup solution can perform dual-destination backups. This setup provides peace of mind in the case of total data loss.

An overwhelming majority of SMBs — nearly 90 percent — already use both online and onsite backup.

Does your company use both online and on-premise backup?

In the event of a physical disaster, backing up data to the cloud allows SMBs to get back on their feet quickly.

The ability to perform a dual-destination backup gives clients the option of quick on-premise file restores as well as cloud recovery in the case of complete office loss due to fire, flood, or other natural disasters.

Meanwhile, having the option of on-site backup can assuage fears of the cloud’s potential failures since many businesses remain wary of the technology’s ability to keep data secure.

For years, on-premise was the only option available to businesses. This history is ingrained in IT departments the world over, and the fact that you can physically control the process is very compelling. However, it’s important to consider the cloud option in parallel.

  1. Cost Breakdown

Cost is one of the top three challenges SMBs face when deciding to use a cloud-based, online backup solution as well as one of the top fears that can prevent SMBs from adopting cloud services.

The majority of SMBs spend between $250-$5,000 yearly on their online backup. The top percentage (23%) spend $501-$1,000.

Yearly Spending on Online Backup Solutions

There are three primary factors influencing the price tag for online backup providers:

  1. The number of systems that need to be protected
  2. The amount of data being stored indefinitely
  3. Provision of dual-destination backup

However, the cost of using online backups should be contrasted with an SMB’s ability to provide the same level of service in-house. The security and reliability of top-tier cloud vendors’ state-of-the-art data center infrastructure and the systems they put in place will be far more robust and stringent than what a small to medium-sized business can afford.

While online backup solutions’ accessibility, cost efficiency, and security make them a smart choice for small businesses, it is necessary to consider the array of product choices carefully before selecting a service.

If you’d like to look into cloud backup services for your business with one of Anderson Technologies’ specialists, please give us a call at 314.394.3001 or send an email to info@andersontech.com.

Successful Business Owners Take Password Security Seriously

Password security is a fundamental element of cybersecurity. Defending your business from cyberattacks is one of the most important safeguards needed to ensure your company’s ongoing success. In addition to protecting sensitive company information, private client data must also be secured. A recent article published in InfoWorld reported that the underground market for compromised servers may be much larger and more active than anticipated. The publication cites websites selling login information for over 170,000 hacked servers.

One way to safeguard your business is by adopting a clear password policy to increase security and provide a roadmap for avoiding common password mistakes. Here are six guidelines Anderson Technologies provides its clients to better guard against hackers and strengthen cybersecurity.

Six Guidelines for Increasing Password Security

  1. Include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols

A good suggestion for creating an easy-to-remember yet secure password is to start with a favorite phrase or quote such as “Keep calm and carry on.” Take the first letter of each word in the phrase, a numerical sequence such as 5-9, and two random symbols to create a very complex password. A password resulting from our example above would be K5c6a7c8o9&%.

  1. Use a minimum of eight characters

The longer the password, the more secure it is. There are 12 characters in the example above. When using this formula, find phrases containing at least four words. This results in passwords of at least ten characters.

  1. Avoid using the same password for multiple websites or logins

It’s worth investing the extra effort to generate unique passwords for your important accounts. Doing so greatly reduces your exposure if a particular account is compromised.

  1. Change your passwords on a regular basis

This is another task commonly neglected. However, it is critical to keeping accounts secure.

  1. Do not allow web browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer) to remember passwords

While many browsers offer this convenience for their users, it’s also an open door to the hacker who gains access to your computer.

  1. Implement a robust password management system

Having a good password management system will safeguard and organize your passwords. Many also help you generate strong passwords. For redundancy, ensure at least two people know the login credentials to the management system in case the principal user is unavailable.

Password Management Systems Provide Security and Peace of Mind

While all of the guidelines in this article help avoid common mistakes, consistent implementation is an ever-increasing challenge as the number of passwords we manage grows. This is where password management systems provide the most benefit.

Anderson Technologies offers guidance to clients for advanced password management systems that provide built-in security and peace of mind. Here are several major cybersecurity benefits of a password management system:

  • Passwords are secured through encryption and two-factor authentication
  • Passwords are safely stored and organized — no more forgotten passwords (or passwords written on scraps of paper) and the time lost to reset them
  • Employees can focus on their work instead of password security
  • Master passwords are designated to principals or other individuals who can access them in case of emergency

If you would like help ensuring your systems are protected and your passwords secure, please give Anderson Technologies’ cybersecurity experts a call at 314.394.3001.