What is Business Continuity?

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Business Continuity originally emerged from the military’s need to protect their operations from failure due to reliance on a single centralized system. If a particular facility were destroyed, the whole system would go down. To remedy this they created contingency plans in the case of an outage.

Here are some common industry definitions:

Gartner: “Business continuity…is a broad disaster recovery approach whereby enterprises plan for recovery of the entire business process. This includes a plan for work spaces, telephones, workstations, servers, applications, network connections and any other resources required in the business process.”

The International Organization of Standards: “Business Continuity is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.”

Tech Target: “[Business Continuity]describes the processes and procedures an organization puts in place to ensure that essential functions can continue during and after a disaster. [Business Continuity] seeks to prevent interruption of mission-critical services, and to reestablish full functioning as swiftly and smoothly as possible.”

Cloud Security Alliance: “Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) are the contingency plans and measures designed and implemented to ensure operational resiliency in the event of any service interruptions.”

National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA): An ongoing process to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to identify the impacts of potential losses and maintain viable continuity and recovery strategies and plans.

As you will learn, Business Continuity is a business process, set of procedures, methodologies and an overall management approach to making a business impervious to any form of disaster which would disrupt business operations.

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The Problems and Pains of Modern Technology

According to the RSA, there were 173% more fraud attempts on mobile between 2013 and 2015. Today’s modern world comes with it’s challenges and one of the biggest to date is managing sensitive data securely.

Here are some staggering cyber-security statistics graciously put together on Barkly’s blog:

In Q3 2016 alone, 18 million new malware samples were captured.

More than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred every day since the beginning of 2016.

The amount of phishing emails containing a form of ransomware grew to 97.25% during Q3 2016, up from 92% in Q1 2016

78% of people claim to be aware of the risks of unknown links in emails. And yet they click anyway.

52% of organizations that suffered successful cyber attacks in 2016 aren’t making any changes to their security in 2017

Of organizations who suffered an attack in 2016, 45% expect budget to stay the same and 7% expect budget to decrease.

The Emergence of Ransomware

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Source: Business Insider, US Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security

Ransomware combined with pre-existing threats have evolved is taking the world by storm along with their money on many occasions. (To 2015 this was to the tune of $24 million and included hospitals, universities and even sheriff’s departments)

Ransomware works by: (1) introducing an infected file (2) locking up your files and or computer (3) providing a timer window that gives you a deadline to pay the designated “ransom” (usually through Bitcoin) after which you get your files back. However in some cases, some or all of the files will not wok or will not be returned. Prevention is the best cure.

Public, Investor and Regulatory pressure to perform (+ The liability when things go wrong)

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Source: US Department of Health and Human Services

The public, investors and especially regulatory bodies are not always the most forgiving when things go wrong. This means a lot of pressure put on managers, executives and organizations as a whole to get it right. This is why proper assessment, management and ongoing implementation is critical.

How BC Prevents the Pains of Disasters

Business Continuity is one of those things that is extremely easy to lay out and thing through but is far more difficult to implement day to day. And that implementation is the critical final step to truly be as disaster-proof as possible.

Some steps to keep in mind to prevent ransomware and other disasters from hindering your business:

  • Network Fail-over – Having a secondary mode of internet in case the primary source fails. Typically we will recommend an air card on the PC or laptop which will activate in the event of a failure.
  • Data Backup – Protecting your data by creating copies daily in multiple geographically spaced out locations. We do this through our various data centers across the nation.
  • Operating System (OS) redundancy – Can the system be recovered and configured quickly? The key is to be able to not only recovering the data (through data backups) but rolling out the original OS with everyone’s settings in tact. Often people can access everything remotely which allows for a more location independent work vs limited to just the main office space.

The key to mastering business continuity is not only preparation but implementation of that preparation. Even small moves toward protecting your data and its users are better than dozens of year long document plans alone.

Best of luck with your Business Continuity planning!

 

The Cloud Episode 33: Building Cybersecurity Culture with Adam Brewer

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Hello Hello!

Thanks for joining us for another episode of The Cloud. In this episode we spoke with Adam Brewer of CyberWise IQ, a company dedicated to educating others on the tenets of Cybersecurity.

I think you will enjoy this very unique yet informative discussion on today’s episode of The Cloud.

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Adam Brewer, VP of Client Relations at Shield Logic (formerly CyberWise)

In this episode you will learn:

  • How human error is the biggest threat of all
  • How Adam and his team approach Cybersecurity from a company culture standpoint
  • What Adam’s definition of The Cloud and Cybersecurity is
  • Some best practices, tips and fundamentals to protect yourself and your infrastructure

We hope you enjoy it!

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Additional Resources

P.S. Watch out for this guy!

Episode 32: Best of The Cloud – Part 1

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Welcome welcome! Glad to have you back. This show is part 1 of a two part series recapping of our show from last year with clips of our wonderful guests.

We have taken some particularly interesting clips and compiled them together. Let us know what you think.

In this episode you will hear from:

We have full interviews linked below if you wanted to hear the whole chat with any of our guests!

We hope you enjoy it.

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Additional Resources

  • The Cloud Episode 7: Open Gov Portal, Being a Chief Data Officer, and Re-imagining Our Cities (with Abhi Nemani)
  • The Cloud Episode 1: Why We’re Doing this Show (with Amon Prasad, CEO of Network Remedy)
  • The Cloud Episode 3: Cyber-crime, Hacking, The Legality of IT, and Evolution of Managed Service Providers (with Charles Weaver)
  • The Cloud Episode 13: Two Hosts and A Cloud, Ecosystems, and The Value of Software (with Brian Gracely)
  • The Cloud Episode 14: The Woz, Future Stack ’15 Awesomeness, Modern Software and Takeaways (with Sam Lambert)

Episode 31: Hyperconvergence, the LA Cloud Computing Meetup and We’re Speaking at MSP World 2016

The Cloud Show

Welcome to another episode of The Cloud!

We know it has been a little while since our last episode, but we’ve been busy growing and transforming the company and show. We have some new team members and a whole lot of new insights that we are excited to share with all of you.

You can expect the episodes to provide the most valuable timely content possible aimed at stimulating new ideas, thinking and directions for your organization on your Cloud and IT journey.

LA Cloud Computing Meetup

Our guests today include Matt Atkin of Sky Silk as well as Charles Weaver to explain how the MSP Alliance and MSP World began. We’ll also go over what we will be discussing at MSP World as well as a review of what exactly Managed Services are.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What Hyperconvergence is
  • What value Sky Silk provides in the Hyperconvergence space
  • What you can expect from the LA Cloud Meetup
  • What is MSP World and the MSP Alliance? (+ how they were formed in Berkley)
  • What are Managed Services
  • What topic we will be discussing at MSP World

Let us know what you think!

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Further Reading and Resources

Episode 30: Managed Break-Fix Services, IT Support and Dealing with Technical Problems

Paco Lebron, Founder of ProdigyTeks, Inc.

Paco Lebron, Founder of ProdigyTeks, Inc., an IT consulting firm specializing in both residential and small business. ProdigyTeks was founded July of 2011 and has been in business for the past 5 years. ProdigyTeks specializes in a wide range of services, including tailored computer services and solutions for residential customers and small to medium sized businesses.

Over the past 8 years, Mr. Lebron has excelled at leadership, analysis and operations. He works toward building Infrastructure support, SQL Database management, and serving others with their computer needs. His Bachelor’s on Computer Engineering Technology from DeVry University has helped pave a path of the success in the industry.

Mr. Lebron is currently a Co-Host of the Computer Business Podcast. Spreading the word on how to take your IT business to the next level. Mr. Lebron has shared tips and ideas on how he became successful with ProdigyTeks.

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Episode 25: Bitcoins, Blockchains, The Cloud and Beyond!

Marshall Swatt, Serial Entrepreneur, C-level Technologist

Marshall has over twenty years of startup experience as founder, COO, CTO, with extensive strategy, operations and technology experience. Several successful startup exits. Experience with acquisitions and business development.

Technology design and development work for several corporations including: Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Financial, Condé Nast, MoMA, National Geographic.

Marshall is the former co-founder and CTO for Coinsetter, Inc.Blockchain and security advocate, which raised $2M in angel funding over 2 1/2 years. He also, led the acquisition of Canada’s largest bitcoin firm, Cavirtex in April of 2015.

Check out the interview links below to learn more about Bitcoin, Blockchains and The Cloud!

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Episode 24: An IT Cloud Technicians Take, Cryptolocker and How Enterprises Use The Cloud

Justin is one of Network Remedy’s top IT and Technical Consultants who works day-to-day in the trenches keeping our clients’ organizations up and running. With over 10 years of customer service and IT troubleshooting experience, Justin brings a personable and technical disposition to the mix.
Justin has proven himself to be a proactive and goal-oriented team player easily establishing rapport with customers, staff, and all levels of management.
We look forward to diving into the weeds a bit and demystifying this almost magical concept known as IT and The Cloud.

Episode 16: Costs of Compliance, Why Use MSPs and Exploring Clouds

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Oleg Reut, CEO of SMB CloudTech

Oleg Reut is the owner and founder of a Managed Services and Cloud Hosting Provider called SMB CloudTech based out of Southern California. SMB CloudTech helps small & medium-sized businesses to get the most value and efficiencies from their technology investments.

By guiding clients through the sometimes confusing world of IT using customizable and fully scalable elastic solutions, Oleg guides business owners to a more competitive proactive business model.

The industries served include Financial Services, Healthcare, Insurance, Manufacturing, Legal, Non-Profit, Real Estate and Retail. We are excited to talk to Oleg about IT services, the specific use cases for businesses as well as the future of The Cloud.

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After listening to this episode, you will learn:

  • What Oleg’s definition of Managed Service Providers and The Cloud is
  • Why compliance is a big liability for companies
  • How the Cloud travels through physical infrastructure most of the way
  • How to determine if an MSP is a competent service provider
  • Why having another MSP do a third party audit is a best practice for organizations
  • Why the Cloud often requires outside people to help manage the infrastructure and software
  • How AWS provides infrastructure but still requires you to perform and manage data backups
  • Why a small business with less than 20 employees and on-premise servers should consider the Cloud
  • Why after 5 years you should look to your servers for maintenance, replacement or switching to the Cloud
  • How it is cheaper to buy new equipment (thin clients) when using the Cloud versus hiring consultants

To hear this Episode please click the links below:

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Show Notes and Further Reading and Resources

Episode 9: Cyber Security, Ethical Hacking and Being a Little Bit Evil

In this episode we interviewed:

Dean Bushmiller

IT, Cloud and Technical Trainer
Cloud Security Consultant

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Dean Bushmiller is a IT, Cloud and technical trainer as well as a cloud security consultant. He is CIO of a training company called Expanding Security which offers a variety of training certifications including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CISSP, ISSMP, ISSAP, CPEs, ECEs and CCNA.

He has 3 vendor neutral Cloud Certifications (EXIN, CompTIA, CCSK) and 17 Security & Technology Certifications that have been taken over 75 professional exams.

He conducts Cloud security practices including penetration testing and large migrations of data to the cloud for big organizations.

We’re excited to have Dean on the show discussing Certified Ethical Hacking, the major industry certifications and Cloud Fundamentals. We hope you enjoy the show.