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Press Start Ltd has been serving the East Anglia area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Big Data is Making Its Way to Small Business

Big Data is Making Its Way to Small Business

You may have noticed that there has been a lot of discussion about data recently; specifically, how it has become a driving force in organisational decision making. This month we will take a look at the data revolution, how the data (created by the analysis of other data) has become a commodity and what is the real value of an individual’s data.

What is Big Data?
The data revolution we refer to, is often referred to as big data. Big data is more about the analysis of all the data an organisation takes in than it is about the data itself. As technology evolves, business practices have to as well. With every part of a business transforming somewhat, organisations are looking hard at the data to get the most out of their budgets, their staff and their strategies.

Small businesses are just now starting to understand how data analytics can work, albeit in a much simpler manner than larger companies. This is largely because an efficient small business still doesn’t have the strategies put in place to quantify and analyse the data they take in, despite their increased usage of many of the same software resources that enterprises use. This presents two major questions:

  • Why haven’t many small businesses started with big data initiatives?
  • What would it take to make your company’s data work for you?

Small Business, Big Data
Traditionally small businesses have been at the forefront of championing technologies designed at keeping them competitive. With innovative data analytics, however, the opposite seems to be true. A look at the market for these systems and it quickly becomes evident that because smaller businesses perceive they cannot legitimately afford analytics platforms, they plan their technology investments by practicality, not value.

In leveraging the right kind of technology, small businesses can aggressively take advantage of their inherent lack of rigidity. This provides ways to simplify their production processes while completely overhauling their customer experience. Data, when analysed properly, tells very poignant truths. By accepting that they don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to utilise business analytics, small businesses can take the steps necessary to start using their data in innovative ways.

You Have to Make Investments
It’s one thing to plan on implementing a full-scale business intelligence platform for your business and another to actually do it. To get today’s most predictive and prescriptive analytics, there has to be some time and capital invested. If you would like to know when to run a promotion, how your customer base reacts to your marketing, or how your investments are categorically improving your business’ output and revenue growth, the numbers will tell you.

By consulting with the technology professionals at Press Start Ltd and committing to using the data your organisation collects, you are committing to making your business better. For more information about Big Data and how you can make it work for your business, call us today on 01638 603204.

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World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

March 31, 2018 is World Backup Day. Data is a commodity, but unlike other commodities it can be replicated without hurting its value. As a result, data backup has become a critical need for the modern business. World Backup Day has been created to remind people to protect their assets by backing up their files.

Data Backup is now a mission-critical process that is neglected far too often, unfortunately. In fact, studies show that 30 percent of people have never backed up their data - despite being inundated by a myriad of situations where data could be lost, stolen, or corrupted. With 113 phones being stolen every minute and 1-in-10 computers being infected with viruses and malware every month, protecting your data has to become a priority. Frankly, data is a very easy thing to lose without the right precautions in place, which is precisely why World Backup Day was created to promote data protection.

Nobody wants to see an organisation fail and the statistics for a business’ survival after a data loss event indicate that if you are not strategically protecting your digital assets, your company is one situation away from catastrophe. Maintaining a comprehensive data backup can negate the effects of such an event, allowing your business to bounce back.

In order to do so effectively, however, there need to be certain standards met by any backup solution your business puts in place. They include:

It isn’t uncommon for businesses to streamline their operations, eliminating redundancies wherever they can. When it comes to data backup, the opposite is actually preferable. To optimise your data’s survivability, your backup should consist of more than one copy of your data - safety in numbers, so to speak.

Of course, there’s a limit to how useful an older data backup will be for your business. The progress that would be lost between the time of the backup and the time of the data loss incident would be less effective than one that is current. The best data backups are taken frequently enough to protect your progress without causing downtime.

Your backup won’t do you much good if the same disaster destroys it along with your original data. To keep this from happening, you need to make sure that your backup is kept separate and disconnected from your network.

Your business needs its data in order to be successful. Observing World Backup Day is a great opportunity to ensure that it will be safe. Visit the official World Backup Day website for more information.

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What Kind of Insurance Can Your Business Get for Potential Data Loss?

What Kind of Insurance Can Your Business Get for Potential Data Loss?

We want to talk a little bit about cyber liability insurance and why it’s important that your business understands what is covered and what isn’t. It’s something that no business actually wants to talk about as the worst-case scenario is often a bit too unnerving to consider.

If you’ve never heard of cyber liability insurance, it’s insurance that allows you to pay a company for protection against events that might cause data loss or other similar damage to your computing infrastructure. We know what you’re thinking--”That’s why I pay for security software, like antivirus and firewalls.” While it’s true that the two are somewhat conceptually similar, it’s not always so simple.

Let’s say that a hacker has stolen data from a company. That company then becomes liable for the data that’s been stolen, whether it’s personally identifiable information, medical, or financial data. A perfect example of this is the Equifax breach, which exposed the credit information over a hundred million consumers. Equifax was able to stay in business after one of the worst data breaches in history, although it is still relatively early in the process. Sources have stated that their cyber liability insurance would have covered up to £150 million worth of restitution, but with over 140 million people’s personally identifiable information being exposed, the liability will should easily blow past that.

Chances are that your business doesn’t deal with 14,000 customers, let alone 140 million, but cyber liability insurance is an effective backup plan if your network or infrastructure is breached and your customer’s sensitive data is stolen. Responsible businesses will have defensive tactics installed to protect the data from direct assault. One such solution is an antivirus. Depending on the product that you use, or who offers it, any damage done by a data breach or virus on your network might only be covered under incredibly specific circumstances. If the antivirus crashes, or if it’s not up to date, the insurance provider may not be liable and will roundly refuse to reimburse your organisation in the event that it is inundated with malware; or is the victim of a data breach. As true with any insurance, if the situation doesn’t line up with the language in the agreement, they are not beholden to honour a claim.

Of course, we’re not insurance professionals, nor do we pretend to be. We just want to make sure that you know where your business stands on cyber liability insurance and what you can do to increase your awareness. There are many reasons why your business would decide that they need cyber liability insurance. With data now being viewed as more of a commodity than ever, you are seeing organisations invest more in the protection of their data. Since any situation in which cyber liability insurance would trigger would have resulted in data being stolen of lost, companies need to manage all the negative aspects associated with losing customer’s data, which outside of the obvious data loss, includes ensuring that their organisational reputation isn’t completely toxic to new and existing customers.

You can start by making sure that your business’ antivirus is always up to date for the latest security threats. Press Start Ltd can be counted on to keep your antivirus ready to tackle all of the latest threats your organisation faces. We can remotely patch and secure your company servers, workstations and network components so that they’ll be secure against all manners of viruses, malware and other threats.

Remember, we’re not insurance experts, but we do know our way around technology and are experts in protecting organisations against the cyber threats they face. To learn more about how we can help you keep your technology from being a pain in the neck, reach out to us at 01638 603204.

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Your Business Absolutely Needs BDR

Your Business Absolutely Needs BDR

Have you ever wondered what it would take to knock your company out of business for good? It might surprise you if we said that, in theory, it doesn’t take much at all, perhaps a thunderstorm or a hacking attack to cause irreparable damage to your data infrastructure. Is your company prepared to handle any and all data loss incidents? With a business continuity plan and data backup, you’ll have as great a shot as ever to bounce back following a major disaster or data loss incident.

Most notably, a business continuity plan includes much more than just data backup and recovery. While these are certainly important, a business continuity plan includes other critical aspects of running a business, including keeping your staff and personnel safe, as well as having a communications infrastructure and a place to do business in. If you’re not taking these measures into account, you could be exposing your business in such a way that a very random event could knock you out of existence.

While all of the above aspects of business continuity are important, we’re going to focus on data backup and disaster recovery, or BDR. With BDR, you can ensure that your business can survive even the worst threats. Here are some of the major considerations you’ll need to think about regarding your data backup situation.

How Much Data are You Backing Up?
There is no such thing as having too much data backed up. You should be backing up all of your data, or as much as you possibly can. This is so that you never have to guess whether or not important information has been backed up. Even losing a small amount of data, like a couple of contacts, can be a major annoyance, as you will have to waste countless hours replacing the data that has been lost.

Tape backup might take complete backups of all your data, but it can only do so in a limited capacity due to how resource-intensive this process can be. A cloud-based BDR system can take backups much more frequently and as a result, you’ll experience minimal data loss in the event of an incident. BDR only takes backups of files that have changed since the last backup was taken.

How Often are Backups Taken?
If your data isn’t taken often enough, you might encounter issues where data is lost due to the backups not being up to date. For example, a tape backup system only takes one backup and it’s at the end of the day. Since the process is long and resource-intensive, it needs to happen after hours so that operations aren’t disturbed. Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where you could lose out on a lot of data and productivity, either due to an unforeseen loss incident or taking backups too often and causing downtime in the process.

Cloud-based BDR offers a great opportunity to help your business take advantage of much more frequent backups, all without sacrificing any uptime. Backups will only update files that have been altered, so more backups can be taken periodically throughout the workday, as often as every fifteen minutes. This helps you keep data loss to a minimum.

How Quickly Can You Restore Data?
You can’t waste any time when data loss is a problem. To minimise the damage done to your business, you’ll need to restore your resources and assets as quickly as possible. However, if you don’t have an office (or the technology to get back to work), this can be a problem. Tape backup can leave you without data for hours on end following a data loss incident, as it takes a considerable amount of time to restore. Your business can’t spare this time and cloud-based BDR is the solution to this dilemma.

With Press Start Ltd’s BDR, you’ll be able to restore your data directly to the BDR device rather than a spare server unit (assuming you have one in the first place). This keeps you focused on operations without having to worry about replacing your hardware immediately. You can minimise downtime and keep your business in proper working order, even when the world is stacked against you.

Do you want to ensure your business can survive even the most poorly-timed data loss incident? Press Start Ltd can help you implement a data backup and disaster recovery solution that preserves your business’ data incrementally and efficiently. To learn more, reach out to us at 01638 603204.

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