Category Archive Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity


2018 Changes To PIPEDA

On November 1st 2018, major changes to PIPEDA (Canada’s federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) will come into effect. This is in conjunction with the European Union’s recent General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR).

If you work with or come in contact with private personal identifiable information then you need to know what changes may be required to your business processes.

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Backup Windows System State

For full disaster recovery of your server you cannot backup just server files, you must also backup the group of files that comprise the Windows System State. These are critical files that are required in a restore to bring the server services back to a point in time of the last backup. Read More


Plan For Technology Failures During The Holiday Season

For many non-profit organizations and businesses the upcoming holiday season is the busiest time of the year. A technology failure – of any kind, during your busiest season could make or break all the planning you have put in place.

Of course you want to minimize the possibility of that even occurring, but you also want to plan to recover as quickly as possible if it does occur.


A one day outage with no access to your customer data in your busiest season?

That will have a huge impact on the success of the season.

Be ready to restore

Here’s some questions for your IT Support department:

  • CAN you restore? I mean have they tried? Has anyone actually tested a restore from your backup systems – lately? if not this needs to be a priority item for preparedness.
  • Do they know how to get that restored data back where it needs to be so that you can continue? Whether it’s a Word file or your customer database, you don’t want to be learning this in the midst of an outage.
  • How long will a restore take? Determine what your critical systems are and find out how long it will take to get each of them back on line. Then look for ways to shorten that time.

Plan for coverage

If your IT Support is outsourced you will want to determine response times and ensure someone will be available during your busy periods to get you back up and going as quickly as possible.

Plan to fail

Yes, it sounds contrary to how you want to think, and yes it’s a depressing thought. Here’s a better way to put it:

“Expect the best – prepare for the worst”

Don’t just assume everything will go as planned.

  • Have a copy of your cloud backup also stored locally so that you can recover as quickly as possible.
  • If you back up individual computers then be prepared if one fails. Have some spare computers available that can be swapped in and data recovered to them.
  • Make sure you also have backups of your critical infrastructure, such as configuration and system images of routers, firewalls, servers, etc.

Start now

There’s a bit of research and testing to be done here, so start now. It may take some time to test a restore and figure out the best process for putting things back the way they were. This is time well spent though, and will be significantly cheaper than trying to figure all this out during a crisis.

Call a meeting or make a phone call, get the answers you need.

You can thank us later.


Ransomware Survey Confirms What We Suspect

Another ransomware survey that tells us that businesses haven’t got the message yet. Small business still think it won’t happen to them, so they’re not ready when it does.

As the article quotes; “Every business is potentially a target. If you have a computer, you’re a target.”

A look at these stats will tell you that ransomware is not going away, there’s too much money still to be made at it. Read More


Ransomware Story: Recovered Without Paying

It’s the phone call you don’t want to get. It’s something that companies and organizations say; “We’re careful, that won’t happen to us”. You don’t really plan for it but it’s more and more likely to occur: Ransomware.

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95% of Companies have used their Disaster Recovery plan

A June 2016 survey reveals that a whopping 95% of respondents had to use their Disaster Recovery Plan in the past twelve months! The survey reached out to 250 UK decision makers to see how they approach and leverage their DR plans. Read More


Should You Backup Everything?

You would automatically think you should backup everything, but should you? Just as you should think and plan what it is you want to backup, you also need to give thought to what you don’t need to backup. Backing up what you don’t need wastes time and backup disk space on your backup server and won’t help you recover from a disaster. So what don’t you need? Read More


Best Way To Remove Ransomware

96% of US companies are not confident in their ability to remove ransomware. Eighty percent have suffered a cyber attack last year, over 1/3 lost revenue,and 20% had to stop business completely.

Ransomware is scary and the chance of getting attacked is increasing. Here’s some statistics from a report sponsored by Malwarebytes.

Ransomware Statisticsremove ransomware stats

  • 46% of ransomware attacks originated from email (30% in Canada)
  • 40% paid ransomware demands
  • 64% spent more than nine hours to resolve the attack
  • 96% of US organizations are not confident in their ability to stop ransomware

source: Cantech letter

How To Remove Ransomware

In fact, it is not difficult to remove ransomware – if you plan ahead, the study says;

“Switch from protection to disaster planning: The most popular way of addressing the problem is not through protection, but by backing up data (over 71 percent).”

The easiest and most popular way to remove ransomware is to go to your backup prior to the attack and restore the data.

Backing up is something all businesses should be doing as a regular part of their process, and cloud backups make this process even easier. Backup your critical data an set a retention period (the amount of historical days you are backing up) to a reasonable length of time – by default our backup sets a retention period of seven days.

Should you get attacked you will still have some work ahead of you, to be sure, but you will not have to pay ransomware demands and your business will survive and continue to move forward.

Is that It?!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It does, however, mean that you need to plan, you need to do something now. You cannot recover your data if you do not already have a backup. Trying to do a backup after the fact will only copy the ransomware encrypted files, it won’t help.

You should also invest in protection software so that attackers don’t continue to attack you repeatedly, and this is where products such as Malwarebytes comes into play. Your IT department or consultant should be focused on ransomware especially if you are a healthcare or financial company, as these are the top industries to be attacked.

Start a backup now. Make sure your backups are working properly and make sure they are backing up everything you need should a disaster strike. Test a backup restore to make sure you know the process and that it actually works as expected.

You can beat and remove ransomware attacks with some planning and an effective backup plan.


Fort McMurray Disaster Recovery Lesson

A cautionary tale of disaster, backups, and recovery that comes from the recent wildfire disaster at Fort McMurray, Alberta.
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My Laptop Recovery – After It Died Today

t440-laptopI did a laptop recovery this morning – because it was completely dead when I woke up this morning.
I had everything I needed to continue on in about two hours. Want to know how?
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