What protects me? Part 1: Managed Services & Surge Protection

This article is a multi-part post about how businesses can protect their IT.  

As a business owner or manager, do you wonder what's protecting your systems, data, and users from potential failure?  You should.  Studies suggest that between 60 to 90 percent of businesses that have a catastrophic systems or data failure don't recover, in other words, they go out of business.  What does that mean for you?  It means that you should frequently assess what your businesses is doing to protect systems, data and users. 

Managed Services

The first item on the list is systems.  How are you protecting your systems?  If you're using a service like NetTec NSI's Managed Services, much of the protection is covered by the Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM).  With Total Desktop Care+ (TDC+) and Preferred Server Care, your desktop and server systems are monitored and maintained 24x7x365.  With RMM, your systems are protected with included up to date anti-virus and anti-malware.  Whenever there is an operating system update, your systems are patched.  According to PC World, unpatched systems are the #1 cyber security risk.

 

With managed services your systems are patched correctly and quickly.  Whenever any system misses a patch, our team is notified and can take action to secure it.  With central monitoring, included in our managed services any virus or malware outbreak will generate an alert.

Power Protection

One component of systems protection that is often neglected is power protection.  Without clean and uninterrupted power a computer can't function properly.  A simple surge protector that carries a monetary protection guarantee is a basic measure you can add to help make sure that surges caused from lightening and supply issues don't harm your systems.  When protecting systems from power surges, you need to make sure that you protect everything that is or can connect to your network physically.  That means that all wired devices like printers, displays (monitors), speakers, switches, routers, access points and anything that uses AC power and connects to any of your systems or to your network physically with a wire is plugged into a surge protector that has a monetary guarantee.  The guarantee should say something like this...

Manufacturer backs the surge protector with a lifetime equipment replacement guarantee of $xx,xxx. If your electronic equipment is damaged by a surge when using the surge protector manufacturer will reimburse you up to $xx,xxx for replacement.

If your surge protection has no replacement guarantee, find a new surge protector.  Perform a power audit and check everything.  If there is any one thing you don't surge protect, that is where the next surge will enter and there is no practical way of knowing what damage a surge will do and to what piece of hardware.  Anything connected to your system is vulnerable if you forget to protect just one thing.  Remember that electricity chooses the path of least resistance; in other words, it will go to wherever it needs to go to get to a ground and that may or may not be through your server, your SAN, or your secretary's monitor.  It will damage hardware along the way in a somewhat random path.  If a system is even partially damaged from a power surge, the only way to know that it is 100% fixed is to replace all of it.  Losing a monitor or external hard drive might not be a big deal to some but if that external drive contained the only copy of your new marketing project, this could be expensive.  Be on the safe side and protect everything.

For more, please read What protects me? Part 2: UPSes and Firewalls