Background story

We have been working with Kwik Kopy for several Years.  We started with one branch of Kwik Kopy and in the past 12 months have brought four more Kwik Kopy franchises on as our Clients successfully.

Kwik Kopy franchises have several requirements, support when needed, backup of their artwork files and running the PrintSmith Kwik Kopy application for their business needs.

A few months ago we were referred to a Kwik Kopy in Melbourne who had growing concerns for the IT services they currently had and the cost of those services along with the ageing server that hosted all their artwork files for customers and was in desperate need of replacement.

Our approach, simplify their services to align with their needs and reduce overall costs.

Our first question to them was do you really need a server and all the additional costs that go with it? Answer No…

Ageing Server replacement

A server usually has a life of 3 – 5 years with warranty and are usually running to provide network access and share applications and data to all the users on the network, which is the case with Kwik Kopy.  However, servers are usually best suited to Larger networks with multiple users, not a small office of less than 15-20 staff and in the case of Kwik Kopy branches only several of those staff accessing the computer.

Also with servers, there are the ongoing costs of, running them, supporting them, ensuring they are patched and then also the backup solution that is required to maintain them in the case of a disaster.  And usually, the backup destination is a USB Drive (Not good practice).

Our Approach

We took another approach with this particular Kwik Kopy branch and said we will replace the entire server with a simplified Network Attached Storage (NAS) system.  It will achieve everything you need but cost you a fraction of replacing the server.  Our solution provided them with a multi-disk NAS system with a secondary NAS system for replicating the backups to it and then duplicating those backups to a selected cloud hosting platform for automated offsite backups.

A good NAS system is going to save money firstly it has built in software and backup solutions so there are no additional costs in software.  And also the management of files and access to those files is much easier for internal staff as it is all done through a web console accessible from any of the other computers in the office with the right level of permissions.  This device behaves like a server sharing resources without the overheads.

This approach saved this Kwik Kopy a tremendous amount of money on the server cost as the NAS system costs were only a fraction of the cost to replace and we were still able to purchase 2 of these devices to ensure replication and securing these backups was of the highest priority.

Ongoing IT Services

As for providing ongoing to this particular Kwik Kopy branch, we were able to provide a customised solution that ensured that their system was protected and maintained without the additional non-related services that they currently had in place.

Our end solution for them was to provide a low-cost management plan for all their desktops with monitoring for issues and also monitoring the NAS that replaced their server.

The tools and services we provided them ensure the following is maintained at all times.

  • Remote Access to all devices when support is needed within integrated support ticketing through our client portal
  • Centralised patching of workstations to avoid the risk of vulnerabilities to cyber threats
  • Completely monitored and maintained Virus protection through our Webroot Partnership fully licensed and managed by us
  • Backup monitoring to ensure all backups are running as expected
  • Infrastructure monitoring of critical devices, Router, Firewall, Switch and Storage (NAS)

End Result

The end result is that this Kwik Kopy branch has now reduced their ongoing running costs, simplified the internal management of the network and are completely secured and protected against the changing Global threats.

If you need us to look at what we can do for your Branch please do not hesitate to contact us.  Or alternatively, call 1300 554 237.

 

 

Having backups is an excellent idea, you should always have backups of your business data, but backups and disaster recovery are not the same.

Disaster recovery is what you do with your backups how long it takes to recover and what is the procedure to get your business back up and running without to much loss of time.

A simple procedure to understand is the changing of a spare tire on your car.

How long will it take to change the tire?  This is the recovery time to restore your data and systems to working order, you should measure that time in minutes not hours or days.

From when will you be able to continue driving? This is recovery objective, how long ago was the last successful backup and how much time have you lost from this last backup.  Nowadays with the advanced backup tools you can push that time down to a few minutes.

How far will the spare get you? Look at the quality of what you are restoring to.  Will this buy you the time to get where you need to and how long will it last?  Having equipment in place for the recovery can be expensive will you have spare equipment to restore.

Backup is just that it is a backup of your business data.  It is the BDR that protects and provides a procedure to the restoring of a disaster striking your business.  Backup comes in many shapes and forms from iCloud backups through to physical software and backups storage.  What needs to be looked at is what is happening beyond this in our Disaster Recovery Plan, how do we recover this, is the backups legitimate and have we been testing the backup procedure to ensure it will work?  This is all part of the Disaster Recovery plan that is BDR.

The best way to achieve this is to look at what you are backing up and what is happening with those backups, where are you storing them.  What is the procedure for off-site backups if you have one.  It does not matter if you have one computer or many computers and servers where the data is this is the first step in ensuring you know what to backup.

Another factor in your BDR plan is to look at your archiving of backups.  How far back do you keep data, i.e. an example of this is when you have data that has actually been deleted months ago and now is the time to get a hold of that data as you only discovered it was missing.  Does your current backup allow for this have you got archiving on?

There are a lot of questions in the article you need to be asking yourself as a business owner.  In most cases I come across businesses that say they are backing up, but what has actually discovered that either their backup procedure is only data with no option to restore a system or they have backups that are not running correctly and the backup data is useless when it comes to restoring.

IT System Solutions provides solid advice on what you need to do for your type of business.  We are more than happy to provide over the phone or through email some advice on what you should be doing.  We can also provide you with a disaster recovery plan to get you started or at least review your backup procedure independently.

Call our office on 1300 554 237 or email support@its2.com.au with your questions.

Ransomware, if you have been hit with it, you know already the amount of damage it can have on your entire network or computer.

What Ransomware does, holds your PC for ransom.

Basically, it encrypts all your files so that you cannot open them without a decryption key. Usually, the computer will modify the background of your computer and display a popup demanding money to be transferred to get the encryption key, they can be aggressive in nature demanding if you do not pay the price will go up and if you fail that they will destroy the decryption keys. Ransomware is known as a denial-of-access attack.

How does it get on your computer?

Anyone around the world right now maybe clicking on a link in a spam email or opening a document activating macros which is going to infect your computer.

Characteristics

  • It can encrypt all types of files
  • It can encrypt all types of filesIt scrambles the names so you have no idea what you have lost
  • It scrambles the names so you have no idea what you have lostAdds new extensions to files so you cannot open them
  • Adds new extensions to files so you cannot open themIt requests payment in bitcoins (method that is extremely hard to trace converting your money into currency that the criminals can use)
  • It requests payment in bitcoins (method that is extremely hard to trace converting your money into currency that the criminals can use)The ransom has a time limit
  • The ransom has a time limitOften recruits infected PC into botnets so it can be used to enhance the criminals attacks
  • Often recruits infected PC into botnets so it can be used to enhance the criminals attacksCan spread across the network to PC’s and servers
  • Can spread across the network to PC’s and serversIt is known to extract data, i.e. usernames, passwords, email addresses etc.
  • It is known to extract data, i.e. usernames, passwords, email addresses etc.Includes geographical targeting meaning ransom not is in victims language
  • Includes geographical targeting meaning ransom is in victims language
  • Ransomware Creators and Distributors target mostly

Ransomware Creators and Distributors target mostly

  • Police Departments
  • City Councils
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Home users

Ransomware targets home users a lot due to the low level of awareness and security.  And another main reason for this is that their computers unknowingly can be recruited into the Botnets to distribute and widen the attacks from the criminals.  Another being the large volume of internet users and more money is generated in trying to get back the family photos and files.How to protect yourself

How to protect yourself

  1. Don’t just store data on your local PC have it backed up to other external devices
  2. Don’t just store data on your local PC have it backed up to other external devicesHave 2 backups, external
  3. Have 2 backups, external drive, and cloudKeep your operating system updated, security updates and other application patches
  4. Keep your operating system updated, security updates and other application patchesUse limited privileged account on your
  5. Use limited privileged account on your computer, not an administrator account minimises what can happenTurn off macros etc. in your office application not always possible as sometimes your company may need to use them
  6. Turn off macros etc. in your office application not always possible as sometimes your company may need to use themMinimise the plugins used in your browser, set it to prompt to activate when required
  7. Minimise the plugins used in your browser, set it to prompt to activate when requiredEnsure your browser is using increased security and privacy settings
  8. Ensure your browser is using increased security and privacy settingsUse an ad blocker to prevent the popups in your browser
  9. Use an ad blocker to prevent the popups in your browserNever open spam emails
  10. Never open spam emailsNever click or download attachments from spam or suspicious emails
  11. Never click or download attachments from spam or suspicious emailsNever click links in spam or suspicious emails
  12. Never click links in spam or suspicious emailsUse a paid Antivirus product that includes automatic updating and real-time scanning (Free AV software does not suffice)The only true way to really protect yourself is to ensure you have backups of your data that are not connected to your computer for extended periods of time.
  13. Use a paid Antivirus product that includes automatic updating and real-time scanning (Free AV software does not suffice)

The only true way to really protect yourself is to ensure you have backups of your data, and the media where backups are stored is not connected to your computer for extended periods of time.

The only true way to really protect yourself is to ensure you have backups of your data that are not connected to your computer for extended periods of time.

If you would like to discuss this with us and see how you rate in protecting your system please call us or email us directly so we can set up a complimentary consultation.

Email: shaun@its2.com.au

Call 1300 554 237

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