Technology is a blessing and a curse for small- and medium-sized businesses. On the one hand, affordable VoIP phones, virtualized servers, and Office 365 have made it possible for 25- to 50-employee operations to compete with companies five times their size. But on the other hand, if something knocks out an SMB’s core IT solutions, it’s back to square one -- unless a comprehensive, printed response plan exists.
Our Treasure Coast and Palm Beach readers don’t need to be educated on hurricane preparedness. Irma took care of that. But hurricanes aren’t the only IT disasters looming on the horizon. Whether you’re a business owner who’s concerned about continuity or an IT staffer in an underfunded department, this overview covers the disasters you may currently be unprepared for.
You can rest assured that Capstone has a local team ready to assist you at your business in Saint Lucie, Martin or Palm Beach County in the midst of the storm. We are prepared to aid in the days prior to a Hurricane to get your business “hunkered down,” (technologically speaking.) At the same time, we have our remote help desk safely outside of any cone of uncertainty, where all of your company’s data will be protected. We will also deal with the internet provider to advocate for a quick connection after a hurricane strikes. The Capstone team will be ready to get your computers back up and running even before you take the storm shutters down.
Usually, business owners have some advance warning when a hurricane is on its way. That is not the case with fires. Regardless of whether you’re located downtown or outside the city, your business is at risk of being engulfed year round. In February of 2017, there were 865 acres of wildfire across Treasure Coast, and in the first week of 2018 a structure in the heart of Stuart went up in flames.
All it takes is one lightning bolt or misplaced cigarette to ignite a building fire, but there are a few ways to minimize the damage. Because time is of the essence, communication is critical. Make sure all your employees know whom to call and exactly what to say in the event of a fire.
We recommend that every disaster plan include instructions that are easily accessible in a cloud document containing emergency contacts and scripts to help employees communicate your business’s needs swiftly and effectively. The sooner your IT provider knows about a disaster, the sooner everything can be restored to off-site computers and servers.
On several occasions, this blog has outlined which cybersecurity disasters to watch out for within the communities we work (most recently covering breaches on the Treasure Coast and the Palm Beaches), but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
The best thing you can do is hire an IT consultant to design a customized prevention plan and a cybersecurity disaster response plan. Capstone IT includes just such a plan in its CyberShield solution to help clients deal with:
- Cybersecurity forensics investigations
- Public relations strategy
- Ransomware recovery
- Network repairs
If you don’t have a cyber attack response plan laid out step by step, it’s extremely unlikely your business would survive a malware disaster. Let Capstone IT focus on preventing a cyber attack while you focus on growing your business in Saint Lucie, Martin, or Palm Beach counties.
A lot of people limit their definition of disasters to unexpected external events. Realistically, most IT catastrophes start within the office walls. From printers to servers, sudden hardware failures account for most of our clients’ support calls. And it doesn’t matter whether the downtime was caused by coastal flooding or someone tripping over a wire; when your computers stop working, your business stops making money.
Likewise, when a software issue stops you from selling your products or servicing your clients, that’s a disaster. Hardware and software disasters usually stem from poor planning, such as forgetting to renew the license for a critical application, or upgrading to an operating system that is incompatible with older desktops.
To both prevent and respond to these types of disasters, you need an inventory of every piece of hardware and software your business uses. This inventory should include: purchase dates, repair dates, expiration dates, warranty information, and contact information for the IT person in charge of the device or application. This way, when something goes belly up, you have a better idea of why it did and how to fix it.
South Florida business owners also have to deal with seasonal deficits in funds. Capstone IT will work with you to ensure that hardware and software costs do not hit you when business is slow. We will strategically plan any upgrades ahead of this lull in business so that you can budget accordingly.
Even with the most advanced technology in the world, your business will never be safe from irresponsible and careless employees. There’s no better example of this fact than the real-world story of a 200+ employee company accidentally deleting several hours worth of client data.
GitLab, a company whose clients include IBM, Sony, NASA, went down for 18 hours while it tried to recover lost data from backups. That would’ve been a headline-worthy disaster already, but the company eventually admitted that its backups were corrupted and untold amounts of information were irretrievable.
GitLab managed to earn back its users’ trust in just one week by implementing a picture-perfect disaster recovery plan that included transparency, customer outreach, and detailed documentation of what was done to make sure the problem never happened again.
Explaining that you were hacked by advanced cybercriminals is one thing, but could you recover from something as stupid as an employee accidentally hitting the delete key?
Planning for the future
Businesses that view their IT as more of a blessing than a curse are the ones that plan for every eventuality. From cloud backups to disaster recovery servers, our team has years of experience in business continuity planning along the Treasure Coast and the Palm Beaches.
Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to tell us a little about which disasters concern you most. Someone from our team will respond with how your company can best prepare for them.