December News:

On The CalendarDecember at The Fulcrum Group We hope you're having a joyful and peace-filled holiday season!  Here's a few end-of-the-year reminders for you: Section 179 Don't neglect to utilize the updated for 2019 Section 179 Tax Benefits for your business!  Find out more about it here on our Resource Page and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have. Holiday Hours The Fulcrum Group will be closed Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving Week. Over Christmas, we'll be closed half-day on Christmas Eve and all day Christmas Day. Returning to business-as-usual on Thursday, December 26th and for the New Year, we'll be closed New Year's Day. Holiday Cybersecurity Another good reminder, as the holidays approach - it's important to remain vigilant with cybersecurity best practices. Recently, during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we shared a TON of great cybersecurity tips and hints on our blog. Browse them again here - and share with a colleague! We'll let you know about any additional upcoming special events through our social media pages, which we'll update on our Events page as they occur. Quick links to our social media pages are accessible right from our website and in every monthly newsletter email you receive from us. If you're new to our newsletter and you'd like to subscribe, let us know.
Why Backup Testing Is ImportantWhy Backup Testing Is Important Many organizations feel that once backups are in place, they can simply cross that task off their list of things to do and then move on to more pressing projects. This is a dangerous tack, as having untested backups can be as bad as having no backups at all.  Business leaders need to know that their backups are working properly and consistently, and while daily log alerts that tell you that the backups are successful are great, actual testing of backups is the real proof (and only proof that business leaders should accept). Without regular backup testing, an organization runs the risk that the backups are corrupted or have some other type of issue that prevents restoring of lost data or systems. With the increase in cyber attacks (especially ransomware), working backups are more important than ever.  In addition, organizations continue to increase their reliance on their IT systems, and extended outages due to the inability to recover quickly from backups can cost your organization greatly, even causing it to go out of business.  Don’t let your organization’s fate hang in the balance, make sure those backup systems are tested regularly.
Types of Backup Testing ExplainedDifferent types of Backup Testing Explained In our article above, we explain why backup testing is so important.  In this article, we'll explore the various types of backup testing.
  • Restore File(s) Testing The simplest type of backup testing involves restore a file or group of files from backups.  This simple test verifies that the backups are working and the data isn’t corrupted.
  • Disaster Recovery Site Testing  Typically used by organizations with larger or more complex IT systems, and advanced disaster recovery requirements, full DR site testing is a multi-step drill of an organizations IT DR testing plan.  Testing typically includes bringing all production IT systems online at the DR site.  Regular testing, usually at least annually, is a necessity, since the effectiveness of DR plans can due to inevitable changes in an organization.
  • Automated Backup Testing All Fulcrum Group-supported backup solutions (including Veeam, Storagecraft, Datto, and Synology) include some level of automated testing that lets you test backups in a “sandbox” and check if you can recover data from them.  Other features include script testing of applications and scanning of backed up data for malware and ransomware.
Other backup testing considerations:
  • Older File-based backup solutions only backup the data. All Fulcrum Group-supported backup solutions use image backup technologies, where entire disk volumes are backed up as a “snapshot” rather than backing up file by file.  If you have a file-based backup solution, you should be aware that the your applications and server operating systems are NOT being backed up, and will need to be manually reinstalled in the event of a disaster, typically increasing the time to recover.
  • Some vendors have their own backups, such as QuickBooks. It’s a good idea to test these backup data files regularly as well.
  • Cloud Backups Cloud services such as Office 365 typically don’t include backups.  3rd party backup solutions have to be implemented.  You will want to test these backups regularly (if you have them).
Feel free to reach out to your Fulcrum Group Fractional CIO for more information on backup testing.
December Security Awareness Newsletter

Click to read December's Security Awareness Newsletter

Cybersecurity SPOTlight: Passwords & Factoring Building Strong Passwords and Factoring in Security are this month's hot security topics - check out this month's edition of our Security Awareness Newsletter! As always, feel free to reach out to us with questions.
Vistage Executive News - How To Stop Operating In Crisis-Mode Vistage Executive News If you continuously find yourself operating in "crisis-mode" you may unknowingly be struggling with some degree of procrastination, paying attention and rushing.  Check out these great tips on how to identify some struggle areas and remediate them!
Fulcrum Group Did You KnowDid You Know...? Backup Testing Did you know… SPOT Managed IT Services includes regular backup testing.  Hit us with any questions you might have!