A Disaster Recovery Plan Begins With a Risk Assessment

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A disaster recovery plan is the ultimate shield against the unforeseen.

The impact on your business can be severe, from hardware malfunctions to devastating fires and flooding. The linchpin to a swift and efficient response lies in the foundation of a well-crafted Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).

Let’s delve into the crux of initiating a robust DRP with a thorough Risk Assessment. By scrutinizing your company’s vulnerable assets and assigning clear-cut roles to your team members, you can streamline recovery and fortify your business against potential calamities.

The Crucial Role of Disaster Recovery Plans

To comprehend the gravity of disaster recovery plans, one must grasp the potential disruptions that could shatter the smooth flow of business operations. A meticulously executed DRP bestows a multitude of advantages upon your organization.

It curtails the downtime induced by glitches such as hardware failures, structural fires, or inundation. Often, the significance of a documented plan is underestimated by smaller enterprises, yet even the slightest disturbance can significantly impede recovery without one in place.

Implementing a disaster recovery plan amplifies responsiveness, quells confusion, and ensures unambiguous decision-making in times of crisis. The participation of C-level stakeholders is imperative, as they hold the key to addressing vulnerabilities and orchestrating countermeasures. Their unwavering backing is paramount to the successful execution of the plan.

Moreover, embarking on a risk assessment journey, such as a business impact analysis, is a pivotal stride toward identifying vulnerable assets and delineating the responsibilities of team members.

The Indispensable Role of C-Level Stakeholders

The active involvement of C-level stakeholders is pivotal in effectively addressing weaknesses and orchestrating responses within a disaster recovery plan. IT professionals recognize that securing the wholehearted endorsement of C-level executives is indispensable for successful implementation. These leaders contribute their expertise and wield decision-making authority, ensuring the comprehensiveness of the plan aligns with the organization’s objectives.

Their participation also secures executive support, which is instrumental in procuring the necessary resources and budget for the plan. Efficient communication strategies serve as another crucial aspect in engaging C-level stakeholders. They pave the way for lucid and effective communication between the IT department and the executive team, guaranteeing a unified front during a crisis.

Conducting a Comprehensive Business Impact Analysis

An exhaustive risk assessment is pivotal for a holistic Business Impact Analysis within a disaster recovery plan.

The process of risk assessment entails assessing potential hazards and vulnerabilities that could impede the organization’s operations during a crisis. By identifying these weak spots, organizations can strategize effective risk mitigation methods to minimize the impact of potential disruptions.

Moreover, a business impact analysis aids in determining the recovery time objectives defining the permissible downtime for critical processes and systems. It involves a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to gauge the financial implications of deploying diverse recovery strategies.

Incident response planning is a crucial component of the business impact analysis, outlining the step-by-step procedures to follow during a crisis.

In essence, a comprehensive Risk Assessment serves as the bedrock of a resilient Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). By enlisting C-level stakeholders’ participation and meticulously scrutinizing vulnerable assets, businesses can ensure a swift and effective response to unforeseen events.

This systematic and detail-oriented approach paves the way for identifying specific roles and responsibilities, streamlining the recovery process, and shielding the business from potential disasters.

Never underestimate the power of a well-crafted DRP – it might just be the linchpin to curtailing delays and safeguarding your business.

What to Look For in a Managed Services Provider

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As companies become more dependent upon technology to help grow their business, they also typically require some type of technological expertise to help them make the most of emerging hardware and software tools. Many smaller businesses find that a managed services provider is the optimal choice for them. An MSP provides the technological know-how a growing business needs while allowing them to avoid investing significant amounts of overhead that are often associated with adding an entire technology department.

Local, Proactive, and Available

Once a business decides to hire a managed services provider, there are several key factors they should consider as they are evaluating each potential partner. As always, it’s important to have an idea of what a company needs in terms of hardware, services, and support before signing the all-important service contract.

A reliable MSP provider is available 24/7/365. They are also a local provider which means a business can rest assured that if they need immediate assistance, they won’t have to “wait until Monday” or for someone to arrive from out of town. An effective managed services provider will also make it easier for employees to get answers from tech support so they can go back to doing what they do best, which is providing outstanding service for their own clients.

An effective managed services provider is also proactive in its approach to all its clients. Rather than waiting for an issue to arise, a good MSP will monitor and evaluate a client’s processes, ensuring that potential problems are resolved before they become an issue.

Comprehensive Coverage

The ideal MSP will not only be continually available, but they will also offer a comprehensive package that includes:

  • Daily backups.
  • Cloud services.
  • Security monitoring and testing.
  • Disaster recovery planning.

Complete coverage means not only managing day-to-day questions and issues, but also means proactively providing services in order to avoid security threats, as well as properly protecting and managing vital IT hardware and services in the event of a disaster.

Comprehensive coverage also means a managed service provider can assist in the selection of third-party technology vendors, using their own expertise to determine which vendors have the technology tools that will best meet the needs of their clients. When a small business is ready to sit down for yearly budgeting and planning, an MSP can help its clients plan for the future, both in terms of what technology they will need to support their operations, as well as advice on how to manage IT costs and improve efficiency.


As a managed services provider, we understand that smaller businesses are just as interested in taking advantage of all the latest technologies as larger businesses but may not be ready or have the necessary expertise to add their own technology department. Our services can provide the bridge a company needs in order to have access to on-demand and reliable technology services that help support and grow their business.

If you would like more information on the technological services we can provide for your small business, please contact us.

Email Account Attacks & Takeovers by Cyber Criminals

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If organizations thought that cyber criminals have mainly moved on from email exploits to other more lucrative points of attack, they are, unfortunately, mistaken. In fact, email exploits remain a significant contribution to account takeover attacks. This article will discuss some of the stats surrounding email attacks, and ways in which cyber hackers like to exploit email users, and it will also outline some steps organizations can take to combat this persistent security threat.


When hackers do attack email accounts, 78% of them do so without the help of any applications outside of email. This overwhelming percentage shows that the use of email alone remains a powerful potential source of unwanted cyber-attacks. Another interesting statistic centers around the length of time that hackers stay undetected while exploiting an email account(s). Researchers show that data thieves were able to linger undetected for an entire week on over one-third of all hacked email accounts. For organizations working with confidential data, this is particularly disturbing, as a week’s worth of email correspondence is often significant.

Other email hacking attempt stats include:

  • 31% of email hackers focus solely on compromising email accounts.
  • 20% of single email attacks affect other email accounts, including personal accounts. 

 If one thinks it is comforting to learn that only 31% of hackers are interested in gaining access to an email account and assume that’s the end of their exploit, it is a false assumption. While the stats show that some hackers only focus on gaining access to the accounts, their next step often involves selling the information they observed to other cyber criminals, who then use the data for blackmail or other criminal purposes. Of course, the other stat which shows that 20% of successful email exploits also involve the exploitation of multiple user accounts, meaning hackers are gaining access to a password for one account and are able to use that same password to exploit multiple accounts.

How They Do It

We’ve already learned that it’s not uncommon for hackers to gain access to multiple accounts, merely by trying to re-use an employee’s password.  Some hackers will research a company to find details about employees who hold significant positions within the organization. They then impersonate a person in power by sending an email to a first-line employee, who in turn gives up confidential corporate information, since they assume they’re interacting with a corporate representative in a position of significant responsibility. 

Hackers may also do online research, looking for clues about a company such as what clients they serve and/or what vendors with which they interact. They then use this information to impersonate employees from these companies and send spear-phishing emails to key members within a targeted organization.

Data thieves may also employ brand impersonation tactics throughout an email and send it to unsuspecting employees. When employees open up the email it looks like it is from a trusted source such as Microsoft, Apple, or Google. The body of the email may state the employee needs to reset their password with a specific company, only to steal the employee’s “new password” after they click on the reset link.

How to Combat Cyber Criminals

Certainly, training staff members on how to spot phishing and other hacking attempts should be part of every organization’s strategy to combat exploits. Computer security specialists have multiple tools at their disposal to help them with early detection and mitigation of compromised emails. Computer security professionals also use software apps that include forensic tools, advanced detection techniques, and incident-response resolutions.


If the idea of trying to ward off data thieves and hackers seems daunting, there is help available. Third-party computer security specialists are thoroughly trained in providing comprehensive security packages for all sizes and types of organizations. If you would like to know more about how to develop a complete strategy to thwart security exploits, including how to effectively secure an organization’s email accounts, please contact us.

What Business Owners Should Know About the Twitter #DataBreach

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One of the scariest things for business owners to see trending is the word #DataBreach. Over the past few days, Twitter has come forward to apologize for a significant data breach that occurred as a result of a nonsecure browser cache displaying sensitive user information. Although it remains unclear just how many businesses were affected, the compromise is believed to have impacted a large number of companies that utilize the platform for marketing and SEO.

If you are one of the thousands of business owners who received an email from Twitter apologizing for the breach — or if you’ve simply seen the hot topic trending on your dash — you may be anxious to learn the details and understand what you can do to prevent future vulnerabilities. 

Take a deep breath. #DataSecuritySolutions is always trending with Bluwater Technologies.

What Happened?

The core vulnerability responsible for Twitter’s security compromise lies in the way the app and website store user information. A browser cache allows platforms to remember details about a user and create key analytics. It relies on the process of saving temporary data, such as passwords and credit card information. Thus, the website or app does not need to download this information each time. This allows the website and app to load faster while keeping us connected with our various clients, contacts, and social media platforms.

Unfortunately, Twitter discovered that the confidential billing information of many of its business accounts had been erroneously stored in the browser’s cache. This made sensitive information visible to potential cyber criminals. Although no exploits have been confirmed, Twitter acknowledged that it was “possible” outside parties could access and view this information.

So what information was exposed? According to the official statement, email addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of clients’ credit card numbers were the key pieces of data that may have been compromised. 

Who Was Affected by the Twitter Data Breach?

As previously stated, Twitter has yet to give an official estimate on how many businesses were affected.

This isn’t the first time the tech giant has had issues with data security. In 2018, a sitewide bug affected some 330 million users and compromised the password credentials of all business users involved. If this benchmark offers any guess, it’s likely that the current data breach has impacted a broad range of clients.

Non-Twitter users are not thought to be affected. As of May 20th, 2020, the caching issue has been resolved.

What Now?

While news of leaked information is no doubt a terrifying prospect, there’s no need to panic just yet. Modern businesses are more connected than ever through the collaborative powers of social media. That means business owners must prioritize internet security in an increasingly digital world in order to meet the needs of today’s compliance standards.

If your business was affected by the breach, take a moment to review your system information for any indication of a hack. It’s a good idea to call in the professionals. Utilize the knowledge of a trained IT consultant to identify any potential threats or vulnerabilities. Ensure all passwords are changed and updated (sentence-form passwords are best). If your company has suffered a data loss or been the victim of malicious ransomware attempts, don’t give in to cyber criminals just yet. Backup and disaster recovery options are available for small and mid-sized businesses.

Once you’ve assessed the damage and come out on top, consider proactive ways to prevent cyber attacks moving forward. Always clear your browser cache at the end of each day. Or set your browser to automatically clear so that stored information is not visible. Ask your IT consultant about curating how your information is transmitted online. VPNs — or virtual private networks — are a great option for masking and securing your online identity. A robust firewall and a comprehensive network and data security system is the best way to stop cybercriminals in their tracks and protect your valuable information.

Ask our Fort Lauderdale experts for more helpful tips and strategies for making your business #unbreakable.

8 Ways to Power Through the Task You Hate

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Doing things you love is easy; it is the things you hate that test your mettle. And life and business are full of jobs you flat-out hate. How you handle a task like this will determine how far you go as an individual.  

But there is a silver lining in this cloud of jobs you hate. There are ways you can power through those jobs, and below are a few you can consider.

1. Alternate Between Tasks you Hate and Those You Love

A lack of motivation characterizes the tasks we hate. There is no drive to work or power through boring jobs. As such, the trick is to bring back the excitement. Find ways to stay motivated.

One way that stands out is to alternate between tasks you love and those you hate. This breaks the monotony of having to work on hateful tasks for extended periods.

The balance between good and bad experiences is way better compared to a situation where you are being pounded with tasks you don’t like.

2. Take the Path of Least Resistance

Just because you do something does not mean you have to be flawless. Take the path of least resistance when working on boring jobs. Apply the minimum effective dose; that is, the least effort while still being productive.

3. Dedicate Time

If you are having trouble working on a particular job, then block some time to work on that job and only that job.

By dedicating time in advance, you prepare yourself mentally for the mind-numbing tasks. You are also more driven to complete other pressing tasks earlier.

4. Break the Task Down

With baby steps, you can move a mountain. The same applies to a tedious job that seems impossible.

Break the task down so that it is approachable and more doable. Breaking down the tasks reduces our tendency to procrastinate as we know where to start. Also, the smaller tasks might not be as dull as the larger job.

5. Swap “I Have To” for “I Choose To”

By choosing to work on those boring assignments, you trick your mind into accepting them, and suddenly, they are not that tedious.

When you no longer have to work on humdrum tasks but choose to do them, you are excited about the jobs. A change of perspective does a lot.

6. Bribe Yourself

When you have to do something you dread, you can ease the pain by promising yourself something better immediately after. You realign your perspective. You focus more on what comes after the task, over the agony of the task.

By scheduling fun things, between those nightmare errands, you find that you will not be putting them off for days on end.

7. Focus on What You Gain From the Task

Creating a website might not be a riveting experience, but nothing beats the experience of having an online presence.

You can also choose to focus on the growth you gain from the task. For instance, writing a pitch is tedious, but you learn essential skills. You learn how to communicate better, how to organize an important document, and how to fact-check.

8. Hire Someone to Do the Task

Finally, you can outsource the job. If your business is not your primary focus, you can get experts in the niche to help. This could be true for IT tasks that, though necessary, are not at the core of your business. Hire specialists to handle technical tasks while you do what you do best.

Working on tasks you dislike is tedious; working on those you hate is aggravating. The least you can do is ease the burden using the tricks above. If you choose to outsource, remember to hire experts.