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.

Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan for Fort Lauderdale Businesses

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Every business that operates in Fort Lauderdale has become all too familiar with the various disasters that befall the region. For example, hurricanes are a very common and potent problem in this area. The loss of valuable information compounded with physical destruction results in between 40 and 60% of small businesses never reopening after a hurricane. Hurricanes combined with hardware system failures, cyberattacks, and human error are all reasons to examine the benefits of a disaster recovery plan for Fort Lauderdale businesses.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

In terms of business, a disaster recovery plan is a documented, systematic means of restoring a company’s operating capabilities and/or data after a disaster has damaged the physical or digital aspects of the business.

Disaster Recovery Plans Instill Confidence in Customers

Any company will (rightfully) lose customers if they are unable to protect their data. When securing clients for your business in Fort Lauderdale, a disaster recovery plan can be framed as a measure to reduce their risk by choosing to work with you. The ability to securely back up and maintain customer data off-site or use secure Cloud systems will bolster a client’s confidence in your business. They’ll understand that storms, fires, or cyberattacks will not prevent you from keeping their information safe

Off-Site Backup Facilities Restore Processes Almost Immediately

Hardware losses are a gut punch for many businesses. Depending on a company’s needs, a disaster recovery plan could simply back up data from hard drives. This allows the business to get their data back as a minimum standard of safety. However, more critical, driven businesses can consider hot and cold sites for their needs. A hot site is a secure, off-site location that has all the hardware and software that a business needs to step into the area and get back to work immediately. Cold site facilities are secure and can be stocked with hardware. However, requires further setup before the business can resume.

These different levels of preparedness provide companies with several options for maintaining their business and getting started after a disaster. At a minimum, this protection will restore lost data. However, full coverage allows workers to get back to business as soon as possible.

Next-Generation Cyber Security Ends Threats Before They Start

Unless a business is specifically positioned to provide unique and valuable information, the chances are good that it won’t be directly targeted by cybercriminals. The best thing to do is make the company the least viable target for hackers and corporate espionage. Thus, it will be passed over to more opportune targets. Furthermore, implementing physical security measures and industry-specific cybersecurity suites can cut down on the potential for loss in your business. Additionally, maintain backups of valuable data in storage not connected to the original source.

Preparing your business for a loss requires thinking about the unthinkable. Unfortunately, Fort Lauderdale has a seemingly omnipresent threat of damaging hurricanes along with the typical threats to business. Fortunately, working with local businesses like Bluwater Technologies, a Wheelhouse IT company, to put a disaster recovery plan in place can prevent the worst from happening after a catastrophe. Using this local company that understands the difficulties of operating in this market, any small or medium-sized business can prepare for the worst. Then, customize their plan to suit their specific needs.

Call us at (954) 474-2204 or click here to request a quote.

5 Ways to Reduce IT Costs That You Can Act On Now

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If information technology costs are eating up a large portion of your company’s budget, then you are not alone. In fact, it is estimated that small businesses spend upwards of 7% of their revenue on IT costs. Yet, with IT playing such a critical role in ensuring a business’s productivity and security, it can be extremely difficult to find ways to control, or even lower, IT costs. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are simple, actionable steps that you can take to lower your company’s mounting IT costs.

Here is a look at 5 things that you can do now to reduce your business’s IT costs:


One method that can help you to see considerable IT cost savings is virtualization. Essentially, virtualization means replacing physical hardware with virtual alternatives. With virtualization, companies no longer need to depend entirely on physical servers, as they can combine many functions into a single server by switching functions to virtual environments. This can save money by reducing energy and hardware expenses.  

Optimize Infrastructure for IT Costs

It may surprise you to learn that structured cabling, wireless network layouts, and other infrastructure can cost you money if they are not configured properly. However, when infrastructure is improperly configured, this can result in decreased productivity and increased electrical costs, which can add up greatly over time. Making sure that these systems are configured with efficiency in mind is critical in order to keep costs down.  

Backup Data Regularly

Backing up data may not be something that would save you money in the short term. However, it can mean exponential savings in the long run. Proper data backup is a critical IT cost reduction strategy. It can help to protect you from substantial losses in the event of a cyber attack or natural disaster. Without proper system backups, productivity would come to a grinding halt. Then, you would have to spend money trying to retrieve lost data. However, when you properly backup data regularly, both to physical and cloud-based backups, you can rest easy knowing that your business will be able to get back up on its feet quickly after a disaster.  

Vendor Management

Hardware and software purchases can quickly eat up a huge chunk of your company’s budget. Whether it’s buying brand new computers for your office, or a company license to upgrade your company’s computers to Windows 10, IT hardware and software often isn’t a cheap investment. This is why it is recommended that you work with a company that offers IT vendor management services. These companies can help you to find the hardware and software that you need. They also do so at exclusive prices that you would not be able to find on your own. Thus, helping to save you money. 

Streamline IT Costs with Managed IT Services

Of course, one of the best ways to reduce IT costs would be to outsource your IT needs to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). For small to medium-sized businesses, it often isn’t feasible to maintain an in-house IT staff. In these instances, companies often find it in their best interest to partner with an MSP. They can provide contracted IT services on an as-needed basis. This can drastically reduce IT costs as you will only be paying for the services that you need. Versus paying full-time staff. Not only can outsourcing save you money, but you will also gain access to superior IT services. This is because MSPs have greater resources to research and implement the latest IT technology.

While mounting IT costs can seem like an unfixable problem for many businesses, there are steps that you can take to greatly reduce IT expenses.

Contact us to learn more about the steps that you can take to save money on IT costs at your company.

Data Replication vs. Data Backup – Understanding the Difference

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Recently, the most cost-efficient data restoration mechanism available for SMBs was simply to ensure they maintained regular data backups. This was not necessarily ideal since any restored data came from a previous point in time, and the restoration process to recover data was potentially quite lengthy. This meant a business could be down perhaps even for several days, and any data that was recovered was even older. In this post, we will point out the differences between data backups and data replication and how data replication can now outperform traditional data backups in key areas.

Data Backups 

A traditional data backup is essentially a complete snapshot of a company’s data at one given point in time. While there certainly is value in maintaining a regular complete copy of all corporate data, traditional data backups have some less-than-ideal aspects. More and more businesses rely on their data to efficiently run their business. Thus, even losing a few hours’ worth of data can be quite catastrophic. Therefore, making the less-than-ideal aspects of traditional backups even more glaring.

In the past, the best a small or medium-sized company could hope for in the event of data loss was to restore their last backup. After the restoration process, they relied on manual entrance of their business data. This would bring them to the point just prior to the system failure. This entire process was time-consuming and prone to error.

Data Replication

Up until fairly recently, maintaining a near-mirror replication of company data in a remote location was affordable only for enterprise-level organizations. Now, with cloud-based replication, the costs associated with maintaining a cloud-based, real-time copy of all corporate data is becoming realistically affordable for even smaller businesses. With cloud-based replication, in the event of a system failure, even small companies can have a fresh, up-to-date copy of corporate data available to them within minutes.

If you would like to know more about real-time data replication, please contact us.

Warning – The Most Effective Social Engineering Attacks

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Although it may seem as if hackers, criminals, and thieves prefer the challenge of attacking only seemingly impenetrable computer systems, this is not necessarily the case. While it is true that companies do need effective security measures in place to handle these types of impersonal attacks, hackers still frequently turn to more traditional methods of cyber attacks for one good reason.

As IT security methods continue to become more sophisticated, hackers sometimes find it more lucrative (and easier) to perform social engineering attacks that allow them to manipulate human behavior. Unfortunately, this is because staff members are either poorly trained (if at all) to spot hacking attempts or unlike a machine, they sometimes let their guard slip. Of course, hackers understand all too well that a busy or unsuspecting employee may eventually provide them with an opportunity to slip their way into a corporate system — they just need patience.

Top Social Engineering Attacks 

  • Phishing – All it takes is a credible-looking email with either a link or an attachment to click on, and an employee may either give away sensitive information or allow a virus to enter their corporate computer system.
  • Spear Phishing – This is similar to traditional phishing attempts, except that hackers target a specific person in a company. Often the targets are in positions related to lucrative financial aspects of the company.
  • Whaling – Rather than targeting one individual, whaling attempts involve attacking an entire level of higher management. This could be in companies or government agencies. Some of the attacks require a significant amount of research and are quite sophisticated in nature.
  • Vishing – Vishing involves using a phone rather than email in order to impersonate a business. The hackers pretend to be a legitimate company simply making a business call. Their goal is to find unsuspecting employees who will provide them with sensitive corporate information, often banking details.
  • Pretexting – This type of hacking also involves impersonation. A hacker may phone an employee and pretend to be the company’s IT vendor. They may state they are investigating a hacking attempt. Then that they need passwords and other sensitive information for specific computer systems.
  • Baiting – A hacker may leave a memory stick somewhere in or outside of a company they want access to. An unsuspecting employee discovers the memory stick and plugs it into a company computer to determine what it contains. Unfortunately, the memory stick is loaded with a virus or other penetrative software.
  • Tailgating – This is another type of hacking attempt that involves the physical presence of the hacker. In this scenario, a hacker pretends to be a delivery driver, company visitor, or facilities manager in order to gain access to unauthorized areas.


It’s difficult, if not impossible, for companies to stay up to date on all the latest technology pitfalls. Many hackers are very sophisticated, methodical, and patient. It takes a professional IT vendor who makes it their business to stay on top of all the latest technology security issues to develop an effective security training program for their clients. If you would like more information on security training for all of your staff members, please contact us.