street signs to backup and restore incremental backup software

How Incremental Backup Software Works

Incremental backup software is growing in popularity like crazy. Each day, more and more businesses are using it for its many, many benefits and the typically low cost of utilizing it. However, some people have never even heard of it, or just don’t know how it works. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect when you ultimately decide to put incremental backup software in place in your business.

First, Your Data is Uploaded to an Off-site Data Center.

When your incremental backup software is activated, the big backup upload begins. All your indicated data begins copying through the Internet to an off-site data center, where it will be kept and secured to ensure your data cannot be compromised. In essence, your entire database is sort of being “cloned,” so if anything irreparable were to happen to your existing database, the healthy off-site “clone” could always replace it.

Next, Every New or Changed File is Uploaded Incrementally.

Once the complete backup transfer is complete, any file you change or create after that backup will also be backed-up on an incremental basis of your choosing. That means much less backup time and data transfer for you. If you decide you want all new or altered files backed-up once a week, once a day, even once an hour, it’s up to you.

Finally, You Can Access or Restore Data from Anywhere.

Remember our “clone” comparison? If your network suddenly – inexplicably – experiences a data loss, that “clone” is here to save the day. Just download some (or all) of the backed-up files, and you’re back to work. Another unique benefit of incremental backup software is that it can also act as a sort of basic cloud computing: if you’re on a business trip, and one night, you really need to work on a file from your office desktop, you can sign into the backup program, download the backed-up file, and you’re off!

Nerds Support Can Totally Set You Up with Incremental Backup Software.

It’s great. It’s awesome. It’s helpful, it’s stress-reducing, it’s life-saving. Well, okay – maybe the last one was more metaphorically speaking, but you get the drift. Incremental backup software can totally benefit your business, and Nerds Support is totally the company to call to set you up with it. Let’s do this.

Business person waiting for slow computer incremental backup software

Why Technology Has Shifted from Differential to Incremental Backup Software

Backing up data. It’s not a lot of fun. It takes time, hardware, software, planning, executing, and maintenance. It can be a pain. In fact, the only time you’re really happy about it is whenever you happen to experience data loss, as you can then restore the lost data fairly quickly.  The good news is, data backup has evolved since its genesis, and the old-style differential backup software is quickly being replaced by incremental backup software. Here’s why:

 

Differential Backup Software Takes Incrementally Longer.

Yes, it’s confusing: differential backup software takes incrementally longer than incremental backup software. But it does. Let’s say you do a full differential backup on Monday. On Tuesday, your differential software will only backup files that changed since Monday. Then, on Wednesday, your differential software will then backup all files that have changed since that full backup on Monday. (Yes, even the stuff it backed up yesterday.) By the end of the month, your differential backup software is backing up around 30 days worth of data, and it will continue to do so until your next full backup. Sound time-consuming? That’s because it is.

 

Incremental Backup Software Significantly Cuts Backup Time.

Now let’s look at how incremental backup software handles things: let’s go back to that full backup you did on Monday. On Tuesday, your incremental software will also only backup files that changed since Monday. Then, on Wednesday, your incremental software will only backup files that have changed yesterday. And so on and so forth. This dramatically shortens the amount of daily data transfer and backup time. Plus, when you need to grab a file from your backup system, it’s available for you at your leisure.

 

It’s Time to Step into Modern Data Protection with Incremental Backup Software.

If you’re still using differential backup software, you’re using outdated technology. Let Nerds Support show you how much better, faster, and easier your backup system can be with incremental backup software. Give us a call and let’s discuss.

 

 

Nerdy Lady Discovering System Backup Software on Computer system backup software

System Backup Software: Which is Better?

Okay, so you’ve chosen to invest in some system backup software. You’ve started to shop around, but there are just so many different products out there! Which will work best for you? We took some time to review a few of them, and these are the system backup software products we think you’ll like the best.

NovaBACKUP System Backup Software

Our overall winner. It costs $49.95, and it features virtually every bell and whistle you can think of. The backup features alone include Registry Backup, Complete System (Image) Backup, Backup Wizard, Cloud Storage, Backup Verification, Bootable Backup Creation, Backup Scripting, File Filtering, Backup Password Encryption, Pre- & Post-Run Commands, Drive Spanning AND Virus Scanning. Oh, but that’s not all! When you’re ready to recover and restore, NovaBACKUP also restores file paths and hard drive images. Oh, and it’s universally viewable, too. Think we’re done? Not even close. NovaBACKUP also features scheduling and reporting functions such as Remote Scheduling, Email Notifications, and Event Logs. Need support? You’ve got it! It comes with assistance from Telephone, Live Chat, Email, a Knowledgebase, AND FAQs! And you have an older PC, you say? No worries! NovaBACKUP supports Windows 10 all the way back to XP! Folks, we have a winner.

Acronis Backup for PC System Backup Software

Another great one at around the same price.  For a little over $61, you get almost all the same features as NovaBACKUP, except the Virus Scanning, Remote Scheduling, and Live Chat capabilities. If you can’t find a copy of NovaBACKUP, Acronis is an excellent backup. (no pun intended – but we wish it had been!)

Genie Backup Manager System Backup Software

Same price as NovaBACKUP, but less expensive than Acronis and fewer features. Again, Genie Backup Manager features many of the same features of NovaBACKUP, but lacks the same ones as Acronis, along with – and these are pretty big ones – the Complete System (Image) Backup and the Backup Wizard. While those are some relatively large losses in comparison, in the event you cannot pick up the other two, Genie Backup Manager should perform nobly for you until whatever time you feel you must upgrade or one of the other two become available.

We love talking about this stuff.

Hopefully, this has given you some insight into which system backup software you’d like to buy. If you still have some questions, we love to discuss software! Let’s talk about it and see which system backup software will work best for you.

Excited nerd with laptop system backup software

What are the Pros and Cons of System Backup Software?

Backing up your data. It sounds like a great idea, right? Well, yeah, it is. But with it comes to some natural side effects that must be dealt with on an ongoing basis. Do the pros to using system backup software outweigh the cons? Let’s take a look.

The Pros to System Backup Software:

Okay, let’s knock out the most obvious perk straightaway: the safety. When you use system backup software, it’s predominantly to protect your data in case of a systems failure, theft, or a disaster. That much is clear. If the worst happens, you can immediately download your data to another computer and get back to work. Another great perk is that you can download files from anywhere even if there’s nothing at all wrong with your network! If you’re across town, across the state, across the country or the world, you can access and download backed-up files wherever you are, and get to work. One last great perk is that backing up data can clear onsite storage, and so act as a sort of “cloud” for your files as needed. We could probably go on all day extolling the virtues of system backup software, but as we promised, here are the cons.

The Cons to System Backup Software:

Yes, you have to take the bad with the good. But in the case of system backup software, the pros do outweigh the cons. Still, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. One of the biggest cons to system backup software is the downloading time. If you are unfortunate enough to lose all your data, it can be recovered – but you’re going to have to download it all. And that could take a long time. Of course, it’s worth it to recover your data, but no business owner loves downtime at work. Another less-than-positive aspect is that, as with any method of transferring files, it does present an element of risk for data theft. Luckily, much of today’s system backup software includes encryptions to safeguard your data against such an occurrence.

Let Us Help You with Your System Backup Software Needs.

If anyone knows data, it’s Nerds. We can devise a great solution for your system backup software, incorporating all the necessary safeguards and encryptions you require for your business and sensitive information. Give us a buzz, and let’s talk about what we can do for you.

Man in blue suit pointing to a green smiley face in the middle of a yellow neutral face and a red sad face regarding corporate compliance program.

The Specifics of a Corporate Compliance Program

A corporate compliance program is a plan designed to detect or prevent certain law violations that may be caused by employees, officers, agents, or directors of businesses. However, “corporate” is a misnomer, as these plans apply to any sized business – large or small. So what are the factors that make up a successful corporate compliance program?

 

LASTO: Leadership, Assessment, Standards, Training, & Oversight

 

  1. Leadership

To have any success in your compliance program, it must first be built from the top down with support from senior level management and compliance officers. The program should have strong ethics and be openly endorsed with an unambiguous, visible, and active commitment towards it.

 

  1. Risk Assessment

Aside from following rules and procedures, a successful compliance program looks at the company as a whole and takes into account all the risks the company is faced with. Risk assessments are designed to give your business a comprehensive view of the entire picture and can include:

  • Country Risk
  • Sector Risk
  • Business Opportunity Risk
  • Business Partnership Risk
  • Transaction Risk

 

  1. Standards & Controls

Every corporate compliance program needs to have these minimum three controls: code of conduct, standards and policies, and procedures. However, due to recent changes made to the laws, the FCPA now requires you to run background checks, prove financial stability, and uncover any improper government associations. This is done to make sure your program is legitimate, and not just a piece of paper.

 

  1. Training

The most important part of having a successful corporate compliance program is the training of your staff, vendors, and compliance officers. If a violation occurs, the people you train, how you train them, and how often training occurs will be heavily looked into. During training, you’ll have the ability to correct any potential issues before a violation can occur.

 

  1. Oversight
  • Monitoring – commit to reviewing your program in real-time. If issues or gaps are found, act quickly to address and remediate them.
  • Auditing – an audit alone is not an effective form of monitoring. Your program should have a separate auditing function that works separately from monitoring.
  • Remediation – police yourself on compliance. Once problems and gaps are found through monitoring and auditing, respond and fix them as quickly as possible.

 

Corporate Compliance Program from Nerds Support

If you’re not sure how to go about creating and implementing a corporate compliance program of your own, let the skilled team at Nerds Support step in and take over. They’ll be able to fun all the assessments needed to find the gaps that may lead to a violation as well as put in place standards and controls for your company. They can train your staff and provide the oversight needed to make sure you don’t have any mistakes that lead to a compliance violation! Check out what they can do for you.

Close up of notepad for a corporate compliance program kept on table in empty corporate conference room before business meeting

What is a Corporate Compliance Program?

Do you work in an industry that requires you to follow a strict corporate compliance program? Unfortunately, many businesses don’t know whether or not they are following compliance until it’s too late. Nerds Support doesn’t want you to be one of those companies.

 

What is a Corporate Compliance Program?

Compliance is a term used to describe a set of standards set by a governing body to enforce internal controls and ethics of businesses utilizing them. These can include PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOX regulatory compliance standards. There are five essential elements to having a successful corporate compliance program used across today’s industries: leadership, risk assessment, standards/controls, training/communication, and oversight. Without these five elements in place and practiced regularly, businesses cannot have an effective corporate compliance program.

 

What is a Corporate Compliance Program Used for?

Certain industries require checks and balances when it comes to transmitting data to protect the individual the data is regarding. A corporate compliance program is that set of checks and balances. It lays out specific guidelines of how data is stored, transmitted, or shared.

 

HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects sensitive patient data. Any company that deals with protected health information is required to have a set of security measures in place and followed to be in compliance with HIPAA. This includes physical, network, and processes as well.

 

PCI DSS – The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard requires companies who process, store, or transmit credit card payments – regardless of size – to host their data securely with a PCI DSS compliant provider.

 

SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance is a comprehensive, cost-effective, and risk-based compliance act. It requires all publicly held companies establish controls and procedures to report financial information to reduce the risk or possibility of corporate fraud.

 

The Importance of Following a Corporate Compliance Program

Companies found in violation of these programs face serious charges by governing entities. Companies who receive audits on their financial records and found not to be in compliance with SOX can be harshly penalized while losing their investors and shareholders trust and respect. Companies who are non-compliant with HIPAA can find themselves facing steep fines and a loss of clients. If your company isn’t PCI DSS compliant, not only do you risk massive fines, you also risk losing the support of your financial institution as well. Not having a supporting bank equals no longer being able to accept credit cards as a form of payment.

 

Let Nerds Support Keep You Secure

Nerds Support has a team dedicated to keeping you in compliance with any industry standards you may have to follow. We’ll run system audits to see how secure your network is and implement processes that will get you back in compliance if you’re found in violation. Isn’t it time to make sure your company is following the rules?

Man holding his hands behind his back looking at a server without a business continuity plan

How to Create Your Own Business Continuity Plan

When was the last time a disaster struck your town or business? Did you have much warning? When it comes to predicting large scale events, technology has admittedly improved over the last several decades. Modern day tornado warnings give approximately 13 minutes’ lead-time before a tornado hits. We’re able to predict where a hurricane will make landfall and where an earthquake is most likely to occur. However, we’re still a long way off when it comes to pinpointing exactly where and when a catastrophic event will hit. Unfortunately for your business, without a business continuity plan in place – you’re a sitting duck.

 

Business Continuity is NOT a Disaster Recovery Plan.

Many people confuse business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity refers to the ability to maintain or quickly recover the main functions of your business in the event of a major disruptive event. It’s a plan that outlines specific procedures for your businesses to follow and covers important parts of the company such as assets, business partners, HR, and business processes. Disaster recovery only focuses on the organizations IT infrastructure and operations after the event has passed. Now, you may already have a disaster recovery plan in place for a disaster, and that’s good. Restoring your IT as quickly as possible is important to remaining competitive. However, what thought have you given to your people and processes? Having a business continuity plan in place is vital in improving your market value, reputation, and increasing your customer’s confidence in you.

 

Creating a Plan

When creating your plan, you must first look at your business’ processes, finding the vulnerabilities, and what those can cost your company if it were to go down for an extended period of time. When you start to develop your plan, you’d do well to keep these things in mind:

  1. Identify your plans scope
  2. Identify your key business areas
  3. Identify your critical functions
  4. Identify the dependencies between your different business areas and their functions
  5. Determine what the acceptable amount of down time is for each function
  6. Create a plan outlining how you plan on maintaining your operations

 

It’s best to keep in mind who does what in your organization when you are formulating your plan. Interview key players who you know have survived major events previously and learn how they were able to get through a difficult time.

 

Test Your Plan Once, Then Test It Again and Again

Once you have your plan in place, it’s important to test it as frequently as possible. Don’t think that having a successful run through one time is going to be adequate. Repeatedly testing your plan ensures that it fills it’s intended purpose. How often you test your plan is really up to you and your business. Most businesses test their business continuity plan anywhere from two to four times a year. You may want to test yours more or less depending on your employee turnover rate, type of your organization, or how many processes and IT changes have occurred since the plans last test. There are several different ways you can test your business continuity plan. You can schedule table-top exercises, walk-throughs, or stimulations to make sure everyone is trained properly on what to do in case of a real event. A table-top exercise consists of everyone involved looking over the plan together to identify gaps and weaknesses. When you schedule a walk-through test, your team members should get together and practice drills to identify weak links to actively improve upon. A stimulation should be done at least once a year. During this drill, management should be able to stimulate a disaster. This helps to reinforce that the test is done right.

 

Improve and Create Awareness

After each round of testing, make sure you are looking at what went right and what went wrong during the drill and make improvements to the plan. Management should always be maintaining employee awareness, ensuring everyone is on the same page. If you aren’t sure how to go about starting your business continuity plan or what weaknesses you need to be aware of, give Nerds Support a call. We can help you get your business continuity plan in place and tested to provide the optimal chance of success when a disaster does happen to strike.

web based applications

VDI vs Web Based Applications

Your company’s competitiveness all comes down to productivity. And one of the latest productivity battles is the choice between virtual desktops and web based applications. Virtual desktops are stored on a remote server, instead of on local hardware. Virtual desktops can use several operating systems, and tools such as Microsoft Virtual PC, Parallels Desktop for Mac, and VMware Workstation. Web based applications are applications that are based on the internet, where the user must download certain parts of the software to run the application. An example of a web based application is a mobile app that is downloaded to a smartphone, that must use the internet to function, such as Twitter or Basecamp.

Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops are highly versatile, and help businesses to reduce costs while increasing the efficiency of their IT infrastructure. Virtual desktops share resources—you can pool resources from several different servers to create virtual environments—so VDIs are more reliable than traditional desktops. There is also significant cost savings, because resources can be shared and allocated more efficiently, and users can access the same desktop, files, and applications from any device that they choose. Users can access the same device from their smartphone that they would on their desktop, making working on the go seamless.

Web Based Applications

Web based applications can be browser based, client based, or mobile based, but in each case, the user needs to download certain information from the web in order for the application to run properly. Web apps include well known social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as most Google services—Google Calendar, Google Maps, and Google Drive. Web apps can be run through virtually any browser, and they have exploded in popularity along with mobile devices.

What’s Better For Your Business?

Virtual desktops and web based applications can both be used successfully by a growing business. It depends on how much control you need. Virtual desktops allow you more ability to control what is going in and out of your systems, as well as the level of security and accessibility. Web based applications can change their rules about critical things such as data sharing without your knowledge or consent. While you can create a virtual desktop using your own servers and control all accessibility, you cannot control whether or not Google Apps will share your data with a third party. Virtual desktops are relatively cheap, but they are still more expensive in terms of money and time to install and maintain than web applications, where a company like Google will handle all technical issues. If you need more security and control, VDIs might be your best option, but if you favor low cost, simplicity, and ease of use over multiple devices, then you might favor web applications.

Man on smart phone - young business man in airport. Casual urban professional businessman using smartphone smiling happy inside office building or airport. Handsome man wearing suit jacket indoors using mobility.

20 Fun Facts About Mobility

With mobility becoming ever more popular in the workforce, it’s no wonder that companies are seriously considering making the switch from desk tops to mobile devices – whether they be laptops, tablets, or cell phones.

If you’re like us, you might have been curious about how introducing a mobility solution into your company would fare. Below are 20 –very- interesting facts about mobility… with a few extras thrown in for fun!

20 Fun Facts About Mobility

 

  1. Out of 6.8 billion people on the planet, 4 billion use a cell phone. Only 3.5 billion use a toothbrush. Yuck! Good thing they’re not talking to us face to face!
  2. 38% of organizations don’t provide mobility devices to their employees.
  3. 25% of Americans access the Internet from their cell phones only.
  4. 66% of companies support mobility, allowing or mandating their employees to bring their own mobile devices to work.
  5. It’s been 40 years since the very first successful call was made on a mobile device.
  6. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received.
  7. This is because 91% of people have their cell phones within arms reach 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  8. Technology users carry 2.9 devices on them every day. Any guesses as to what they are?
  9. Every year, 240 hours per employee are gained through mobile productivity. That equates to $5,114 in extra work or 6 extra weeks a year.
  10. In 2012, 17 billion devices had the ability to connect to the internet. That number is expanding as the Internet of Things grows.
  11. By 2018, companies will have invested $61 billion in mobility.
  12. There are five times as many cell phones than there are PCs.
  13. The first mobile device, better known as “The Brick” weighed a whopping 2lbs, took 10 hours to charge, and only had 30 minutes of talk time.
  14. Today’s cell phones weigh less than 3 ounces.
  15. The most frequent use of cell phones isn’t making calls, sending texts, or surfing the Internet – It’s checking the time. Bye bye wrist watches!
  16. Voicemail was added to cell phones in 1986.
  17. Internet service was added to cell phones in 1996 – and it was HORRIBLY slow.
  18. In 2015, the number of employees who use mobile devices for work exceeded 1.3 billion users. It’s estimated to be at 6.3 billion users – over 84% of Earth’s population – by 2018.
  19. Over two-thirds of CIOs and IT professionals believe that mobility will be as big as the internet.
  20. Today’s cell phones are more powerful than the NASA computers that sent two men to the moon back in 1969!

Bonus Round!

  1. Email was around before the World Wide Web
  2. 60 million emails are sent every day.
  3. 97% of them are considered spam.
  4. 70% of virus writers work under contract for an organization. That’s right, they get paid to steal your data!

Lastly….

  1. 86% of people try to put their USBs in upside down. (So don’t worry, you aren’t alone!)

Find out things you didn’t know? Nerds Support can help with other questions you have about mobility and technology in general. Give them a call and see what they can do for you!

IT relocation

Top 5 IT Relocation Tips For Your Big Move

Your IT infrastructure–especially your servers–is your organization’s lifeline. Without it, you could lose important enterprise data and your business could suffer. That’s why it’s extremely important to handle your equipment with care as your prepare for an IT relocation. Here are five IT relocation tips that’ll save you serious downtime and get your business back up and running in no time.

Rethink Your Current IT Infrastructure

Moving to a new office space may also indicate the time to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Maybe your computers are crashing at random times, or you’ve outgrown your current data storage capacity? An office move is the perfect time to rethink your current IT infrastructure and consider upgrading your systems and network to accommodate your growing needs. It’s wise to reach out to an experienced IT consultant to determine the best upgrade solutions for your business.

Benefit From a Pre-Move Audit

A pre-move audit is essentially a rundown of the current state of your company’s technology. Are all of your IT assets of value to your business needs and day-to-day operations? A full assessment of your existing hardware and software can help you understand how your IT infrastructure functions. So that when you plan for an IT relocation, you’ll know exactly what needs to be packed, moved, and set up in the proper locations.

Hire Professionals for Your IT Relocation

When moving homes, it’s perfectly normal to hire a team of traditional movers to handle your furniture and other home goods. But servers and IT hardware require a little extra TLC. Technology is fragile, so you should only trust IT relocation specialists to handle your business-critical equipment. That way all the tedious but important relocation tasks–like data cabling and rack management–can be done properly, and your business can minimize on unnecessary downtime.

Make Sure to Back Up Important Data

Backing up your data is one of the most important tips to consider for a successful IT relocation. No matter how carefully you handle your hardware and servers, sometimes the simple act of unplugging it can lead to lost data or machine failure. Doing a complete backup of all your systems and hardware will ensure that you don’t run the risk of losing any piece of important company data.

Reconfigure and Test Your Hardware/Software

Before your IT relocation team heads out the door, make sure they do a proper reinstallation and reconfiguration of your hardware. This is to ensure that your new IT infrastructure allows you to meet your business-specific needs and run your company in the most efficient way possible.