Small business Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity: 1 to 5 Users

After years of seeing very small businesses, defined as 1 – 5 people, endure worsening malware infestation and powerful virus infection disasters I recommend a simple inexpensive policy that really works continuing your business productivity.

Get a second system on your desk and now use two:

  1. One for working on data, documents, etc. This is your main machine and should be the newer one.
  2. One for internet browsing such as research on the web, programs that search the web for data and casual non-business “stuff”. This should be the older machine.
  3. Save a copy of your data to a separate storage device that is a central repository for all of your data including Outlook data or similar programs, and, your Favorites folder in case of a disaster.

You may recall me mentioning that the biggest problem when a system is down is that the user doesn’t have another system to work on. By incorporating this policy into your business practices you now address Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity better. Why? Even though you buy a new machine and transfer everything over to it you can leave applications you use to work with data such as your office suite, PDF apps, etc… on the older machine so that if the first (main) machine fails you can access your data that should reside on the separate storage device from your second machine and continue business. Plus, this methodology also helps you keep the older machine up to date better to be ready when a disaster occurs.

By incorporating this methodology you leave most if not all of the internet access to the older machine so that if it gets infected, and these days we are seeing so many more problems from accessing websites we thought we could trust like your health insurance company site, you still continue working since the machine that doesn’t have the data is the one that is infected, not the main machine. Better said, the one that does have the data is less exposed. Much better!

This is a very inexpensive method to recover from a disaster and continue business. Since you don’t have the infrastructure of a larger business then you don’t have expensive backup solutions, probably don’t have an IT administrator employee and don’t have a storage room of spare systems. This method provides quick switch-over to a functioning machine. Your data can immediately be accessed on the external storage device.

You should be able to get a very good new PC (Personal Computer – notebook, desktop) ranging from $400.00 to $800.00. The external storage devices are about $100.00. Setting them up is easy and you can use the manufacturer’s assistance. What’s more, if you are using Windows 7 you can take advantage of  the image backup utility that makes a complete image copy of your PC’s hard drive that can be restored quickly as compared to reinstalling all of your applications, updates, patches and, of course, data.

Objective: keep your most important machine off the web as much as you can..

Hope this helps.

Robert Lane
ASE, Inc.
Getting you ready for tomorrow today
703-273-8388 ext 111

ASE, Inc. is an IT consulting, engineering, hosted and managed support services provider covering the Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC area.  Since 2000 ASE has focused on providing full outsourced IT department services to small and medium businesses as well as providing senior level network security expertise to all size entities in both commercial and federal markets.  Call ASE today – 703-273-8388.