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3rd Quarter 2014 - August Issue

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Limitations of Online Backup, Cloud Catastrophes

Benefits and Limitations of Online Backups

Online backups are all the rage these days. Some of our customers insist on them, and at Shiloh Service we certainly have solutions and providers that we recommend.

Sometimes, however, people jump on band wagons before they know where the wagon is going or what tune the band knows how to play. What are the benefits and limitations of online backups?


  • Online backups are easy. Just pay the bill and let the service you purchased take care of everything automatically.
  • Your data is safely off-site. Fire, flood, lightning, and theft at your office can’t delete your data.
  • Online systems are scalable to backup as much data as you need. Just buy more service.


  • Your connection speed to the Internet is a big factor. Broadband speeds are limited, and only so much data can be processed per hour, no matter the service you choose.
  • If the backup extends into work hours, things may slow down for workers trying to access software and files.
  • While small, the risk of the company being hacked or going out of business is real, as the recent shut down of the data-hosting site Code Spaces demonstrates (see our next article).

The biggest limitation comes in a real disaster recovery situation. If the only way your online backup service has of returning your data is over the Internet, and you’ve been pushing data up there for years, how long do you think it’s going to take to get all the data back? Secondly, it’s likely that they only have your saved files, not the system state data that allows your computers to be rebuilt with all their software and settings intact.

Are online backups a good idea? Yes, if used properly, taking into account the pros and cons, and you’re really ready to deal with the kind of disaster you’re backing up for in the first place.

At Shiloh Service, we have decades of experience working with companies just like yours to prepare them for both minor data losses and major disaster recovery. It’s the wisdom you need to sleep well at night, knowing we can get your business up and running quickly, no matter what happens.

Interested in learning more? Call us at 1-888-374-4564 or complete our easy-to-use contact form today.

A Cloud Computing Catastrophe

cloud computing code spacesThe world is rushing to the cloud. The reasons are clear: ease of use, economical pricing, and flexible solutions that can be scaled up or down at the press of a button.

However, when your data is “out there somewhere” with little more than a password between you and piracy, bad things can happen. In the case of a company called Code Spaces, online vulnerabilities led to the total dissolution of the company within a few days.

Codes Spaces was no ordinary company. They were a code-hosting and project management services provider used by hundreds of businesses a week. Their services were based in the Amazon cloud, likely the largest and most powerful cloud infrastructure in the world.

Code Spaces boasted of “full redundancy” and “a full recovery plan that has been proven to work and is, in fact, practiced.” Nevertheless, on June 17th of 2014, hackers demanded a ransom, with the company’s (and all their customers') data as the hostage.

They were so sure of their own security, Code Spaces refused to pay. Good to their word, the hackers, who had full access to Code Spaces’ Amazon cloud account, used their administrative privileges to delete absolutely everything, including all of the company’s cloud based backups.

Within twelve hours, Code Spaces was out of business, leaving thousands of customers without access to the data they believed was both secure and backed up.

The lesson is clear. No cloud service is absolutely secure, and when you trust your data blindly to the cloud, the risk can be total.

Cloud services can still be used for all of their benefits, but at Shiloh Service, we help you do so wisely, with on-site backups and recovery plans. To learn more, give us a call at 1-888-374-4564, or use our easy-to-complete Contact form today.

Reliable Backup Solutions

At Shiloh Service, we work with and recommend a variety of backup solutions both online and on-site.

storage craft backup solutionsStorageCraft

When it comes to online backup, one outstanding solution that provides for system image backup and recovery is StorageCraft.

With StorageCraft your complete IT environment can be backed up in multiple locations, including locally and in the cloud. Alert monitoring tells you when backups don’t happen or any critical condition goes unmet.

ShadowProtect by StorageCraft is an award-winning backup and disaster recovery that creates reliable snapshots of your entire computer, including data, applications, your operating system, and more, making it easy to recover an individual file or entire computes as needed.

symantec backup exec Symantec Backup Exec

Symantec’s place as an industry leader in backup solutions is secure with Symantec Backup Exec 2014.

Backup Exec is a classic, able to backup physical servers, Active Directory, Exchange, Oracle databases, SQL, and even Network Attached Storage devices.

With this product, we’re talking about protecting your entire IT infrastructure, whether you’re operating from physical machines, virtual machines, or a combination of both. In 2014 backup and deduplication speeds have been drastically improved, up to 100% faster.

Flexible storage options with Backup Exec allow you to backup to virtually any storage device including disk, tape, or third party cloud.

Which backup solution is right for your business? That takes more than reading a spec sheet or making a guess. At Shiloh Service, we’ll review your business processes and make an experienced judgment as to what fits your operations best.

To learn more, give us a call at 1-888-374-4564, or use our easy-to-complete Contact form today.

Password Vaults and Password Security

roboform robo form password vaultWeak passwords are the easiest way for hackers to gain access to your network and your data. But if you go to the effort of using a tool-chest full of strong passwords, how do you keep track of and remember them all?

Password vaults and password management tools can help. They can keep track of hundreds of difficult passwords and make them available to you at the click of a mouse for all sorts of applications and websites, from signing in to your QuickBooks software to logging on to your Google+ account.

RoboForm is a good example. When you login to a website, RoboForm automatically offers to save your Login information for you. You just click yes or no. For passwords RoboForm remembers, the program offers a one-click “fill in this form” button that appears in your web browser or along with the login box when software is launched.

When you type your master password into RoboForm, it only accepts that session as valid for a limited time; so if you walk away from your computer or the machine is stolen, RoboForm will reset and ask for master password the bad guys won’t have.

RoboForm Everywhere allows you to setup your personal RoboForm account across multiple machines. Of course, your Master Password needs to be really strong, because if the bad guys do get it they have access to all of your other passwords too.

What is a really strong password? One that uses upper and lower case letters along with numbers and special characters and is at least 8 characters long. An example might be R38!!#gH$. Of course RoboForm will help you generate strong passwords too.

For more information and an article on The Best Password Managers of 2014, visit the following link to an article on PC Magazine’s website.

Computer Concerns When an Employee Leaves

employee password managementWhen employees leave, you don’t let them walk out the door with the company books, critical business contacts, and a free laptop; however, if you don’t have an IT solution in place for employee departure, they may have the equivalent of all that and more. If the employee left under unfriendly circumstances, they may have enough logins and passwords to damage your business and/or your online reputation.

Are you prepared?

These days, it’s impossible for most companies to function without sharing at least some passwords with their employees. From email and web logins to Facebook pages and bookkeeping software, employees need access to your company’s IT world in order to get their jobs done.

But turnover happens. Sometimes it’s cordial as great employees retire or move on to better opportunities. Sometimes conflict and discord result in termination or an angry worker storming out the door. In either case, do you even know all the passwords and systems to which your employee had access?

The best time to prepare for employee departure is before they are even hired. You need to approach the issue of employee IT access systematically, with

  • Lists of IT assets, from computers and tablets to phones and other Internet enabled equipment that will be assigned to an employee.
  • Lists of login access to any company related software or online-services that will be shared with the employee.
  • A plan for changing passwords and distributing new passwords to appropriate personnel.
  • Contact names and numbers of both internal and external IT managers that will be informed when an employee leaves.

Your plan for employee exits should include in-depth checks of computers they have worked with for viruses, mal-ware, and backdoor logins. The entire process can be put together as a simple, step-by-step plan that is followed routinely and requires no panicked response at a difficult time.

At Shiloh Service, we can help you develop a solid management plan for employee password access. Just give us a call at 1-888-374-4564, or use our easy-to-complete Contact form today.

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