NEW from ElyIT - IT update -
Quite a few of our customers ask us how their IT is, how their backups are, if we've found viruses or any other malicious software on their systems, how their systems are with regard to the latest security issues - so, we thought we let them know, briefly, on either a daily or weekly basis.
Part of good IT management is to stay on top of IT, to properly, truly manage systems - this includes -
Windows records all informational, warnings and errors in it's event logs.
It's usually the first place we look for any underlying issues or problems. We check these everyday to ensure everything on the network can talk together logically meaning a fast, seamless network.
We check to ensure all the internal server components, including disks, processor memory are ok - if, for example, there are problems with disks we can run diagnostics and recovery tools and even tell the system not to use certain parts of disks with bad segments.
In the worst case we work with 3rd parties to resolve the issues - in the past we've, at no extra cost, met with Dell and HP on weekends to take systems down to keep downtime for clients at a minimum.
Windows security updates -
Windows regularly releases updates. These are usually on Tuesdays, what we IT bods call "patch Tuesday". However, important updates are being released much more regularly as threats evolve and the software is constantly secured and improved.
We check and update our client's IT updates; we ensure all security patches and updates are downloaded, installed and working without a problem.
Most of our client's running without servers install their updates automatically - we check on our system monitoring tool, installed on every PC and server we look after, to ensure they are up to date.
Servers have to be looked after manually for several reasons. We need to ensure -
- the server reboots without a glitch
- all relevant services ran by the server have started
- backup systems have started up and are running
- there maybe more updates to be installed after a reboot
- other software might not be compatible with the updates
- we check system logs for Warnings and Errors
Backup monitoring and tests -
Most of our clients run MozyPro cloud backup. This is an automatic backup system which backs up servers, both physical and virtual.
MozyPro backs systems up every two hours - but only files (or changed block data ie. the bits and bytes which make files and folders) which have changed. These backups occur every two hours and are incredibly reliable - although, as with everything, their logs still need to be checked to ensure all's well - we assume nothing.
MozyPro also backs up virtual server systems - these backups are very fast and efficient using changed block tracking - this means only changed blocks of data are backed up, not the entire file or system.
We check logs for errors and warnings, ensure all files and system files are captured, the software is up to date and secure.
Router/firewall updates -
Ensuring routers and firewalls are up to date ensures systems are running as intended, that they are reliable, fast and secure.
We check our client's networks, including their routers and firewalls, to ensure they are up to date and secure.
We run best practice scans, much like those we run against our client's server systems, to ensure all is well and nothing will catch us out.
Offline anti-virus scans -
Not one vendor can protect against EVERY threat. We always advise BitDefender as it's a great all-rounder. It's manageable, one of the best and offers best-of-breed protection.
We always advise layered protection - secured firewalls, Windows fully up to date, 3rd party software fully up to date, redundant firewall rules turned off, features and additions uninstalled if not in use - there are so many ways to minimise risk and exposure.
Although we depend heavily, usually, on BitDefender, we also run 3rd party scans to be 100% - these can be ESET, Trend etc.