Stormy Weather Ahead! Protect your Devices!

As severe weather approaches, it is essential to plan for what stormy weather often brings – power outages.  

Weather-related power outages are common in Washington. Our state is well-known for beautiful green trees and rainy winter seasons. Unfortunately, combining these two often results in tree limbs falling onto powerlines, resulting in local power outages. For local business owners, it is so important to plan for these occurrences 

So how can you protect yourself from the inevitable winter-season power outage? We recommend purchasing an “umbrella” of sorts for your business – an Uninterruptible Power Supply. (already have one? skip to the end of this article for a tip on testing your current battery backup!)

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is one of the most important things to have for your business, because it will help your business avoid downtime and data loss. Essentially, a UPS is the same thing as a backup battery; it is a device that is connected between your computer and outlet that provides your equipment with power. This device includes a battery that will kick in if and when a power outage occurs, delivering consistent power to your connected equipment!  

Still not convinced? All of the backups and redundant systems in the world won’t do you any good if your computer doesn’t have power. Most organizations have a good UPS system as their first line of defense. There are a variety of benefits a UPS will bring to your company:  

Protects Against Power Surges: Storms cause unsteady electrical currents throughout a community. When the electrical current going to your device is not steady, it can have serious consequences for your PC and networking equipment. A UPS provides consistent backup power during inconsistent power availability. The UPS will stabilize the voltage passing through it, which will protect any data and computer equipment that is connected to it. Sounds like a great investment for a business in Washington! 

The Gift of Time: Precious time is gained by using a UPS battery. In the event of a power outage, the battery backup will turn on automatically. Depending on the type of battery backup you choose, it will keep your server or computer running for and additional 30 minutes to 2 hours! 

Keeps Data Safe and Protected: Even if your backup battery only allows you to have an extra 30 minutes of power, this time is crucial. You will be able to save any documents you were working on, and safely shut down your computer or server. This added time could save you big bucks in the long run, and even avoid data hiccups! 

 If your business resides in the local Kitsap, Jefferson, or Clallam counties, it is helpful to view local information about power outages. Below are links to outage maps and estimated times that service will be restored for Puget Sound Energy, Wave Cable, Century Link and Comcast. We have also included phone numbers you can use to report your outage! We recommend keeping a hard copy of these numbers so they can easily be accessed in the case of an emergency. 

Puget Sound Energy: 1-888-225-5773 

https://www.pse.com/outage/outage-map  

Wave Cable: 1-866-928-3123
http://downdetector.com/status/wave-broadband 

Century Link: 1-877-837-5738
http://internethelp.centurylink.com/internethelp/centurylink-outage-map.html 

Comcast: 1-877-338-5965
http://outage.report/xfinity 

Already have a UPS? UPS systems often sit for years without being used or checked on. Have you tested yours recently?

To test your UPS, unplug the UPS from the wall to simulate and outage and see how the transition goes. It should maintain power long enough for you to safely save documents and shut the connected devices down. If you are unable to test it yourself, give us a call!

To learn more about battery backups and how they will benefit your business, call our office today. Our techs would love to discuss your battery options and recommend a plan that will help best protect your business! 

Kitsap Networking Services, Inc. (360) 516-6741 

Sequim I.T. (360) 504-3272  

3 Ways Email Encryption Will Protect Your Business

Email has become one of the main sources of communication among businesses. Because so much important information is transferred via email, it is necessary to have a layer of protection for your company data. Email encryption makes data unreadable for anyone who isn’t authorized to view it. Essentially, it converts your message into a code! This creates a layer of protection from anyone who might try to steal your data (it happens more often than you might think!).  

For an encrypted email to be in readable form, you must have the proper key to gain authorized access to the email, and “decode” (or decrypt) the message. So, when the person you sent the message to receives the message, if they are authorized, your message will appear in readable form. 

 

Key Benefits of Encrypted Email: 

1. Privacy – What makes emailing unsecure in the first place?  When you send an email, it travels through different nodes (AKA systems or devices) along the network until it reaches its destination. Because it passes through so many nodes, it can be easily intercepted and tampered with. However, encrypted emails are much harder to access and tamper with because they require special authorization keys in order to access the email.  

2. Compliance – In the state of Washington, certain businesses are required by law to keep their data safe from hackers. For example, within the medical field it is essential to keep patient health information private. If you do not meet HIPAA compliance standards, you run the risk of being sued or even shut down! Encrypted emails assist in preventing any unwanted parties from gaining access to your important confidential records. This is a great way to keep your business compliant with these laws.  

3. Protection – Prevent scammers from using your email domain to phish for information. Email encryption uses a digital signature with every email you send. The recipient of the email can check the digital signature to easily see if the email has been sent by you, of it is spam. This creates another layer of security and generates trust between your emails and your business.  

While encrypting your emails will decrease your risk of being hacked, it is NOT the only recommended step to protect yourself and your business. Email encryption does not protect you from the effects of clicking on malicious links, from internet connection hacks, or from getting your password hacked.  

While there is no way to completely immunize your business to cyber-attacks, we encourage everyone to learn the basics about cybersecurity. A lack of security can drive customers away, so it is especially important that businesses implement proper procedures to safeguard their systems and data. Read our other blog posts to learn more, or contact us with specific questions regarding the security of your business (KNS & Sequim I.T. offer free consultations to assess your Network’s security risk!): 

Protect Your Business – Train your Employees on Cybersecurity 

The Essential Guide to Managing Internet Privacy & Security  

Top 10 Tips on How to Avoid Phishing Scams [Successfully] 

3 Internet Scams You CAN Protect Yourself From 

Thanks for reading! Kitsap Networking Services & Sequim I.T. is a local company (with multiple locations), offering professional I.T. services and support to the professional service industry! We specialize in Medical Outpatient Clinics and Professional Businesses. Visit our website for more information on how we can help you protect your business.