10 ways to help safeguard your business

Las Vegas is open for business 24/7/365. Many of Sin City’s businesses — hotels, casinos, restaurants and clubs — never close. So even in the wee hours of the morning, IT issues such as power failures, network outages and equipment crashes can mean customers can’t book rooms, charge meals or play slot machines.

IT downtime can cost thousands of dollars per incident — and the meter turns faster as more businesses simply can’t operate without communications, data and Internet connections. A study by the Ponemon Institute documented a 41 percent rise in the cost of downtime between 2010 and 2013, with no indication the curve will flatten.

The good news is you can minimize the impact of IT downtime. Here are 10 ways to improve uptime:

1. Temporarily store inbound email at a remote data center in the event of a server, line or power failure. Emails automatically are forwarded when service is restored.

2. Back up mission-critical data automatically over existing Internet or virtual private network (VPN) connections to a secure storage facility and restore when needed.

3. Remotely forward calls to your company’s main phone line to another office, a mobile phone or even a residence when you need to.

4. Pair your primary Internet connection with a backup option, such as fixed wireless or 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.

5. Better yet, if possible, create an IP VPN by adding Internet connections at two or more locations with automatic failover during an outage at the primary location.

6. Order automatic failover for voice lines and trunks, too, so customers never get a busy or out-of-service signal.

7. Consider a cloud-based service for your phone system, email or collaboration applications since they can be accessed anytime, anywhere and from any device.

8. Move data servers to an off-site, secure facility to provide higher availability for mission-critical applications.

9. Subscribe to a managed security service to prevent malware and denial of service (DoS) attacks from taking down your network.

10. Look for a service provider that will consult with you on developing a continuity plan that includes a range of solutions that are right for you.

Don’t put off business continuity planning. Admittedly, preparing for a disaster that may never happen seems like a low priority, but consider this: A careless backhoe operator or a user error could stop your business dead in its tracks as surely as a flood, earthquake or hurricane.

Tags: The Sunday

Christopher Duggan leads the Las Vegas office of TelePacific Communications, a provider of connectivity, continuity and cloud services for businesses, not-for-profits and governments.