Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Are You Being Served? Computer-Security Experts Urge Business Owners to Back Up Their Servers in Case of Loss

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Are You Being Served? Computer-Security Experts Urge Business Owners to Back Up Their Servers in Case of Loss

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CANNON

A company specializing in sports photography was nearly put out of business after the company's servers - containing more than 400,000 images - were taken.

The Sarasota-based company's misfortune underscores the need for business owners to invest in stronger IT procedures and infrastructure, according to experts in the field.

Michael Yelman, president of AI Wire, was alerted to the theft after his IT contractor, Ken Martin of Xpand Technologies based in Jacksonville, noticed the servers went offline.

Martin called police after he visited the Colo4Jax office, the company that housed the servers, and noticed the server racks were empty. During the course of the police investigation, it was discovered that Ray Barnes, president of Colo4Jax, was seen by the fourth-floor manager of the building in front of a rental truck at the time the servers started going offline, according to the police report.

"There are several times throughout the year where the sports industry is extremely busy, like in May, we have Preakness, international tennis, NASCAR, baseball and the NBA championships, and this is not the time to be down," Yelman said.

What made the theft even more untimely, Yelman said, was that he had just brought in two investors and had begun to expand into more international sports settings.

However, after several days of contacting police departments, and searching for known associates through the Internet, Yelman was able to locate Barnes in Miami and reclaim his servers.

Two weeks after the ordeal began, Yelman's business is still not up and running.

HAVE A BACKUP PLAN

This might be seen as an extreme example of lost data, but the same outcome could be the result of a fire, a hurricane, flood damage or any other form of natural disaster.

Which is why security experts like Mike Foster, president of The Foster Institute, an IT security firm based in Napa, Calif., advocate redundancy, multiple backup options and disaster-relief plans.

Business continuity appliances allow IT professionals to back up entire servers every 15 minutes and upload the image to the vendor's system every night. …

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