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Randy Johnston, Network Management GroupFor all the talk about the increasing sophistication of malware and other threats to office computing, one good old-fashioned threat to operations remains current. That is back ups that do not work as expected. And technologist Randy Johnston says computer users must test backups, not just expect that they will work in an emergency.

Johnston reported this year's experience of one firm that consulted with him after it had a disaster that took it offline. "This firm had a catastrophic failure on March 13," he said. "The backup system was recording that the backup was occuring, but nothing was getting backed up."

Speaking at a session about disaster recovery and planning at the recent CCH Connections user conference, Johnston warned that if backup systems have not been installed correctly, they will report that backups are being performed as desired even if they aren't. So users have to go beyond the basics.

"It has to be tested on a pretty regular basis," he cautioned.

Johnston, a partner with the Network Management Group, also devoted a significant amount of his talk to the threat of CryptoWall computer infections. These are the attacks in which an outsider uses code to lock up a computer and demand a ransom from the owner in order to free up the device.

He reported hearing about two or three of these a week. And where those holding the computer hostage were once demanding between $350 and $500 to free the system, that has generally escalated to $1,500 to $3,500 for each ransom demand.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Tuesday, 12 January 2016
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