Viewing entries tagged
Business Continuity

Email Security-What’s in a Domain Name?

There is a trending epidemic related to your company's email security.  Criminals are setting up fake domains by doing things like replacing the letter “m” with “r n” in the domain name (i.e. is replaced with

Your company’s Exchange Administrator may take a shortcut and simply block incoming emails from these types of domains, but we believe this is shortsighted. This only protects your business from attacks coming in. Lack of aggressive action may cause threats of attacks occurring against your customer base.

Companies must be mindful of criminals using look-alike domains, or your customers may suffer the consequences. Fake domains could allow these criminals to steal money from your company and/or your customers. If money is stolen from your customers in this manner, the company-customer relationship will be negatively impacted, despite not having done anything wrong yourselves.

ZAG has had at least four clients hit by one of these attacks within the last three weeks alone. Fortunately, none of them have suffered losses from this, but there have been cases where they have come close to falling victims to this scam.

Companies need to be mindful of this threat. We recommend that businesses acquire registration for domain names that are similar to their own. We also recommend confirming ACH changes through multiple factors to achieve true financial security. 

This risk is real and must be addressed immediately. And though this may be an outside-the-box approach, we feel this solution can greatly protect you. If you want to be secure, you must stay vigilant.

To learn how to obtain IT security, contact a ZAG representative today. 

How Business Continuity Saved Us From A Tech Disaster

Water leaked from the floor above and damaged our most critical servers. 

At ZAG, we have been helping companies prepare for, and recover from, tech disasters for many years. This week was the first time that we personally experienced one. We learned (and relearned) many lessons in this disaster, and the goal of this posting is to share some of those lessons.

We were made aware of the situation when our network immediately shut down.

On Monday, the suite above us, which is going through construction, had their air-conditioning system freeze up causing an enormous amount of water to flow into our server room. As luck would have it, the water hit our most critical corporate operating systems.

Essentially, gallons and gallons of water poured down from the ceiling into our critical systems. The water event damaged our Number Four rack in a top down method; Switches were a total loss, servers were dramatically impacted, the SAN was slightly impacted and UPS's made it unscathed.

The first obvious lesson highlighted is that business continuity is as important as backups. Business continuity is key to business survival, especially during a technical emergency.

First, our voicemail system went down. This system handles the routing of our support calls coming from our clients. Fortunately, we have planned for such situations by having a system in place with AT&T whereby all incoming calls would be redirected to a different number in the event that our phone system was not reachable. This enabled us to continue to support our clients even without a phone system.

Fortunately, the water damage happened after hours, so the vast majority of incoming calls were support related. This meant the load of incoming calls to the ZAG PRI were not overloaded. We continued operating and supporting our clients quickly due to Business Continuity Planning.

Our second lesson came through our vindicated Data Center Design. If our backups had been in the same rack as our servers, then the experience could have been much worse.

The thought of losing a single rack, which is what happened in our case, may often not be thought of while planning a Data Center Layout. ZAG has placed all backup servers in a different location; this ensured that the backup server was protected from the localized disaster we experienced.

Lastly, the final lesson we received was the power of virtualization. Had our key systems not been virtualized, and taken the damage that several of our virtualized hosts did, we would have been down for much longer.

We completely lost three HyperV servers and the motherboards were destroyed due to the leaking water. However, we greatly benefited from the fact that we live in a virtual environment, and our SAN only suffered minor damages.  Thankfully, we have enough virtual hosts to bring up our mission critical servers and keep the business running.

Our disaster this week was real. The damage to our systems was great. Nevertheless, we had Business Continuity practices in place alongside recovery methodology, which helped us successfully weather the “storm” without a significant loss in service.