Backups are critical against ransomware viruses

Virus protection for Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultantprotect-against-ransomware

While global attention is presently focused on the COVID-19 coronavirus, all of the hand sanitizer in the country won’t protect you against another type of catastrophic virus.

The most heartbreaking call to Sage Support or to a Sage consultant is the one from a Sage 300 CRE user who was attacked by a ransomware virus and the user does not have a backup of the files critical to restoring the system. In many cases, the user is forced to pay the exorbitant ransom in order to use their software.

Beware — when it comes to viruses, it may not be a question of whether, but rather a question of when you will be infected. Backing up files in your Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is critical for protecting and restoring your system from ransomware virus attack.

Best practices for protecting your software are:

  • Confirm that all custom reports are stored in the proper location on your Sage server: \\[servername]\Timberline Office\9.5\Accounting\Report (preferably in a subfolder such as Custom or Custom Reports).
  • Confirm that all custom reports are linked to the menus in your software using a UNC path (such as the path to the Report folder above) and not a mapped drive (such as T:). If all of your custom reports are stored in the same subfolder, you can use Common Tasks > File > Company Settings > File Locations to enter the UNC path to the custom report folder. Then, when you link a custom report to a menu, you are taken directly to that folder and can select the report design to add to the menu.
  • In all data folders in the Open Company selection list, confirm that the File Locations are entered using a UNC path and not a mapped drive.
  • Periodically create a backup of the entire 9.5 folder and store it in a safe place! This can be done by using File Tools or simply by right-clicking the folder and creating a compressed file. Copy the .tsZip2 file or .zip file to an external storage device that is NOT connected to your server or to another computer on your network. Put it in a fireproof safe if you have one! If the virus can get to the external drive from a device on your network, the backup can also be infected and rendered unusable. The 9.5 folder contains all of your custom reports, inquiries, menus, formulas, and security files – it’s important!!!
  • Periodically create backups of each of the data folders in your Open Company selection list and store these on the same external device with the 9.5 folder backup.

Backup frequency

How often should you create these backups? That depends on how much data you want to re-key and how often you are adding new reports, new inquiries, and new users in your Sage software. With complete backups of the 9.5 folder and data folders, your Sage software can be installed and restored on a clean computer or server in as little as a couple of hours.

Yes, we realize that your IT provider (hopefully) is periodically backing up your system. However, the second most heartbreaking call to Sage Support or to a Sage consultant is the one from a Sage 300 CRE user who discovered that the backups created by IT had failed or could not be restored. Protecting your software again a software virus infection has become vital in today’s networking environments. We encourage you to be proactive in making sure you are not the next victim.

Check out Sage City for more info on auto-backups.

All backed up and feeling safe? Read how Sage 100 Contractor has built-in tools to keep your employees’ information healthy and fight labor shortage.

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