Monthly Archives: June 2012

What Has Your Backup Done For You Lately?

What Has Your Backup Done For You Lately?

Businesses of all sizes rely on their data more than ever before. What’s more, businesses have more data to protect and backups to store than ever. Critical files, customer data, email archives and other application data run our world. It’s not a bad idea to backup that data to a local drive or tape. In the case of a true disaster, such as an earthquake or fire your local backup may not be enough. By using online or remote backup, you can store your data securely in an offsite location and have it available in a disaster recovery scenario. Also, with cloud computing, companies large and small, can now affordably backup data offsite.

When you evaluate a remote backup solution here are a few things to consider:

Is My Data Secure?

When you think about moving your data backup offsite most business owners think about security first. While backup vendors take data security seriously, their approach may vary for how your data is protected. Data storage in a private cloud may add an additional physical layer of security by dedicating hardware to your individual needs. A private cloud solution may drive the cost up and may be more than you need. Public cloud storage may use a virtual environment to store your data, making it more affordable. However, a public cloud solution may not comply with your industry regulations for data security. It is important you understand your security needs and priorities to find the best remote backup solution for your business.

How Long Does It Take To Recover?

When you store your data offsite, keep in mind it is there to help you recover your entire business from an unexpected disaster. In some cases, it may be impractical for you to restore your data quickly across the internet. Depending on how fast you need your data recovered, you may consider a business continuity service that not only recovers your data, but also restores your entire IT environment to a remote location. This way you can quickly access your systems even when you don’t have access to your office or facility.

What About Data Retention?

Many companies backup their data daily. This helps to ensure they can start business where they left off in the event of a disaster. It is common practice to backup incremental changes each day while creating a full backup once each week. This way you can rebuild where you left off without having to store a full image (read expensive) of your data each day. Because the size of data continues to grow, many technologies are available to compress data, and deduplicate data with the goal of reducing your backup and storage footprint. This makes your remote backup use less bandwidth and requires less cycle time to process. By optimizing your retention policy and using data reduction technologies you have more flexibility on how much data you can retain without having to archive your data to an offline data store.

When To Backup Application Data?

Some backup solutions provide application support for products like Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange. You may have specific recovery requirements for these popular applications, such as, mailbox level or message level recovery. Depending on your business requirements, you may want application backup capability allowing you to recover a subset of your data and get your business up and running quicker.

Most companies don’t think a disaster can happen to them. Don’t wait to find out how bad things can be if you lose your data. Make sure you backup your data locally and have a plan to store your data offsite for a disaster recovery scenario. Be hopeful you don’t need to use it, however, if you do, you will know what your backup can do for you!

Data protection and security update LinkedIn

Data Protection and Password Security Update: LinkedIn

On June 7, LinkedIn disclosed that “some LinkedIn member passwords were compromised.” Per LinkedIn disclosures on their blog ”LinkedIn learned that approximately 6.5 million hashed LinkedIn passwords were posted on a hacker site. Most of the passwords on the list appear to remain hashed and hard to decode, but unfortunately a small subset of the hashed passwords was decoded and published.” They continued, “no email logins associated with the passwords have been published, nor have we received any verified reports of unauthorized access to any member’s account as a result of this event.”

There are a few important lessons to pass along given the recent data protection disclosure by LinkedIn:

Separate Company from Personal

You or your employees may have a variety of social media accounts. It is a good data protection policy to use separate email and password combinations for personal use versus business use. Where possible, use a personal email and password combination to set up and access your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Discourage employees from using their business credentials on social networks. In the event that an email and password combination is compromised, there is a lower probability that your vital systems will be hacked if your company is not associated with the data leak on a social network.

Data Protection Can Lower Exposure

When it comes to data protection and backup, the first thoughts are rapid recovery from lost data. These same techniques also apply to hacked data. By having daily backups of your data companies can better pinpoint what data may have been compromised during a security breach. Security disclosure regulation procedures vary by state and country. You may have a requirement to report to local authorities in addition to notifying your customers. If you know “what data” was compromised ,you may be able to minimize “who you need to notify” in the event of a data protection and security breach. Based on their report; LinkedIn was able to quickly identify accounts compromised and notify customers within a day of detecting the security compromise.

Communicate Quickly When Security is Compromised

In addition to physical security, network security, antivirus, antimalware, O/S security patch and remote data backup, it is important to have a protocol for communications in the case of a security breach. Make sure you know who in your organization will communicate and how the communication will take place in the event your sensitive data is compromised. Communication is a key to recovering from an unfortunate password security breach.

Data protection and password security breach is a reality in today’s connected world. It is as important to proactively enforce security policies, as it is to quickly respond and communicate when a breach occurs. Consider having your trusted IT advisor perform a data protection audit to identify any security risks in your data protection plan.