Tag Archives: IT

Employee Termination and The Role of IT in Preserving Sensitive Data

Employee termination — whether voluntarily or involuntarily — happens everyday in all industries. Managing the termination plan is one of the great challenges for businesses. HR plays a significant role in termination. IT is not considered as concerning department; for that reason, termination procedure creates many problems. In order to keep terminations in an organised and smooth way, some of the effective practises are described here:

Basic Actions
It is necessary to plan the terminations at initial stage. HR should perform its duty in collaboration with IT as these two departments are equally important. If a wrong termination date is given to IT and they terminate the access on the given date, it will complicate matters. Consequently, the employee might not be allowed to use data or get into office as IT might have disabled the employee’s access.

In most of cases, IT departments are given particular guidelines and they follow certain procedures for terminated employees. Though the nature of tasks depend on the given guidelines, some basic tasks are performed to deny the access of terminated employees. These are as follows:
1. Restrict access to the building;
2. Inactivate the remote access;
3. Cancel networking, data and computer access;
4. Ensure that all employer’s equipment are returned;
5. Protect critical information available on all devices;

Tasks numbered 1 to 4 (above) are performed across all industries regularly. However, protecting critical information is difficult when the majority of employees use multiple devices. Salespersons keep data on various devices, such as Smartphone, tablet and laptop. Data across different devices contain confidential details concerning the company and clients, and therefore, it is obligatory for IT department to protect the information.

Preserving Data
Sensitive information, logs and records must be protected by IT in case a terminated employee lodges a complaint or files a case against the company. Sometimes disgruntled employees delete their emails, customer records or project files. To cope with such matters, data retention strategies are applied before termination date.

What does IT department do with the sensitive data of company that store on personal device of an employee? Preserving data is not simple due to proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and smartphones. On legal basis, the company has the authority to keep or delete such data, without damaging or disabling the devices. In this regard, remote wipe applications are really helpful that keep the information of company in safe hands.

In multinational and large companies, employees share a great number of accounts within a department. Though there are some benefits of using shared accounts, they create innumerable issues and they should be avoided.

Conclusion
Some terminated employees (perhaps most involuntarily terminated) might try to steal critical data from their former companies. In order to manage termination of employees procedure smoothly, planning is necessary at IT level and HR department. IT manager must have comprehensive knowledge of employees’ termination process and responsibilities of IT department. To accomplish this task effectively, IT manager should arrange a meeting with all stakeholders. It is favourable to get termination notification in advance; however, it is not always possible. To deal with with situation, it is good to have planning for uncertain worst case scenario situations.

Ukraine IT outsourcing industry at risk from crisis

The crisis in Ukraine has recently escalated to what William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, has called “Europe’s biggest crisis in Europe in the 21st century”. This announcement came after Russian troops moved across the border to occupy several military bases on Ukrainian soil. The Western powers, including the USA and major partners in the EU, have jumped to express their support for the new Ukrainian government, and have strongly criticised the aggression shown by Russia. In response to the occupation by Russian troops, Russia has been threatened with economic and political actions with the aim of isolating it from the international community. Despite mobilisation of troops by Russia, military intervention does seem unlikely, although not impossible.

As the crisis gradually unfolds, it is becoming easier to see how Ukraine will be affected. One area which may suffer is the country’s IT outsourcing industry, which has a value of roughly 1 bn per annum. For several years now Ukraine has been a technology hub, although relatively unknown to Western Europe, with its first ventures into IT taking place under the former USSR. Over the years this has been built into a skilledworkforce, with 30,000 students graduating in IT related subjects each year, and a good infrastructure across the country, for example broadband speeds are similar to the UK’s.

The billion pound industry is helped by several incentives, such as low corporation tax for IT companies, lower wage demands by the Ukrainian workforce and several organisations, such as the Ukrainian HI-Tech Initiative setup with the purpose of promoting Ukrainian IT interests.As well as a high number of IT graduates, Ukraine already has a large skilled workforce, with 25,000 specialised IT workers and 1,000 outsourcing companies.

Ukraine has recently announced that conscription has been initiated, presumably in preparation for a conflict with Russia. This could pose a very real problem for the IT workforce in Ukraine, as many of the employees are the type of person that would be conscripted (young male adults). However unlikely, if a conflict between the Ukraine and Russia did break out, it could have a detrimental effect on the IT outsourcing industry.

What is certain is the longer this crisis goes on, the longer Ukraine will suffer as a whole. As military action is not preferred, the main weapons available to the West are diplomatic and economic sanctions against Russia. However, any economic action will surely affect the IT industry in some form. Hopefully, the IT industry will be able to withstand whatever comes as a result of this crisis, one way or another.

Is Virtualisation / Agile IT Exposing Businesses to Data Loss?

Virtualisation is fast becoming the standard in IT infrastructures, giving IT managers decreased deployment time, and increased flexibility. Regardless of where that virtual environment resides, the cloud or onsite, IT professionals now have the ability to spin up new servers in minutes. With all the positives that Virtualisation brings (there are numerous), is this new ease of deployment leading to careless planning and deployment which is leaving business exposed to data loss?

For example, if a new SQL server was required for testing or development of a new business application, traditionally a new server would be required. This process includes an application for the expense to management or the finance department, there was then the waiting time for delivery, deployment and configuration. Standard practice would then be to add the new server to the backup routine during the deployment or configuration stage.

In a virtual environment, that new SQL server can now be agreed, specd and deployed in a morning through the Hypervisor GUI or Cloud provider’s interface. All to often backups are not included in that process, or everything is backed up including elements that shouldnt. This careless or blas attitude to deployment and backups could be costing business money, in more ways than one. Let’s not forget that this scenario only deals with a test server. In virtual environments, business critical servers, such as exchanges or live database servers are often hosted, meaning that backing up that virtual server (or preferably the entire environment) becomes a necessity.

Consider the company is using a capacity based backup model, being billed on a per GB or per TB basis. The new server has 2Tb of data residing on it, some needed some irrelevant. The addition of the whole server would see a dramatic increase in the business’s backup costs.

Now consider that the server wasnt added to the backup cycle and 4 months of development work for the new application all resides on said server. However the day before deployment of this application, the underlying storage fails, and 4 months work is gone forever, or at the very least is difficult to recover, costing more time and ultimately money.

With the importance of IT systems growing each day, it has never been as important to ensure that effective and efficient backup systems are in place that give your business the protection and recovery capabilities that are needed to minimise impact and cost to the company. Company networks and infrastructures are becoming increasingly diverse, as more products become available. Having a backup product in place that can manage all important aspects of a business’s IT infrastructure is a vital part of good business practice.

The iPad at Work Can it replace a laptop?

With the launch of the latest round of iPad Generations including the iPad Air (aka iPad5) and iPad mini (with Retina display), Apple are once again showing their ability to dominate the market and convince their avid fan base to part with their hard earned cash. (My iPad air arrived this morning!!).

Every time a new portable device arrives on my desk, fresh from the delivery man, I say to myself how can I be more productive with this. How can I get more value to for money from this device? I then find myself spending the next 20 minutes searching the app store to see if any new wonder apps have been released that are going me to allow to discard my laptop and spend the rest of my working days tapping away on the new shiny screen.

In reality what happens is you see the same apps, all of which specialise in one particular aspect of what you want, be it document editing or spreadsheet work. Essentially the lack of the office suite is a massive disadvantage to the business iPad user.

Sure Apple have released their Notes, Numbers and Keynote software on the device, which are fantastic products, however, with no way to access folders directly on the company network, the whole process can become tiresome and convoluted. There is certainly not a solution that you could document and expect the CEO to understand and follow every time he needed to make last minute adjustments to the presentation hes giving when he gets off the train!

I understand that you can have everything syncd between devices, using solutions like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive etc. However, enterprises invest huge sums of money in storage for their users, much to the finance departments resentment. For an IT manager to then have to go cap in hand and ask for more money, so the sales boys can access their documents on the an iPad is quite simply asking for trouble.

Mail, Apple have pretty much nailed in my opinion, their integration with exchange is seamless, and easy to setup. Providing your inbox management is good, Ive seen no issues in sending and receiving mail on the road.

If Apple could get their suite to integrate with Windows file servers, or Microsoft could get an Office suite onto the app store, then I feel that the iPad could start to make the switch from being a consumer, or on the go device to a laptop replacement / fully operational working device.

L.K. Bennett Selects Backup Technology to provide their Asigra Cloud Backup and Recovery Solution

Company Ends Maintenance, Performance, and Security

Concerns of Tape-Based Backup Solutions

 

London – August 27, 2013 – Backup Technology, the leading Enterprise Level Cloud Backup and Recovery Specialist provider since 2005, today announce the extension of their five year partnership with L.K. Bennett. The company made the changes in 2008 after it began suffering from backup cycles that exceeded available backup windows as well as failed backups and restores.

Click to Tweet: L.K. Bennett Selects Backup Technology to provide their Asigra Cloud Backup Solution #backup #cloud

Headquartered in London, UK, L.K. Bennett (http://us.lkbennett.com/) is a luxury fashion brand defined by its British heritage. After using a tape-based backup solution for years, the company realised a change was necessary when its backup environment began suffering from increasing backup windows and failed data recoveries. The company sought to modernise its backup environment by transitioning to a cloud-based data recovery solution, which included the Asigra Cloud Backup Connector provided by Backup Technology Limited (BTL). As a result, L.K. Bennett has eliminated the inefficiencies of tape backup and recovery to improve overall business uptime.

L.K. Bennett currently backs up over 14 TB of production data in a very complex environment that involves a mixture of physical and virtual systems (Dell workstations and HP servers), and multiple connections from the company’s multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) across sites in London and the United States. As such, the company’s tape-based backup system required extensive management time. In addition to tape management and data recovery headaches, storing data onsite was an additional security concern which required IT management to move data offsite and out of Greater London.

Having been a customer of cloud backup and disaster recovery provider Backup Technology Limited (BTL) for over five years, L.K. Bennett turned to BTL for an enhanced solution to its data protection challenges. With limited bandwidth, L.K. Bennett needed a WAN-optimized solution in order to meet its requirements. “We did our research to find a provider with market experience and a customer base to match,” said David Van Eck, Head of IT at L.K. Bennett. “That provider was BTL.”

L.K. Bennett modernized its backup environment with services from BTL to protect data that included SQL databases, iSeries data, application data from Microsoft Exchange, as well as a large volume of unstructured data. BTL was able to provide its Asigra-based solution to automatically and regularly back-up and protect data, according to policies set by L.K. Bennett. The solution also provided the ability to connect to local network storage to further increase the local recovery capabilities.

Van Eck from L.K. Bennett reported that the switch to the Cloud Backup Connector Appliance helped the company to achieve several business benefits. “Through a centralized online monitoring portal, we receive guaranteed backup and recovery for all of our data systems as a professional and fully managed service,” said Van Eck. “The backup forms the basis for our enterprise-wide data recovery solution, which is essential to L.K. Bennett.”

“The most common recovery is of emails or contact items,” added Van Eck. “BTL provides high-performance local recovery as well as online backup and virtual disaster recovery, which is key to our organization as downtime can be very costly. The Service has been reliable and when data needs to be restored it is always available on demand. The ability to restore emails at a granular level back to the same or a different location is invaluable.”

“Cloud-based data recovery allows L.K. Bennett to overcome the limitations of traditional backup software and legacy tape solutions,” said Rob Mackle, Direct and Channel Sales Manager EMEA at BTL. “Asigra’s Cloud Backup Connector Appliance is a tool that allows companies like L.K. Bennett to securely protect their business data and meet regulatory requirements. Should they lose one or multiple servers or sites, BTL’s Virtual Disaster Recovery also allows their systems to be restored and operational with minimal impact to the business.”

 

About Backup Technology

In 2005 Backup Technology was formed specialising in business and enterprise level Online Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions.  By utilising a market leading technology, BTL has quickly established itself as one of the World’s leading Backup and Disaster Recovery providers.

Backup Technology has a strong global presence, from their head office in Leeds in the UK; they have expanded to offices and data centres in the US, as well as establishing partnerships in Europe and Australia. BTL’s core business has been built around their partnership with the world’s leading software provider for Online Backup, Asigra. Backup Technology became Asigra’s first ever Global Partner of the Year in 2008 and then became Asigra’s first European 3D Hybrid Partner later that year. Other awards include Best Competitive Takeout (2010), Best Hybrid Cloud Implementation (2011) and Best Vertical Enterprise Cloud Marketing (2011).  The company has also received many industry awards and had articles featured in publications such as the Financial Times, the Independent and Computing Magazine.

BTL are fully ISO 9001 (April 2010) and ISO 27001 (May 2010) certified, ensuring consistent quality management procedures are in place and all security processes are followed and documented. The ISO 22301 certification has also been achieved (January 2011), meaning BTL has an independently audited Business Continuity Management system in place to offer additional peace of mind for its customers.

BTL currently employ 35 full time staff all of which are fully trained and certified by Asigra in Toronto. This ensures that BTL offer consistently high service levels to all customers and have an unrivaled knowledge of the Asigra product. With individual customer data sizes ranging from 1TB to over 2PB, BTL currently protect and manage in excess of 14 Petabytes.

For more information visit www.backup-technology.com.

Backup Technology UK                                                 Backup Technology USA

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Data Security

Complete data privacy is becoming more and more accepted as a myth. IT leaders are realising that there is no such thing as completely watertight IT security, and the traditional fortress mentality is beginning to come loose. Traditionally the widespread notion has been that data is either fully secure or in full breach.

The more realistic approach is to prepare for cyber attack more diligently. In order to remain competitive organisations have to embrace the Cloud and accept that data will reside in potentially, multiple locations in the future. This will become especially apparent as data volume grows exponentially, over the coming years.

In order to cope with increased data sizes predictions suggest that the overall security approach must be far more automated. The speed and scale of attacks mean that organisations can no longer rely on human identification of intrusion and threats. Solutions must now be put in place which can detect, access and respond to external threats immediately.

A detected threat may lead to the shutting down of one portion of the network as well as the instigation of proactive monitoring. If the threat is escalated to high priority, further portions of the network may subsequently be shut down.

There is also now a more clear idea emerging over what exactly a data leak means for a given organisation. A leak for example, regarding a major retailors transportation routes will not necessarily lead to a competitor gaining the ability to replicate the retailors supply chain.

The bottom line is that automation will become a large part of the overall security strategy, for every IT organisation.

Another future strategy for extreme cyber attacks is the prospect of fighting back, rather than remaining defensive. Such efforts include that of Sypris who are creating a cyber range. It is hoped that the range will be a battle ground within cyber space which will allow agencies to test their offensive and defensive strategies. .

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

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