Category Archives: Data Loss

Finding the Balance Between Value and Cost of Data Protection

The need to align value to cost of data protection is not new. What is new is the pressure for data protection in cost effective ways. The emergence of cloud computing is largely responsible for increasing pressures and redefining ways in which data can be protected.

IT administrators in charge of Information governance strategies in the cloud must:

  • Streamline processes;
  • Reduce costs and risks;
  • Leverage information effectively, and;
  • Evolve effective information delivery protocols.

IT Administrators migrating data to cloud storage servers, begin by assessing the available backup and archiving infrastructures in use and match it with policies and processes to arrive at an understanding of what needs to be done. They prepare a recovery service catalogue that aligns business needs to backup and archive solutions. This leads to the creation of high level architectures for the environment and development of business cases for illustrating current and projected costs, estimated savings and firm recommendations to the management for investing in cloud based backup infrastructures.

Therefore, cloud solution architectures that align value to cost of data protection, are considered to be critical to business processes and decisions that impact organisation growth, risk and profitability. Information optimised cloud backup and storage solutions are built around concepts of appropriate infrastructure, data management and data delivery. Tiered storage and information centric data storage solutions and services that pan across heterogeneous environments are desired for driving down costs and aligning value of data to protection of data. In short, the cloud platform is viewed as a means for storage managers to logically transmit data to secure storage tiers for matching information attributes, establishing enterprise wide business continuity and managing data stores from a central location with user-friendly application interfaces.

Businesses need to take care of their information assets in cost effective ways. Forward-looking organisations take this stewardship seriously and ensure quality, compliance and information protection in the cloud. The cost of data protection is rightly aligned with data protection as they appreciate that data breaches are expensive in terms of reputation, brand image, customer satisfaction and litigation under the different regulations that govern the enterprise. They leverage the best practises of the cloud to meet industry standards and data security objectives. They create value based information governance objectives that clarifies individual roles and responsibilities and provides necessary guidelines for effective management of information in the cloud across the enterprise.

Backup Technology Limited is proud to provide a value-cost balanced cloud backup services to small and large enterprises globally. Why not give our services a try? Contact BTL for more details —

Is it Safer to Backup Data in the Cloud?

Data backup and protection is an important matter; and it becomes more sensitive when you try to backup data to an offsite server with the help of cloud based services. Although the concern is understood, cloud based data is automated, very safe, efficient, and the data is backed up to geographically dispersed locations, typically far away from the origin.  As a result, natural disasters, such as tornadoes, wild fire, floods, etc. won’t affect it.  The system is also efficient because it doesn’t require hardware changes and more storage space is always available for the users. But, is it safe for everyone? Is there any chance of hacking? I will give answer of these questions below.

Keep in mind that not all cloud backup services are the same. They differ in technology, years of experience, and management. But, one thing is clear that you must know your wants and needs when it comes to protecting your data.

Where is the Data Stored?

The cloud has become more popular, but most don’t seem to know what it actually means. Most of the people have concept that using the data storage service is risky because they think that all the data in the cloud usually go to a cyberspace where hackers can easily go and access it without any problem.

Well, this could be true if you are not using reliable data storage services. Cloud is a very simple service with data servers in data centres, connected with the main storage and user’s personal account. Internet is a network of servers that carries the data to and from data centres, just like a highway is for vehicles.

Data centres are very protective areas where highly skilled and reliable workers are appointed for the management of servers. In most of the cases, only a few reliable persons are given access to these data centres. The workers are allowed to access the data centres with several physical security options and with the permission of users, who provide the secret PIN to open the storage vaults. Video surveillance system is used for 24x7x365 in order to ensure security of data. Many do not label their data centre as “Data Centre”, for security reasons; they are just typical buildings that blend with the neighbourhood buildings.

Data centres can not be physically robbed. We have never heard such stories. However, it has a cyber-based system linked to the computers of users. No doubt that there is a minimal risk of cyber-crime or data hacking, but it is very rare, because cloud backup companies have come up with sophisticated systems that can keep hackers off their servers.


Is backing up in the cloud really hackerproof? The simple answer is yes and no. If the technology used is a sub-standard, hackers can get access to the data centres with the help of specialised hacking protocols. However, the latest security systems have made it very difficult. For instance, multiple security levels (using emails, phone numbers, and physical statements) have made it almost impossible for hackers to access and compromise data.

Your data is much more secure being backed up in the cloud, where it is handled by qualified security experts than it is in the basement of your home.  Modern security applications and tools are implemented in order to ensure that there will be no risk. On the other hand, users are also encouraged to monitor the activities.


Mitigating Security Risks in the Cloud

Many understand the importance of data and agree that data should be protected in an efficient manner.  Companies are also realising that moving essential services to the cloud — from CRM to voice to communications — has many advantages.  In order to develop an efficient data protection, storage and transfer protocol, most rely on the cloud. The Cloud based models are more flexible, efficient, scalable, and integrated. These have great potential to save money. On the other hand, careless, unplanned migration to the cloud could bring its own issues and risks, and therefore, a careful well thought after plan is needed before migrating to the cloud.

Data breaches have become a daily global occurrence these days. Leading organisations, associations and groups are facing security threats on a daily basis. So, how do you minimise the chances of data loss or breach?

The cloud enables the users to store data in multiple locations for easy access and restore in case of a disaster. It is very important to have all your security related questions answered from the vendor you are planning to use.  Here are some tips for users who want to reduce the risks while moving to the cloud.

Get Answers to your Security Questions:

Get connected with the online representatives and ask the basic security questions. It would be better if you discuss the concerned security matters with the experts and find out if they align with yours. In most cases, the clients ask following questions:

What type of data protection strategies does your company use to avoid data loss?

  1. Is customer support available for 24/7?
  2. What are the modern techniques (feature sets) being used to protect my data?
  3. Any data breach at your company? If so, tell me how you handled it?
  4. Do you have a security checklist template that we can check?

Partnering with a cloud based service provider has added benefits, as the provider has its own experts in house that can monitor up-time, implement security measures, monitor services around the clock, and implement necessary protocols to protect and backup the data.

Always check the proper security facilities and features. This can be done by checking the history of a cloud service provider (for instance, by talking to present and former clients, reading reviews online).

Consider the following four factors to evaluate cloud service providers:

  1. Secure facility for storage: The cloud service provider should provide details about the security of their storage facilities. While digital security is important, security of the actual physical premises and the employees who work there are also very critical.
  1. Preventive activities: As hackers are becoming creative to be successful in breaches to access data, service providers must have security protocols in place to stop potential risks before they actually happen. The cloud service providers should satisfy the client, for instance, by showing that they encrypt the data during its flight and at rest; monitor any risks 24/7; and inform the clients when security is a concern.
  1. Privacy of data: Data stored in the digital data centres should be treated with high degree of security, as they are important for the users. It is required to check how a service provider maintains the privacy of data. All types of materials such as files, folders, video conferencing data, and call recording data should remain safe and secure, with encryption technologies.
  1. Data loss protection:In case of a sudden data loss, the service provider should have an efficient data recovery system to quickly restore the data. Alert systems help in achieving an efficient data recovery.

Handling Data Explosion Intelligently

Small and medium sized enterprises are experiencing a rapid increase in unstructured and structured data. SMEs are interested to find effective ways for data backup, easy access and data recovery, without investing a considerable amount of time and money. To manage data storage successfully, companies should understand the value of their data and reduce the cost that is spent for compliance risk, data loss and ineffective backup system.

Data Awareness

Most of the businesses do not have an idea of their data and when it is required to be accessed. They assume that every and all types of data need to be retained, which is an expensive and time consuming process. Thus, SMEs must classify data for better protection. Moreover, value of data type should be established to understand the impact of data (loss) on the business.

Managing structured data held in databases, record systems, and spreadsheets is quite an easier task; however managing unstructured data (social media, voice, images and emails) can cause a lot of problems. It is estimated that 80% of organisations’ data is in fact unstructured data. Consequently, such unstructured data makes it difficult to search, utilise and manage – whether it relates to recovery tasks, search, access or compliance.

Small and medium sized companies need to create an IT policy in order to understand different data sources. This is based on classifying data through business unit, to create an insight into data location, type and nature. It will help in finding the relevant sources of data in centralised and consistent way. Better backup policies could be applied based on the acquired knowledge. For instance, a company does not need to make backup of all files if data is related to music files, photos and videos. Therefore, a new policy could be introduced to delete, exclude or move such data.

Data Management Policy

From operational and compliance perspectives, loss of data can cause serious damages. To avoid data loss, companies need to have a particular backup system that has the capability to copy all information on given network. Data management system must establish a checklist to verify whether the recently updated or transferred data is copied or not.

To make certain that restored data is accurate, companies can test the system on trial basis by restoring data from the backup sets. Besides, all the shares and drives need to be checked regularly.

SMEs should make sure that valuable backups are saved at a distant place, outside of the company’s building, using cloud backup solution. The procedure should be as easy as backing up on storage devices, which are transported to an offsite location or using automated cloud backup solution.

Store all data in the company network, making it easier for access. In case, data is saved in a local workstation, it cannot be accessed by others, as a result, the information could be lost if the computer crashes. To avoid the loss of information, ensure that protocol is being followed to save data in the network, using a system to allow read only access to users.

To apply cost-efficient storage solution, companies should transfer less frequently used and old data to lower cost network storage. Get rid of data that is not required or needed to be accessed. Besides, users should be trained to delete unrelated to company business, personal files, especially large media files should be removed from databases, mailboxes and emails.

By removing duplicate files and selecting current file versions, up to 30% of space could be saved. Apply the best technology and appropriate backup processes to fulfill storage requirements.

Centrelink Investigated after Sensitive Data Compromised

Centrelink are now under investigation by federal privacy authorities after personal and financial details of clients were found lying around at a suburban railway station in Darra which is located in the southern suburbs of Brisbane.

It has been confirmed that the documents left contained financial details belonging to 23 clients. This included bank account numbers, investments and details of property holdings. Other details such as date of birth, phone numbers and relationship details were also exposed. It has also been confirmed that these documents were left by an official of the welfare agency.

It was only realised that these files had been left when a Queensland Rail worker called one of the people whose file was left behind.

It has also been reported that Centrelink employees regularly carry confidential data with them on public transport and are stored at their personal home address. This has been the result of efforts to cut costs as a system of transporting confidential files in government vehicles was abandoned.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) have been keen to stress that such incidents are very rare but have failed to confirm whether all of the affected people have or will be notified.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has confirmed that they have been notified of the incident but went no further in stating what actions or possible sanctions may be enforced.

A DHS spokeswoman confirmed that that the documents were quickly recovered but that they are taking this incident very seriously.

The spokeswoman stated, “While the information relating to 23 customers was quickly recovered by the department from a Queensland Rail employee, we do not dismiss the serious nature of the incident. Privacy and security of personal customer records is of paramount importance, and any incident of this nature is investigated under well-established privacy processes.”

The spokeswoman added, “Department staff deal with tens of thousands of customers every day and these types of incidents are extremely rare. However, any incident that places customer privacy at risk is unacceptable.”

Microsoft urges users to uninstall BSOD update

Microsoft’s latest round of Tuesday updates brought about a subtle U-turn from the software giant after some users experienced the blue-screen of death (BSOD) following its installation.

The update MS14-045 was supposed to fix three separate issues, among other things, but it wasn’t long after its release that users were complaining that their PCs, mainly Windows 7 PCs, were getting stuck in the blue screen mode when the PC was next switched on. The severity of the issue was such that many users were unable to get out of the blue-screen mode without booting up the machine using original install media.

The issue sparked a raucous response on the Microsoft support forum website, with nearly hundreds of comments being made to a single thread. The comments also mentioned similar issues with other updates released as part of the same round of updates.

Since the alarm was raised Microsoft have removed the affected patches from its website, but they are still being pushed out by Windows auto-update, and so many users will still be able to download the faulty packages.

Microsoft released this statement; “Microsoft is investigating behavior associated with the installation of this update, and will update this bulletin when more information becomes available”. The company then revised the FAQs for the update itself, stating “Microsoft recommends that customers uninstall this update. As an added precaution, Microsoft has removed the download links to the 2982791 security update.”

However, the patch wasn’t erroneous in all cases, with many reporting successful updates to individual PCs as well as to hundreds of client machines.

Unfortunately for users, bad updates appear to be all too frequent with the latest Windows products. 2013 was a particularly bad year for faulty updates with more BSOD issues reported as part of an April 2013 update, multiple problems with MS Office updates in August and September, and problems with a Windows 8.1 update issued in October.

This incident, and others like it, all emphasise the importance of having a sound backup of important data, regardless of its nature. Through using Asigra, Backup Technology can provide you with a reliable service to backup your critical data. Asigra’s versatility makes it ideal for backing up all major data types, whilst its automated nature means it can be configured and forgotten about until its needed.

Make an enquiry today on our website!

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

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal