Five Sure Ways To Lose Corporate Data… And Possibly Your Job .
Today’s resource-constrained IT departments are constantly challenged to do more with less. On the surface, IT shortcuts may seem like the obvious answer to this problem — a way to get the job done faster, cheaper and with fewer headaches. But, data protection is one area where you absolutely cannot cut corners.
Losing data — the lifeblood of an organization — can mean the death of a business. According to the University of Texas, 94 percent of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss do not survive: 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close within two years.
IT beware: Following are five common data protection “shortcuts” that can put your data — and your job — at risk.
Ignoring Hardware Failures
Hardware failures are the leading cause of data loss. While most IT professionals don’t completely disregard hardware that is failing to back up company data and systems, many do often ignore the fact that certain backup mediums have high failure rates, such as tape or a SAN or NAS storage device that is used as both the source and target of a backup.
Recommended approach: To reduce the risk of hardware failures, move your data from primary storage to a separate, secondary storage device. Disk-to-Disk (D2D) backup is the best approach, as it’s more reliable than tape while still ensuring a physically separate secondary storage set that can survive hardware and system failures.
Trusting Coworkers to Follow Policies
The reality is that employees aren’t always great at following company policies, and even when they do, mistakes still happen. Hoping that your coworkers will never put corporate data at risk is a grave mistake and a shortcut you do not want to take.
Recommended approach: The best defenses against human error are automation and retention. Automation enables automatic execution and strict enforcement of created policies and procedures, while retention enables recovery of data — regardless of whether the data loss is noticed right away or weeks later.
By now, most companies have at least basic security solutions, such as firewalls and AV, in place to defend against malware. But, cybercriminals are becoming very adept at breaking through traditional cyber defenses.
Recommended approach: Evaluate your infrastructure , identify areas of vulnerability and implement advanced security solutions to overcome them — e.g., Web monitoring software for safe Internet usage, endpoint protection for BYOD management and a sandbox to fight targeted attacks. From a backup perspective, the best thing you can do is operate your backup and disaster recovery (DR) solutions on a non-Windows platform. Windows has long been one of cybercriminals’ favorite targets, and running protection software on an operating system that is relentlessly under attack just doesn’t make sense.
Playing the Odds on Disasters
Despite data loss horror stories, many companies still don’t have a DR plan in place to protect information from natural and man-made disasters. And out of the companies that do, many still have a generic plan, with one set of guidelines that apply to all disaster situations.
Recommended approach: There is no single or easy formula for DR success. A strong DR plan focuses on people, infrastructure and processes and clearly outlines how each is affected in different disaster scenarios. Seriously consider disaster situations that you deem impossible, in addition to those that are most probable, because you just never know what’s going to happen. In short, hope for the best, but make sure you plan for the worst.
Failing To Test DR Plans
A common IT mistake, or shortcut, which greatly increases the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster, is failing to test DR plans or testing them on an infrequent basis.
Recommended approach: Because IT infrastructure evolves daily, thorough DR testing must be done on a consistent schedule that allows it to be adopted as yet another standard business practice. The change rate of your data is a good benchmark to determine how frequently your DR plan should be tested.