Thursday, January 24, 2008

Database... Protecting your data and managing risk

Got data backup?

Several high-profile stories have hit the news media in the past few months about losses of data, sometimes because of the inadvertent theft of equipment holding sensitive information.

In addition to those well-publicized cases, there are other facts: a hard drive crashes every 15 seconds; 2,000 laptops are lost or stolen daily; one in five computers suffers a fatal hard-drive crash during its lifetime. This would be bad enough, but 40 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses don't back up their data at all.

Experts in the field of data protection and security recommend the following:

  • Risk management is number one. No matter how much insurance you have, you will never totally cover your loss. Educate employees about phishing and have a reasonable backup plan.
  • Evaluate your current backup plan. Consider the newer backup technologies such as virtualization, which allows you to run multiple servers on one computer, for example.
  • Develop and implement a system. Don't just leave it; designate somebody with the absolute responsibility of implementing the risk-management system.
  • Anticipate your likely loss. Recognize that trouble can come from different places. Also, realize that security breaches can occur no matter the level of your firewalls.
  • Have the appropriate insurance that deals with what's likely to happen. Also consider your cyber exposure as a separate and unique exposure.
  • Try to get your host to indemnify you. It doesn't hurt to ask your software provider if it will provide coverage.

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