Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

When threats come from the inside

Eliminate the Risk of Internal Data Theft using DLP (Data Loss Prevention)

Don’t underestimate the threat to your business posed by insider data theft. The risk is real and you are not being paranoid if you worry about it.

Consider, for instance, these disturbing factoids from a Symantec-sponsored 2011 study ominously entitled Behavioral Risk Indicators of Malicious Insider Theft of Intellectual Property: Misreading the Writing on the Wall, which closely examined 50 insider thefts:

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Beware of FUD

Combine Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt — and you get FUD, which has been on my mind lately because it so often involves attempts to thwart adoption of newly-emerging, better solutions. Consider these two tales of FUD:

The first tale, from the late 1880s, is often referred to as the War of Currents. It’s about a powerful group of direct current (DC) supporters who fought fiercely against the new, more cost-effective alternating current (AC) with a range of FUD stunts, from electrocuting animals to building the first electric chair. DC’s supporters eventually lost — because FUD can slow, but not stop, real progress.

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Corporate data loss: How bad is it? (Part 2 of 2)

Impact of Data Loss on Business Organizations

We have spent over 12 years building our reputation and trust; it is painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident.
—Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos, after the company suffered a data breach in which 24 million customer records were stolen

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Corporate data loss: How bad is it? (Part 1 of 2)

Loss of Sensitive Corporate Data

In the wrong hands, the sensitive data your business depends on becomes a weapon wielded against it. And it’s happening more often every day.

Reports of intellectual property theft and hacktivism abound, and 2011 has been widely described as “the year of the data breach.”

It’s not hard to see why.

In 2011 alone, according to the nonprofit Online Trust Alliance, 126 million data records were compromised in the United States.

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6 signs of network performance problems

In my experience, poor network performance can cause outages that cascade unpredictably through the business and cost you plenty. Are you experiencing any of these signs of trouble?

  1. Network-dependent applications have become sluggish — and your employees, customers, and suppliers are letting you know how unhappy they are.
  2. Network administrators struggle to isolate the cause of poor network performance.
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Data backup/recovery best practice #10

This last of my backup/recovery best practices is far from the least of them:

#10 Conduct regular testing and reviews of your data recovery capabilities

Backups can be corrupted (especially if they’re tape-based) and too often backups are performed incorrectly. Key files, directories, or components may have been excluded, especially if your infrastructure has undergone adds or deletes.

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Data backup/recovery best practices #6, #7, #8, and #9

Continuing with my views of backup/recovery best practices, I offer up # 6 through #9:

#6 Back up your data locally as well as remotely.

Data restores usually are faster from a local backup source than a remote one, especially for data that you recover frequently.

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Data backup/recovery best practices #3, #4, and #5

Last time, I described the first two backup/recovery best practices. Here are the next three:

#3 Make sure your backup/recovery strategy adheres to all governance and compliance rules that apply to your organization.

Rules abound about data privacy, security, retention — and vary by industry and region. Look for a reputable advisor who has the experience needed to understand your compliance environment and who successfully completes SAS-70 Type II audits.

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Backup/recovery best practices #1 and #2

As I see it, there are 10 best practices that can make the difference between backups that really do keep you in business and backups that seem to work okay — until you actually try to use them. Here are the first two:

#1 Understand your data so you can decide what needs to be backed up and how often.

Base your decisions on the cost of loss, which you can get a sense of by noting the types of data your business relies on — emails, spreadsheets, databases, line-of-business apps, etc. — and determining the impact of losing that information for good and having to recreate it (if you can). Add in the cost of unhappy customers and potential regulatory/compliance violations — and do the math.

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