Top Ways to Prevent Data Loss

Data loss is crippling for any business, especially in the age of big data where companies rely on digital information to refine their marketing, contact prospects, and process transactions. Reducing the chances for data loss is a vital part of a data management strategy.

The first goal should be to prevent data loss from occurring in the first place. There are many reasons which could lead to data loss. A few of them are listed below:

1) Hard drive failures

2) Accidental deletions (user error)

3) Computer viruses and malware infections

4) Laptop theft

5) Power failures

6) Damage due to spilled coffee or water; Etc.

However, if a loss does occur, then there are several best practices you can implement to boost your odds of recovery.

Secondly, don’t put all your storage eggs in the cloud basket. The cloud is vital for cost-effective storage, but it does have some pitfalls that shouldn’t be ignored. Many examples of data loss have occurred from an employee simply dropping their computer or hard drive, so talk to staff members about best practices. SD cards are much more fragile and should never be used as a form of longer-term storage.

Here’s a look at top ways you can protect your data from loss and unauthorized access.

Back up early and often

The single most important step in protecting your data from loss is to back it up regularly. How often should you back up? That depends-how much data can you afford to lose if your system crashes completely? A week’s work? A day’s work? An hour’s work?

You can use the backup utility built into Windows (ntbackup.exe) to perform basic backups. You can use Wizard Mode to simplify the process of creating and restoring backups or you can configure the backup settings manually and you can schedule backup jobs to be performed automatically.

There are also numerous third-party backup programs that can offer more sophisticated options. Whatever program you use, it’s important to store a copy of your backup offsite in case of fire, tornado, or other natural disaster that can destroy your backup tapes or discs along with the original data.

Diversify your backups

You always want more than one backup system. The general rule is 3-2-1. You should have 3 backups of anything that’s very important. They should be backed up in at least two different formats, such as in the cloud and on a hard drive. There should always be an off-site backup in the event that there is damage to your physical office.

Use file-level and share-level security

To keep others out of your data, the first step is to set permissions on the data files and folders. If you have data in network shares, you can set share permissions to control what user accounts can and cannot access the files across the network. With Windows 2000/XP, this is done by clicking the Permissions button on the Sharing tab of the file’s or folder’s properties sheet.

However, these share-level permissions won’t apply to someone who is using the local computer on which the data is stored. If you share the computer with someone else, you’ll have to use file-level permissions (also called NTFS permissions, because they’re available only for files/folders stored on NTFS-formatted partitions). File-level permissions are set using the Security tab on the properties sheet and are much more granular than share-level permissions.

In both cases, you can set permissions for either user accounts or groups, and you can allow or deny various levels of access from read-only to full control.

Password-protect documents

Many productivity applications, such as Microsoft Office applications and Adobe Acrobat, will allow you to set passwords on individual documents. To open the document, you must enter the password. To password-protect a document in Microsoft Word 2003, go to Tools | Options and click the Security tab. You can require a password to open the file and/or to make changes to it. You can also set the type of encryption to be used.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s password protection is relatively easy to crack. There are programs on the market designed to recover Office passwords, such as Elcomsoft’s Advanced Office Password Recovery (AOPR). This type of password protection, like a standard (non-deadbolt) lock on a door, will deter casual would-be intruders but can be fairly easily circumvented by a determined intruder with the right tools.

You can also use zipping software such as WinZip or PKZip to compress and encrypt documents.

Use EFS encryption

Windows 2000, XP Pro, and Server 2003 support the Encrypting File System (EFS). You can use this built-in certificate-based encryption method to protect individual files and folders stored on NTFS-formatted partitions. Encrypting a file or folder is as easy as selecting a check box; just click the Advanced button on the General tab of its properties sheet. Note that you can’t use EFS encryption and NTFS compression at the same time.

EFS uses a combination of asymmetric and symmetric encryption, for both security and performance. To encrypt files with EFS, a user must have an EFS certificate, which can be issued by a Windows certification authority or self-signed if there is no CA on the network. EFS files can be opened by the user whose account encrypted them or by a designated recovery agent. With Windows XP/2003, but not Windows 2000, you can also designate other user accounts that are authorized to access your EFS-encrypted files.

Note that EFS is for protecting data on the disk. If you send an EFS file across the network and someone uses a sniffer to capture the data packets, they’ll be able to read the data in the files.

Use disk encryption

There are many third-party products available that will allow you to encrypt an entire disk. Whole disk encryption locks down the entire contents of a disk drive/partition and is transparent to the user. Data is automatically encrypted when it’s written to the hard disk and automatically decrypted before being loaded into memory. Some of these programs can create invisible containers inside a partition that act like a hidden disk within a disk. Other users see only the data in the “outer” disk.

Disk encryption products can be used to encrypt removable USB drives, flash drives, etc. Some allow creation of a master password along with secondary passwords with lower rights you can give to other users. Examples include PGP Whole Disk Encryption and DriveCrypt, among many others.

Make use of a public key infrastructure

A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a system for managing public/private key pairs and digital certificates. Because keys and certificates are issued by a trusted third party (a certification authority, either an internal one installed on a certificate server on your network or a public one, such as Verisign), certificate-based security is stronger.

You can protect data you want to share with someone else by encrypting it with the public key of its intended recipient, which is available to anyone. The only person who will be able to decrypt it is the holder of the private key that corresponds to that public key.

Hide data with steganography

You can use a steganography program to hide data inside other data. For example, you could hide a text message within a.JPG graphics file or an MP3 music file, or even inside another text file (although the latter is difficult because text files don’t contain much redundant data that can be replaced with the hidden message). Steganography does not encrypt the message, so it’s often used in conjunction with encryption software. The data is encrypted first and then hidden inside another file with the steganography software.

Some steganographic techniques require the exchange of a secret key and others use public/private key cryptography. A popular example of steganography software is StegoMagic, a freeware download that will encrypt messages and hide them in.TXT,.WAV, or.BMP files.

Protect data in transit with IP security

Your data can be captured while it’s traveling over the network by a hacker with sniffer software (also called network monitoring or protocol analysis software). To protect your data when it’s in transit, you can use Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)-but both the sending and receiving systems have to support it. Windows 2000 and later Microsoft operating systems have built-in support for IPsec. Applications don’t have to be aware of IPsec because it operates at a lower level of the networking model. Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is the protocol IPsec uses to encrypt data for confidentiality. It can operate in tunnel mode, for gateway-to-gateway protection, or in transport mode, for end-to-end protection. To use IPsec in Windows, you have to create an IPsec policy and choose the authentication method and IP filters it will use. IPsec settings are configured through the properties sheet for the TCP/IP protocol, on the Options tab of Advanced TCP/IP Settings.

Secure wireless transmissions

Data that you send over a wireless network is even more subject to interception than that sent over an Ethernet network. Hackers don’t need physical access to the network or its devices; anyone with a wireless-enabled portable computer and a high gain antenna can capture data and/or get into the network and access data stored there if the wireless access point isn’t configured securely.

You should send or store data only on wireless networks that use encryption, preferably Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which is stronger than Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP).

Use rights management to retain control

If you need to send data to others but are worried about protecting it once it leaves your own system, you can use Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) to control what the recipients are able to do with it. For instance, you can set rights so that the recipient can read the Word document you sent but can’t change, copy, or save it. You can prevent recipients from forwarding e-mail messages you send them and you can even set documents or messages to expire on a certain date/time so that the recipient can no longer access them after that time.

To use RMS, you need a Windows Server 2003 server configured as an RMS server. Users need client software or an Internet Explorer add-in to access the RMS-protected documents. Users who are assigned rights also need to download a certificate from the RMS server.

Online File Storage: Got Backup V Apple iCloud

This online document stockpiling survey thinks about a promising new online record stockpiling organization Got Backup with Apple iCloud, effectively a standout amongst the most mainstream distributed computing administrations on the planet.

Everyone thinks about iCloud, which is Apple’s head cloud benefit. iCloud is a piece of Apple’s great biological community, thus you can expect an extensive combination with Apple’s items with iCloud. Unquestionably, you ought to have iCloud on the off chance that you are a fanatic of Apple and have an iPhone, iPad and iMac. Be that as it may, it’s not of much use to you on the off chance that you have a PC or Android gadgets at home. In which case, you are in an ideal situation with Dropbox or one of the new online record stockpiling administrations, for example, Got Backup.

Got Backup is an online record stockpiling administration from GVO Inc, a Texas based organization that makes web based items and arrangements. Got Backup accumulates backs up your records on the web, much like how Dropbox does. There’s progressively – you can possibly profit from Got Backup’s member program. Apple iCloud clearly does not have a partner program, and truly does not require one.

The Features

With Got Backup, you can get to your documents that are put away online on any gadget, all you require is a web association and a PC or a gadget joined to the web. Got Backup is fundamentally the same as Dropbox with regards to convenience and usefulness. Got Backup offers boundless online record storage room and backs up information on PC and also on Mac, on iPhone and iPad, and in addition on any Android gadget. Got Back offers the most astounding security for online document stockpiling, utilizing a 256 piece AES encryption. It’s impeccably sheltered and your information on Got Backup is more or less secure. No one, aside from the record holder (you) has the consent to get to your information on Got Backup.

Apple iCloud is the chief online record stockpiling administration for Apple items. It works in a state of harmony with iTunes and Apple Store. You can undoubtedly reinforcement Calendar, Mail and Contacts on iCloud, and in addition every one of the information on your iPad, iPhone and Macs. You can back up your applications and music too. Anything you reinforcement on iCloud is in a flash open over all Apple gadgets.

The Price

Got Backup has a preliminary arrangement that sets you back by only $1 for the main week. In case you’re content with it, you can go for any of the three full membership designs. The Personal Backup is worth $8.99 every month, offering boundless online cloud reinforcement for 1 PC or gadget.

The Family Plan costs $14.99/month, offering on the web document stockpiling for 5 PCs or gadgets, and for 5 distinct records. The Backup and Share Plan costs $13.99/month, offering boundless online record stockpiling for 5 PCs or gadgets. There is no setup expense with Got Backup.

iCloud offers free online record stockpiling for 5 GB of information. Past that, iCloud offers 20GB for $.99 every month; 200GB for $3.99 every month; 500GB for $9.99 every month and 1TB for $20 every month.

The Affiliate Program

Where Got Backup scores over Apple iCloud is that with Got Backup, there is an offshoot program with incredible cash making openings. iCloud has no partner program, as you are no uncertainty very much aware of.

What amount of cash would you be able to make with Got Backup associate program? All things considered, there are some who make over $2500/month. Got Backup gives you 100% commissions for the principal month – which implies as a member you can get 100% direct commission for every deal. The commissions offered by Got Backup wind up half from the second month onwards and remain at that level.

The Bottom Line

It’s unthinkable for any organization to contend with Apple. Got Backup does not straightforwardly rival Apple iCloud, but rather offers extraordinary focal points that you don’t get with Apple, for example, an offshoot program, with which you can make a superb automated revenue. Likewise, it’s difficult to utilize iCloud on PC and Adroid gadgets. There are no such issues with Got Backup online record stockpiling.