PYDA–Data Security

This is the third article in the Protecting Your Digital Assets (PYDA) series.  This time we are focusing on data security.

Your data – the files, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, emails, videos, plans, designs, and financial and client information that represent your work product and records – need to be protected not just from malicious attack, but also from random hazards. Everything from a simple hard drive failure to transient electrical surges, lightning and storms, fire, flood, and theft can result in the loss of the data trove that runs your business. We covered how to protect your data from Internet borne threats in the last article.

A backup program is the first line of defense. My recommendation is to have a full local backup of your server in the form of a disk image you can use to rebuild your server or computer from scratch quickly. Couple the local backup with an on-line backup of the critical data files that are necessary to restore your business to full operation. The local backup allows you to recover quickly from equipment failures; the on-line backup allows you to recover from the more serious problems of storm, fire, flood, and theft.

You also will want to backup any data on the PCs in your company that is not already stored on the server.  There are many online backup systems should suffice for that.  Two of my favorites are Carbonite and Mozy.  Both run about $50 a year and represents a very cheap form of data integrity insurance.  After the initial full backup is completed, anything you are working on or changing is backed up immediately when you save the file.  There is no backup schedule to worry about, and virtually nothing can happen that would cause you to lose recent changes to your files.

Then there are the plethora of data synchronization services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Docs.  Not only can you use synchronization to back up your important files, but they provide an instant access to the files from any Internet connected computer or device.

You also need to consider the data that lives on your smartphones and tablets.  All the main platforms have something that is connected to your smartphone data service.  For the iPhone it is the iCloud, for Android phones it is Google Docs, for Windows mobile 8 phones it is going to be SkyDrive.  Make sure you are using these services to backup your phone contents.

Data security is important not only to protect from network borne attacks but also from the everyday hazards of work and life.  This is an issue I see people putting off and punting down the field for a “better” time in the distant future.  Don’t be one of them, set something up for yourself today.  As always if you need professional assistance we would be delighted to help you.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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