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chris grossman

Enterprise Data Backup

Chris Grossman, Senior VP of Enterprise Applications, Rand Worldwide, says:

Enterprise data backup is one of those “behind the scenes” functions. No one thinks too much about it until a problem arises. It’s only then that the strength or weakness of an organization’s data backup solution becomes evident. No one wants to discover that their company has fallen victim to the three pitfalls of enterprise data backup. Let’s explore each one and consider how organizations can avoid these challenges in the first place.

1. Business continuity. The overwhelming reason that organizations implement a data backup solution is to recover business critical information when it’s needed. When systems go down, whether due to technical failures or natural disasters, companies want reassurance that their business can continue with a minimum of downtime. Unfortunately, many data backup solutions simply move data into repositories and that’s it. If data becomes corrupted in those repositories, then recovery becomes difficult or maybe even impossible. Instead, companies should look for data backup tools that proactively monitor the health of backed up information, and flag and correct data corruption whenever possible. This guarantees that backup data repositories are constantly available for restores.

2. Complex IT infrastructure. Many backup and recovery solutions are complex and hard to operate. Solutions that require installation of individual agents on each machine that needs backup spell trouble in several ways. First, IT time must be spent installing and maintaining those agents. Second, the security risks are high. Multiple agents open multiple ports in firewalls. This exposes the IT infrastructure to attacks from malicious software. A better alternative is a data backup solution that leverages an agentless architecture. This dramatically simplifies ongoing operations and reduces the security risk.

3. Regulatory compliance. Regulatory compliance has different dimensions. First, many regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) mandate that organizations keep their data secure both at rest and when it’s in transit to different data repositories. Unfortunately, sensitive information may be unprotected on backup systems that reside either in data centers or within the organization’s network. When data backups are unsecure and unencrypted, it can lead to data compromises and regulatory infractions. Another aspect of regulatory compliance is providing auditors and regulators with copies of data in its original native form. If backed up data has become corrupted, it may be impossible to meet regulatory requests. It’s essential that organizations use data backup solutions that encrypt data, as well as monitor the health of the backed up information.

About the Author

As a Senior Vice President, Chris Grossman manages the Enterprise Applications division of Rand Worldwide, including the Rand Secure Data division. Contact Chris at cgrossman@rand.com or visit www.randsecuredata.com.