Be paranoid, be very paranoid about securing your data

There are many ways to view the world – as Charlie Chaplin shows here.

There is the thriller view – think Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Would you expect a flock of malicious birds to try and peck you to death?

Or what about life as a Charlie Chaplin-like comedy, where things just keep going wrong?

Ordinary life contains elements of both. If it didn’t, Hitchcock and Chaplin wouldn’t resonate with us so very much.

The everyday lesson here is: when something is important to you take very good care of it. Guard against the malice of the hacker, but also take care that real-life comedy – ‘What do you mean you left the back-up disc on the bus?’ – can’t harm you or your business either.

At Computer Forensics NZ (CFNZ), we are very paranoid because our business is data recovery and security. And guarding against hackers online and careless employees offline is what you need to guard against too. You too must be very paranoid about the security and availability of your data.

Because… even the most trusted employee can make a mistake, even the best firewall can be breached, and even the best-maintained PC, server or laptop can fail.

The best answer is the multiple back up.

The problem with just the one back up to the hard disc on your computer is that when the disk fails you’ve obviously lost everything – original data and back-up – all gone…

Quite a lot of people rely on an automated back-up procedure carried out at the end of the week. This is better, but back-up software can have bugs, or the user can unknowingly change the configuration settings. Every week, here at CFNZ, our people recover essential data because someone thought their back up was working and it wasn’t. Also, hard disks fail of course, which means once again you’ve lost your back-up.

Even the smallest business can easily check if their automated back-up system is working by checking a file from that should have been included in a just completed back-up is actually there.

These examples show that you can’t rely on a single back-up system.  So, at the very least, have two back-ups – preferably off-site – to ensure absolute security. A third ‘redundant’ back-up, to the cloud, is also worth considering, always understanding you need to consider the security and reliability issues associated with the cloud.

Image: Charlie Chaplin in Kid Auto Races in Venice – 1914

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