Mirrored Storage - Protect Your Companies Most Vital Assets
The white paper is available as also available as a download:
A Company’s Most Important Asset
In its simplest definition, an asset is anything of value to a person or company. Assets offer an advantage to those that own, control and depend upon them. Additionally, we know that the fundamental fact (and basis for much of our of our contract law) that any asset is considered “only as valuable as ones efforts to protect it”. Hence the advent, reliance and importance of contracts, agreements, copyrights, trademarks, intellectual property, pass codes and other devices and in-sundry means to make sure that what is important to us is, and remains, ours. We rely and have a fiduciary responsibility as business professionals to assure that our asset is at our disposal when we want it and need it.
Securing and protecting any asset is fundamental to its value and care must be taken to exceed the risks, hazards, efforts and attempts associated with that which would choose to take our asset from us.
The data and information your company collects and maintains in any format--is considered a tangible asset. A company record contains information needed to support the company’s mission, its business operations and activities. Company records contain the information both necessary and vital for transaction processing, the development and delivery of products and services, planning, decision-making, legal and regulatory compliance, proof and evidence, market analysis. More commonly the mass of company records serve to document the corporate experience.
An organization’s records are its property. Any company record created, received or maintained is a tangible corporate asset. The company’s authority and stewardship over these records is the same as its authority over other assets such as real estate, property, equipment, inventory, patents, discoveries, plans, strategy and investments. Therefore, a company’s data could and should frequently be considered its most fundamentally valuable asset. It offers for posterity the other intangible activities within an organization. It is the map and guide to a business process from conception to disposal. Just consider how many of the different type of items listed above are recorded as digital records in your current inventory.
The High Cost of Data Loss
Critically important in today’s data driven world we Records Managers focus on is the increasing variety of electronic records such as computer files and databases, word processing files, e-mail’s, Instant Messages, voice mail, video clips, wire, transfers, electronic document images, CAD/CAM, calculations from intellectual property, acquired data, leads and prospect lists, computer generated graphics, as well as audio and video files and records. Data accumulation is a requirement and less and less tolerance is provided for deleting any data type from virtually any source, even materials that later proven to deem worthless or even damaging.
Deleting data has rarely been a conscious practice but now any records destroyed suggests the worse case and raises questions as to why. Why were they deleted? Challengers and adversaries gain momentum and an argument when important communications cannot be forthcoming when needed.
Company’s stakeholders expect durable record keeping and long term access even to the potential demise of integrity and an increase of suspicion.
In addition to this “hording” tendency and virtual necessity - there are legal regulations that must be followed by companies to insure the proper use, storage and final disposition of corporate records. Currently, there are over 13,000 laws and regulations that govern or effect record retention in the United States. And some of these requirements carry very stiff legal and financial penalties for records mismanagement and/or noncompliance. This alone makes one realize why servers and data stores are getting bigger by the day and the command “delete *.*” is as little used today as the rotary dial telephone.
In the last thirty years and accelerating at a phenomenal rate records– legitimate assets - have been created and maintained in non-paper format. Due to their intangible and portable nature, electronic records are more susceptible to theft, mishandling, loss, disaster, human error, electronic attacks (virus/malware) and employee non-compliance with acceptable retention practices - than paper records.
As the rise of the importance of data processing and collection increases, companies have been constantly moving their applications ever closer to the end user - from backroom mainframes to servers and then to desktops, mobile PCs and now cellular devices. This creates even more data. It is reported that more than half (>60%) of all corporate data now resides, unprotected by the way on PC desktops and laptops. Your (and your competitor’s data) is everywhere. It is distributed, networked and accessible from many places and by many different means. Are you using ASP’s (Application Service Providers) fro some deployment? Well good – you data is success able from access any where in the world an internet connection can be made.
So what is the business problem you ask?
Alas, there are other fundamental risks. Let’s consider the following published facts and statistics:
What are companies doing to protect these records in this catastrophe inevitable environment? Unfortunately, very little. Almost half (40%) of small to medium sized companies don’t back up their electronic or digital records in any fashion whatsoever.
When the inevitable happens: what is the cost of recovering it?
I was personally involved in an informal study where our team estimated that it would takes 19 person days and costs approximately $17,000 to retype/re-enter 20 Mb of sales information back into an application from the source documents if they were available. Likewise to recreate 20Mb of accounting information, it would take 21 days and cost $19,000. Again this is rudimentary – and does not even consider the human error aspect of a massive data recreation.
In 2001, a “Cost of Downtime Survey” revealed the following information from companies that participated in a blind survey about dealing with data loss and recreation. This study focused NOT on the re-entry like above – but the operational cost of the company not having access to data for the “weeks” while data is restored to those needing it.
What happens if data isn’t available?
As Certified Records Managers we review and effect strategist that speak to keeping what is important to a company. We press the importance to management and staff to have a logical and repeatable plan. We know where the data is and what is potentially important and necessary. Every company and situation is different but what remains the standard across all organizations is to look hard at the ridiculous risk of not protecting data.
The Mirrored Storage Solution
I have reviewed the technology available from Mirrored Storage and therefore advocate for just such a system as an effective and fundamentally sound cornerstone to protect a company’s data.
First on my list for a technical back-up solution was taking a hard look at the security dimension. Whenever data is moving it is at its most venerable state. It is exposed greater to all of the hazards we reviewed earlier. I see that with Mirrored Storage your Data is Secure. Mirrored Storage’s Remote Backup System offers an extensive list of encryption standards including:
I saw proof that each data file is securely encrypted before it leaves the appliance using your choice of the methods listed above. Data assets then travel safely encrypted over the Internet and are stored on the Mirrored Storage cloud backup servers as a group of numbered files containing your encrypted data. Your encryption key is unique to you. No one with Mirrored Storage or the data center will ever have access to your files or your information. Never. Just like a Swiss Bank safety deposit box – what goes in stays in the vault. Only you have the ability to access your data.
This very important and fundamental concept meets or exceeds all existing regulatory compliance programs including the broadest and most strenuous including:
Also high on my interest list and my observed features is that the offering was simple an easy to use. Once set up it is virtually effort free and void of any human involvement whatsoever. Mirrored Storage Remote Backup was designed to work from an in-house master appliance so no special knowledge on your part is needed.
When one uses Mirrored Storage the appliance will automatically determine where applications, records, files, spread-sheets, e-mail, documents, messages, index files, databases, videos, etc. are located on each individual device. Virtually any and all other folders can be easily added or removed from the appliance.
Mirrored Storage Remote Backup utilizes a mirrored technology to keep your information safe at an alternative location. The result is that your valuable assets are not only on your specific electronic device but can also be stored on the appliance as well as the Mirrored Storage’s Remote Backup Server and the Mirrored Server.
That guarantees your organization has at least three backup copies of your encrypted data for your security and protection.
As I explored further and looked for a strait forward but feature rich application to support a fundamentally sound back-up of corporate records I was demonstrated the following key ingredients that make this such a valuable solution:
Multiple Versions of Files
When a Change is Made, only the
The changes are stored by Mirrored Storage Remote Backup as various versions of the original file. This is why you can recover so many earlier versions of your files without taking up a lot of extra storage space. Mirrored Storage Remote Backup uses a patented technology, something they call BitBackup, to accomplish the backup and restore the files.
Internet Interruptions are Not a Problem
You Choose What to Delete
A utility is available that is called a “clean-up wizard” to reconcile the all files (at your selection) on your PC with your online backup and suggest things you may wish to delete. Once you have reviewed the list, you can choose to delete those files you no longer need to keep.
Pay Only for What You Use
With Mirrored Storage.com, helps you add as many users as you like. Even USB memory keys and iPhone and Smartphone devices are covered. (That’s right; ever loose your cell-phone?) In all cases, you only pay for what you use. There are no extra charges for uploads, downloads, storage or versioning like you will see with many other plans.
Seems to me that most online backup plans are based on “buckets” of storage space. You pay “x” per month for a set amount of storage space. With others, if you try to backup more than the contracted amount of storage space, your backup will fail and you will have to 1) delete some data or 2) upgrade your plan. Besides the additional expense of upgrading the plan, a change often requires reinstallation of software.
With Mirrored Storage you are charged only for the amount of storage space you actually use. It’s that simple.
In my detail review of Mirrored Storage I was very impressed. As a Corporate Records manager I know that Data retention and availability is a frequently mismanaged and underestimated trend in business. We spend billions keeping a virus from destroying our data but fail to introduce a policy and a process that allows for unassisted and unattended removal of your data into a secure space far from the hazards and risks your data faces.
Having data is what is key and a deployment of Mirrored Storage is a fantastic start at a very thorough effort to meet and exceed the required and logical need to secure your most important asset – your information.
Acknowledgements and Sources:
By Melessa L. O’Brien, CRM
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