Data Storage Security

Data Storage Security

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data storage security
data storage security

As Breaches continue, DATA STORAGE and Fear of Adequate SECURITY are merging in the eyes of IT managers.

Over the years data storage security has become a concept centered around protecting data while warranting its availability to authorized personnel. 

Usually, data storage and data security are treated as individual subjects within the IT world, but that’s beginning to change faster than anyone thought it would.

A major reason for the recent merge in disciplines is the variety severity of security breaches routinely exposed by the media. 

As a result, IT managers in the healthcare, finance, and energy sectors have experienced a growing concern among their own.

A subdivision of the broader IT security field, data storage security specifically focuses on securing storage devices and the systems that operate those devices.

Securing data storage may as well be the last stand against an intrusion. 

However, it’s only an effective line of defense if data storage managers and IT administrators are willing to devote the time and effort needed to execute and initiate the existing storage security controls.

data security

In order to maintain reliable data storage security, IT administrators and mangers must carefully balance three important factors: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. 

This means keeping classified data away from unauthorized users, confirming reliability of the data on hand, and allowing access to accredited users within the organization. 

Administrators also need to be aware of the costs of storage security compared to the actual value of the data being safeguarded. 

It doesn’t make sense to have storage security systems in place that cost more than the data is even worth.

 

On the same note, managers should have storage security systems impenetrable to the point that it would cost potential hackers more money, time, and resources to breach them than the data is worth.

More than just recent data breaches, the array of liabilities administrators are progressively motivated to remove consist of shortage in encrypted systems and incomplete data destruction post deletion.

The setback associated with data destruction after data has been deleted can easily be solved with a SITAD organization.

Secure IT asset disposition firms are gaining popularity as they have gradually proven their effectiveness in helping businesses gain a higher return on their initial investment while keeping data secured during the destruction process.

There are also a number of simple steps that industry experts recommend for organizations that are considering employing storage security practices.

These steps include having specific data storage security policies as well as strong network and endpoint security.

Additionally, any organization that has concerns regarding their data storage security methods should invest in data tape backup.

The benefits of the tried and tested magnetic media storage are crucial when implementing effective storage and adequate backup systems and processes.  

tape seciurity

The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Router for Your Needs

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How to Choose the Best Router for Your Needs

 

 

Remember back in the late 1980s and the 1990s when anyone who wanted to access the internet had to play the waiting game while listening to that awful screeching sound of the modem dialing the ISP? Ah, the nostalgia of good old dial-up! Thankfully, companies like Cisco make it so we no longer have to deal with the slow connection and loading speeds.

dial up internet router

 

The speeds and capabilities of the internet have grown exponentially since the development of the wireless internet. All of the hardware involved from modems, routers, and processors have managed to outgrow each other year over year. In fact, in April 2015, Linksys (owned by Cisco) announced that they had achieved over 100 million units in router sales. That’s a lot of routers, but how do you know which one is right or you?

When it comes to choosing a Cisco router, there are many tools available to help you make the best decision. The manner in which you go about choosing switches is very comparable.

Go with Your Gut

When you think of Cisco routers, what is the first thing that comes to mind? It might be Cisco’s 2600 and 3600 series lines. For years, these lines of routers served as the ideal model for midsize business’ networks. Even though Cisco discontinued both lines, some organizations still use them today.

Going with your gut is just one way to choose a router for a current network. However, this method does have a major downside. Choosing a discontinued product could mean that your business misses out on a lot of the features in newer models.

Do Some Research

Most of us were forced to do homework for almost 20 years of our lives. So, what’s a little more? When choosing a router for a new network, the same old routers can’t always be counted on. Do your homework and evaluate different criteria and features that are offered in different models. The shortlist below can help you with the right questions.

Performance

Try looking at how many packets per second the router can forward. For instance, a Cisco 2610 or 2612 series router can forward an approximate 15,000 packets per second. Cisco 7500 series routers can forward an approximate 2 million packets per second. However, those numbers have a tendency to be altered once features such as firewalls and VoIP are added.

Growth

Growth implies the number of interfaces that can be supported by the router. Routers typically have a preset number of interfaces (WAN or LAN). Some routers, like the 3600 series, for instance, have no interfaces. So, take note of the number of interfaces that can be added to the default.

Software

Depending on your current set up, the router you chose might need to support a certain interface or a VoIP feature.

Services

Services refer to the integrated services supported by the router. Today’s routers support features that once needed separate boxes to function. A great example is a 32-port switching module that cancels out the need for an Ethernet switch. Also having a firewall, VPN server, and an IDS/IPS built into the router can cancel the need to have each individual feature as a separate box.

Redundancy

Does the router offer the necessary redundancy for working at a critical point in the network? Some redundancy examples include hot-swappable power supplies or high-availability routing protocols such as HSRP or VRRP.

Support

Cisco routers have a reputation for being very reliable products. Furthermore, Cisco systems usually provide exceptional levels of customer support. When buying the router, many levels of support should be available. Be sure to choose the best level for you and your business.

Ask the Pros

When it comes to choosing a router, Cisco offers a Product Advisor, which virtually makes the router decision for you. As a bonus, you don’t need to be a registered Cisco user to access this amazingly helpful tool.

The Cisco Product Advisor is a simple, time-saving tool that assists in choosing the right Cisco router for your network. It asks the questions and suggests a product based on your answers. So you can sit back, relax, and continue to surf… the internet that is.

 

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Data Protection and Information Security – Together at Last.

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Any IT professional that spent time around a corporate data center for several years has more than likely adapted to the separation of data protection and data security fields. The division in specialties has long historical roots, but does it really make sense anymore?

data protection

Data protection is a major component of any corporate disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan is a set of strategies and processes put in place to prevent, avoid, and minimize the impact of a data loss in the event of a catastrophe. Data protection is essential to a disaster recovery plan as business-critical data cannot be substituted.

The only way to protect data is to make a copy of the original and store the copy adequately secluded from the primary. That way in the event of an unfortunate incident, the same disaster cannot destroy both copies.

In fact, a sufficient disaster recovery plan should also include requirements for application, network, and user data retrievals, as well as procedures for testing and training management.

Disaster recovery planning can be compared to information security planning in many ways. They both intend to protect business-critical practices and data assets. However, InfoSec uses various intertwining tactics that are exclusive to security.

infosec

Information Security

Infosec has established its own terminology and set of strategies for securing vital data assets. These policies are then enhanced by methods of constant monitoring and seasonal analysis to ensure that security precautions are keeping data confidential.

Until recently there have been few exchanges between data protection and information security fields. However, when someone in the data protection field is worried about retrieving data that is encrypted, communication with the InfoSec team is mandatory.

On the other hand, the InfoSec team might only collaborate with the data protection team to confirm that continuous data protection resources are being implemented and used. This would allow speedy restoration in the wake of a cyber-attack by basically reversing data to a point prior to the attack.

Together at Last

Believe it or not, both data protection and InfoSec fields have a lot to learn from each other. Data protection has already dipped into quantitative techniques for matching protection services to detailed data provided the threats to the organization.  These quantitative methods, Single Loss Expectancy (SLE) and Annual Loss Expectancy (ALE), were trivial at face value and abandoned by disaster recovery experts.

InfoSec is moving down a similar path.  Attack surface reduction modeling techniques are akin to the pseudo-scientific numerical looking practices as ALE and SLE. Certain experts see these methods as an upgrade over the threat modeling that was applied by many InfoSec specialists in the 90s.  Before the turn of the century, it was widely thought that the cost to protect data should not be much higher than the cost to hackers to sidestep the security. In spite of this, the correlation was lopsided as hackers suffered little to no expense in testing the protection of their targets or to rout the actions that were taken to keep them out.

Selecting the Best Server for Your Data Center

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Server Selection

In order to improve bottom line performance in the workplace, IT professionals should assess top priorities to establish protocol on how to choose a server while constructing the most efficient workloads.

Some may say that servers are the heart and lungs of the modern internet, but the deliberation on how to select a server can every so often create a confusing range of hardware choices. Even though it’s possible to pack a data center with matching, virtualized and bundled systems that have the ability to handle any job, the cloud is forever altering how businesses run applications. As more organizations move workloads in the public cloud, local data centers need less resources to host the workloads that remain on site. This is encouraging IT administrators and business professionals to pursue more value and performance from the dwindling server fleet.

These days, the infinity of computer hardware systems is being tested by a new trend in customization with server attributes. Some businesses are encountering the idea that one size may in fact fit all in regards to servers. However, you can opt for and even design server cluster hardware to accommodate specific usage categories.

server selection

Figure from: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-choose-a-server-based-on-your-data-centers-needs

VM Merger and Network I/O

An advantage of server virtualization is the capacity to host several virtual machines on the same physical server in order to use more of a server’s existing resources. VMs largely depend on RAM and processor cores. It’s impractical to decide exactly how many VMs can exist on any given server because you can arrange them in a way that they can use an extensive range of memory space and processor cores. However, selecting a server with more memory and processor cores will usually permit more VMs to exist on the same server, improving consolidation.

For instance, a Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 rack server can host up to 28 processor cores and offers 48 DDR4 DIMM slots that support up to 6 TB of memory. Some system administrators may choose to pass on individual rack servers with a preference of blade servers for another form factor or as part of hyper-converged infrastructure. Servers meant for high levels of VM merger should also contain resiliency server features.

Another thing to consider when choosing a server for consolidation reasons is the extra attention to network I/O. Enterprise workloads regularly exchange data, access centralized storage resources, and interface with users across the LAN or WAN. Server merging can take advantage of a fast network interface, such as a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port.

Visualization and Scientific Computing

Graphics processing units (GPUs) are surfacing at the server level more and more to help with statistically intensive tasks from big data processing and scientific computing to modeling and visualization. GPUs also allow IT to retain and procedure sensitive, valuable data sets in a more secure data center rather than let that data flow to business endpoints.

GPUs need more than an extra GPU card in the server since there is a slight effect on the server’s traditional processor, memory, I/O, storage, networking or other hardware. The GPU adapters contained in enterprise-class servers are usually far more advanced than the GPU adapters offered for desktops. Graphics processing units are progressively more available as highly specific modules for blade systems.

Take HPE’s ProLiant Graphics Server Blade for instance. The graphics system flaunts support for up to 48 GPUs through the use of multiple graphics server blades. The huge volume of supported GPU hardware gives several users and workloads the ability to share the graphics subsystem.

Info from: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-choose-a-server-based-on-your-data-centers-needs

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

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face off

Data Storage Faceoff: Tape vs Disk vs Cloud

In September 2010, Virgin Blue airline’s check-in and online booking systems went down for a period of 11 days, affecting around 50,000 passengers and 400 flights. Ultimately the downtime ended up costing the company over $20 million. So, what is the true cost of downtime you ask? Studies have shown that cost of partial data storage backup outages cost an average of $5600 per minute or $300 thousand dollars per hour! Depending on the industry, any single downtime can run into the millions of dollars of lost revenue. Just ask Virgin Blue.

Most businesses have (or should have) plans in place for emergency outages. Data backup procedures are a critical part of these emergency downtime plans. However, as the number of possible backup options multiplies with the introduction of new technologies it can be difficult to ensure you made the correct data backup decision.

Whether companies are looking to upgrade and retire aging infrastructure or are just preparing for the future, an assessment of options is needed. Welcome to the data storage face off- tape vs. disk vs. cloud backup.

Data Tape Storage Backuptape data storage

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, tape was the main way to store any backup data. Since then, it has evolved and grown with changes in technology and growing infrastructures for more than forty years. By deciding to implement or continue using tape will leave your organization with very few infrastructure improvements.

Tape is also the most affordable data storage option due to minimal infrastructure enhancements and the cost of tape itself. Usually, tape is an inexpensive alternative to both disk and cloud storage options; however, its dependent on the total amount and type of data your organization backs up.

Another major benefit of using tape as a main data storage method is the ability to take advantage multi-site storage. As with any organization’s emergency downtime initiative, it is ideal to ensure multi-site data storage. That way a disaster at one storage site doesn’t risk destroying all of the company’s proprietary data. Nevertheless, the multi-site tape storage method can be pricey once you factor in costs of secure tape transfer and storage in data centers at off site facilities. Although tapes have certainly been in existence the longest, like everything else they’re bound to evolve.

Hard Disk Storage Backuphard disk data storage

Disk-based backup such as hard drives, is vastly quicker and more consistent for data repair than tape backup. Instead of writing from disk to a tape, writing from a disk to a disk is purely a more effective method of data transfer.

In the same way, restoration from disk based storage is a fairly efficient process. Restoration allows the avoidance of retrieving, sequencing and then replicating tapes one at a time.

The biggest downside to disk-based storage backups is that they’re located in an on-site facility. For multi-location storage, a third-party is needed for off-site backup. If you don’t want to use an off-site storage provider, it can become extremely expensive to keep increasing disk space.

Cloud Storage Backupcloud data storage

Cloud-based backup refers to an online off-site back up through cloud enablement technologies. Organizations can typically store data with superior cost efficiency in a cloud, by eliminating the need to buy and refresh tapes or disks. Cloud backup is also a much less painstaking process, as data replication is done as a service.

Cloud backup normally consist of multi-site data storage. A local data copy can live in an on-site appliance like the SmartFrame, while it also replicates data to your off-site data storage provider. These applications and enablement technologies constantly run in the background of your IT processes, removing some manual IT processes.

Since cloud based back up is still a relatively new technology, there are some perceived security concerns around the cloud. Questions remain whether cloud backup will open their data to being hacked or even leaked from a third party. There are also concerns of accidental mixing of data with other customers existing in the same data center.

Decision Time

No matter which data backup method an organization chooses to implement, it will have its fair share of both benefits and drawbacks due to technology continuing to make advances in speed, efficiency and security. When the time is right for your business to install a data storage infrastructure or upgrade the infrastructure currently in place, let We Buy Used Tape do the work for you. Since 1965, We Buy Used Tape has been assisting IT professionals and their companies efficiently update their data back up systems. Used and surplus tape and disk storage can be repurposed; helping businesses increase initial return on investment while staying socially responsible. Contact one of our IT experts today for a hassle-free quote on your IT assets. Let us take care of your infrastructure update and security from start to finish.

 

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