Security Archives

Importance of Data for modern Businesses

backup-solutions-for-etandy  Data
All business operates with some sort of data that is unique to their organization. Data can be in a form of emails, database or just files.  These are a vital part of the business operations and business will not be able to run without them.

 

Why you need data to be protected?
To operate a business data should be available to employees all the time. Missing data will cost the business in loss revenues and operational down times.Ultimately,the Business will not be able to run without their data.

Why you need data to be made high available?
Making the business data available to users all the time, regardless of environment conditions, system failures, and any other situation is called high availability of data.

What to look for data protection and high availability?

Protecting data is vital, it is also vital to plan for a process of getting those data back to production environment in little time as possible. This will ensure a little down time and more business continuity
Planning for Data Protection
When planning for data protection, it is vital to understand the business requirement of the organization. For Example, how long can the organization survive the operation without the data? can the business process be run with manually ? How to switch back when the data becomes available? This is called Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
Also how much data can the organization afford to lose, without a major impact to the operation? For example, if the organization to lose 1 days’ worth of data, can it survive and recover that data? This is called Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
Most importantly these are not IT related decisions. These parameters had to be decided by the top operational groups of the organization, after analyzing their own business operation. Surely everyone wants to have a zero down time and a zero data lose system, but implementing such a system will be very expensive. Also not all organizations will require such system.

An analyzing of data in a typical organization
We will take a simple business organization as a sample for this. It will have following systems. Assuming they depend heavily on the systems and no manual process exists for each system.
·    Central user authentication system
·    Email system for internal and external messaging.
·    database to house the ERP, Accounting, manufacturing, store and HR system
·    Central file repository for user created data
·    Various application servers
Above systems will be vital part of the business operation. Any system malfunction will affect the total operation of the organization.

Categorizing the criticality of the data in a typical organization
Once the critical data is identified, those can be categorized according to the priority in conjunction with the business operation. Identifying the most critical systems to the business operations and least critical systems to the business operations will help to plan on deploying data protection and later high availability.
Most critical systems to the business operations will need to be up and running faster than the others. They will also be needed to have least amount data loose.
Categorization of critical data will be a group task that should have all the management levels and the divisional presence.

Examples 1:
For a buying office that mainly deals with customers and factories, email system will be the most critical system. Their main mode of communication with customers will be through emails. Orders will come through; changes will be communicated so on through emails. So the email systems will be crucial for their operation.
The users will require very high availability of the email system. Also they will require availability of their older emails for future references.
So for this organization, there should be a data protection solution to protect their existing emails to be retrieved later.
Also since their email system is so vital, there should be a mechanism to make it available all the time, without a downtime in email operation.
Ultimately from IT point of view, the emails should be backed up frequently and a high available solution to in place for the email system.

Example 2:
For a large scale manufacturing office that mainly deals with factories, email system will not be the most critical system. But their ERP system will be much critical for the manufacturing process.
So for this organization, there should be a data protection solution to protect their ERP database to be retrieved later.
Also since their ERP system is so vital, there should be a mechanism to make it available all the time, without a downtime in ERP system.
Ultimately from IT point of view, the ERP database should be backed up frequently and a high available solution to in place for the ERP system. But the emails are also important, the emails should be backed up frequently and a high available solution might not be required at this time for the email system.

Planning a data protection solution
Planning for a data protection solution should consider the above mentioned criteria first. Apart from that they should consider the method of the protection to be used. Ex: tapes, disks etc. also the retention time for each media is needed for consideration.
Retention period means how long the data be kept in tapes. This will allow old data to be retrieved on a later data for validation or auditing. Retention period should be decided by the business operations.
In addition regulatory requirements mandate a certain retention period for certain business operations.

Planning a Business continuity solution
Planning for a business continuity solution needs to consider the same parameters as the data protection solution. And in additionally on getting the systems running on a predefined time window.

 

 

 

 

7-Zip File Compression Utility

  7-Zip is a freeware file compression tool. If you think Winzip or other paid file compression tools are expensive 7-Zip is a great alternative.

With 7-Zip You can compress and extract: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM compressed files and extract: ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z. That covers about all the major file compression types. 7-Zip also allows you to create password protected zip files using AES-256 encryption (but also remember the length and complexity of the password you use is also important to ensure protection of encrypted data).

Although the user interface of 7-Zip is not very polished don’t underestimate the 7z file compression efficiency, 7-Zip compresses to 7z format 30-70% better than to zip format.

You can download 7-Zip from – http://7-zip.org

We will talk about other great free software in the future. Using the free tools we talk about in this blog you can enjoy the features of paid software without having to spend money. Please say no to software piracy; always look for a free alternative if paid software is too expensive.

 

SSL and Trust

         In a previous post we discussed how SSL was developed & how SSL and certificate authorities (CA) help to protect information that is transferred over the internet. But recently there had been a lot of talk about the trustworthiness of certificate authorities. This discussion was sparked by the discovery of a certificate authority being compromised by hackers. Using this CA hackers manage to issue fake certificates for Google, Yahoo!, Mozilla, WordPress and others. Not long after, another widely used CA was hacked, at present at least four CAs are suspected to have been compromised.
The problem is any trusted root CA or a sub CA can issue a certificate for any w

ebsite on the internet. If the certificate is requested through standard certificate request process the CA would generally validate the ownership of the site, but if a hacker manages get control of the CA they can issue certificates for any site they wish. Root certificates of all trusted CAs are stored on popular web browsers like IE, Firefox and Chrome. Because of this any certificate, even a fake one, issued by a trusted root CAs is displayed as a trust SSL encrypted website.
Several alternatives have been suggested recently like DNSSEC and certificate pinning but for the foreseeable future certificates authorities will continue to be the primary method of site identity verification. Although there had been security breaches, SSL & certificate authorities continue to protect millions of transaction every day.

Manage Your Passwords

Today you need to remember different passwords using for each account. If you are using only password every year and if it is hacked, you have a very serious problem.  Password management is very important because weak passwords or passwords used at different places are becoming a big risk.  Hackers are breaking into web sites to get your password and your password is same in different places it is easy for them. (Is your bank account password is  the same as your Facebook or game site )  It is impossible for anyone to remember complicated passwords that are different for each web site.  The solution is to use a password vault.

This is  completely free product,  KeePass, is very useful for storing passwords.  And  a free open source password      manager. It has a password generator and a comments section for each entry. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key. So you only have to remember one single master password. It can run from a USB drive and has a load of features and plugins, such as an automatic web login for web sites and uses a high level of encryption.  It can be used to save all sorts of passwords such as web sites, FTP Passwords, Online Passwords, ATM codes, software licenses, and even a bike lock code. This list is endless. Of course you will still need to remember a password to open KeePass but that is better than trying to remember many or reusing passwords in different places.

At Tandy Electronics we do care about your data security. So we strongly recommend you to change your initial password for cpanel immediately to a strong password. It is your responsibility to protect your password from on line hackers.

Secure Sockets Layer commonly known as SSL was developed by Netscape Communications Corporation and was publicly release in 1995 for secure transmission of information over the internet. Over the years SSL has gone through several revisions, version 1 was never released to public. Version 2 was release in 1995 and in 1996 a fully redesigned version 3 was released to address security weaknesses of the previous version.

Then the first version of an improved protocol called Transport Layer Security (TLS) was introduced in 1999, the two protocols had significant differences making them incompatible. TLS 1.1 was introduced in 2006 and TLS version 1.2 was introduced in 2008.

 

SSL (and TLS) is important to online businesses as it helps you to protect confidential information of customers such as user names, passwords and credit card information by encrypting it. Encryption modifies the information in such a way a hacker would find it difficult to read the actual information like the credit card number or password hidden inside the encrypted message.

 

To implement SSL on your online business site you need to purchase a Certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). A certificate authority will confirm your identity before issuing a certificate. This certificate can then be used by your website for customers to confirm the identity of your site as well as protect the information they exchange with you. With SSL you can increase the customers trust in your online business which in turn can increase your revenue.