Data Sabotage Protection

I got a call from a real estate brokerage business owner inquiring about offsite data backup. He was concerned that a disgruntled employee might delete important files from his office computers. I didn't dig into the reason for his fears; whether they are justified or not is not really my business. I do know that employee errors and sabotage are very real threats to data and offsite data storage is an excellent mitigation strategy. Even without those concerns, offsite data backup should be considered essential for all businesses, large and small.

Backup data that is stored in the office or in the same location as the computer is vulnerable to many of the same causes of loss that the primary data is. For example; backup tapes and other media will likely burn in the same fire that destroys the computer. A disgruntled employee with a small amount of determination can easily wipe out your backup tapes as well as the computer files. In fact, a saboteur is well aware that they will only be effective if they delete or destroy the backup data.

Offsite backup is not always safe from sabotage. I have heard of cases where backup procedures were altered so that blank tapes were being moved off site. One of the best ways to protect against these kinds of threats is the use of an online backup service designed for business data. The business oriented services have safeguards in place that make it difficult to remove data from the off site location without proper authority. And good online backup services automatically generate reports if backup jobs are missed or no data is backed up.

In the case of the real estate brokerage, the solution was simple. We got them started on an online backup plan, and only the manager has the credentials to change the reporting or data retention. If the owner's fears come true and an employee deletes data from the office, the missing data can be restored months later if needed.

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