data protection

Dropbox

Dropbox Security Issues: Should You Worry about Your Company’s Data?

Dropbox Security Issues: Should You Worry about Your Company’s Data? 800 1050 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

DropboxShould you be worried about data security? This is a very relevant question since news of the Heartbleed bug broke out. As a result, numerous businesses implemented preventive measures and assured their customers that their data are safe.

Dropbox is one of those.  But the problem, critics say, is that Dropbox failed to do it right. Instead of sending direct emails to its users, Dropbox published a post in its blog, which is buried deep in its website. In it, Dropbox offered assurance and advised customers to regularly update their passwords.

Is That Enough to Secure Private Information?

According to the company, its security team is working non-stop. It has patched all public-facing systems that run on OpenSSL and re-issued and re-keyed SSL certificates for all domains. It also advised using strong passwords and not sharing it with other services. That’s one step to ensuring your data is safe. The next step is to check your routers and firewalls for infection. These could have been infected as well and it’s advised to get it checked by the manufacturer.

Dropbox also regularly issues transparency reports to show customers which agencies request access to user data. But critics say the reports aren’t very clear when it comes to data requests for users from countries other than the United States. If that isn’t enough reason to be concerned, Dropbox was also listed by Edward Snowden as one of the cloud providers that will soon become part of the National Security Agency’s Prism spy network in leaked documents.

Some were so concerned that they are calling for people to stop using Dropbox on a site called Drop-Dropbox. This, however, didn’t deter the company in its continued efforts to provide great service. Ross Piper, vice-president of enterprise strategy, undermined concerns about compromised data by Australian companies.

Your Data Could Still Be at Risk

Even without the Heartbleed bug, user data could still be at risk. There’s a risk of losing important data every time you use Dropbox, according to a post from Business IT. Most of the time, simple habits can result to getting sensitive information to fall in the wrong hands. Things like using a personal Dropbox account and sharing folders with others can make you at risk of hacking. That’s why everyone should exercise caution when storing and sending files through Dropbox.

What Does This Mean for Australian Businesses?

Dropbox is opening its first Australian office. And that is a strong indication of the kind of relationship the company has with its Australian market. The company claims that 95 percent of the top 100 Australian listed companies are Dropbox users. It takes pride in the fact that Australia has one of the highest per capita usage rates in the world. Dropbox is also working to meet the requirements of the Australian privacy principles.

Should You Still Continue Using Dropbox?

Although there are several alternatives for cloud storage and a couple of glitches in the past couple of years, Dropbox is still best in show. It’s easy to use. It’s universal. Plus, there’s an option for individuals to use it for free.

You can find comfort in the company’s commitment to privacy and security. One of its tools, Perfect Forward technology, prevents any vulnerability from regaining past access. According to CNET, it doesn’t allow any previous access a key might have had to be used again. That basically means you don’t have to worry about Heartbleed again.

Despite all these, Dropbox allows fast and secure file-sharing between computers. But you need something stronger for your business. Contact Greenlight if you need help in building computer networks that will allow seamless — and hack-proof — file-sharing methods. We can help protect your company’s data so you don’t have to worry about encryption flaws again.

Disaster Recovery Plan: Think Before Not After – Backups (Part 1 of 3)

Disaster Recovery Plan: Think Before Not After – Backups (Part 1 of 3) 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

disaster-recovery-plan-avoid-pain When pain is avoidable, it pays to have a plan.

Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Data has always been part of the backbone of every successful business. As a 3-part series, we will explore Backups, Monitoring and Redundancy on a high level.

Time and time again we see new clients come to us unaware of the importance of a proper disaster recovery plan for their IT infrastructure. An attitude usually stemming from the assumption that “it will never happen to me” and is therefore not a priority for their business. As David Tozzi-Condivi explained last week, not having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is a lot riskier than you may think.

In Australia we’re no strangers to natural disasters be it fires, floods or tropical cyclones and these are not the only disasters you should plan for. A “disaster” to your business would be any situation in which your critical hardware/software systems experience failures for any number of reasons resulting in massive loss of data and productivity.

Whilst major disasters requiring extensive hardware replacement and organisation-wide data recovery are rare, properly planning and dedicating time and resources to this scenario not only safeguards against the unlikely but also protects against the likely. Even a small incident can have significant and far-reaching consequences for your business.

Fortunately there are a few easy measures you can take to drastically reduce the impact of these events be they large or small.

Disaster-recovery-plan

A solid disaster recovery plan (broadly speaking) includes well set-up Backups, proactive Monitoring, and solid Redundancy planning.

 

Backups

At the core of any disaster recovery plan are the backups. Having a reliable, up-to-date, easily restorable copy of your production data is critical to any business. If there is data corruption, a hardware failure or even an entire site lost, having these backups will be your lifeline to getting back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Choosing the correct backup solution and configuring it properly is the easiest, quickest and most cost-effective way to protect your business from a disaster of any magnitude. Investing in the right backup software and hardware storage will be one of the wisest decisions you make for your business.

So you might ask, what is the right backup software and hardware for my business? The exact answer will depend on the size and complexity of your IT infrastructure but there are some key recommendations that apply to any business:

  • Software: You want an application than can deliver fast and reliable backup/restore tasks as well as providing customisable, frequent and efficient system snapshots with little to no impact on your production environment.
  • Hardware: Stay away from tapes! Tape drives/cartridges are an old, slow and unreliable backup media. Not to mention expensive. Any hard disk drive solution such as a NAS is without question the best option. Such a device provides large, cost-effective storage with fast read/write times and high reliability.
  • Storage: As with any IT setup, the solution should be designed to be scalable. Implementing a NAS with expansion options for future increased storage will save you a lot of money down the track and gives you the flexibility to adjust the number of days, weeks, months of backup data you want to retain.
  • Data Protection: Having the backup systems protected against hardware failures is just as important as your production environment. What’s the point of having backups if there is still a single point of failure? To avoid this you would always arrange your hard disk storage in an array with redundancy so a single disk failure does not cripple your system.
  • Offsite: Replicating your backup data offsite to a separate geographical location such as another site in your organisation or a data centre protects against large-scale disasters such as fire that can destroy all your infrastructure (including local backup storage) at a particular location. Whilst not essential for all businesses having some form of offsite redundancy is certainly recommended for large multi-site clients.

Greenlight also provide backup and disaster recovery services. From planning, hardware and software provision, right through to monitoring and restoration– we’ve got you covered.

This is Part 1 of our 3-part Disaster Recovery Plan feature. Check out Part 2 and Part 3.