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Prevent Data Loss

  • Future Cloud Formations: Digital Storage in the 21st Century

    Posted on October 29, 2012 by admin

    Chances are that in your business, while you still use paper records, they are becoming eclipsed by digital records and storage. You are using computers for more than just storing files and records; files, forms, records. Customer-related materials are frequently created on, used with and stored solely in the digital format. That means that the ways and methods of this type of storage are of vital importance; a fact recognized by both the private and the public sectors.  You have to use the proper equipment and proper methods to maintain your data and records. Data management is a top-tier concern for any business or group. This is where secure data storage, such as ioSafe hard drives come into play. Here is the how and the why.

    This issue weighs on a lot of important minds. An example would be that in 2011, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum, “Managing Government Records”, which ordered the beginning of an Executive Branch wide effort to reform records management policies and develop a future framework for the management of government records. The benefits of this reform are expected to be:

    • The promotion of openness and accountability by better documenting agency actions and decisions.
    • The further identification and transfer to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of permanently valuable historical records so that future generations will understand and learn from the actions and decisions of the present.
    • Provide assistance to executive departments and agencies in minimizing costs and increasing operational efficiency.

    This program considers records the foundation of open government (and you should consider them the foundation of good business) because they promote and support the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration. It is perfectly stated; “Well-managed records can be used to assess the impact of programs, improve business practices and share knowledge across the government. Records protect the rights and interests of the people and hold officials accountable for their actions. Permanent records document our nation’s history.”

    This principle can be applied to your business or organization because without proper records documentation and storage; you and your customers will lose their history and their future.

    This new directive also has the goal of eliminating, to the highest degree possible, the use of paper records and the move to electronic record keeping. In fact, that is the first central goal of the new framework. All agencies are moving forward to meet the following targets; by 2019, all permanent records will be in electronic format and by 2016 all federal agencies will manage both permanent and temporary email records in accessible electronic format.

    The second central goal of the new directive is compliance with federal records management statutes and regulations. They will do this by meeting the following requirements; agencies will designate a senior agency official to oversee a review of their records management programs, that official will then ensure that permanent records are indentified for transfer and report to the NARA. Then agency records officers will obtain a NARA certificate of federal records management training; which is partner with the new rule that agencies must establish records management training programs of their own. The senior officials will also that all records and their transfer are scheduled and indentified, then submitted to the NARA.

    There will be a number of actions started to assist in the completion of these two goals. Nara will revise their transfer guidance for permanent electronic records, new email guidance will be created, and applied research into automated technologies will be investigated and stimulated to reduce the burden of records management responsibilities. Records management requirements will also be embedded into cloud architectures and other federal IT systems and commercially available products. The next actions are to evaluate the feasibility for secure data-at-rest storage and management services for federal agency owned electronic records.

    Creating a robust records management framework will require the Archivist of the United States to convene periodic meetings of all senior agency officials to discuss the progress of the implementation of the directive; followed by the creation of a community of interest to solve records management challenges, propose guidance, share information, create training and indentify tools that will assist in electronic records management. The framework also requires the establishment of a formal records management occupational series and continues to improve the effectiveness of federal records programs through enhanced NARA oversight and analytical tools.

    The final assisting action is to improve NARA processes through; improving the current request for records disposition authority process and overhauling the general records schedules.

    A full account of this presidential memorandum can be found here.

    Another report examines the new directive and the problems and challenges it is tackling. For example, 95% of agencies are at moderate to high risk of compromising the integrity, authenticity and reliability of their records. The risks they face include the following; improper management and disposition of records, saving records and making sure they can be retrieved, read and interpreted. This report establishes the timelines and reports that various agencies need to make in order to get in line with the directive. An entire listing of those schedules and timelines can be found here.

    We hope that this federal example makes the importance of digital recordkeeping clear; if you switch out the words, those reports apply to you and your business. You need to realize the importance of another concept as well; cloud computing. Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (both hardware and software) over a network. That means using computers and web-based applications to enter data, make computations and use software that can be spread through your own network. Now that big issue is public vs. private clouds; in a public cloud model a service provider makes resources such as applications and storage available to the general public over the internet. These services may be offered for free or in a pay-by-usage model. Private clouds are models owned and operated by a single organization, either managed internally or by a contracted third-party. The issue of which is superior can’t be decided here (we have an option though). You have to decide what the best option for your company is, but here is what can offer; one of the best pieces of equipment if you choose a private cloud.

    Private Cloud Storage with ioSafe helps solve digital records management challenges.

                    The ioSafe N2 is one of the world’s best multi-drive NAS/RAID storage devices. It is waterproof, fireproof and durable network-connected device for terabytes of your personal/business data. The N2 allows you to have fast access on your local network and connect from nearly any remote device connected to the internet.

    If you are dealing with terabyte-levels of information, public model clouds can break down quickly. There are other disadvantages to public clouds; like cost, storing several terabytes of data on a server like Amazon S3 can cost $8000 over three years. Security is also an issue; no matter how safe, a public cloud is still public. In our opinion, being in local control of your own data is the best option.

    You’ll get fast local access, redundant hard drives, security, nearly unlimited storage, and cloud convenience, access to data with virtually any device and onsite protection against natural disasters.  The N2 has an impressive list of features including:

    • Private cloud: fast local access (up to 100 MB/sec), no high public cloud fees!
    • Redundant Hard Drives (RAID):  it automatically mirrors and protects against hard drive failure. The N2 can utilize two hard drives up to 4TB each.
    • Data Recovery Service (DRS): the ultimate safety net; DRS provides no questions asked data and hardware recovery.
    • Fireproof Protection: protects data from temperatures of up to 1550 degrees for up to ½ hour per ASTM 119.
    • Waterproof Protection: can protect data in up to 10 ft salt/fresh water for up to 72 hours.
    • Active Airflow Cooling: uses FloSafe active airflow cooling technology for optimum operating temperature.

    With the N2, ioSafe has teamed up with Synology to bring you world class DSM apps and operating systems. There are apps for backup, multimedia, management, productivity and surveillance.

    Using ioSafe storage hardware equipment isn’t the house you build for your cloud; it’s the foundation you lay down for that house. For safe and secure digital data storage, you need both software and hardware solutions. Consider the N2 and spend some time considering which type of cloud management would work for you and your company.

    This post was posted in NAS Storage, Prevent Data Loss, Orders & Regulations and was tagged with ioSafe, synology, "managing government records" NARA, digitize, "digital storage" archives, N2 "personal cloud" "private cloud storage" NAS, "network storage"

  • How ISO Quality Can Improve Data Security

    Posted on November 8, 2011 by admin

    Understanding Information Security Standards

    ioSafe technology adds an extra layer of data protection to your current ISO data retention & security plan. Improving RTO & RPO at a very low cost.

    One of the things we want to do here at is to help you understand some of the work and regulations that go into the systems you use every day. The product s and systems a person uses have all been put through various tests and standards to make sure they perform to the level that they advertise to. Many of these tests and standards are concerned with safety and product quality. Computer systems, security functions most importantly, are especially scrutinized.  In the modern age, the most important concern is the protection of data and businesses that manage and hold the personal, financial or health data of their clients are required by law to make sure that they are protecting this data.

    One of the ways they do this is by making sure their computer systems run at a national or internationally recognized standard. The ability to put the sticker of approval from one of these organizations is proof that you’re taking care of business or if you see it at a company you’re doing business, you should feel more assured of your data’s safety.

    Let’s look at a couple of examples of standards that you would use in your business or as a consumer, be protected by without even knowing about it.

    ISO 17799/27002: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an acclaimed international body which sets various worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. Headquartered in Switzerland, it was founded in 1947 and does the bulk of its work through over 2700 technical committees, subcommittees and working groups. They sell their standards across the world and 162 countries are voluntary members of this organization. ISO standards are so common-place that they have become part of some product’s designation; many CD images end with the extension “ISO” to indicate that they are using the ISO 9660 standard file system.

    One of their increasingly important standards is ISO 17799/27002 which is a widely accepted standard for information security management. It is intended to serve as a single reference point for indentifying the range of controls needed for most situations where information systems are used in the commercial or industrial sense by large, medium or small businesses.

    If your company purchases the 17799/27002, you’ll receive a generic guide on how to implement information security procedures in your business. The standard is very comprehensive. It will go over such topics as risk assessment and treatment, security policies, organization of information security, asset management, human, physical and environmental security, media handling, communications and much more. You’ll be able to set up the standard and tailor it to your unique needs. After that, you’ll be able to contact any number of accredited groups to look over your plan and tell you if meets ISO standards. This standard grew out up the requirements devised for ISO/IEC 27001 and revised edition should be released in 2012. Here is an in-depth guide that will tell you more about the standard.

    ISO/IEC 27001: This standard is a formal set of specifications against which organizations can seek independent certification of their Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). An ISMS is a set of policies concerned with information security or IT related risks. The main idea behind this principle is that a company should design, implement and maintain a coherent set of policies, systems and processes to manage risks to its information assets. The 27001 covers all types of businesses, from mom ‘n’ pop shops to multinational corporations. Its use covers many bases; to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, identification and clarifying existing security methods and how they can be improved. 27001 are also used by external and internal auditors to of organizations to demonstrate security policies of a company.

    The main goal of the standard is to organize all security efforts under ISMS, in this sense it is broader than the ISO 17799/27002 which provides a detailed plan for security management. The 27001 is like the standard which allows you to shape your other plans. A good bet would be to use both standards together and get positive overlap.

    It is a very popular standard, over 7300 organizations worldwide have certified as compliant with ISO/IEC 27001. There are mandatory requirements for certification of the 27001 and many accredited agencies which you can use to perform the service. Here is an in-depth guide to ISO/IEC 27001; it will give a full account of the standard and applying it.

    Common Criteria: This system is another approach to data security.  The Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (Common Criteria or CC) is an international standard for computer security certification. It is a framework with which a computer system user can specify their security functional and assurance needs. With it a company can make a claim about the security attributes of their products and an outside testing laboratory can evaluate that claim. The CC provides assurance that the testing was done in a proper and rigorous manner.

    The CC grew out three different standards; ITSEC from Europe, CTCPEC from Canada and the TCSEC from the U.S. Department of Defense. What makes it different from the ISO standards is that CC is used more commonly on products. To evaluate the claim the CC uses protection profiles, security targets, security functional requirements, security assurance requirements, evaluation assurance levels.

    Common Criteria has been used on many products; such as access control devices, biometric systems, smart cards, operating systems and databases. Here is a complete list of products. There has been some criticism that the CC is too costly and that there is too much focus on documentation rather than actual security. CC continues to be updated and is currently in the 3.1 version. This is the official website of the Common Criteria Project, a good resource if you wish to learn more.

    Another measure that you and your company can take to increase data security is to have more secured hard drives. IoSafe’s SoloPRO series of external hard drives are excellent choices because of the rugged protection they offer. The physical and data protection is top-notch. Take the 1 TB SoloPRO eSATA/USB 2.0 Desktop Hard Drive for example. With its environmental protection systems, it’s prepared for any real-world threat from fire, flood, shock, impact, chemical or air fan failure. The Data Recovery Service is a great safety net for a data management program. It’s a three year plan (upgrades available) where you have up to $2500 worth of forensic data recovery and advanced replacement in case of an internal error or system crash. It’s a back-up for your back-up plan. The eSTATA/USB 2.0 connectivity works with a NAS network and would be a niche in your data management system.

    IoSafe products can provide the physical anchor for your new system of data management. At, we believe in covering all the bases and ioSafe will help you do that.

    These standards and certifications can truly help your business. ISO can help you protect your data and Common Criteria can help you make better products. Each is an investment, of both time and money but doing so will benefit your company in the long run.

    Written by:

    Joseph Fowler

    This post was posted in Prevent Data Loss, Standards / Benchmarks, ISO Standards of Quality and was tagged with fireproof hard drive, ioSafe, data storage, iso certified, data retention, records retention, rto, rpo, ISO 17799/27002

  • SMB Backup Plans | Network-Attached Storage as a Solution

    Posted on October 27, 2011 by admin

    In the quick-paced business world, data is the key to a company’s survival. That data most flow and be protected at all costs from almost every imaginable problem. If the data concerning a customer, a product or an operation is misplaced, destroyed or scrambled; then your company could be in peril. The key to protecting your data is twofold. You must back it up on a regular basis and it must be kept in multiple and safe locations.

    There are ways to achieve this protection using on-site physical protection, computer networking and internet-based protection and backup. While this project may sound daunting, it is very easy for a small business to set-up their own grid of protected storage. We’re going to show you a simple 3-step program that can be used as a frame and tweaked to fit your own small business. First, you need to be aware of two different types of storage. Network-attached storage (NAS) and cloud computing. These terms will be explained in steps one and three of the plan.

    Step 1: NAS and the solutions it offers. A NAS network should be the core of your new program. Network-attached storage is a file-level computer data storage unit connected to a computer network. This server is connected to all the computers in your company or office and shares the files from one source. They are often specialized computers built from the ground-up for this purpose. They usually contain more than one hard drive; using logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. If your business works with large amounts of data, a NAS network makes access, configuration and administration far easier. It can create such simpler and cost-effective systems as load-balancing and fault-tolerant e-mail and web servers. It’s a good choice because it takes the work and stress off individual computers and servers.  We list some great NAS products and the companies that make them at the end of the article.

    Step 2: Combining NAS with a great product, the ioSafe SoloPRO external hard drives. IoSafe is famed for their construction of disaster-proof hard drives and their SoloPRO line is a great choice for small businesses to combine with their NAS networks.  There are 23 different products in the SoloPRO line and here are some that would be a great fit for your business. The 1TB SoloPRO USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive is an excellent choice because it comes with a three year data recovery service with up $2500 of forensic data recovery and replacement. It is Linux, Mac and PC compatible and its fireproof skin protects data from loss in temperatures of up to 1550 Fahrenheit for up to ½ hour. For your purpose, the most important feature is the USB 3.0 and/or the e-STATA/USB 2.0 connectivity which allows the SoloPRO to connect to any NAS network. This connectivity feature is shared by the 2TB model, the 300GB SoloPRO SSD, the 1TB SoloPRO Desktop Hard Drive and the 3TB USB 3.0 Waterproof/Fireproof Hard Drive. The ioSafe drives can combine onsite protection with your NAS network, providing new levels of security for your data.

    NAS + ioSafe SoloPRO is great for SMB

    Step 3: Cloud protection. This type of storage uses the internet as a utility where your company sends its data to an internet storage grid. It is called a “Private Cloud” when a company engages a third-party to host an infrastructure where the data is copied, stored and updated on a regular basis. Your company can have this service for a monthly or yearly fee. Updates and copying schedules depend on the individual plan and what internet company you use. There are definite advantages in the areas of scalability, security, performance and multi-tenancy. This article provides a great list for companies interested in securing cloud coverage, “Top Cloud Computing Companies to Watch and invest in 2011”. is always interested in connecting you with great products. These three companies make quality NAS devices that could fit your small business’s profile.

    Synology: This Company specializes in NAS equipment for a variety of clients. In their small business & workgroups section they have many products available. Such as the RackStation RS411, the RackStation RS409 and their DiskStation line has the following; DS411, DS410, DS211 and the DS111.

    LaCie: This French company has several lines of NAS products available. Such as the LaCie Network Space 2, the LaCie Network Space MAX, the LaCie 5big Backup Server, the LaCie 12big Rack Network and the LaCie CloudBox (which works perfectly with cloud coverage).

    Pegasus Promise: They have several NAS products available The SmartStor NSx700 series is ideal for high-performance environments. The Enterprise Storage line is ideal for corporate structures and the SMB Storage line provides medium and small businesses with cost-effective ways to keep their data online longer. Pegasus is also involved with cloud storage solutions.

    This basic plan covers all the bases. NAS allows your data to flow and perform better; the ioSafe products offer onsite protection and high-quality performance and investing in private cloud protection will allow you the peace of mind of knowing your data is decentralized and off-site. The final layout of your plan is up to you but will be here to help you put the pieces to together.

    Written by:

    Joseph Fowler

    This post was posted in ioSafe SoloPRO, How To, NAS Storage, Prevent Data Loss and was tagged with SoloPRO, NAS, network attached storage, ioSafe, backup plan, small business backup, RAID, redundancy, lacie, synology, pegasus promise

  • Restoring Deleted Files From an External Hard Drive

    Posted on September 19, 2011 by admin

    Easily recover & restore programs and files on your hard drive.

    Ever had that sinking feeling you get when you empty your computer’s Recycle Bin, only to realize that an important file that you really needed to keep was inexplicably among the other junk files you just deleted?

    We’ve probably all done it at some point, and likely suffered the consequences for it too, but did you know that it isn’t really gone for good?

    Because of the way a typical hard drive reads and writes data, the chances are high that with a little bit of digging, you will be able to retrieve a whole host of deleted files from an external hard drive. You don’t need to be a data recovery specialist; you just need the right tools for the job.

    Recuva, from Piriform, is a free disk utility that was designed for one purpose – restoring deleted files from your hard drive. Once installed, the included program  wizard will ask you what type of file to look for, and will ask you for its location before it was deleted. This is not essential information, merely a way to filter through the large volume of files Recuva will likely find.

    Once it has scanned your hard drive, Recuva will display a list of files that it found. All that is left for you to do now is check the boxes next to the ones that you want to resurrect, and click Recover. Then, as if by magic, you will quickly have access to files that were once deleted from your computer.

    There will, however, be times when Recuva is not a viable option. Not everyone is comfortable using tools like Recuva to restore files, and you may have some physical damage to your external drive from vandalism, fire, or flood damage. In cases like this, you will be glad you invested in an external hard drive from ioSafe.

    Not only are ioSafe’s disaster proof hard drives among the most rugged in the world, but all ioSafe hard drives come with a unique Data Recovery Service (DRS) as standard. It covers any data loss, for any reason, whether accidental or on purpose. This one-time use, no questions asked service is the ultimate insurance for all your data needs, and it ensures that you never have to worry about lost data every again.

    ioSafe’s expert team of forensic data recovery specialists will recover any and all data that it finds on your  external hard drive, and ship it back to you on a replacement device free of charge. The DRS is just one more reason, if it were needed, as to why ioSafe hard drives are the best option for businesses looking to secure their important data.

    Contact our team today for more information, or to receive a quote for this industry leading product.

    This post was posted in How To, Prevent Data Loss, Troubleshooting Tips and was tagged with ioSafe, data loss, data recovery, restore programs, forensic recovery

  • How to copy music to an external hard drive |Backup Your Tunes

    Posted on September 14, 2011 by admin

    Chances are you have an iPod or an iPhone and the related programs on your computer and that means you have e-books, movies, video files and of course, music. We’re not talking about a few songs or albums; we’re talking about an audio library; one that has been divided by genre and set-up in playlists for every occasion and mood. You’ve invested time and money in this collection and so it should be protected from the various computer-related failures/crashes/mistakes that can strike from time to time. Now you have to ask the question, “How can I protect my tunes? I’m going to the gym, walking the dog, reviewing my paperwork, I need my tunes!”

    One of the best options available to consumers is the hard drives from ioSafe. This company produces many rugged pieces of equipment that are perfect for copying and protecting data such as your music collection. One such product is the ioSafe 500GB Portable Hard Drive; this drive can fit in your backpack or briefcase and is built to MIL Spec standards. It’s water-proof, crush-proof, shock-proof, and chemical-proof and has full Extreme Environment protection. Combine that with data encryption, theft protection and a no-hassle warranty and you’ve got a great backup for your laptop or desktop.

    If you’re looking for something larger for your office or home then check out this ioSafe drive; the 1TB SoloPRO USB 3.0 Desktop Hard Drive. Styled in a sleek black box, this product has the fastest interface available on the market today. It is Linux, Mac, Microsoft Sever and PC compatible and has data transfer rates of up to 3GB/s and it can connect to a NAS. It is water and fire proof and has Active Airflow Cooling so it operates at the optimum temperature and with the built-in security slot; it can secured to any surface.

    This ioSafe product combines a lot of great options. The 1TB ioSafe Solo, this hard drive is a fantastic way to protect a separate copy of your music and videos.  Its water-proof, you could soak in 10 ft of water for three days and still recover your data; along with its fire protection, you don’t have to worry about the weather. The drive has SUB 2.0 connectivity and with its In-Home Media Vault, you never have to worry about losing your music library or photo albums.

    All of these ioSafe products come with the Data Recovery Service which offers you unmatched protection. No matter what happens to your hard drive, DRS will recover your data files and it comes with one to five year warranty plans. This service is an essential part of your ioSafe package.
    If you’re a Mac user, you have another great opinion open to you. It is called Time Machine for the Mac OS. This utility backup creates incremental backups of files that can be restored at a later date. Time Machine keeps an up to date copy of all your files, music included and it’s compatible with the ioSafe external hard drives.

    The process of moving your iTunes is a very simple and straightforward procedure.

    First thing you need to know is that iTunes stores all your music in an iTunes folder (Mac users can find them in their Music folder) and XP users will find it in their My Music folder within their My Documents and Windows 7/Vista user will find their iTunes in their Music folder in their libraries.

    If you can’t find your iTunes folder, you can locate it by going to the Preferences menu in iTunes and clicking the Advanced Tab. At the top of this window will be a dialog box called iTunes Media Folder Location and you’ll be able to see where your music is located.

    Once you find your folder, click on the folder and drag it over to your external hard drive icon. The folder itself doesn’t move but a copy is made and stored. It is just that easy, find the folder, click on it and drag it over to your external hard drive.

    Never depend on one hard drive to hold your audio/visual libraries and save yourself the trouble of buying and looking for the same music you’ve already acquired. Your favorite playlist will sound all the sweeter when you know your music is secure.

    Written by Joseph Fowler

    This post was posted in How To, ioSafe + Mac, ioSafe + PC, Prevent Data Loss, Music and was tagged with iTunes, music, backup music, copy my music, how to copy music to an external hard drive

  • How to Recover Pictures and Photos from a Crashed Hard Drive

    Posted on September 12, 2011 by admin

    Step One…Don’t Panic!

    Take a deep breath and look at your situation. Your hard drive has just crashed and this is problem that needs to be addressed right away but it’s not a catastrophe! You can fix this and you can prevent the loss of not only your data but also the pictures of your family and friends.

    An ioSafe + Cloud Backup is a great way to prevent data loss from a crashed hard drive. This will allow you to recover programs very easily and quickly.

    We live in the age of the digital camera and snapshots taken with our phones and people are moving away from the habit of having physical copies of their pictures. While the technology has changed, this core concept has not; you need to protect your collections of photos. We used to order multiple copies of pictures and keep them in photo-books for protection and presentation. Now people show their photos on social media sites, blogs and their various electronic devices and they still have to worry about losing their memories.

    We’re going to walk you through some troubleshooting techniques that you can use in response of a hard drive crash. There are many options open to you in a situation like this and remember the most important thing is not to lose your head; you’re not on a sinking ship, you just need to plug a hole in the boat and fish your luggage out of the water.

    If your hard drive is making clicking, whirring or grinding noises turn it off and unplug it. Then carefully remove the hard drive from the computer (remember that hard drives are very sensitive to static electricity and physical jolts). Do not assume that the files are unrecoverable and if you don’t have a backup in place, you’ll need to turn to commercial services.

    Often the best options for laypeople are on the internet and with recovery software. One such company available is DriveSavers. Since 1985 this company has been helping people and businesses protect and recover their data and they have various options for recovery plans and will service a wide range of devices. The website Kroll Ontrack has developed protocols to meet virtually any recovery need and they offer helpful user guides and software for sell.

    The website is a good resource for tips and troubleshooting advice about recovering photographs. Their advice is straight-forward and is geared toward educating as well. They talk about hardware and software, how to prepare and protect your photos from disaster and they a great page of links about not just about protecting your memories but about many different aspects of digital photography.

    One of the best options you can take to protect your photographs is be prepared before anything happens. One of the best ways to go on the offensive against potential crashes is to invest in an ioSafe hard drive; one of the best features that ioSafe offers on these hard drives is the Data Recovery Service. This product is available with numerous drives like the ioSafe Solo, the Rugged Portable SSD and the SoloPRO SSD. These hard drives are a great choice not only because they are disaster-proof and protect your photographs from outside threats; the Data Recovery Service ensures an unmatched safety net in the case of internal loss. With such features as access to expert technicians, up to $1000 of forensic data recovery, replacement hardware pre-loaded with recovered data and a three-year limited warranty.

    No matter which option you choose; your best plan to prevent these types of emergencies before they happen. So when investigating plans to fix your crashed hard drive, look for the best way to prevent this from happening again.

    Written by Joseph Fowler

    This post was posted in How To, External Hard Drives, ioSafe Hard Drives, Prevent Data Loss, Troubleshooting Tips and was tagged with ioSafe, data loss, cloud backup, recover crashed hard drive, recover programs

  • How to Backup Your Data Files | 3 Easy Steps

    Posted on September 9, 2011 by admin

    Safety First…Backup Your Data

    A combination of onsite disaster proof hard drives, off site and online or cloud backup are the best bet.

    One of the largest technological concerns a business or individual can face today is the loss or corruption of their files and data.

    It is vital for your company, clients and to your own sense of security that you have a ready and adaptable backup plan in case a disaster scenario occurs. Research conducted by the University of Texas shows that only 6 percent of companies that suffer from a catastrophic data loss survive while 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close their doors within two years.

    A recent NFIB poll shows that man-made disasters affect 10 percent of small businesses and natural disasters have affected 30 percent of small businesses and in the United States hurricanes are by far the most destructive natural force affecting businesses with losses. The International Data Corporation analyst firm shows that 70 percent of all successful attacks on computer networks are carried out by employees and company insiders.

    You need a plan.

    Here is a three-step, easy to follow plan that will help your business protect its data files.

    1. Archive Your Business Data Regularly:

    There two steps to correctly archiving your data; identifying the critical data that needs to be saved and using an archiving method on a regular basis. Executables like software programs don’t need to be saved, if they are lost, reinstall them. All files that you have created and or modified should be saved and archived. From accounting numbers to individual e-mails.

    After you’ve selected which data to archive, select and use a backup software program. There many different programs you can choose from. The key is to remember to archive your data regularly, on a nightly basis is often suggested.

    2.  Creating Physical Data Backups:

    Having a physical backup is necessary because of the chance of computer failure. Even dropping your laptop on the ground or spilling coffee on office unit could be disastrous.

    One of the most reliable and cost effective physical backup methods for a small business is the external hard drive. They are simple to use (with most you only have to plug it into your computer’s USB port) and the price range is usually only several hundred dollars. Many external hard drives are also disaster-proof, like ioSafe’s SoloPRO

    3.  Off-Site Data Backup:

    To be truly secure, the best option is storing copies of your data off-site from the main archive. There are many options for this method; many businesses keep copies in bank vaults or at the homes of different employees.

    One of the most popular methods is online backup; these websites will backup and save your data for a monthly or yearly fee. Here are some of the most popular companies that offer this service.

    • Carbonite: Since 2005 this company has backed up over 100 billion files and recovered 7 billion of them from being lost. They offer a program for small businesses that is $229.00 a year for 250 GB of storage space with the option of upgrading, automatic backups and a free month-long trail.
    • Mozy: Also founded in 2005, this company has over 70,000 business customers. They have many options for businesses such as encryption, custom configurations and automatic backups. The pricing is different for desktops and servers; learn more here:
    • SugarSync: This company offers different features such as Apps for smart phones and pooled storage for multiple users. Their business plan is 100 GB of storage for three users at 29.99/month and 299.99/year and is upgradable. Learn more about them here:

    The fact that you’re thinking about data backup and considering a plan is a great step in the right direction. It is also important to remember that when it comes to the safety and success of your business and clients, redundancy is the magic word. If you use online backup then also have an external hard drive in your office or a disaster-proof lockbox filled with zip-drives. If you backup your data every night then make sure that a copy gets sent to a secure off-site location.

    Whatever system you decide to use to backup your data, backup that backup system!

    Author: Joseph Fowler

    This post was posted in How To, Prevent Data Loss and was tagged with SoloPRO, external hard drive, online backup, cloud backup, sugarsync, mozy, carbonite, how to, small business, backup plan, contingency plan

  • Protect Your Hard Drive Data with Surge Protection

    Posted on July 21, 2011 by admin

    Why is surge protection important?

    Sudden unwanted increases in voltage, called power surges, can damage or destroy electronic equipment. Huge voltage spikes caused by lightning or failed power lines can wipe out or fry your electronic equipment. Although these are the most dramatic instances, they occur in less than 30% of cases. The constant switching of lights, heating and air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, pumps and other electrical equipment cause frequent small disturbances. A 17-month study done by IBM in 49 cities across the country found that an average of 128.3 disturbances happened in each monitored facility, every month.[1] Most were surges that did not cause immediate damage, but could wear down equipment over time, corrupt data and shorten the lifespan of equipment. While it is impossible to prevent voltage surges from either entering a building or from occurring inside a building, surge protective devices reduce and divert transient voltage levels. Surge protection is a cost-effective solution to maintain business continuity and prevent equipment damage.

    What is the risk?

    Although statistics vary, as much as 40% of data loss incidents occur because of power surges.[2], [3], [4] Recent statistics have shown that 59% of all electronics casualties are due to power problems, and most computers are subject to two or more power anomalies a day.[5] Data loss from hard drive failure and power surges accounts for the largest chunk of data loss incidents. Additionally, businesses typically misplace their worries and spend more money on theft and virus protection when it only accounts for less than 15% of data loss occurrences.[4] Since power surges or blackouts can occur anywhere and at any time, it only makes sense to protect your computer by investing in some sort of surge protection device.

    What are the costs of data loss?

    The costs incurred from lost data loss and equipment failure can be catastrophic. A 2008 Price Waterhouse Coopers Survey found that a single incident of data loss costs business an average of $10,000.[8] A 2010 study at Pepperdine University estimated annual data losses to PCs cost US businesses of at least $18.2 billion.[4] The average business has $60,000 worth of computer data and many of them have little or no protection at all. The average PC data loss can cost more than $2,000 when you consider technical support for recovery, lost productivity, and lost data.[6] There are several reasons to believe this is a conservative estimate. In addition to replacing equipment and lost work, man hours, recovery periods and lost sales can add to the costs. Additionally, legal costs and damage to a businesses reputation during an extended period of computer downtime are hard to quantify and could be the crucial difference between staying in business or having to close up shop. Extra costs would be incurred if a data loss incident occurs to two or more PCs on a network.

    What about lightning strikes or downed power lines?

    The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) found there were 185,789 lightning claims from homeowners in 2009 costing $798 million, with an average claim totaling $4,296.[7] These losses ranged from damage to expensive electronic equipment to structural fires that destroyed entire homes. Regular surge protectors and built-in computer surge protectors aren't enough to combat the massive voltage in these situations. Without proper surge protection these incidents can wreck a busness.

    It's only a matter of time

    Data loss concerns for businesses are only going to get worse. As we rely more on informations and data to drive our business, data loss from power surges will result in an even greater financial burden. A company that experiences a computer outage lasting for more than 10 days may never fully recover financially and 50% of these companies suffering will be out of business within 5 years.[4] Another survey claimed 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days file bankruptcy in a year.[5]

    As our technology grows so do our risks. Increasing storage capabilities make it more convenient to store all data in one place, but also make a hardrive failure more dangerous. Networked computers that fail can create a virtual information chain disruption, causing workflow stoppages. Without proper surge protection businesses are running the risk that one bad day can make for a very bad year.

    Learn about ioSafe hard drives and protecting from data loss

    SurgeAssure can help you prevent data loss from a hard drive crash or failure.















    This post was posted in Surge Protection, Prevent Data Loss and was tagged with surge protection, data loss, hard drive crash, zapped hard drive, voltage spike, surgeassure, lightning strike

  • What is Surge Protection? How does it work?

    Posted on June 28, 2011 by admin

    Spikes in electrical voltage are often referred to as “surges” in power. These power surges of high voltage can cause unwanted damage to electronics and appliances that cannot handled a voltage that is larger than what the components are rated for.

    A surge protector or surge suppressor is designed to decrease or limit the amount of voltage that supplies your computer electronics or hard drives by way or one or more methods. This includes the blocking of the surge or shorting the surge to ground. Many times a surge is caused by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm or severe weather.

    What Can I do to protect my electronics and data?

    For many consumers, the idea of protecting or preventing electrical surge damage has been a guessing game. Buying surge protection equipment generally isn’t too high on the “To Do” list and that said there are many ways that you can protect your entire house from damage.

    Be happy, even if lightning strikes :) By implementing a plan to prevent data loss from a computer crash as a result of a surge or lightning strike you'll save yourself a big headache down the road.

    One solution is to buy a surge protector power strip for every bit of electronics in the house from your HD television set to your iPhone, iPad and laptop computer. While this isn’t the most realistic scenario, it might work for you and it’s certainly better than zero surge protection in your house.  If you don’t have power strips with surge suppression do you unplug every appliance and  gizmo during a storm? Of course not, you don’t have the time or care to get shocked!

    Another method is to rely on your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover losses, but this is less than ideal. While insurance coverage is necessary, it’s not the right thing simply rely on taking your losses against your deductible. The best solution is to improve upon your surge protection insurance policy from lighting by preventing surge damage before it happens with SurgeAssure whole house surge protection.

    Surge Protection Systems

    How does a whole house system work? Well, it’s a series of protectors that work in conjunction with each other. Often called Zoned or Zones protection, your entire home, the appliances such as TV, oven, microwave and washer and dryer will all become protected from lightning damage and lightning strikes.

    Data Loss on your computer hard drive can occur from a surge or lightning strike.

    How SurgeAssure Works

    1.       First, surge protectors are applied and installed to the incoming electrical, cable/satellite, and telephone utility services to keep externally generated surges from entering your home. This step ensure that you have a primary surge protection in place where most damage enters the home.

    2. At key locations throughout your home, localized secondary surge protection is installed to safeguard against any residual surges from the main electrical service and any internally generated surges.

    At the heart of a whole home system is a breaker panel protection system, telephone line protection, cable internet and cable tv protection, and then outlet surge protection for electronics, hard drives, computers and more.

    By the Numbers

    According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the  direct annual structural lightning losses at $138.7 million as averaged over 1989-1993 (13). This information came from the nation's fire chiefs, who also reported 20,000 lightning-caused residential fires. Surge damage can be caused by lightning and claim costs reported by State Farm Insurance Co. in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah have been extrapolated to national figures indicating  there to be 307,000 separate lightning claims totaling $332 million annually.

    In closing, no one wants to have any type of loss or claim with their insurance company. The smart choice is to take extra steps to protect your home and possessions, electronics and that precious computer hard drive from damage with surge protection from SurgeAssure.

    This post was posted in How To, Surge Protection, Prevent Data Loss and was tagged with surge protection, lightning damage, insurance policy, what is a surge, suppression, supressors, house, home, data loss, computer hard drive, external hard drive

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