The world of today has a higher amount of interconnectedness than ever before. The essence of a company is no longer its physical property and assets, but rather the information stored on its computers and its network. As more and more companies become virtual and their operations are done via software, the importance of securing that information has become paramount. It is no longer acceptable to simply provide physical security systems on-site, but there have to be steps taken to protect the data stored on internal servers and software.
These safeguards can take on many forms, but whichever way you take it, they all have to deal with data security and the ability to safeguard not only internal business affairs and information, but clients’ information as well. The element of trust is an imperative part of a business relationship, regardless of its individual nature, and security of data is a large part of the foundation upon which trustworthy relationships are built. Without taking steps to ensure the protection of information from outsiders, companies would not be trusted with anything else.
Data Resiliency: What is it?
Simply put, data resiliency is a term that describes the ability of data to bounce back from situations where it is compromised. The best way to ensure the security of data is to store it in multiple locations. None of the locations enjoy any importance above the other, but should simply be able to be found. Comparable to having multiple sets of keys to your house or car, in the event that one of these copies are lost, you are still able to produce a viable set.
The Difference with Data Security
Data security then, is the next step beyond simply saving your data in multiple locations. It implies that the data is readily available and not corrupted, along with being in compliance with all necessary applications. Some of the key steps in achieving data security are backing up, restoring, and replicating. All of these are essential to having access to a clean version of data at all times. While resilient data can be permanently lost if all storage locations are compromised, the ability to restore itself is what sets secure data apart. To continue the key analogy, secure data could be providing your locksmith a guide to your key, so that in the event all copies are lost, they are able to build you a new copy.
Logical Replication v. Hardware Replication
As with any process, there are numerous options regarding how it is undertaken, with each option having various pro’s and con’s. The first such option for data resiliency is known as “Logical Replication”. Typically deployed through a product, replication is run through software methods on objects. Changes to the objects then are replicated to a backup copy with the replication being at or near real-time. Journaled files will be replicated at a record level while the objects with data will be handled typically at an object level.
One positive point about this process is that the backup database is live, which means that minimal recovery is needed when switching to a backup copy. However, a challenge to this option is the complexity involved in setting up and maintaining the environment. There have to be strict maintenance regulations in order to ensure that the live copy always matches the production copy, essentially that the two versions of the files will be identical.
Hardware replication is done at the operating system or disc level, rather than the object or record level. One of the advantages for Hardware Replication is that, because the replication is done at a lower level, the copies are guaranteed to be identical. However, in the process of replication, the data will only be accessible from one copy with the second copy not being able to be used during active replication.
One of the ways this is achieved, is through the utilization of an Independent Auxiliary Storage Pool (IASP), which segregates the data from the drive onto a set of desk units which are independently controlled. Thus, the application data can be replicated using hardware replication while not replicating the entire operating system. This facilitates speed but there are situations where it’s not feasible. In those cases, a full system replication becomes necessary. While being initially simple to set up, there is a lot more bandwidth required to replicate the entire system and is more considered to be a disaster recovery option rather than a high-availability option.
Two Requirements for Data Resiliency
When information is moved to being stored on the Cloud, there is a misconception that this is the final step. But, while this is a wise move in terms of being able to move valuable information off-site and made virtually accessible from almost anywhere in the world, there is still the need for geo-redundancy. What this means is that, in the case of there being a national disaster or other extreme event to a datacenter, you won’t lose the data stored there. This can either be present through a hybrid solution, where the primary datacenter remains on premises, or an entirely cloud-based option of having a duplicate datacenter somewhere else in the world. This prevents the entirety of your backup being lost due to one event, but ensures you will be able to respond positively should any extreme situation occur.
The other final step in ensuring data resiliency is a commitment to cybersecurity. There are multiple aspects to security and in order to remain current, there has to be a continual and holistic commitment to ensuring security. This will involve research and remaining informed as to the latest threats as well as the new security solutions and options that are being created. Just as crime never sleeps, so can the commitment to cybersecurity never be at rest. There must be a top-to-bottom effort to create and adhere to policies that will be a part of the collaborative effort to secure all virtual information. In the end, the fight for cybersecurity is not limited to one company or department, but must be seen as a global effort to ensure protection of information from cybercriminals all over the world.
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