Cyber Security: How to reduce data vulnerability & cyber security threats with an endpoint backup solution

No user involvement in data backups

The reality is that users should not be involved in the security of business critical data. When organizations rely on a data backup policy where users are instructed to backup to a central server, they expose themselves to data loss risks.

To reduce cyber security threats and form a solid data security infrastructure, enterprises need to first completely remove the user from the data backup process by implementing an endpoint data backup solution that is:

  • Automated
  • Centrally managed and configured
  • Centrally deployed
  • Transparent, with no user interruption, increasing user adoption

Removing user involvement in data backups and putting IT in control is vital for effective data security and foundational protection against cyber security threats.

Central control over data backups

Central control over data backups not only ensures that user data is secure and available for recovery in the event of a laptop or desktop being compromised by a virus or other failure, it increases endpoint security and disaster recovery preparedness and decreases the risk of cyber threats.

In order to enforce the company’s data backup policy, IT needs to have a complete oversight over the endpoint data backup environment.

Cibecs gives IT central control over endpoint business data by providing the ability to:

  • Centrally deploy the User Agent software, automating installation and ensuring user adoption.
  • Centrally define policies over what data needs to be backed up, from which users, and when
  • Pinpoint potential data loss risk areas quickly and act on it
  • Manage backups centrally and report on protection ratings and areas of concern
  • Prove compliance and the efficiency of Disaster Recovery Planning with intuitive data reports
  • Automate the backup process, further ensuring that user data is backed up and secure

With Cibecs, the organization has full control over data backup selection, quotas, schedule options and settings.

Centralized & granular data access control

Central control over user data backups is a paramount foundational consideration when addressing cyber security. However, once the data is backed up and secure, controlling access to this data is an equally important measure.

More granular and refined data access and web security policies are a certain requirement for enterprise data protection and preventing cyber security attacks.

MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Cyber Security report shows an average of 30 custom policy rules per organization in 2010; with a rise to 50 this year.

Company policy should limit access to secure data based on business roles.

Cibecs ensures central control over endpoint user data with controlled and customisable access to confidential data. With Cibecs, an encryption key is uniquely generated per user to ensure that access to data remains on a ‘per user’ level. This greatly reduces the threat of cyber security attacks.

To access a user’s data requires the uniquely generated encryption key for that user to be entered. This key is safe guarded in the Encryption Key Safe. The Encryption Key Safe safeguards each user’s unique encryption key in the event of a user requiring access to their data.

Cibecs provides the ability for authorized personnel to be granted ‘Security Officer’ rights over encryption keys enabling them to retrieve keys when required. This ensures granular access to confidential information and central control over who can view confidential user data.

Data encryption

Research shows that attacks on thousands of business computers are becoming less frequent, with targeted attacks on a single company or even one individual, becoming increasingly common. These attacks require access to this individual or organization’s data.

To prevent such an attack and effectively protect user data from any unauthorised access, enterprises need to implement appropriate security measures. Controlled access is a partial measure and should form part of addressing security in information architecture, another one of these measures is reliable and secure data encryption.

  • Local Disc Encryption: Products like Safeboot, PGP and open source options like TrueCrypt encrypt the data on an individual’s notebook or desktop, in addition to the data being backed up and encrypted by an effective data backup and recovery software solution.
  • Backup encryption: The backup and recovery solution you use should automatically encrypt your data. This is an especially important feature when it comes to compliance and data breach notifications. Anyone with IT access can access data stored on the server, which is why encryption of user data is vital in preserving data integrity.

Cibecs is a certified Cryptography Service Provider. With Cibecs, the backup data for each user is encrypted using Blowfish 448bit (CBC mode) before being transmitted to the server.

All communication between the User Agent and Continuity Server is encrypted through a secure SSL connection. The backup and restore data is also in an encrypted state while being transmitted therefore providing increased data security.
Effective encryption aids in ensuring that confidential user information can’t be accessed by unauthorised parties.

The ability to track data changes

For many institutions, security threats and suspected breaches in data security where a document has been changed or edited are difficult to prove as they don’t have access to previous versions of user data.

A recent example of this is a financial institution suspected unauthorised access to their books where changes were made to spreadsheets. Unfortunately, as they couldn’t restore previous versions of their data they could not legally prove their case.
A backup solution that provides previous versions of files to be restored removes this risk, improves corporate governance compliance and provides an audit trail.

Cibecs allows authorised access to previously backed up versions of user documents through file versioning, giving organizations the ability to restore older versions of files as well as track and monitor data changes. This is a huge security advantage for enterprises in instances such as

– Corporate governance compliance
– Proving legal disputes
– Monitoring and validating a user data security breach

With access to this information, enterprises have greater control over data, and security risks are substantially reduced as past versions of user files can be easily restored.

Safe & simple data recovery

Despite high-profile news coverage of botnet attacks, botnets showed as the top concern of only 14 percent of respondents in the 2010 CDW Security Straw Poll, however if user data has been compromised or a user machine has been infected by a virus, data recovery is a of obvious importance.

Products like Net Trace also allow for asset tracking and remote deletion of the information – but then the data is lost forever. If your endpoint business data is backed up you can go ahead, destroy the data on the user’s machine in the knowledge that the business data is accessible and can be restored.

An endpoint solution that provides simplified, safe and reliable data recovery is paramount for enterprises, ensuring authorised data recovery, increased operational benefits and reduced required resources- ultimately lowering overhead costs.

Cibecs ensures simple, fast and safe data recovery with:

  • Fast, wizard-driven restores
  • Unattended data restore
  • File versioning, recover previous versions of data
  • Ability to restore data to original location on new machine or Operating System

Protecting data from unauthorized recovery

Cibecs allows users to quickly and easily recover their own data by using the self service recovery feature in the User Agent. As described, Cibecs prevents unauthorized recovery of the user’s data by requiring the uniquely generated encryption key for that user to be entered. Only those with authorized access will know the user’s Encryption Key.

The fact of the matter is that today’s legacy solutions struggle to provide an answer to the problem of endpoint data protection because vendors attempt to adapt antiquated technology, instead of building the correct solution from the ground up.

Some business backup management statistics to consider

  • Data doubles every 18 months
  • At least 14% of corporate employees now work remotely
  • At least 28% of all corporate data resides exclusively on its laptops (and increasingly on other endpoint devices). This is alarming because it opens the user (and company) to one point of failure.
  • More often than not, data lost from laptops (or desktops) cannot be recovered at all.

Want to know more?

You can also watch our demo video that illustrates how simple data backup can be: Cibecs Data Backup Overview

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