How to Implement Continuous Data Protection for Your Organization

Many elements of data security need to be considered when creating a plan to protect your company’s information. While some steps, such as ensuring that sensitive files and servers are password protected, are commonplace, many others often fall under the radar. To ensure security, you need to plan for all contingencies. As a response to potential threats, any good security plan should include a continuous data protection system to keep your information safe at every step. 

What is Continuous Data Protection?

In cybersecurity systems, Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is a system that independently backs up data whenever a change occurs in your system. This backup system maintains an ongoing record of all data changes. Not only does this ensure that no information is lost between standard backups, but it also allows you to find and restore previous versions of the data it has cataloged. 

CDP systems typically work by creating an initial data copy to an independent protection server. The independent server can reside in an organization’s data center or offsite. After the initial data version is set up, the system tracks and backs up each file every time a change is made. Unlike conventional backups, which usually take place every 24 hours, a CDP approach minimizes the amount of data that must be backed up in each cycle. The CDP approach cuts out the time associated with backup windows, eliminating the risk of changes “slipping through the cracks” between backup cycles. 

Why Continuous Data Protection Matters

There are several benefits to CDP systems compared to conventional, periodic backups. Traditional systems always have a time window between backups, leaving room for losses. 

The time window makes it necessary for businesses to have a Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which refers to the amount of data that can be lost before significant harm occurs. Continuous backups mean that there is no risk of losing data that is created or updated in between backups. While the limits of data transmission and processing always leave some small gaps in backups, the most you can ever lose with a CDP system is a few minutes’ worth of information, as opposed to the hours or entire day’s worth of data that may otherwise be lost. 

In addition to ensuring that data is never lost to errors, CDP provides a layer of protection against certain attacks. Because the backup drives maintain a record of all changes, if files become infected with a virus or otherwise corrupted, you can go back and retrieve the last uncompromised version. Because of this, threats like malware, ransomware, or even sabotage are mitigated. 

Implementing Continuous Data Protection

Installing a CDP system is fundamentally a matter of purchasing the correct hardware and then connecting the system to your existing databases. Once a system is in place, it begins to work automatically. While installing CDP hardware and programming is relatively straightforward, it does need to be done correctly. 

Firstly if not adequately architected, a CDP backup server can become a single point of failure. For example, if files are backed up in a CDP system but not stored anywhere else, a targeted attack or failure of the drives hosting the data can be hugely damaging. In a correctly configured system, the CDP drive is intended as a backup rather than a primary storage source. 

Another consideration is the actual equipment. Proper, up-to-date hardware and software are necessary for a CDP system to keep up with the constant data tracking and storage demands. While current systems are hugely capable, new advances are constantly being made, shortening download times, increasing capacity, and providing tighter security. 

Beyond Backups: Disposing of CDP Hardware

While having a CDP system in place is fundamental to a comprehensive security plan, data security doesn’t end when information is baked up. As CDP and other storage drives age and get replaced with faster, safer equipment, how you dispose of unused drives is critical. 

Because of the amount of sensitive information stored on CDP backup drives, they pose an irresistible target for anyone attempting to gain access to your data. While systems are active, they are protected by the various protocols and firewalls that keep all of your computers safe. Once they reach the end of their working lives, however, they’re no longer part of your active network. 

In order to keep your data safe, tape, disk, and solid-state drives all need to be properly wiped before they are discarded. While some may think that deleting information is enough, hackers can still access past versions of the stored information unless a drive is cleared by a professional. Hiring a qualified electronic disposal partner is the best way to ensure that your old drives can never fall into the wrong hands. 

Secure Electronic Disposal with FAMCe

Safely and legally disposing of computer equipment is easier said than done. Unlike other waste, which can be easily thrown out or recycled, computers and e-scrap require specialized knowledge and facilities to handle. Choosing a recycling partner can not only keep your information secure throughout the disposal process, but it can also reduce costs by reusing or salvaging components to resell on the ITAD market

Whether remote or on-location, First America Metal Corporation (FAMCe) has you covered when it comes time to dispose of electronic equipment securely. We have been a world leader in electronics and metal scrap recycling and non-ferrous export for over 15 years. Our team has over 30 years of experience in reusing and recycling metal commodities, and we are known as one of the top five metal exporters in the entire Midwest. 

FAMCe specializes in creating innovative, greener solutions for businesses or individuals who want transparent and environmentally-friendly methods of reusing and recycling electronic scrap, high-temperature alloys, and non-ferrous scrap. Our level of expertise, unparalleled customer service, and aggressive pricing make FAMCe the leading option for almost any recycling need.

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