Data Loss

             Data loss is an unfortunate fact of life that can severely impact a business’s bottom line. By recognizing the importance of business continuity, Modern Mechanic ensures that our clients have the data they need to work effectively. Losing data happens everyday in all types of environments.

We have provided some sobering statistics on data loss in the US to better understand just how easy it is to lose crucial data.     

 

  • 50% of hard drives die within 5 years.

 

  • 46% of users will lose data each year.  

 

  • Over 30% of users have lost 100% of their files and information at one time.     

 

  • According to CloudBackup’s facts about data loss, 20% of small to medium business will experience critical data loss every 5 years. About 70% of business people will experience data loss.

 

  • $49,000 is the average cost of a stolen laptop after factoring downtime, hardware costs, as well as the cost of stolen data.

 

             How do we help clients avoid data loss? Modern Mechanic partnered with Code42 to provide our clients peace of mind when it comes to backing up their data. With CrashPlan, we are able to centrally manage our users and their backup archives.  We recommend using the backup “Rule of Three”, which says that a user should have 3 copies of important data, on 3 different media formats (such as DVD’s+ Hard Drive, or Memory Stick + Cloud, etc.) and one off-site backup. Fortunately CrashPlan allows our users to follow the “rule of three” with their multi-destination backups. Our users can set up their CrashPlan application to backup multiple file sets to multiple locations such as the cloud, an external drive, or even another computer associated with their account.  For more information about CrashPlan, visit Modern Mechanic’s blog post on Endpoint Backup using Crashplan.

Contact our specialists if you would like to find out how Modern Mechanic can help protect your company’s data.

 

 


 


 

"11 Stats on Data Loss You Need to Know." The Cloud to Cloud Backup Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

"Causes of Data Loss and Some Statistics | Backblaze Blog | The Life of a Cloud Backup Company." Backblaze Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

"Data Loss Statistics." Cloud Backup. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

"Data Loss Statistics." Data Loss and Data Backup Statistics? N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

 

Posted on November 21, 2014 .

Password Security

Using secure passwords is one of the best ways to avoid the theft of your most valuable data. Any IT professional can attest to the consequences of using bad passwords. In this post we will be talking about how to generate secure passwords and some common practices and tools you can implement to keep your information safe.

 

How do passwords get exposed?

 

Someone you once knew: Someone who was once close to you who wants information from your personal accounts can either use passwords that you may have told them, (if you have not changed your passwords after the relationship ended). They may also be able to guess your password with the help of password recovery tools and information such as knowing your favorite sports team, the name of your pet, or your mothers maiden name.

Brute Force Attack: The second and most common way of exposing passwords is through a brute force attack. A hacker with the right software can guess millions of password combinations until your password is cracked.

Data Breach: You may have heard the term “data breach” if you have seen whats been going on with Target and Home Depot in the news lately. This type of password exposure is one of the hardest for general users to avoid. A data breach is when a company has it’s data stolen which includes your account information. Data breaches result in millions of passwords stolen every year.


 

Tips to securing passwords:

 

Don't share private information:  Do not share your sensitive account information with anyone, under any circumstances, unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do have to share your password information with someone, be sure to change it when they no longer need access to the account.

 

Generating secure passwords: When creating passwords be sure to use a complex password, that does not include any dictionary words (especially if they are common in your life such as birthdays, pet or children’s names, favorite colors, TV shows, sports teams, etc). A complex password is at least 16 characters, including upper case letters, numbers, punctuation, and special characters.

 

Generating Secure PIN codes: one aspect of password security that is often overlooked is the the Personal Identification Number, this is the 4 digit code used to unlock a phone or ATM PIN. There are 10,000 possible choices when coming up with a 4 digit code, some are more secure than others. More common pin codes are often the ones that are used first by someone attempting to access an account. In a study of 3.4 Million codes 11% were found to be 1234. The next most popular PIN was 1111 (6%), followed by 0000, and 1212, and 7777. It is also common for people to use their birth year, the same study found that every combination of digits of the years 1901 through 1999 occurred in the top 20% of the data set. When generating a secure PIN code be sure to use a number that does not have any significance in your life. Along with an insignificant number try to avoid reusing individual numbers in consecutive order such as 1100 or 1122 or 8666.

 

Do not reuse passwords: A recent study found that on average people own around 25 online accounts, but only use 6 unique passwords. It is important to have unique passwords for all of your accounts. If a malicious entity gains access to one of your accounts, there is nothing stopping them from trying your password on commonly used websites such as facebook, twitter, online banking sites, and most importantly, your email. If a hacker gains access to your email they can often send password reset requests from other websites to your associated compromised email address.

 

Use 2-Factor Authentication: When creating accounts it is important to utilize a feature called 2-factor authentication when possible. 2-factor authentication will allows that service to send you a confirmation code to your phone or download an app with a time sensitive code that you must input after putting in your password, this makes it hard for unauthorized users to access your account even if they have your password. For more information check out Life hacker post about 2-factor authentication.

 

Use a password manager: Users often forgo a unique secure password in an attempt to better remember all of the passwords to their accounts. To properly secure your accounts Modern Mechanic recommends using password manager software. A password manager is a program that allows you to store all your username and passwords in one place and use that data to fill out login forms when trying to access your accounts. The companies that make popular password managers deploy high amounts of security measures to make sure your password vault cannot be accessed by would-be hackers. When a user has a password manager there is no more need for a password that is easy to remember and you can start generating complex, unique passwords for all your different accounts.

 

Modern Mechanic employs enterprise ready password managers for our clients. Our favorite password management software is LastPass. We recommend LastPass to our clients because of their easy to use enterprise licensing system. With LastPass our clients are able to easily access their sites, secure notes, or form fills with an app that integrates with their web browser. LastPass has security tools that allow users to scan their accounts for potential risk factors and warns users when they have used the same password in more than one site and provides a customizable password generator. LastPass allows our clients to securely share passwords between users and when it comes to corporate off-boarding procedures, having LastPass allows account admins to remove that user from LastPass. In seconds an off-boarded user can be separated from all the company accounts.

 

For more information on LastPass enterprise visit https://lastpass.com/. To get your company set up with LastPass contact Modern Mechanic and we will be happy to help!

 



Profis, Sharon. "The Guide to Password Security (and Why You Should Care) - CNET." CNET. N.p., 10 May 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

Silverman, Rosa. "Easy as 1234: The Most Popular PIN Codes Revealed." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 01 Aug. 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.


Posted on October 13, 2014 .

Differences Between Endpoint Backup and Sync and Share

Our clients often ask us if they can forgo their endpoint backups because all of their important data is stored on a sync-and-share service such as Dropbox. It is important to know the fundamental differences between an end-point backup and the sync-and-share services that business rely on to protect their data. After researching various backup solutions, Modern Mechanic partnered with Code42 in order to roll out CrashPlan to our clients. We chose CrashPlan Pro-e because it was an enterprise level product that completely covered all our clients’ business requirements.

  code42.com

code42.com

An enterprise level backup solution should be designed to be invisible and silent, this means that a user should never be interrupted by their backups until they need to recover data. Fortunately CrashPlan is designed to run continuously in the background and even comes with the option to throttle the CPU and Network resources it uses up. We often throttle our backups to ensure that users don’t experience lag while working on their home network.

In order to avoid user intervention CrashPlan works on a set-it-and-forget-it model that allows users to automatically backup all of their data. With sync-and-share, users must select the data they want to sync each time. With a sync and share service it can be easy for a user to forget to sync an important file.

Although it seems that your data is fully protected by your sync and share services, there are major differences in data protection methods. Enterprise endpoint backup is engineered and optimized specifically for the secure, reliable backup and restore of data on laptops and desktops. Sync and share tends to prioritize for usability rather than security.

We have seen time and time again how important backing up critical data can be.  Not only is corporate data extremely valuable, losing priceless private data such as family photos is a situation that can strike anyone. CrashPlan has been tested by our clients, which include small, medium, and enterprise users and has proven to be very effective in keeping crucial data safe from the very real threat of theft, damage or deletion.

For more information on CrashPlan visit http://www.code42.com/crashplan/. If you are interested in getting set up with a CrashPlan enterprise account contact Modern Mechanic and we will be happy to help! 

 

 

Posted on September 19, 2014 .

Wifi as a Precious Resource

Although Wi-Fi technology is advancing every day, at its core it is still over-the-air technology, and is subject to certain limitations. In order to get the most out of your wifi it must be thought of as a finite, precious resource.  Here we will discuss the benefits of utilizing your ethernet LAN over your wireless LAN when possible. 

Posted on June 25, 2014 .