Archive for the ‘ Datacastle ’ Category

Hard Drive Failures & eDiscovery

Hard Drive Failures & eDiscovery

The Datacastle team is very excited to be making its way to Washington D.C. in the next couple of weeks to join our Microsoft Azure partners at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). As we head to our nation’s capital, we couldn’t help but notice that the need for modernized laptop backup has never been greater. Recent incidents at the IRS and EPA point to the need to modernize the way laptops are being backed up.

While the most common motivation for laptop, tablet, and desktop backup has to do with disaster recovery there is also another important reason that large enterprises and institutions know all too well – eDiscovery. Consumer-based online backup solutions don’t meet the requirements associated with laptop backup for eDiscovery use cases. Enterprises and institutions need an endpoint backup solution with the following capabilities:

  • Legal hold: be able to retain and secure the laptop data for the duration of the investigation
  • Centralized policy management: IT needs to be able to enforce the company’s policy for backup and not leave it to employee behavior
  • Search: be able to find the “needle in the haystack” when you are backing up a large organization’s endpoint data
  • Admin recovery: While users need to be able to self-recover files, administrators need to be able to collect the data for investigations
  • Audit: be able to know who recovered what files and when
  • Encryption & Key Management: These are sensitive documents and you have to have the confidence that they are secured for the long term

To learn more about how enterprise endpoint backup and recovery can support your eDiscovery processes, contact Datacastle at www.datacastlered.com .

Datacastle RED Not Vulnerable to Heartbleed

Heartbleed

Datacastle prides ourselves on our strong, thorough, and multi-layered approach to security. We have been asked by many of our partners and customers in the past week about any vulnerabilities Datacastle RED has to the Heartbleed bug. We are pleased to report that Datacastle RED partners and customers are not exposed to the Heartbleed vulnerability.

What is the Heartbleed bug? The Heartbleed bug can be found in OpenSSL v1.01 and later. SSL is commonly used for secure, encrypted communications with web servers, especially when performing username/password exchanges. OpenSSL is commonly used with Apache web servers for secure communications. The Heartbleed bug potentially makes it possible for hackers to retrieve the SSL encryption keys from the web server, thus making encrypted information such as passwords vulnerable.

Why are Datacastle RED partners and customers not exposed to the Heartbleed bug? Datacastle RED uses SSL for secure, encrypted interactions with the Datacastle RED vault. Datacastle RED does not use OpenSSL. Datacastle RED uses Microsoft IIS web servers and Microsoft has made it clear that Azure and their IIS SSL technology do not possess the Heartbleed bug found in OpenSSL.

But what if you don’t use Datacastle RED? If you use some other endpoint data protection solution, we encourage you to communicate immediately with your vendor and determine if you or your users have been exposed to this vulnerability. Many online cloud backup solutions use Apache web server technology and potentially carry the Heartbleed vulnerability as a result.

For more questions about endpoint data protection, the Heartbleed vulnerability and how to avoid it using Datacastle RED, feel free to contact us at www.datacastlered.com.

 

What MSP’s need in an endpoint backup technology partner

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Datacastle has many MSP partners that use our software to drive a growing endpoint backup service. Over the years, we have learned from them what works and what doesn’t when working with technology partners. Here are the top considerations MSP’s should have when considering a technology partner for an endpoint backup/data protection solution.

True multitenancy: MSP’s have multiple customers and in some cases multiple partners. Your endpoint backup/data protection solution needs true multitenancy from the ground up in order to be successful and match the way you do business. This means that administrative permissions, reporting, policies, encryption key management, data deduplication, and even custom branding need to be supported on a per-customer or even per partner basis.It only takes a few questions of the technology provider to know if the solution possesses true multitenancy or not.

Don’t compete with your technology supplier: Simply ask how much of the partner’s revenues come from direct sales and how much comes from a network of channel partners such as MSP’s. Many technology companies “pivot” to a channel strategy as part of their growth strategy while still keeping their direct sales force in place. Competing with your technology provider is no fun and you will always be at a disadvantage since they now more about their product, the future road map, and can undercut you on price.

The economics make sense: Make sure the total cost of the solution will allow you to have a profitable endpoint backup and data protection practice. This means that not only does the licensing costs need to pencil out, but is the product “quiet in the field” from a support standpoint. How easy is the product to deploy?

Flexible storage and deployment options: For some MSP’s it makes sense to provision the service out of a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or IBM SoftLayer. Other MSP’s will want to take advantage of their existing infrastructure and host and operate yourself. Make sure you have a solution that provides you that level of flexibility. All of your customers are not the same either. Some of them have good connectivity, some of them are highly dispersed with poor connectivity. Make sure you have hybrid cloud options such as Datacastle’s QuickCache where you can meet the customer’s needs and might even be able to make some add-on revenue.

Datacastle generates over 95% of our revenues from channel partners such as MSP’s. Datacastle RED has been architected from the ground up for channel partners through multitenancy, custom branding, licensing model, flexible storage options, and low cost of deployment/operations. If you are an MSP and looking to expand into endpoint backup and data protection, learn more about Datacastle at www.datacastlered.com .

3 ‘Real Things’ to know about Coca-Cola’s recent data breach

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Coca-Cola is currently dealing with the backlash and expense of a data breach by an employee who stole 55 laptops and compromised 74,000 employee and contractor records. This incident highlights three key elements around laptop loss and data breaches.

  1. The ability to remotely wipe sensitive data from a laptop is a requirement not a ‘nice to have’ feature for enterprises.  Stolen laptops happen to every company and the ability to remotely delete data from a device when it is lost or stolen can save companies millions of dollars.  Ponemon Institute estimates that 1 in 10 laptops will be lost or stolen in their life-cycle and estimated the organizational cost at $5.4 million for a data breach.  Enterprise customers of every size, shape, and budget will be hit by an employee leaving a laptop in the car for a few minutes and coming back to a massive data breach.  Datacastle RED enables enterprises to remotely shred the data on a lost or stolen laptop ensuring that a data breach does not occur.
  2. Contractors will frequently have critical information with no IT safe-guards to protect from a data breach.  World-class companies with great IT teams frequently have a gap when it comes to dealing with contractors. Contractors often get access to key information and that do not need to follow all the guidelines of full-time employees because they are using their personal laptop which is not owned by the enterprise.  Contractors having unprotected data stolen from a laptop have exposed thousands of sensitive patient records at the Veteran’s Administration,  Stanford Children’s Hospital, and Howard University Hospital.  Datacastle RED enables enterprises to segment their critical data on any laptop for backup or deletion without accessing a contractor’s personal information on a laptop.  With Datacastle RED the ability to remotely delete data from a device is possible no matter the scenario.
  3. Trust with employee/customer data is a key element for brands moving forward.  Recent data breaches clearly show the public is quickly turning on companies that expose their information.  Even established and long trusted brands like Target who had a data breach in December have seen dramatic response to exposing their clients’ data by dropping out of the Top 20 brands in the BrandIndex list.

“The fact that Target not only fell out of the top 10 but out of the top 20 is a big deal, especially since the incident only happened in December,” BrandIndex head of client services Lance Fraenkel told CBS MoneyWatch. “This kind of drop isn’t something that happens often.”

Companies like Coca-Cola have smart IT organizations and will address their endpoint data protection needs quickly. Other companies and their IT leadership need to learn from the hard lessons that come from these incidents and get ahead of the curve. Otherwise, these companies are forced to react to similar incidents after the fact. Learn more about how Datacastle RED can help you get ahead of these issues at www.datacastlered.com.

Enterprise Adaptability – The Top IT Trend for 2014

As we celebrate the successes at end of 2013 and prepare for growth in 2014, we see lots of lists in the IT world about the top trends in 2014. Almost all of these top trend lists include Mobility and Cloud Adoption. But one of the underlying questions is why? The answer lies in the need for enterprises to incorporate Adaptability pervasively throughout the organization.

Enterprise endpoint data backup and protection sits right at the intersection of these two trends as a key enabler. Enterprises need to be able to adapt to a marketplace where change is accelerating. That means enterprises need IT infrastructures that are more elastic, flexible, and can scale up and down as need demands. That is the promise that cloud infrastructures such as Microsoft Windows Azure and IBM SoftLayer are delivering upon today.

At the same time, enterprise employees need to be able to work anywhere at anytime as their customers and stakeholders require. This need drives Mobility. Employees have responded to this need by investing in endpoint devices ahead of many of their IT departments – thus the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend. The combination of these two trends in Mobility and Cloud are leading employees to adopt cloud file sync and share services such as Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Drive. This new trend increasingly looks like employees are bringing their own clouds (BYOC) to the workplace.

IT needs tools to help them adapt to these new realities and that is where Datacastle RED comes in. IT’s mandate around data protection and data governance hasn’t gone away. Rather the environment in which data protection and data governance must be performed has morphed because of Mobility and Cloud Adoption. Tools such as Datacastle RED enable IT to extend an umbrella of data protection to an increasingly mobile workforce and even into the public cloud services employees are adopting. At the same time, by running Datacastle RED on one of our partners’ clouds such as Windows Azure or IBM Sosftlayer, IT can scale and provision flexibly this new data protection service with minimal upfront costs.

To learn more about how Datacastle RED is helping enterprise IT to provide endpoint data protection and data governance to meet the major IT trends of Mobility and Cloud Adoption, you can go to http://www.datacastlered.com.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Datacastle!

3 Windows Azure Improvements for Enterprise Endpoint Data Protection

Datacastle RED continues to see tremendous growth in the number of customers and partners selecting Windows Azure as the cloud provider for Datacastle RED -powered enterprise endpoint data protection.  Datacastle RED can be deployed in public or private clouds, however it is becoming clear to many administrators that the benefits of Windows Azure make where to host our service extremely compelling.  In the last few months the investments from Microsoft continue to add to the value you can get from Windows Azure, and three stand out for enterprise endpoint data protection.

1. Seeding Large Data Sets

Our service focuses on mid-market to enterprise customers as the latest Gartner report on our industry highlighted.  Datacastle RED supports the hybrid cloud by enabling a QuickCache at branch offices to control WAN traffic for customers.  If the initial data sets are extremely large then the QuickCache can be shipped to a data center and used as a seeding device.  Windows Azure recently added the ability to ship devices to their data centers for large seeding requirements as covered in TechCrunch.

2. Certifications for Key Verticals including Federal Government

Windows Azure has been a leader in getting certifications to enable customers and providers to tackle key compliance verticals in the public cloud.   Healthcare is a prime example where having a Business Associate Agreement or BAA opened up an entire vertical to the public cloud that had traditionally been unavailable due to Personal Health Information and HIPAA requirements.  Windows Azure has now opened up the Federal Government market to the public cloud by joining FedRAMP which has vigorous security revues of Cloud Services, Storage, Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, and SQL Databases that run in  Windows Azure.  If you are a partner or customer that is in need of FedRAMP security package you can request one here.

3. Expanding Global Coverage with Geo-redundancy

Microsoft continues to expand it’s global data center footprint to ensure that global enterprises can meet their requirements for where their data resides.  Windows Azure is now available in mainland China through a partnership with 21Vianet and has new facilities coming on-line in Japan and Australia to compliment their existing Singapore and Hong Kong data centers. Supporting large multi-national corporations requires having facilities in the correct geographies. Windows Azure is making it easier every quarter for their customers. Datacastle RED is available in 10 languages including Simplified Chinese, Kanji, and Korean to support our customers that are going to use Windows Azure in Asia Pacific.

Datacastle RED gets top marks in Gartner’s Enterprise Endpoint Backup research

Gartner has reviewed the growing enterprise endpoint protection arena again this year and three interesting things can be found in this year’s Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup1 report. Gartner has earned the reputation for providing the market with what is important in technology segments and what to look for in the future. This year’s report by analysts Pushan Rinnen and Dave Russell continues the trend as in just twelve months the landscape has changed dramatically.  Reading between the lines three things stand out.

1. Key criteria for selecting an endpoint backup service has evolved into looking closely at the metrics behind how the service operates and effects end users.  Datacastle is proud to have received top marks when Gartner looked at the key metrics effecting a successful enterprise endpoint backup deployment.

  • Performance
  • Back-end Server/Storage Capabilities
  • Data Reduction Techniques

Datacastle RED was designed from the ground up to support endpoint devices to have virtually no impact to end user, and to be extremely performant for large deployments in multi-tenant environments.  Enterprise customers realize that having a poorly performing systems impacts their business in productivity, resources, and the bottom line.  Datacastle appreciates being recognized as a leader in these key areas.

2.  Legacy vendors are not adequately meeting the needs of enterprise customers.  Last year’s report2 had 12 vendors products being rated and included in the report. This year almost half the vendors no longer service the enterprise market sufficiently. As laptops and tablets like the Microsoft Surface Pro become the primary devices of the enterprise legacy solutions that weren’t built from the ground up for endpoints are no longer satisfactory to these class of customers.  EMC Avamar, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, CA Technologies ARCserve, and Symantec Desktop and Laptop Option(DLO) are examples of solutions Gartner no longer covers in the report due to these companies either having no future strategy or no focus on offering endpoint protection to the enterprise.  As the number of endpoints per company explodes you will see that legacy and consumer backup products will continue to give way to companies that specialize in supporting endpoints.

3.  Enterprise endpoint backup is also about reducing security risks in the organization.  The ability to protect against a lost/stolen laptop is becoming a requirement where Datacastle RED has been a leader with remote data wipe, at rest encryption, and device trace for our partners and customers.  Reducing risks and security expands into our public cloud partnerships with Windows Azure and IBM SmartCloud as our customers are requiring that their data is kept in up-to-date facilities that have all the proper security certifications and policies.

For more information about how to protect your organization with Datacastle RED, contact us today at sales@datacastlered.com.

1 “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup” by Pushan Rinnen, Dave Russell 24 October 2013.

2 “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Endpoint Backup” by Pushan Rinnen, Dave Russell, Alan Dayley 9 October 2012.

Cloud Sync & Share + Datacastle RED = CIO’s Solution

There has been an interesting tension growing within IT. End users have been adopting public cloud file sync and share services like DropBox, Microsoft SkyDrive, BoxGoogle Drive, and Amazon Cloud Drive in droves. The reasons are obvious. We are in a post-PC world where there are many devices to each user. Users need to be able to sync their files across their devices and then be able to easily share files with other users. Users have turned to public sync and share services because it makes users more productive and collaborative.

Employees being more productive and collaborative through technology is the name of the game for IT. However, these services have been adopted in droves at the same time that concerns about data breaches and data loss have grown with more and more files containing sensitive company, customer, and employee information. Many of these public cloud sync and share services are seen as the enemy (or “rogue”) by IT since they do not meet their data security, governance, and compliance standards.

What is a CIO to do? Some have decided to block their employees from using these services with company data. In a BYOD world where users are trying to make choices that make them most productive – this is not an attractive approach.

Many vendors have seized on this conundrum for CIO’s by providing “private” sync and share alternatives which basically ask end users to “rip and replace” their current attractive public cloud sync and share services for a product that is missing the network effect benefits they get from the popular public services. A forced “Rip and Replace” strategy is likely to lead to more rogue IT use by employees. Rather, CIO’s need an “embrace and extend” option where they can have their data governance mandates addressed in conjunction with public sync and share services.

As Gartner’s Pushan Rinnen points out, Cloud File Sync and Share is not backup. But enterprise endpoint data protection can complement cloud file sync and share in a way to provide greater governance to IT. At Datacastle, we have extended our endpoint data protection solution to reach into public sync and share accounts and extend data protection to the data stored in these accounts. Data can be securely backed up, in the most network efficient manner possible, encrypted at rest on the endpoint, and even wiped on the endpoint remotely.

To learn more about how Datacastle RED works with public sync and share services, go to www.datacastlered.com.

Resilient Endpoint Data – Top 3 Drivers

We often get asked “What does the RED stand for in Datacastle RED?”. The answer is Resilient Endpoint Data.

At Datacastle, we look at the issues surrounding business continuity and resiliency with a more holistic approach than traditional “backup and recovery“. The major premise behind business continuity and resiliency is that your business is in an ongoing, interactive relationship with the marketplace. Anything that disrupts the continuity of your organization’s engagement with the market costs the business in revenue, expense, and damage to reputation. When an employee’s laptop goes lost or stolen, the goal should be to get her back to productivity as quickly as possible and make sure that none of the data on that laptop results in a data breach. The top drivers customers share with us for implementing endpoint data protection are:

Revenues – When a laptop or new Windows 8 tablet goes lost or stolen, it disrupts your team’s ability to execute. When it is an executive laptop or MacBook Pro that is lost or stolen, the impact can be even greater. The data on the laptop is much more valuable than the physical device and thus it must be continuously protected and quickly recoverable. Amazon recently had an outage for 40 minutes that reportedly cost the company $4.8M dollars in lost revenues. What happens when a sales executive at your company is out of commission for days because of a lost laptop?

Expense  - The cost of implementing an effective endpoint data protection solution pales in comparison to the potential expenses incurred when a laptop goes lost or stolen. The expense is not in replacing the device, it is in the potential data breach expenses, productivity hit, and reputation damage. The Ponemon Institute reports the average cost of a data breach in the US is $5.4M. It is also painful and costly for IT to support remote employees when they need to recover data if there is not a friction-free, self-service way for employees and executives to quickly get their data in the field.

Damage to Reputation – The data your company keeps on laptops about customers, business partners, and employees is held in trust. When data is lost or stolen, your company has violated that trust and it can hurt your reputation. This can lead to increased customer churn, fractured business relationships, and employee turnover. A separate study by the Ponemon Institute found that the brand value of a company suffering a data breach on average went down by 17% to a whopping 31%.

For forward looking CIO’s, the answer is clear – effective, resilient endpoint data protection is worth the investment. Datacastle RED directly addresses the key drivers leading CIO’s to adopt modern endpoint data protection. To learn more, please go to datacastlered.com.

 

Hybrid cloud requires end to end security

Hybrid Cloud Security

At Datacastle, we believe there is an important shift going on in how data is being stored, accessed, shared, and secured. In the old days, when compute cycles and storage were expensive, you had one computer for multiple users. We called this time share computing. As Moore’s Law marched along, it became economically feasible to have a one-to-one relationship between a person and their computer – thus the personal computer era that we have all greatly benefited from.

However, Moore’s Law marches on and we have now entered into a post-PC era. Computing and storage costs have now made it possible to have multiple computing devices per user like laptops, tablets, and smart phones. How we store, access, share, and secure data in this new multi-device, networked environment requires new approaches.

The first wave of new approaches has come from companies like DropBox and Box. Their message is sync all your files to a service provider’s servers in the cloud and get ubiquitous access from all your devices. However, if you truly believe in Moore’s Law, this is not the best long term architectural solution. Data should reside as close to the application logic and user as economically possible for performance reasons. Enterprises have known this for years and have had tiered storage approaches to how they manage, store, and secure data. A tiered storage model is needed in a world where data can be securely cached on the device, in the cloud, and at the edge of the network.

At Datacastle, we have tackled this issue for securing endpoint data head-on. Data is encrypted at the device and is never decrypted until it is accessed again by an authorized device. Data can be rapidly backed up and recovered from local caches on the device, or from QuickCaches on premise at LAN speeds. Data can also be backed up to an enterprise-class cloud (such as Microsoft Windows Azure or IBM SmartCloud) for ubiquitous access from any smart phone or tablet and for offsite protection.

When evaluating an endpoint backup solution, make sure to “future proof” your solution by choosing a hybrid cloud solution that is secure from end to end. You can learn more about Datacastle RED and our secure, hybrid cloud approach to endpoint data protection at www.datacastlered.com .