Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

4/16/2013
09:59 AM
50%
50%

Your Data Is Gone, Have A Nice Day

Complete data loss and theft remain all too common

A client called our office the other day, needing help with an emergency data restoration from the backup system it manages in-house. The main server had crashed and was unrecoverable. It happens.

The client's IT manager, who I'll call "Bob" for the sake of confidentiality, had used a reputable, commercial-grade off-site backup service. Bob told us the backup service had a courier deliver a hard drive containing the server's backup.

Problem 1: After reloading the operating system and server-based applications, the applications were unable to recognize their backup data for reload.

Problem 2: There were no local data backups. The off-site backup -- the unrecognizable one -- was also the only backup.

Problem 3: Despite strong advice to do so, the in-house IT staff had never performed a full-scale test of the backup-and-recovery system. There was no benchmark to suggest a recovery had ever even been possible.

Problem 4: By the time we were called, companywide email had been offline for five days. Employees were resorting to their personal email systems for business correspondence, creating a compliance, security, and reputation nightmare.

Problem 5: As time passed, the client grew understandably concerned about the time and money being spent attempting a data recovery that might not be possible. At what point do you accept the loss and start over your systems without restored data, even though the cost of doing so is also unknowable?

By now the company was facing an operational meltdown. Restoring the company's email became top priority, as in, "Just get it running, and we'll clean up later." With no documented, tested process for rebuilding the server, the approach could have best been described as "flying by the seat of the pants on fire," loading the applications first to restore the data, and worrying about updates and patches later. The data remained unrecovered.

Fortunately, we were able to diagnose the problem and help this story end on a happier note. The unpatched applications did not recognize backup data created by up-to-date, fully patched systems. The well-intentioned bypass of running updates before data restoration created a false, and actually very dangerous, belief that the data backups were corrupted. Once we updated the server applications, the backup data promptly and correctly loaded without any data loss.

Documented, tested methodology is essential for proper compliance and security. It's also the difference in a problem that can be solved in five hours and one that lasts for five anxiety-filled days. They are too often ignored, but effective compliance and security efforts are usually far less expensive than the disasters they can help prevent.

Glenn S. Phillips wants you to protect your data. He is the president of Forte' Incorporated where he works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. Glenn is the author of the book Nerd-to-English and you can find him on twitter at @NerdToEnglish. Glenn works with business leaders who want to leverage technology and understand the often hidden risks awaiting them. The Founder and Sr. Consultant of Forte' Incorporated, Glenn and his team work with business leaders to support growth, increase profits, and address ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Zero Trust doesn't have to break your budget!
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-34812
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
Use of hard-coded credentials vulnerability in php component in Synology Calendar before 2.4.0-0761 allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-34808
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) vulnerability in cgi component in Synology Media Server before 1.8.3-2881 allows remote attackers to access intranet resources via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-34809
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
Improper neutralization of special elements used in a command ('Command Injection') vulnerability in task management component in Synology Download Station before 3.8.16-3566 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-34810
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
Improper privilege management vulnerability in cgi component in Synology Download Station before 3.8.16-3566 allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-34811
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) vulnerability in task management component in Synology Download Station before 3.8.16-3566 allows remote authenticated users to access intranet resources via unspecified vectors.