Risks Related to Data Storage and Importance of its Management

By CIOReview | Wednesday, September 21, 2016
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In the current digital era, companies are working on automated IT systems to process information for daily operations. It made computer systems vulnerable to security risks and hence creates the need for strong risk management plans. Risk management is a process that enables IT managers to balance the economic and operational costs of the protective measures implemented for the protection of data and IT systems of the company. It identifies, assesses, and control threats to capital and earnings of the company.

Risk management plays an important role in the protection of firm’s information assets. A powerful risk management process is most important for a successful IT security program. The main objective of a company behind implementation of the risk management process is to protect the organization from accidental losses along with financial, strategic, operational, and other risks. Therefore, the risk management process should be implemented as an essential management function in an organization infrastructure.

The data present in company systems is more vulnerable to losses. Data is stored either on company systems or in the cloud, but there looms a risk of losing that data due to human errors or natural disasters. Therefore, companies are adopting disaster recovery plans to get an ability to effectively presume business operations prior to the disasters and without any kind of data loss. In current fast paced business scenarios, loss of any kind of data should be disastrous for the company. These operational risks are dangerous for business resilience and implementing strong risk management techniques is the need of the hour.

IT managers work to assure that important data related to business remain safe and  easily recoverable in case of any kind of breakdown. To assure the safety of information, the policy of taking timely backup of data is implemented in companies, which demands the highest priority. Risks are involved in both kinds of data storage either using the cloud or disk storage.

Risks Involved in Cloud Storage

The cloud provides customers an easier way to store their data on a server and retrieve it whenever required. Cloud storage provides more safety to the data as backing up files on a server ensures that nothing will be lost in case of any disaster. But, similar to other technologies, there are different kinds of risks involved with it.

Every cloud storage service provider denies any responsibility regarding data stored in their data centers. It’s a user’s responsibility to keep backup copies of their data, encrypt the data, delete expired data and stay ready with their backup plans in case cloud storage provider is unable to provide services temporarily or permanently. There is a possibility that provider ceased down their business, shut down data center because of government issues, or vanished with user data. In any of such case, company operations could come in peril, if they don’t have any second plan to implement. Data on the cloud is also vulnerable to the cyber-attacks and hackers can steal important information regarding company businesses.

There are some situations during which users may not be able to access any of his services or information saved in the cloud. This situation is called Lock-In and it can leave companies helpless in case they are totally dependent on the cloud. A vendor Lock-In is a situation when customers cannot easily transit or move their products or services to any other cloud service provider. This condition usually appears because of the competition between cloud service providers.

The organizations using cloud needs to work on three basic principles that can help them in avoiding cloud data storage risks. These principals are: encrypt all data, keep current backups, and know about the cloud service provider. Though working on these principles might decrease the convenience of cloud storage usage, but it will help in addressing many concerns regarding the use of cloud technology. In addition, companies need to ensure that employees don’t save the private data on the cloud services without company supervision. Implementation of these factors will help in avoiding major data leaks, financial troubles, and other embarrassments.

Risks Involved in Disk Storage

The data stored on hard disks are very much vulnerable to the data loss. There are multiple factors that lead to information loss on desktop systems. Hardware failure is one of the prime factors in which all data is lost because of the ill-functioning of the system hardware. Insufficient storage, power failures, theft, fire accidents, virus or malware attack and accidental deletion of files, comes under the risk management process for storage on hard disks. Sometimes natural disasters also play a vital role in data losses. Natural disasters come all of a sudden and it vitally affects the company infrastructure and because of its spontaneous nature, it can’t be avoided. Making pre-plans is only option to avoid any fatal loss.

Timely data backup is compulsory to reduce risks involved with disk storages. Companies demands strict policies regarding data backup on the daily or weekly basis. IT managers need to ensure that every employee strictly follows this policy. This policy can’t fully mitigate the risk of data loss, but it can save information to some extent.

Conclusion

Security of data storage is a paramount risk management concern. Risk management is now heavily intertwined with the information security and demands to be an integral part of company infrastructure. In such a fast-paced business world, no company can afford to lose important data because of mere negligence or any other cause. Despite the best efforts, a company can only minimize the efforts. There are no 100 percent ironclad solutions. There is always a gap that exposes to security breach. However with some commitments and protocols, risks can be easily handled and its impact can be reduced by eminent measures.