Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Myths About Data at Rest Vulnerability

Data at rest has come to the forefront of many companies only recently but the truth is it has always been the target of hackers. Seems because it has fallen off the radar of most companies due to the fact it is information they don’t use very often. True data at rest is that information a company rarely uses and just may be sitting on some external hard drive waiting for some hacker to access it. Data at rest myths tend to be rationalizations for companies not to spend the necessary money to adequately protect it. This puts the information at risk of compromise or theft.

Data at Rest Value

Data at rest value seems to be relative to some. If it is not information currently relied upon its value is lowered and if it is information used its value rises. This is no way to look at company data. Information deemed to have less value may in fact have value. Data at rest is always all ways going to be valuable to someone. It may not be the company but a thief may be able to exploit it. Underestimating the value of data can be a critical mistake. Data at rest should never be viewed from the perspective of being outdated or irrelevant.
If data at rest is not a top priority then how a company will store the data may not be either. A large amount of information has been compromised because its present value is somehow diminished. Data at rest may be less valuable to a company because of its relevance to operations but it can have great value to those that would exploit it. A hacker may find data at rest many times easier to access because of the myth that current data is the only valuable data. If the data at rest is placed in an external file on the system where it just sits without being secure then a hacker discover it and find access simple.

Data at Rest Security

Data at rest is not secure just because it is stored externally or off the system. The hard drive or server could be stolen. The use of adequate 256 bit algorithm encryption is just as necessary for security of this data as other information. Even if the data at rest is stored on an external hard drive security concerns should be high if you want to keep the data secure. It may be time to take a look at the data at rest security precautions being taken to prevent exposure of sensitive information. The same safeguards that are used to protect transmitted information must be used to protect data at rest or stored information.

All data at rest simply must be encrypted for the most secure environment to exist and prevent the unauthorized reading of data. Implementation of encryption technology for the data at rest in or outside the system is necessary for ample security of the data. Encryption is able to protect data from security breaches even if the data at rest is accessed. Sophisticated encryption systems like the ones designed by SanDisk Enterprise are being used successfully by many companies. If an external hard drive is accessed encryption technology prevents exposure of confidential information and files.
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