A coordinated strategy for data security and storage is essential to the continued growth of any business.
Many growing companies address storage and security needs on an ad hoc basis, leaving gaps in data backup and network protection that can cause serious problems when least expected.
Keeping your entire network safe requires some expertise in this area. If your staff does not include a network security specialist, this know-how is also packaged in "security appliances" and support services.
The TZ Series of appliances from SonicWALL (starting at $329 for TZ 150) are a good choice for small offices, branch offices, or work at home execs. These units provide powerful, easy to use Firewall and VPN or remote access for non-technical users, with advanced security features that will keep pace with your growing in-house technical expertise.
The WatchGuard Firebox X Edge is another all-in-one security solution designed for small businesses. Available in wired ($480) and wireless ($580) models, it promises proactive defense from Web-based and e-mail attacks, and provides secure remote access via VPN. The Firebox X Edge is also user-friendly, and provides advanced features such as configurable QoS to satisfy even your most evolved nerd patrol.
A host of vendors, including Altiris www.svsdownloads.com , PatchLink, and MessageLabs, also offer low-cost solutions for specific security issues. Some, like PatchLink, offer free 30-day trials.
If you use search engines and browse websites frequently, you can benefit from McAfee SiteAdvisor, a free, downloadable Web safety tool. Added to your Web browser, it offers protection from spyware, spam, and online scams. The Symantec Internet Threat Meter is another free device provided by a leading vendor of security tools. This handy Yahoo Desktop Widget keeps you current regarding viruses and all the other dangers lurking online.
One way to get up to speed on information security issues is through the Web seminars offered by RSA, sponsor of the major information security conference and a leader in the development of industry-wide standards.
Automating data backup is a proven method of safeguarding business critical information. Major vendors of data storage drives typically include third-party backup and recovery software with their hard drives. Easy-to-use Backup and Restore applications, such as EMC Retrospect Express HD 2.0 and BounceBack Professional from CMS Products, are also available in standalone editions.
Maxtor offers external storage and backup solutions in many sizes. The Maxtor OneTouch III Turbo Edition (around $850 for 1TB) makes it easy to safely store numerous, large files. We were able to simply plug the FireWire edition into a Mac, and then press one button to efficiently backup critical data and multimedia files. The unit also offers media server capabilities, and user-configurable RAID 0/1 for demanding disc-access applications.
Keeping your hard drives defragmented and healthy is an essential part of any storage strategy. We use Diskeeper 2007 to speed up disk operations and automatically protect our Windows hard drives against crashes, file corruption, data loss, and other gremlins.
Kingston's DataTraveler Secure Privacy Edition Flash Drive provides portable storage with encryption for professionals who travel with sensitive business data. This USB 2.0 drive features fast 256-bit hardware-based AES encryption and is available in capacities up to 4GB (less than $250).
Automating data security and backup is a surefire way to protect your business-critical information and gain a bit more peace of mind.
Customer feedback that "defragmentation" in Diskeeper reduced virus-scan times prompted Diskeeper Corporation to conduct comparative tests on four commonly used antivirus software packages. Results showed significantly higher scan times with Diskeeper--as high as 61 percent.
In addition to improved anti-virus scans, the new version, Diskeeper 2007, resolves system reliability issues such as crashes and system hangs/freezes, slow boot times and boot failures, slow back up times and aborted backup, file corruption and data loss, errors in programs, and hard drive failures.
Diskeeper 2007 is fully compatible with Windows Vista. The program runs automatically, on the fly, utilizing a newly developed technology called InvisiTasking.The result is non-intrusive file system performance enhancement software. Try it out for free at www.diskeeper.com.