Data Backups: The SysAdmin Guide to CYA

Guest Post: This is a guest post on data backups from Josh Reichardt, DevOps Engineer with and the owner of Practical System Administration, where he writes about scripting, devops, virtualization, hardware and policies. Follow him on Twitter at: @Practical_SA.

The topic of backups always seems to strike a chord with folks that work in operations. It can be a touchy subject for people that have been bitten in the past either by the lack of good backups or a complete lack of any backups at all. However, it is easy to avoid bitterness if you follow sage wisdom from other sysadmins who have either already experienced the pain of not having a backup or have dedicated themselves to always having a copy of their data.

I have experienced some stressful situations throughout my career, spending days on end digging through old tapes, hoping and praying to find one tiny file from months and/or years ago that for whatever reason is all of a sudden critical to have. It is not fun at all to experience data loss or to go on the old data hunt, hoping you will find what you are looking for.

That said, many of these tips are derived from my own personal experience working throughout the years with important company data and backups. Hopefully, some of these tips can help other system administrators protect themselves against data loss and data failure scenarios with smart data backups. Continue reading “Data Backups: The SysAdmin Guide to CYA”

FTP Advantages and Disadvantages Comparison

Back when FTP was all the rage, businesses used this protocol to exchange files, no questions asked.

Today, after speaking to multiple customers, our team has found that several businesses often investigate FTP advantages and disadvantages. Specifically, is FTP the right solution for transferring bulky client or business files? Or is it time to upgrade that FTP legacy server due to its inherent security risks? Let’s breakdown the FTP advantages and disadvantages.

Continue reading “FTP Advantages and Disadvantages Comparison”

Chapter 15: PCI, HIPAA, and SOX — Government Regulatory Compliance

We’re excited to feature this excerpt from Easy Prey: How to Protect Your Business From Data Breach, Cybercrime & Employee Fraud, coauthored by SmartFile guest author Nick Espinosa and cybersecurity experts across the world. Pick up your Kindle copy today at Amazon. Enjoy!

CHAPTER 15: PCI, HIPAA, and SOX – Government Regulatory Compliance


Welcome to the most exciting chapter in this book! Who doesn’t love to discuss government regulatory compliance? As a security fanatic who lives and breathes these standards, I actually enjoy planning, testing, and executing security solutions for PCI, HIPAA, and SOX compliance. Then, I try to break the solutions. It’s real fun for a security nerd! Continue reading “Chapter 15: PCI, HIPAA, and SOX — Government Regulatory Compliance”

I Love Ransomware

Before you go all torches and pitchforks on me, hear me out.

I hated writing this article. Truly. My industry is, at its core, a service industry. Overwhelmingly I meet people who go into IT service, support and cybersecurity that have a real desire to help others.

All too often, we get calls from clients, customers, friends and family panicking because they cannot open a critical document or are in tears that their most treasured memories have been taken away from them and they now have to pay some criminal somewhere to get them back.

Nothing angers, and terrifies, a person more than being separated from something that is integral to who they are. If I had it my way my job wouldn’t even exist because the world would finally be rid of the people that would do this to another human being for profit. It’s tantamount to cyber-terrorism on a very personal level. If I never saw another virus infection of any kind, I would be beyond thrilled. Continue reading “I Love Ransomware”

The Importance of Encrypted File Sharing Services

According to the Q4 2015 Sky High Cloud Risk & Adoption Study, only 1.3% of 16,000 cloud services allow for customer-managed encryption keys. Since having these encryption keys is a requirement dictated by industry regulations and national data privacy laws, it’s very likely that your chosen file sharing service may let you down when it comes to compliance.

At SmartFile, we think that’s ridiculous. If you’re focused on compliance and security, you should be allowed to control your encryption keys from the start.

If you need to mitigate business risks, encrypted file sharing services shouldn’t just allow you to control the keys, your provider should send you an encryption card without the keys set so they never have the ability to access your data. The solution should be fully on-premises as well.

Now, encryption sounds good, but what are the benefits of using encrypted file sharing services like SmartFile’s FileHub™? This article will break down six reasons you need to turn to a secure encrypted file sharing service like SmartFile and what features to watch out for. Continue reading “The Importance of Encrypted File Sharing Services”

NonProfit Document Retention Policy 101

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was signed into law after a series of infamous corporate fraud incidents. Yet this legislation, intended to govern for-profit entities, inherently affects not-for-profit entities as well.

One clause in particular guards against fraud by requiring all organizations (including nonprofits) to retain crucial organizational documents. These documents span from tax statements to meeting minutes.

New nonprofits who need a document retention policy may find the task overwhelming, especially if they don’t know where to start. This guide is designed to help nonprofits create an effective and efficient policy for their organization. Continue reading “NonProfit Document Retention Policy 101”