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Tech: Data Security Still Relevant for 2012 Technology Trends

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by Jared Heng

Virtualisation, cloud computing, social networking and energy efficiency will be among the most important technology trends for 2012, according to Kroll Ontrack.

The information management solutions provider said the abovementioned trends present companies with major opportunities to develop their businesses “even in difficult economic times.”

However, it also noted that businesses seeking to benefit from these trends need to look at adopting robust information management and security strategies to ensure data security and avoid data loss.

IT analyst firm Gartner predicts that virtualisation will continue to evolve and spark a variety of other trends this year.

While virtualisation enables hardware independence for the user, information is still stored on a hard drive somewhere. Hence, the risk of hardware failure or operating errors is not eliminated.

Kroll Ontrack said companies should respond by adjusting their information management strategies for newly adopted technologies and their associated risks.

It said companies will also continue to increase their use of cloud computing in 2012.

According to a recent Cisco Systems report, cloud-related network traffic is increasing by 66 per cent each year.

In 2010, there were 130 exabytes of data flowing through cloud networks, and this is expected to increase to 1.6 zettabytes by 2015, Cisco said.

Given the large amount of cloud data, Kroll Ontrack said cloud service clients should work with their provider to understand what safeguards are in place in the event of data loss.

A sound and tested disaster recovery plan with an experienced data recovery provider is imperative for any cloud service, it added.

Meanwhile, social networking tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are increasingly being used by companies for marketing, recruiting and information sharing.

Organisations therefore need to make decisions regarding if and where social networking content is physically stored and how this information can be protected, Kroll Ontrack said.

It also noted that confidential data has been and continues to be easily retrieved using relatively simple methods.

As new technology is adopted in 2012 and older corporate and end user technology is discarded, organisations and consumers alike must develop strategies for securely deleting data before passing them on, Kroll Ontrack said.

This applies to all mobile devices, laptops, virtual infrastructure, USB sticks, archive volumes and memory cards that are discarded, donated or resold on the second-hand market.