Connect with us

Technology

YEAR IN REVIEW: HOW BIGGER & FASTER DRIVES, ENCRYPTION, AND NEW MALWARE IMPACTED DATA RECOVERY IN 2013

Published

on

Year in review: how bigger & faster drives, encryption, and new malware impacted data recovery in 2013

Kroll Ontrack reveals latest trends in data recovery

The continuing proliferation of new drive types and the ever-growing problem of malware were among the biggest trends impacting the data recovery industry in 2013, according to year-end information from data recovery and e-disclosure products and services provider Kroll Ontrack. The trends further underscore the need for businesses and consumers to understand how evolving technology affects their ability to protect and recover critical data.

Year in review: how bigger & faster drives, encryption, and new malware impacted data recovery in 2013

Year in review: how bigger & faster drives, encryption, and new malware impacted data recovery in 2013

Solid State Drives (SSD) & Flash: Dozens of different manufacturers, all with unique technology  
As prices for SSD and other flash drives continue to decrease and align more closely with hard drive prices, nearly 10 percent of Kroll Ontrack recoveries are now flash media. Beyond a greater percentage of SSD and other flash-based recoveries, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers grappled with new drive formats, such as hybrid drives, which contain both SSD and spinning drive components. Hybrid drives promote operation optimisation and tiering, storing more frequently accessed hot data on the faster SSD and less accessed data on the slower spinning portion of the drive or utilise the flash-based portion as a cache.

“With SSD and flash standards still evolving, each new drive format is specific to the manufacturer and therefore requires a new just in time (JIT) data recovery toolset and methodology, which impacts recovery speeds and quality,” said Paul Le Messurier, Head of Programmes and Operations for Western Europe, Kroll Ontrack. “With that in mind, regular backups are critical. Further, SSD and flash drive users should download the useful manufacturer’s software tools from their website to optimise and monitor the health of the drive.”

Hard Drives: Greater capacity requires new approaches to data recovery
SSD and flash weren’t the only storage media on the cutting edge in 2013. Leading hard drive manufacturers innovated to pack more capacity into drives. For example, Hitachi built helium-filled drives. With less dense air, hard drive heads fly more freely with less resistance, giving Hitachi the ability to put their platters closer together and thus pack more platters into their drives. In contrast, Seagate is increasing hard drive capacity through shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technology, which stores data bits in overlapping versus linear patterns.

“The impact on data recovery from these newer technologies is yet to be determined,” said Le Messurier. “For example, opening a helium-filled drive in a cleanroom environment could cause the drive heads to crash more easily and make data recovery much more challenging. We are therefore closely watching these technology developments, and testing various methods to safely and effectively address them in a cleanroom environment.”

Viruses: New malware impacts data accessibility
In 2013, the CryptoLocker virus was born, hijacking computers and networks in an exchange for ransom. CryptoLocker is a Trojan horse malware, a form of ransomware, targeting computers running Windows®. The attack usually comes disguised as a legitimate email attachment. When activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files with the private key stored only on the malware’s control servers and displays a message which suggests the data can be decrypted for payment by a certain deadline. If the deadline passes, the warning message threatens that the private key will be deleted and data is unrecoverable. However, virus victims have been able to unlock their files after the initial time is up, but the cost has been incrementally more than the original ransom requested.

“This virus has unfortunately succeeded because the cost of downtime to businesses can be as detrimental as $5,600 a minute, according to the Ponemon Institute, and therefore businesses are finding it is cheaper and more efficient to cater to the demands of these hackers,” said Phil Bridge, managing director, Kroll Ontrack. “Criminals clearly understand how valuable data is to businesses and individuals. The takeaway is to be aware of suspicious emails, and take the extra step of backing up in case you fall victim to these scams.”

Encryption: Leveraging data recovery expertise to validate security
While customers turned to Kroll Ontrack to reverse the impact of viruses like CryptoLocker, data storage companies proactively looked to Kroll Ontrack in 2013 to do the reverse – test, validate and certify the effectiveness of the encryption integrated into storage products to ensure no one can get unauthorised access to the data. For data protection, encryption is a must and thus becoming more commonplace. However, encryption presents an additional layer of recovery complexity because the encryption key is required. With software encrypted drives, such as those using Microsoft BitLocker, Check Point PointSec, McAfee Safeboot and others, the user holds the key and can supply it to the data recovery company when needed. This is in contrast to hardware encrypted drives, such as Secure Encrypted Drives (SED) or Full Disk Encryption (FDE), where the key is built right into the drive. If a hardware encrypted drive becomes corrupted or malfunctions due to physical, logical or electrical issues, the key is essentially locked in the drive, requiring data recovery engineers to bypass the failure to get the drive working and then decrypt the data as part of reading the drive. For these reasons, Kroll Ontrack is focusing more of its research and development efforts towards dealing with encrypted data more efficiently.

Do-it-yourself: Tech savvy consumers are increasingly attempting data recovery
In 2013, Kroll Ontrack also saw a continued increase in the number of users taking it upon themselves to recover data. In fact, more than 10 per cent of the time, Kroll Ontrack saw drives that showed signs of data access attempts, which can hinder recovery efforts.

“DIY software is a cost-effective and proven solution for individuals and businesses that are both willing and comfortable to try data recovery on their own,” said Bridge. “The key is knowing when software is applicable to the situation. If physical damage to the drive is obvious, the operator should power down the drive and consult a professional data recovery company to avoid any further data loss.”

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review services. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: www.krollontrack.co.uk or follow @KrollOntrackUK on Twitter.

Technology

Does your institution have operational resilience? Testing cyber resilience may be a good way to find out

Published

on

REMOTE WORKING STRATEGY REQUIRED TO STRENGTHEN CYBER RESILIENCE

By Callum Roxan, Head of Threat Intelligence, F-Secure

If ever 2020 had a lesson, it was that no organization can possibly prepare for every conceivable outcome. Yet building one particular skill will make any crisis easier to handle: operational resilience.

Many financial institutions have already devoted resources to building operational resilience. Unfortunately, this often takes what Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer of TheCityUK, calls a “near death” experience for this conversion to occur. “Recent years have seen a number of cases of loss of reputation, reduced enterprise value and senior executive casualties from operational incidents that have been badly handled,” he wrote.

But it need not take a disaster to learn this vital lesson.

“Operational resilience means not only planning around specific, identified risks,” Charlotte Gerken, the executive director of the Bank of England, said in a 2017 speech on operational resilience. “We want firms to plan on the assumption that any part of their infrastructure could be impacted, whatever the reason.” Gerken noted that firms that had successfully achieved a level of resilience that survives a crisis had established the necessary mechanisms to bring the business together to respond where and when risks materialised, no matter why or how.

We’ll talk about the bit we know best here; by testing for cyber resilience, a company can do more than prepare for the worst sort of attacks it may face. This process can help any business get a clearer view of how it operates, and how well it is prepared for all kinds of surprises.

Assumptions and the mechanisms they should produce are the best way to prepare for the unknown. But, as the boxer Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” The aim of cyber resilience is to build an effective security posture that survives that first punch, and the several that are likely to follow. So how can an institution be confident that they’ve achieved genuine operational resilience?

This requires an organization to honestly assess itself through the motto inscribed at the front of the Temple of Delphi: “Know thyself.” And when it comes to cyber security, there is a way for an organization to test just how thoroughly it comprehends its own strengths and weaknesses.

Callum Roxan

Callum Roxan

The Bank of England was the first central bank to help develop the framework for institutions to test the integrity of their systems. CBEST is made up of controlled, bespoke, intelligence-led cyber security tests that replicate behaviours of those threat actors, and often have unforeseen or secondary benefits. Gerken notes that the “firms that did best in the testing tended to be those that really understood their organisations. They understood their own needs, strengths and weaknesses, and reflected this in the way they built resilience.”

In short, testing cyber resilience can provide clear insight into an institution’s operational resilience in general.

Gaining that specific knowledge without a “near-death” experience is obviously a significant win for any establishment. And testing for operational resilience throughout the industry can provide some reminders of the steps every organization should take so that testing provides unique insists about their institution, and not just a checklist of cyber defence basics.

The IIF/McKinsey Cyber Resilience Survey of the financial services industry released in March lasy year provided six sets of immediate actions that institutions could take to improve their cyber security posture. The toplines of these recommendations were:

  1. Do the basics, patch your vulnerabilities.
  2. Review your cloud architecture and security capabilities.
  3. Reduce your supply chain risk.
  4. Practice your incident response and recovery capabilities.
  5. Set aside a specific cyber security budget and prioritise it
  6. Build a skilled talent pool and optimize resources through automation.

But let’s be honest: If simply reading a solid list of recommendations created cyber resilience, cyber criminals would be out of business. Unfortunately, cyber crime as a business is booming and threat actors targeting essential financial institutions through cyber attacks are likely earning billions in the trillion dollar industry of financial crime.A list can’t reveal an institution’s unique weaknesses, those security failings and chokepoints that could shudder operations, not just during a successful cyber attack but during various other crises that challenge their operations. And the failings that lead to flaws in an institution’s cyber defence likely reverberate throughout the organization as liabilities that other crises would likely expose.

The best way to get a sense of operational resilience will always be to simulate the worst that attackers can summon. That’s why the time to test yourself is now, before someone else does.

Continue Reading

Technology

Thomson Reuters to stress AI, machine learning in a post-pandemic world

Published

on

gbaf1news

By Kenneth Li and Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp will streamline technology, close offices and rely more on machines to prepare for a post-pandemic world, the news and information group said on Tuesday, as it reported higher sales and operating profit.

The Toronto-headquartered company will spend $500 million to $600 million over two years to burnish its technology credentials, investing in AI and machine learning to get data faster to professional customers increasingly working from home during the coronavirus crisis.

It will transition from a content provider to a content-driven technology company, and from a holding company to an operational structure.

Thomson Reuters’ New York- and Toronto-listed shares each gained more than 8%.

It aims to cut annual operating expenses by $600 million through eliminating duplicate functions, modernizing and consolidating technology, as well as through attrition and shrinking its real estate footprint. Layoffs are not a focus of the cost cuts and there are no current plans to divest assets as part of this plan, the company said.

“We look at the changing behaviors as a result of COVID … on professionals working from home working remotely being much more reliant on 24-7, digital always-on, sort of real-time always available information, served through software and powered by AI and ML (machine learning),” Chief Executive Steve Hasker said in an interview.

Sales growth is forecast to accelerate in each of the next three years compared with 1.3% reported sales growth for 2020, the company said in its earnings release.

Thomson Reuters, which owns Reuters News, said revenues rose 2% to $1.62 billion, while its operating profit jumped more than 300% to $956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment and other items.

Its three main divisions, Legal Professionals, Tax & Accounting Professionals, and Corporates, all showed higher organic quarterly sales and adjusted profit. As part of the two-year change program, the corporate, legal and tax side will operate more as one customer-facing entity.

Adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents were ahead of the 46 cents expected, based on data from Refinitiv.

The company raised its annual dividend by 10 cents to $1.62 per share.

The Reuters News business showed lower revenue in the fourth quarter. In January, Stephen J. Adler, Reuters’ editor-in-chief for the past decade, said he would retire in April from the world’s largest international news provider.

Thomson Reuters also said its stake in The London Stock Exchange is now worth about $11.2 billion.

The LSE last month completed its $27-billion takeover of data and analytics business Refinitiv, 45%-owned by Thomson Reuters.

(Reporting by Ken Li, writing by Nick Zieminski in New York, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman)

 

Continue Reading

Technology

Putting data protection back on the financial agenda

Published

on

Putting data protection back on the financial agenda 1

By Wim Stoop, CDP Customer and Product Director, Cloudera

Despite the wave of changes that Brexit has brought financial organisations, from the end of ‘passporting’ to uncertainty over the longer-term equivalence rules, one thing has remained a constant — data privacy regulations are a core responsibility to protect sensitive data and mitigate data breaches. From PSD2 to GDPR, financial institutions need to ensure they are still processing and transferring data in accordance with the industry’s stringent rules and regulations. If not, they risk fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of their company’s annual global turnover.

As the stakes get higher, the amount of data which financial enterprises are having to deal with is on the rise too. In fact, research by IDC estimated that businesses created and captured 6.4 zettabytes of new data last year alone. This increase in data production has linked to the pandemic and the move to remote working. Replacing face-to-face interactions with online communications has meant that financial businesses suddenly had to cope with a larger amount of data flowing through their networks. In addition, employees working from home are increasingly doing so on potentially unsecured devices, outside of the corporate network, risking exposure and data breaches according to numerous cybersecurity reports.

With an extensive stock of sensitive customer data and so many regulations to keep on top of, remaining compliant can feel overwhelming for financial organisations. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Today we often see businesses trying to retrofit data protection strategies, or take a reactive approach to external forces. Instead, they should be taking a proactive stance on data management. In doing so, security becomes a natural side-effect and financial companies can operate with the assurance that no matter what new regulations come into play, they are compliant. The question is, how to achieve this?

Taking a proactive approach to data privacy

To remain compliant, financial institutions need to get on top of their data. When data is sat in siloes, on legacy systems, it’s inaccessible to all and it becomes a challenge to identify what is sensitive and what isn’t. Poorly managed data can’t be protected and the risk of data breaches increases. By contrast, when properly controlled and stored, it becomes easy to apply data security rules.

From customer names and contact details to transaction records and PINs, financial organisations hold a lot of personal and financial data on customers. However, the trick is understanding that all data holds varying degrees of sensitivity and thus, needs to be managed accordingly. For instance, a customer’s bank account details are more sensitive, compared to their basic personal data, such as name and address, which are usually publicly accessible. By proactively identifying, prioritising and classifying data by its degree of sensitivity, financial companies can apply any and all data protection rules that are necessary, such as restricting certain users from accessing highly confidential information.

Yet, this identification process is often looked at as a reactive measure by many financial businesses. The challenge in proactive data management lies in an organisation’s ability to eliminate the frictions it has in tracking, identifying and classifying information, as opposed to doing so retrospectively. After all, data classification plays a vital role in ensuring data protection is upheld.

A proactive approach is integral to effective data management and governance. The first step in achieving this approach involves creating a data marketplace, or a curated, secured and governed data repository. Having something like a data marketplace in place means that as soon as data enters an organisation, enterprises can determine its degree of sensitivity, how it should be managed, and which analytics need to be run, to extract the most value out of the data.

Once these steps are taken, compliance and data privacy happen almost naturally and become ingrained in the business. When companies are aware of every single piece of data in their possession, they can know exactly how it’s being protected. Such a robust strategy ensures that institutions meet the high standards of trust that their customers have bestowed upon them in protecting their personal data. And, with this level of control, enterprises can avoid data lockout, reduce friction for employees, and optimise the value they unlock from their data. At the same time, they can have the peace of mind that they are compliant and protected.

A business-ready solution for data protection

With so many rules and regulations to keep track of, data protection shouldn’t be another worry to add to the list. Financial companies can maximise the efficacy of their existing security and governance strategies by applying it to all datasets across the enterprise – whether that be on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. In particular, as a scalable and low-cost solution, organisations are increasingly turning to the cloud for their data management needs. It’s expected that over half (51%) of business data will be stored in the cloud by 2024.

This is where an enterprise data cloud (EDC) really shows it’s worth, allowing financial companies to keep their data protected, compliant, and successfully governed. Simply put, an EDC is a hybrid and multi-cloud platform that harnesses analytics at every stage of the data lifecycle. It enables organisations to extract the true value of their data while still providing a consistent layer of security.

An EDC gives financial businesses a single source of truth, built on technology that operates on any cloud environment and right through to the edge. Armed with an EDC, companies have complete visibility over their data, no matter where it resides in the enterprise or the data lifecycle, easing the task of managing and protecting data. On top of this, an EDC supports a variety of data functions, including the data marketplace, and works to provide control, visibility and examination over data. With all these aspects working together, financial institutions can ensure that all data which passes through their infrastructure and into the data marketplace is efficiently governed and protected.

Bringing technology, people, and process together

Technological solutions, like an EDC, work at their maximum potential when they are in harmony with people and process. But, the triad has been thrown off balance by the rise of remote working and reduction in staff numbers. While all businesses recognise that sensitive data needs to be encrypted and access should be restricted, this has been a difficult feat as employees work from home and use devices outside of the traditional network security parameters. In fact, nearly half (48%) of employees are less likely to follow safe data practices when working from home. This will exponentially increase the risk of data breaches.

In addition, with almost a fifth (18%) of the UK workforce on furlough and team numbers shrinking, companies don’t have the same amount of manpower to validate both the systems being used, as well as the data being run in these systems, to ensure that they are compliant. Within the office environment, organisations were able to create ‘islands of perfect governance’, with all departments being aware of the applications used to manage data and therefore, guaranteeing higher levels of compliance. However, these safety nets have collapsed during home working and it’s become more difficult to ensure the security and privacy of data within an enterprise.

What’s needed here is an overarching framework that provides a standard for data governance. This is enabled by having the right technology solution, a proactive approach to data management and people within a business supporting it from the bottom up in place — forming a triad that works in perfect harmony. A framework such as this also enables enterprises to assess what they need to do to create data protection rules internally that ensure compliance, and allows employees to self-check their data security protocols eliminating any uncertainty about protecting sensitive data.

It is important to remember that the right technology alone won’t make people compliant – whether they are working in an office or remotely. Rather, as pointed out above, it is technology, people, and process, working in sync, that will ensure that regulations are adhered to and data is managed and protected.

Long-lasting success with data protection

With data volumes growing and remote working creating security vulnerabilities, financial businesses need to get on top of their data from the get-go. By proactively identifying sensitive data, accurately securing it, and delivering trusted data to end-users, the right data can be put into the hands of the right people.

Creating a watertight data privacy strategy requires financial organisations to deliver a uniform approach to data management and protection across departments to ensure compliance. In addition, harnessing technology, such as an EDC, will provide visibility and control over sensitive data, enabling financial institutions to unlock real-time insights from their data while still providing a consistent layer of security. With technology, people and process in harmony, enterprises can operate with the confidence that their data is being managed successfully and they are compliant with both existing and new regulations.

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Astrazeneca denies vaccine delivery shortfall to EU, Italy - paper 2 Astrazeneca denies vaccine delivery shortfall to EU, Italy - paper 3
Business46 mins ago

Astrazeneca denies vaccine delivery shortfall to EU, Italy – paper

MILAN (Reuters) – AstraZeneca will deliver 180 million COVID-19 vaccines to Europe in the second quarter, of which 20 million...

Turpentine Market is Projected to Register a CAGR of 6.0% by the End of 2028 4 Turpentine Market is Projected to Register a CAGR of 6.0% by the End of 2028 5
Research Reports1 hour ago

Turpentine Market is Projected to Register a CAGR of 6.0% by the End of 2028

Turpentine sales are expected to surpass 400 KT in 2019, and will record a 4.6% Y-o-Y growth over 2018, according...

Automotive Lighting Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2029 – Future Market Insights 6 Automotive Lighting Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2029 – Future Market Insights 7
Research Reports1 hour ago

Automotive Lighting Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~6% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2029 – Future Market Insights

In a recent publication, Future Market Insights (FMI) provides a perspective on the growth trajectory of automotive lighting market for the period...

COVID-19 Impact on Point-to-point Microwave Antenna Market Growth, Overview, Competitive Landscape and Forecast 2019 to 2027 | CommScope Holding Company, Inc., Infinite Electronics International, Inc. (radioWaves), Radio Frequency Systems, mWAVE Industries 8 COVID-19 Impact on Point-to-point Microwave Antenna Market Growth, Overview, Competitive Landscape and Forecast 2019 to 2027 | CommScope Holding Company, Inc., Infinite Electronics International, Inc. (radioWaves), Radio Frequency Systems, mWAVE Industries 9
Research Reports1 hour ago

COVID-19 Impact on Point-to-point Microwave Antenna Market Growth, Overview, Competitive Landscape and Forecast 2019 to 2027 | CommScope Holding Company, Inc., Infinite Electronics International, Inc. (radioWaves), Radio Frequency Systems, mWAVE Industries

Point-to-Point Microwave Antenna Market: Report Synopsis Future Market Insights (FMI) offers a 9-year forecast of the point-to-point microwave antenna market between 2018 and 2027....

Petroleum Liquid Feedstock Market is Estimated to Reach a Value of over US$ 366.1 Bn 2027 End – Future Market Insights 10 Petroleum Liquid Feedstock Market is Estimated to Reach a Value of over US$ 366.1 Bn 2027 End – Future Market Insights 11
Research Reports1 hour ago

Petroleum Liquid Feedstock Market is Estimated to Reach a Value of over US$ 366.1 Bn 2027 End – Future Market Insights

In a recently released research intelligence outlook, Future Market Insights forecasts high value-low growth landscape for the global petroleum liquid...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now