Thursday, 18 August 2011

Information Storage in Banks

Previous practices of storing critical information on tapes have suffered major setbacks with recovery failure rates as high as 20 percent. What the banks need today are:

Ø  Reliability and integrity of Backups
Ø  Lower cost of backup and recovery
Ø  Conformity with Legal Requirements
Ø  Protection from theft

With significantly important financial data and personal information of clients, it becomes necessary to ensure that data is secure, backed up and can be recovered conveniently only by authorized users. For this purpose, the data is generally encrypted with a secure password and for retrieval, this data undergoes an integrity check (to check that data has not been corrupted) and is decrypted with a secure password for recovery of the data. Also, the destination for backup must be different from the location of the original file such that if the original file location gets corrupted, data is still secure in the alternate backup location.

Whereas tapes and physical backup devices require more physical storage space, a backup and recovery software just requires space in the hard disk of desktops or laptops. No additional physical space is required. Conformity with legal requirements refer to data protection laws for sensitive information. So banks are like legal storehouses of important data and they have to pass audit procedures which relate to data protection and security. So, a secure backup system becomes highly essential.

Financial transactions occur continuously and are often interlinked with each other. So, there should be a constant and streamline flow of data/information to allow uninterrupted financial transactions and procedures. With ‘employee empowerment’ being the buzzword in organizations today, banks are no different and backup of individual laptops and desktops will definitely help individual employees to take important decisions especially, if they are assured that the data that they hold is properly and systematically backed up and can be retrieved by them at their convenience. For this purpose, the data backup software must be user friendly and the recovery of the data should be instantaneous.

The data backup requirement of an official in a bank is typically upwards of 50 Gigabytes (GB) and is significantly more for high ranking officials such as Vice-Presidents and CEOs, who carry huge amounts of important information on their individual desktops and laptops. The data backup and recovery software for endpoints must be compatible with other systems and softwares such that when the individual endpoint (desktop/laptop) is connected to a network, smooth and seamless transition of data/information can occur. This also helps in easier synchronization of computers connected to a network.

A complete network of a bank may have data backup requirements varying from 1 Terabyte (TB) to 300 Terabytes (TB), depending on the size of the bank, its number of customers, the area it serves and the volume of its transactions. The solution lies in giving customers a suitable value proposition which is less expensive than conventional backup measures, is in tune with the latest technological developments and maintains data securely in an efficient manner.

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