JournalSpace Dies by Data Loss

The blogging site JournalSpace has been shut down after there was significant data loss without backups. The entrepeneur’s blog has more information – apparently, the most likely cause seems to be sabotage by a former IT staff person, combined with the lack of working backups.

What can we learn from this unfortunate incident? There are a number of things to note here:

  • Remove all access for former staff in its entirety – don’t skimp! All access, passwords, server access, everything. Lock it down. If you have only one IT staffer, you are also at risk: you need to be able to call on someone who can lock out your fired (or laid off) employee completely.
  • Disk RAID is not a backup solution. RAID protects you from disk failure, not from “data failure” or operator mistakes. Do not forget to have a complete backup solution in place. It also pays to enable a “hot spare” so that if one of the disks fail, that there is still protection from disk loss.
  • Have a backup solution. You must have a comprehensive backup plan working, tested, and implemented.
  • Have a working backup solution. This point cannot be stressed enough: Test your backup solution before you need to use it! When the data is gone is no time to realize that the backups are useless. Test your backups in real-world scenarios as well: one story described a backup solution that was well-tested, then the tapes went off-site in the operator’s car. Unfortunately, sitting in the car caused the tapes to be demagnetized and this was realized only after the data was gone. Test those backups!

The dreadful story of JournalSpace might have had a different ending if they had only tested their backups: that alone would have saved them. However, solutions (like security) should be in depth: working backups might not be enough next time.

One thought on “JournalSpace Dies by Data Loss”

  1. I humbly agree since unfortunate incidences such as this has happened to people that I have known. Regardless of the reason and/or the circumstances that lead to this loss of data, you must ALWAYS have a backup solution that does work. What I would suggest is making sure that you have an offsite data backup solution in-place. If you’re doing it in-house, make sure that these backups are occuring in a completely different datacenter. If you’re going through a company that has experience in doing these types of tasks (which I highly recommend), then you know that disgrunted employee or not, if you loose your data, you know you have a team of professionals ready to spring into action and get your data back to you ASAP regardless of where you are or why it happened.

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