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Crump: Data protection challenges in a mobile world

When an organization's users can access and manipulate data almost anywhere -- be it at the office, at home or at a local coffee shop -- administrators have their hands full ensuring that data remains safe and secure.

George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland, told an audience at Storage Decisions that data protection challenges such as this are complex and need to be addressed by organizations.

"It's not just a devices issue. We're seeing resistance to enterprises adopting their own file sync and share strategy. … If you don't provide a file sync and share solution, [users] will do their own thing," said Crump. "And there are risks associated with that."

While a number of factors are at play, including the use of mobile devices to access corporate data and the rise of cloud storage and applications, Crump said data protection challenges surrounding the "data center everywhere" situation need to be resolved, such as ensuring responsibility over data kept with a cloud vendor.

"We're seeing people struggle with what to do now: 'My data is in the cloud -- is it their responsibility?'" said Crump, noting that in many cases, cloud storage service-level agreements are "pretty low-bar." Or even with a good SLA, the vendor's hardware may not be up to the customer's needs.

"They're basically, 'If we're not hung-over, and if we have time, we'll probably recover your data, maybe. That's the average SLA. So that's a real big issue," he said.

Crump noted that there is also the logistics of moving data from a cloud provider if necessary. He pointed to the collapse of Nirvanix, which was criticized for not offering enough notice to its customers before leaving the cloud storage market.

"They decided to go out of business and gave everyone about two weeks to get out. That's a lot of data all at once," said Crump.

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