ds1 - 02 Nese Feb.qxd 2/15/02 4:21 PM Page 8 feature Data...

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feature 8 Backing-up data is essential for any business, in case the original informa- tion is destroyed. The very nature of back-up is to copy data from live sys- tems to contingency systems, whether they are secondary servers or storage mediums such as tape or optical. However, many organizations overlook the security vulnerabilities introduced by the back-up software, procedures and the location of the data, in their disaster recovery plans. Physical access to live servers is com- monly well thought out and implement- ed with swipe cards and RSA Security’s SecurID logins. It is often adequately audited, recording access to data in great detail. Access to tape back-ups however is often overlooked, with data left on shelves in open offices, sitting in recep- tions or loading bays awaiting collection by couriers and even in the post with Royal Mail! A great deal of effort and time is spent on the security of servers, stopping unnecessary services, securing TCP/IP ports and hardening servers from unwanted network access. Back-up soft- ware is designed to shift large contents of data from a server, usually across a TCP/IP network, and by its very nature is almost the exact opposite of a harden- ing exercise. This vulnerability is often overlooked; even the rudimentary securi- ty provisions on many back-up applica- tions are not implemented when they are available, mostly through ignorance of their presence it seems. When implementing a well-secured back-up facility, the risks associated with the ability to move large amounts of data are often overlooked. Access to all the data on the server that is required for back-up is typically provided via TCP/IP, usually on a proprietary port, with a proprietary protocol. This protocol pro- vides some protection, but the main risk comes from the use of the correct soft- ware, from the wrong machine. Therefore it is important that organiza- tions have procedures in place that iden- tify the source and the destination of the backup. To illustrate the risks, let us consider two scenarios. One scenario is an unau- thorized backup, where a malefactor invades the network using a machine that is configured as a backup server and spoofs the real backup server’s IP /MAC address. After contacting the data critical servers with backup requests, which they respond to by backing up data to the invading machine, the malefactor absconds with the company’s most sensi- tive data. This scenario depends on someone
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2011 for the course DATABASE - taught by Professor - during the Spring '11 term at Aarhus Universitet.

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ds1 - 02 Nese Feb.qxd 2/15/02 4:21 PM Page 8 feature Data...

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