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Issue Date: May 2002 (es)

World first data loss insurance launched with electronic offsite data protection

1 May 2002

What value do companies place on their intellectual capital? The University of Texas Center for Research on Information Systems has published figures indicating that 90% of companies that lose critical data in a disaster are out of business within two years.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Information Week carried out a study which revealed that 85% of companies worldwide lose up to 650 000K of data a year, due to problems linked to data protection, not only because of computer piracy but because of the lack of employees' discretion.
Insured electronic data protection service
Up till now, data could be insured only for a small nominal amount if a PC was stolen for example. "This is no recompense for a company which could be wiped out if its recent invoicing, project planning, tendering and similar data is destroyed," says Dimitri Vouzounerakis, CEO of TELG Online. His Gauteng-based ISP and full service IT support company has just launched South Africa's first insured electronic offsite data protection service.
"We insure our clients' data to the value that they place on it and support this insurance by our electronic offsite data protection process which transfers data from the client's hard drive onto an array point, over an open line. As far as we know our type of insurance is a world first," he says.
Vouzounerakis cautions that back-ups on tapes, the most widely used system at the moment, cannot be guaranteed for more than three months because of the possibility of degeneration of the tapes themselves. "As a result the search to guarantee the integrity of stored data has become a 'holy grail' in the data storage industry," he says.
Protecting data by backing it up electronically offsite has recently become available in South Africa. "The technology pioneered in the US just over a year ago has already spawned a $32 bn industry. However, this technology still fails to protect a company from human error such as a systems administrator forgetting to do a back-up.
"We are in the business of ensuring that companies never lose their data, and we are prepared to put our money where our mouths are by insuring that a loss never happens!" Dimitri says. "Not only does our back-up have an unlimited storage life, but the administrator can physically see the data and any errors as they occur during back-up. We mirror each insured back-up on a separate offsite location to further limit the possibility of any loss to the client and provide around the clock access to backed-up data."
Should a client's files be deleted for any reason during a working day, the software will also notify the system administrator, a process which protects the company against internal sabotage, or plain staff error.
While this process provides an essential level of security for smaller companies, which could be wiped out through the loss of their intellectual capital, Vouzounerakis also expects that larger companies with up to 200 work stations will find the security of having their data automatically backed up on-line every night, not only appealing but also cost effective.
"In addition, the provision of an open line offers clients other TELG Online services such as web hosting, e-mail, e-business services, providing realtime virus protection, and on-line LAN maintenance," Vouzounerakis says.
Once set up, the software does it all, with no human intervention. "No room for human error," Vouzounerakis adds. "Data can now be stored safely off-site, untouched by human hand."
TELG Online


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