Accidental Transmission of Data to a Third Party

Accidental Transmission of Data to a Third Party

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Lukas Vileikis
20 July 2021

Data is accidentally transmitted almost everyday. Whether done intentionally or unintentionally, accidental data transmission can be very harmful to you and your business - in this blog post, we will figure out why and also tell you how you should go about protecting your data from such an issue.

What is Transmission of Data?

In the computer world, transmission of data usually refers to the transfer of data from one device (computer, server, phone, disk drive etc.) to another. Data transmission can either be done locally or using the web. Both methods have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages - for example, if data transmission is done locally it’s usually stored on hard drives or external hard drives, but if done over the Internet (for example, if it’s done in the cloud), it’s usually stored in remote servers or even in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Generally, data transmission usually refers to data transmission between two or more storage devices.

Why is Transmitting Data to a Third Party Dangerous?

By now, you probably know what transmission of data is, but we haven’t yet touched upon the subject of when it can be dangerous. Generally transmitting data does not pose much risk nor to the person transmitting it, nor to the organization it’s being transmitted from / to. But you can also have a different kind of scenario - your data can get accidentally transmitted to a third party. The third party can be a malicious attacker, it can be one of your coworkers, it could be a random guy on the street. You never know.

Transmitting data to a third party is generally dangerous because:

  • When data is transmitted to a third party, it’s generally hard to verify the identity of the person you’re transmitting sensitive data to.
  • You don’t have control over what happens to the data once it’s sent. If you have accidentally transmitted your sensitive data to the wrong person, he or she can then share your sensitive business information and cause more harm to your business in the future.
  • Once your business data is shared, it can end up in the hands of cybercriminals who might then sell it off for a fee for personal gain - that could cause even more harm for your business operations.
  • In some cases, you don’t even know who the third party you’re transmitting potentially sensitive data to even is - is it really your coworker? Maybe it’s an attacker under the guise of someone trying to help you?

Accidental Transmission of Data and Backups

Now that you know what transmission of data actually is and why it is dangerous when dealt with improperly, let’s look into how backing up your data can help you solve such an issue.

Generally, backing up your data can help you deal with a bunch of different issues, usually all at once:

  • By backing up your data (and storing it somewhere safe) you can avoid the possibility of your business going down once one of your hard drives or data centers fail.
  • Some might argue that storing your backups locally will provide you with more control over your data while storing your backups in the cloud will provide you with more convenience.
  • Backing up your data with services like Backup Ninja can provide you with more control over your data and flexibility at the same time - you will be able to observe the status of your backups, whether they are compressed, encrypted or not, when they were last backed up, etc.

Backup Ninja as a Solution

If you want to use Backup Ninja as a solution for your business, first log in to the service - you will then be able to observe the amount of servers, you will be able to see the amount of running, inactive or failed backups, also filter them by dates and see upcoming backups:

Backup Overview

If you want to, for example, schedule a backup of your data so that in the case of an accidental transmission you could restore from an older copy and investigate the copy that was live at the time the incident happened, you can also do that - simply click Schedule Backup on the left side of the screen and you will see this:

Schedules

Here you will see the method, the backup name, the last execution date, what the backup is scheduled for, what server is it based on, you can run the backup now, duplicate the schedule, edit or delete it etc. - you will also see whether the backup is compressed or encrypted.

To schedule a backup, click Schedule Backup and follow the steps on the screen:

Details

You have multiple options in regards to cloud storage too - you are able to choose from AWS, Backblaze, CityCloud, Digital Ocean, Elastx, Google, Filebase, Safespring amongst others:

Cloud Providers

Finally, choose a name pattern that you want to use, specify whether you want to use encryption or compression and continue:

Name pattern

Finally, create your schedule and you should be good to go!

You can also observe the servers that you have:

Servers

Servers, as you can see, can also be removed, agents can be restarted and (or) upgraded. When adding a backup server, you are able to choose a database server, also what type of backups you want to perform:

DB Server

Now, create your database user, then install the agent.

If an accidental transmission of data were to happen, notifications can also be especially important and useful for your workflow too - Backup Ninja can notify you when your backups are created, once they fail or are removed, once they complete with errors, it can notify you when an agent is installed, deleted or reports an error too - just switch these alerts to On and you’re done. Isn’t that easy?

Summary

To summarize, accidental transmission of data is never fun, especially when your potentially sensitive business data is shared with a third party that may not be trusted.

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