“Not one single piece of equipment in our data centre was affected by this ‘flood of the century’. There was no down time, no data loss, no impact upon our clients,” stated Marjorie Zingle, CEO of DataHive.

Many businesses and buildings in Calgary’s downtown core have had to be shut down — some for a few days, some for a much longer period of time.

Ms Zingle stated that this phenomenal flood has not impacted DataHive’s data centre in any way. Power and connectivity have been maintained throughout the crisis, with its generator on standby and staff members closely monitoring the situation.

“In light of the extent of the disaster, DataHive is contributing to the Red Cross,” said Ms Zingle.

As well as remaining open for business, DataHive has been able to deliver its well-known, prompt, and individualized customer service. They responded immediately to urgent requests for temporary server storage. They were able, without any delays or complications, to install and set up new client equipment and temporary storage the day after the flooding began.

DataHive is a fully redundant, Class N+1 data centre located in downtown Calgary. This carrier-neutral facility and its network are optimized to provide security, reliability, redundancy, performance and scalability.

A startling survey by Ponemon Institute found that although more than half of American small businesses experienced one data breach or more, only one third of them notified anyone that their personal information was at risk. That means two thirds were in direct violation of state requirements.

Of the small businesses that acknowledged having a data breach, almost all involved electronic records. More than half had had multiple breaches.

Employee or contractor mistakes, and lost or stolen laptops, smart phones and storage devices were identified as the primary sources of the data breaches.

One can only conclude that in the event of private information being exposed, one cannot trust that small businesses will live up to their legal requirements and inform the affected clients.

It is more imperative than ever to keep checking your credit rating and your accounts for any unusual or suspicious activity. Once your private information is “out there” there is no reining it back in.

More and more workers are experiencing the benefits of mobile computing. An offshoot of this trend is the increased use of personal devices being brought to work. In December, a UK survey found that 54% of employees owned a mobile device that they used for work.

The problem is that although the device is the property of the worker, the corporate data on it is not. As well, the worker may not ensure the security of the device, thus jeopardizing the status of the confidential data it contains.

The same UK survey found that 20% of companies had no policy regarding personal devices. The lack of a policy could lead to real security issues including the hacking and theft of corporate data.

Because personal devices are not corporate property, workers are reluctant to apply mobile device management schemes by which their employer could remotely “kill” a misplaced device.

Businesses must take a long, hard look at their policies regarding personal devices being used by employees at the office. It is a complex issue that needs to be dealt with rather than ignored.

Cyber and data losses continue to raise major concerns among organizations.  Beefing up security procedures should remain a top priority for organizations.  However, no matter how stringent one’s procedures are, the weak link continues to be the human aspect within the process.  Personnel failures in following security procedures can compromise even the best protocols and security systems.  More companies and our own Canadian governmental departments are learning this lesson the hard way.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) has announced it is still looking for the missing hard drive that contains the personal data of 583,000 Canadians. Good luck with that! The announcement comes on the heels of class action suits being filed against them.

It’s somewhat alarming that the good people of HRSDC seem to believe that a hard drive got itself lost and can still be found. What is more alarming is the timeline of events that HRSDC has released:

Nov. 5, 2012: Employee discovers an external hard drive is missing.

Nov. 28: Departmental security officer is notified.

Dec. 6: Officials learn the personal information of more than 583,000 Canada Student Loans program clients are on the missing hard drive.

Dec. 14: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is notified.

Jan. 7, 2013: The incident is referred to the RCMP.

Jan. 11: The public is informed of the incident, and all portable hard drives and unencrypted USB keys are banned at HRSDC.

This timeline spans over two months! In my mind it should have spanned November 5, 2012! All except for the ban on portable hard drives and USB keys which should have been in place years ago!

On January 25th HRSDC has said it will pay for six years of credit monitoring for the 583,000 Canadians whose files are missing. Unhappily, those files contained the personal information not only of the applicants but their parents as well! The true number of affected Canadians is probably closer to 2 million.

This unprecedented data breach is going to be costly — not just to the Canadian taxpayers who are on the hook for the credit checks, but to the 2 million Canadians who have to be vigilant and protect their identities for the rest of their lives.


The Canadian government is heading to court because of a massive privacy breach. A portable hard drive that contained personal information of more than half a million Canadians “disappeared” from the Gatineau office of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

The 583,000 Canadians whose information was “lost” were Canada Student Loans Program borrowers. The information included their names, social insurance numbers, birthdays, contact information and loan balances. It also contained information about the borrowers’ parents, siblings and spouses, which could conceivably increase the number of people impacted to two million plus.

The only saving grace was that banking and medical information wasn’t on the portable hard drive too. Unhappily the compromised data is more than sufficient, if it falls into the wrong hands, to ruin people’s lives.

News of the disappearance of the hard drive was made public last week, more than 2 months after an employee noticed it was gone.

And now two class-action lawsuits are being filed in court. Sadly these lawsuits cannot undo or lessen the scope of the damage that is done.

Computers die. They don’t necessarily die at convenient times. All computer owners, private or corporate, should be prepared for the eventuality that their computers will crash. Here are some tips to keep your data safe.

1. Make a local backup AND an offsite backup. This will offset the risk of a physical disaster  happening at your building that could destroy your computers and your local backup.

2. Back up frequently. Out-of-date data is not nearly as useful as current data, especially in the event of a computer crash.

3. Regularly check your backups. The last thing you want to find after a computer crash is that your backup is faulty or unreadable.

4. Don’t rely on cheap/low-cost equipment as your backup storage media. Those will expose you to higher failure risks. Spend your money on higher quality hardware.

5. For quick backups or to save storage space, choose the most important or irreplaceable documents to back up.

Of course the best backup tip we can suggest is to use BackupURData. It’s affordable, easy and extremely reliable.

In May, 2012, almost 59,000 Twitter username and passwords were posted online by a hacker.

In June, 2012, LinkedIn announced that 6.4 million passwords were leaked after hackers attacked its system.

These are just a couple of recent hacker attacks that have been publicized.

Today, we need to ask the questions: How secure is the present Internet environment? Are our passwords secure? In view of these hacker attacks the answer to both is likely to be “not very.”

As sophisticated as businesses and governments become at foiling hackers, hackers keep evolving and trying new schemes and ploys.

In the face of this scourge it is best to be proactive. Use different passwords for different accounts. Change your passwords often. Don’t tell anybody your passwords or write them down. Create passwords that are hard to guess.

Many people, astonishingly, choose the word “password” as their password, or the number combination 123456. They choose their pet’s name, their license plate number, or their phone number. It certainly makes passwords easy to remember, but it also makes them easy to figure out.

One excellent password creation strategy is to come up with a memorable phrase (at least 6 words), eg. “Billie Jean is not my lover” and use the first letters of each word. In this instance it would be BJinml. Change any vowels to numbers, eg. i to 1, e to 3, a to 4, o to 0. This would make our password BJ1nml. And to make it more difficult, feel free to add an additional number (one you can remember) before and/or after to make the password up to 9 digits long. So now the password is BJ1nml321. That is very hard to guess but pretty easy to remember.

Creating difficult passwords and changing them often can only do so much. It is a good idea to keep a vigilant eye on your bank accounts and credit reports. That way any suspicious activity can be nipped in the bud.

The Canadian government reportedly lost a total of $1.9 million last year in stolen property, including vehicles, laptops, smart phones, cameras, furniture and even several dozen military weapons.

The list of lost, stolen, damaged or misplaced items is contained in the federal public accounts for the fiscal year 2011-12, which was released October 6, 2012.

Computer equipment and BlackBerrys were the items most commonly reported stolen or lost across all government departments.

Industry Canada alone reported the “accidental” loss of 20 BlackBerrys, 11 cameras, 105 laptop or desktop computers, 12 servers and 6 video cameras. That’s just one federal department in one year.

I have to wonder if Industry Canada’s “accidental” losses are as accidental as the reported loss of $3794 worth of alcohol by Foreign Affairs.

The “accidental” loss or theft of government laptop and desktop computers, servers and Blackberrys raises serious questions about the security of the information they contained. Was the data encrypted? Was it sold? Was it leaked? By whom and to whom?

If the Canadian government cannot control theft within its ranks, and presumably they have considerable anti-theft measure in place, then how can corporations?

Offsite backup solutions will mitigate data theft and loss somewhat. Contact BackupURData for our backup packages today.


Surveys show that approximately a quarter of computers suffer data loss to some degree every year. This could be from data corruption, accidental deletion, malware and disk drive failure.

Quite often users cannot afford to have their hard drives recovered. What often happens then is they overwrite or delete files, resulting in a loss of time, effort and money.

The majority of computer users don’t believe they will ever have a need for an online backup solution. They often think online backup software would be difficult to use. They think it’s too expensive. They don’t trust data transfer over the Internet to be safe, and they probably already backup with a local storage media backup solution.

The reasons cited for not using an online backup solution are faulty.  BackupURData’s online backup solution is easy to use, and very cost-effective. Just check out our pricing.

Data transfer with BackupURData is guaranteed to be secure and encrypted. All data is stored in our world-class data centre located in Calgary, Alberta — one of the most geographically and politically safe locations in the world.

Local storage media backup solutions are prone to human error. Manual backups are unreliable because of the human factor. Offsite backup is preferable in the event of a break-in, a natural disaster, house fire, etc. BackupURData’s online, offsite solution solves this problem. It backs up automatically, eliminating human error. And the storage facility that holds the data is fully redundant, environmentally controlled and physically secure.

Give us a call 403-313-1106 and we can arrange your safe, secure, online backup solution with BackupURData.

A new report from Canada’s auditor General says that only limited progress has been made by the federal government toward improving cybersecurity and protecting our critical infrastructure.

A.G. Michael Ferguson reported that the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, which was established in 2005 to share information about cybersecurity and to monitor threats round the clock, doesn’t fulfill its mandate. The centre, rather than operating round the clock, only operates during business hours on weekdays, and has an on-call staff member after hours and on weekends.

“As CCIRC is not operating around the clock, there is a risk that there will be a delay in the sharing of critical information linked to newly discovered vulnerabilities or active cyber events reported to CCIRC after operating hours,” the report said.

As for sharing information about cybersecurity and threats with provinces, the private sector and other federal departments, that doesn’t happen either.

The report also found that in one attack by hackers on federal government computers, “the CCIRC was not notified by the affected departments until more than one week after the intrusion was discovered, contrary to procedure.”  The cyber-attack cost taxpayers “several million dollars” in repairs, overtime and lost productivity.

An investigation after this attack revealed “ongoing vulnerabilities to government systems” and exposed the fact that restricted information was being stored on unsafe networks.

Canada’s cybersecurity continuing shortcomings have left key networks exposed to potential attack.  This is extremely important to correct because computer-based systems form the framework for much of Canada’s critical infrastructure.