By Christine Muchira
Huge financial setbacks across Kenyan businesses caused by inadequate IT security and data loss have prompted Liquid Telecom Kenya to launch a world leading backup and restore service, CrashPlan for Africa, for businesses in Kenya to secure their data.
A data protection study conducted by EMC in 2014 revealed that data loss and consequent business downtime is costing global businesses over $1.7 trillion a year.
In Kenya, according to Compfix Data, over 45 terabytes of data is lost every year, with serious economic impact. A company that suffers an outage of 10 days or more due to the loss of crucial data can never fully recover financially, and 50 per cent of such companies go out of business completely.
“Unplanned downtime and data loss is proven to have a huge monetary impact on businesses everywhere,” said Paul Statham, Liquid Telecom Kenya Chief Commercial Officer.
However, CrashPlan for Africa will now continuously, automatically and securely back up every version of every file on every device, compressing, encrypting and backing up the data in a secure location. Customers in Kenya will also have the option of hosting a private cloud at their own premises or using Liquid Telecom Kenya’s Cloud storage.
“CrashPlan for Africa is secure and private. Data is encrypted with encryption keys that also give you control on who can access your data. You can also protect everyone in your business, no matter where they are, including on mobile devices,” said Statham.
The product is predominantly self-service, meaning that where a file is lost, it can be recovered without involving the IT department or any specialists. Instead, it is a simple operation of downloading the lost file from any device or location.
This protection comes against the backdrop of studies showing that more than 40 per cent of data loss is caused by systems and hardware failures, and more than 30 per cent by human error.
Mobility and technology, which have allowed employees to work on different devices in different places, have also shifted corporate information outside the data centre, presenting a new security challenge.
Recent research by Secure Data Recovery Services found that 50 per cent of company data globally now typically sits outside data centres, on phones, tablets and laptops.
Data can also be lost when computers are damaged by viruses, power surges, power cuts and natural disasters, or from data theft or sabotage, as well as everyday accidents like spilled drinks or the accidental deletion of files.
“Statistics clearly show there is a real and present danger to data and given the importance of data in an organisation, it needs to be protected. CrashPlan for Africa is a world class product that provides businesses with a complete solution to data loss. What we are offering is a local cloud that protects data for Kenyans,” said Statham.
CrashPlan for Africa also cuts IT costs by reducing the cost of device migration; by enabling mobility without putting data at risk and by eliminating downtime for any staff whose machine is being replaced, said Statham.
The current process of data migration from an old to a new machine is lengthy and technical.
However, CrashPlan for Africa simplifies the process so that users can migrate data to their own new devices. In cases of fraud, theft and sabotage in a company, CrashPlan can also isolate and lock files.
The new service is being launched in partnership with American company Code42, which has won a series of awards for data protection and is used by many of the world’s leading brands in business and education.
The service is supported by Liquid Telecom Kenya’s state of the art data centre in Nairobi, which is connected directly to Liquid Telecom’s fibre backbone across east and southern Africa.