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Dumpster Diving for Data?


Who knew there are professional dumpster divers? I didn’t, until I read that the Canadian government considered hiring one in their search for a missing USB stick containing confidential information. In violation of policy, the stick was unencrypted.

Every IT manager I talk to is very aware of the risks surrounding unencrypted storage devices such as USB sticks and backup tapes. You already know that the best way to protect data is to encrypt it. But is encryption part of your disaster recovery (DR) plan?

The Quorum onQ Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Solution is a DRaaS that leverages the availability of virtualization to enable a recovery time objective of minutes. Our DRaaS encrypts all data to and from the hybrid cloud. All connections to the DR Portal and recovery nodes go through an encrypted VPN. The system encrypts communications between the onsite appliance and the onQ DR cloud using a 128-bit AES session through a 256-bit AES VPN tunnel to a dedicated virtual firewall. It’s all part of the service, and there’s no physical artifact (such as a tape) that might go missing.

In Ottawa, the Canadian government tried to hire a waste audit company to search through a dumpster “large enough to hold a small car” for that lost USB stick. Citing health concerns, five companies declined, and eventually the unsearched trash went to the landfill.

The missing stick remains at large.


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