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Amy DeCarlo
Amy DeCarlo
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Protect Your Data Like The Asset It Is

Who'd of thunk it? That happy-go-lucky fella you pass every evening on your way out the door -- and whom you believed was the janitor -- is actually a data thief. How does he go about his dark deeds? Armed with an innocent-looking iPod, he's able to download thousands of Microsoft Office files in minutes.

Who'd of thunk it? That happy-go-lucky fella you pass every evening on your way out the door -- and whom you believed was the janitor -- is actually a data thief. How does he go about his dark deeds? Armed with an innocent-looking iPod, he's able to download thousands of Microsoft Office files in minutes.

The crime is called "pod slurping," and it's striking a chord of fear in systems administrators and security gurus across the country. Just last week, a researcher has demonstrated just how easy it is to walk off with megabytes of sensitive material. If that happened to you, how many sensitive, proprietary documents would you lose? Would you know exactly what you had lost? And, just as importantly, could you recreate the files?That's where the dreaded topic of backing up comes into play. Typically viewed as the boring stepsister in the data center world, backup is becoming more and more crucial in today's world in which data is increasingly valuable -- and vulnerable to predators. Our recent reader survey: "How often do you perform a backup?" found that slightly more than half of you do backup data daily. But a significant number -- one quarter of you -- don't seem to perform the task on any regular basis. What are you going to do if a "slurper" comes your way?

Now is the time for action, before your company runs into trouble. Computer Associates is set to release system restoration software bundles in July, but you want to protect your system ahead of the potential incident. Seagate and Maxtor are answering the call for more storage capacity by announcing plans to begin shipping the first half-Tbyte desktop storage devices. But still, you'll have to keep that data safe. To that end, Oracle is revving to debut Oracle 10g Release 2.0, the most recent version of its database with improved data-management and backup capabilities.

For many of us, the iPod is a benign device that has won our hearts and minds by being our musical companion, not our partner in crime. In fact, Apple's little charmer is on our list of top 10 hardware devices of the last 10 years. We're still looking for your input on what the coolest technologies have been during the past decade (we want to know about software, too!). So, enter The Great Tech Call-'Em-Like You-See-'Em Contest today. Who knows, you could win any number of cool prizes, including, um, an iPod.Who'd of thunk it? That happy-go-lucky fella you pass every evening on your way out the door -- and whom you believed was the janitor -- is actually a data thief. How does he go about his dark deeds? Armed with an innocent-looking iPod, he's able to download thousands of Microsoft Office files in minutes.

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