At Mira Smart Conferencing, there’s a guy who carries a package home with him every evening. We’re not going to tell you where he lives or what color his car is. But let’s just say he is a man with a very special set of skills.
Jay Draper, Network Administrator and Systems Engineer for Mira Smart Conferencing, is a specialist in abstract management data protection. Yes, that’s a thing.
Draper has seen it all in his seven years at Mira. “You’d be amazed by how many organizations still keep all their abstracts on a single PC hard drive with no backup procedures.”
If you’re using spreadsheets, email and the Postal Service to manage the conference abstract submission and review process, your entire conference may be at risk.
There are so many disastrous scenarios that face data today, we couldn’t resist sharing a few with the hope that, if your data is at risk, you’ll take steps to protect it.
“The heart of any data security strategy is redundancy,” says Mira’s Network Administrator and Systems Engineer, Jay Draper.
Scary Idea #1 – Hard Drive Crash
You’re saving abstracts to your office PC and it just crashes. It’s a mechanical device, and it’s going to wear out. You’ve always meant to backup your data, but you just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe you really don’t know how to do it. Maybe you just haven’t kept up with the task. Now, you’ve got to pay a specialist $100 per hour to recover your data, if they can do it. And the recovery service can’t get to it for another week.
Jay’s solution: Redundant Storage
Backup your data. Not just to one additional drive. How about five? Mira backs up conference data every three hours, every night and over no fewer than three types of drive. If your data is ever compromised, there are no fewer than five recovery options that include redundant hard drives, tape drives and portable secure media (which goes home with Jay every evening in his special briefcase). Mira even has a natural gas-powered generator to power its servers should electricity be interrupted.
“The heart of any data security strategy is redundancy,” says Draper. “it’s pretty simple, effective, but it requires discipline.”
Scary Idea #3 – Google Drive or Dropbox is Hacked
You’re pretty technologically savvy and you’ve created your own system to manage abstracts on a shared cloud service such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. But you’re giving abstract access to anyone with a link. And have you read their Terms of Service? And do you know that Dropbox represents about .3 percent of all internet traffic today? That means it is a big target for hackers (story at the end of this post).
Jay’s Solution: Dedicated Cloud
Every child knows that there are no two clouds exactly alike. It’s the same with cloud data services. Dropbox is great for pictures and home movies, but do you really want your valuable conference abstracts stored with grandma’s cookie recipes? Mira Smart Conferencing is a cloud server that ONLY stores conference data. It’s all Jay does.
“We’re a very specific cloud,” says Draper. “It’s all conference data.”
Scary Idea #4 – Lost in the Mail
We love our letter carrier. But stuff gets lost. You know there are better ways to move abstracts around the world from author to reviewer to chair. And you’ve been planning to explore options. What happens when a packet of abstracts gets lost in the mail? If you have copies, you still have to resend the package, which takes time and money.
Jay’s Solution: Secure Abstract File Transfer Tools
It’s not enough to store your abstracts securely. Conference administrators, reviewers, chairs and authors need to securely move the abstracts across the internet as they collaborate. Mira’s suite of abstract management tools keep all conference data within its secure ecosystem. Think of it like an armored car service for your abstracts.
“I am the only person authorized to empty the “trash” on the server,” says Draper. “That means, even if a file is deleted, it can be recovered safely and securely.”
Okay, now it’s time to do something about protecting your conference data. Even if you don’t use Mira Smart Conferencing to securely and conveniently manage your abstracts, you’re always welcome to contact us and we’ll talk with you about how you can make your process more secure.