Backup hardware and software

Are you protecting your work?


By Philip C. Levi, CMC, CFE, FCA, CPA, CA•IFAs

Tech Corner Reviews

This column reviews hardware and software products available to the fraud examiner. Most reviewed items have a street price of less than $300 and in many instances, there will be reviews of software applications which are free. 

As I write this column, I'm participating in the execution of an Anton Pillar order to enter a company's premises, search its records, acquire image copies of its computer drives, and seize its inventory.1 

This order isn't easily obtained and clearly represents a powerful tool for the victim of a theft by another - primarily of intellectual property. We successfully obtained the order as a result of several months of investigative work performed by a private investigation company hired by my client.

The search-and-seizure team had arranged to meet in a local breakfast restaurant about one mile from the suspect location at 9 a.m. to confirm that all the legal documentation was in order and to review last-minute planning.

The last to arrive was the lawyer with the signed court orders. As he entered, he advised the private investigator that he noticed a truck in the parking lot with a broken window. Sure enough, it belonged to the private investigator. Gone were camera equipment and his notebook computer bag that also held his Blackberry and wallet. Aside from the aggravation, everything was replaceable except the data on his notebook computer. It contained his entire file on the current case along with a tremendous amount of additional important information and he didn't have a backup.

There's no better prevention against loss of data whether it be intentional, accidental, theft, or corruption, than to have a reliable backup strategy. Software programs normally don't need to be backed up - most are available for re-installation. But data files should be backed up daily. Many believe that copying relevant files on CDs or DVDs to be sufficient. This will work if the backup media is large enough to accommodate everything you need and the backup procedure is easy, convenient, and timely. However, many files now contain graphics and other detailed content, which require storage on several CDs. The process becomes complicated.


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