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Financial data backup

Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:52 am
by rjamesh77
We have historically rotated six 3 1/2" disks to do our backup each Sunday after the donations are processed. At a recent meeting with the Stake Clerk, we were advised that an offsite backup would be wise and that using a flash drive would be quicker. Having the backup in the office is nice because it doesn't matter who is handling the donations on a given Sunday. If we begin to store backups off site, we will have to deal with the logistical issues created by the fact that we don't always have the same people handling donations each week. If anyone has successfully dealt with this issue, your comments would be welcome. I suppose a firebox in the office might be a way to keep the process simple and yet provide some increased protection for the data.

Also, I'm not sure the history is behind the use of 6 disks. Comments on that welcome as well. Thanks.

Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:05 pm
by lajackson
astropixel wrote:. . . we were advised that an offsite backup would be wise and that using a flash drive would be quicker. . . .
Also, I'm not sure the history is behind the use of 6 disks.


In FIS, rotating through 6 backup disks provided six weeks of backups, so that if there was a problem that had not been noticed for a couple of weeks, there would still be a backup that could be used. And those six diskettes, if kept, were the only backup available.

With MLS, we rotated through the disks until they were no longer big enough to hold the entire backup, then we switched to flash drives. But, we only use three flash drives, because they hold much more space. A flash drive, for example, might have the most recent backup, the one for three weeks earlier, and so on.

In our ward, two of the clerks have flash drives, and whichever one helps with the deposit takes a copy of the backup home with him. Or sometimes the counselor take one. That provides the offsite backup.

Beside the flash drives, we run all backups to the hard drive. And MLS keeps 10 internal backups, and finally, SL takes a monthly backup.

I think we are covered pretty well, at least as far as backups go. [grin]

Posted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:48 pm
by jdlessley
astropixel wrote:At a recent meeting with the Stake Clerk, we were advised that an offsite backup would be wise and that using a flash drive would be quicker.
In addition to what lajackson posted, the instruction the stake clerk gave concerning keeping off site backups was in accordance with the Church Handbook of Instructions policy and procedure - page 141, I believe.

The backups on the computer hard drive are the ones that will be accessed first when MLS problems are encountered. Keeping off computer backups nearby or on site helps with those situations when the computer or hard drive are damaged or inaccessible . The backups kept off site are additional protection for natural disasters, fire, and any other situations where the computer and the nearby backups are destroyed or inaccessible.

Think of the off site backup as the third level of protection. It would be nice if the off site backups were mirror images of the hard drive and the other on site backups. I guess you have to ask yourself how much work you are willing to put into recovering lost data if your off site backups are the backups you are going to have to use to restore your MLS database. With that in mind, in our ward each clerk and bishopric member has a flash drive that they backup MLS data to after each MLS session. That way somebody will have the most current backup off site.

Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:43 pm
by Mikerowaved
jdlessley wrote:It would be nice if the off site backups were mirror images of the hard drive and the other on site backups.

Periodically I make a backup of the entire C:/Program Files/LDS Church/ folder to my personal flash drive. I have a small program that I use that will scan for any files that have changed since my last backup and save them, rather than getting the whole enchilada each time. This is not required, but I thought it might be the easiest way to get back running in case of a total loss.

3 flash drives

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:54 am
by 1historian-p40
1 in clerks locked file, 2nd inlocked in bishops office, 3rd kept locked at bishops house. they rotate each week. The counciler who will count grabs the old one from the bishop during bishopric meeting and then the councilor puts the new one in the locked drawer in the bishops office.

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:20 am
by marianomarini
It must be wonderful living in a terrestial kingdom. Here in Vicenza we live in a sub-telestial one with a foundamental law: the more is complicated, the more is erroneus.
Last backup include all previous backup. Just one in a floppy in a unlocked draw of clerk office.
There are so many copies around the world that local backup is only for local recovery against local Pc crashes. This is what we think is this wastes of Italy.

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:03 am
by ericchile-p40
I would think moving these flash drives from off site could be a potental security problem? What if one of the flash drives were to become lost?

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:34 pm
by russellhltn
ericchile wrote:I would think moving these flash drives from off site could be a potental security problem? What if one of the flash drives were to become lost?


My understanding is the data is encrypted in some way. If you restore it, then you have to figure out the password for an authorized user. Not impossible, but not easy.

I think a bigger risk is that the person taking it off-site has a MLS login. By restoring it to their machine they then open the possibility of someone else getting access. Something worth thinking about when you select who to send it home with. But that risk seems rather small. Presumably anyone with access to MLS should be trustworthy. If not, they shouldn't have access.

What exactly are the risk?

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:52 pm
by kmalone-p40
Okay say a drive is lost what are the risk?

I don't see what the liability is there is no SSN, just name address which you can get from the phone book.

In your scenario, you stated if someone has access to do damage, the exposure is already there, the person who wants to damage in on MLS its not the data.

Correct me if I am wrong...

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:43 pm
by russellhltn
kmalone wrote:I don't see what the liability is there is no SSN, just name address which you can get from the phone book.


Full legal name, birthdate, address, phone number, mother's maiden name, name of spouse, parents, children, and donations to the Church (like tithing). Depending on what state you're in, the disclosure of financial information may trigger required notifying all members of the breach.


kmalone wrote:In your scenario, you stated if someone has access to do damage, the exposure is already there, the person who wants to damage in on MLS its not the data.


My concern is that they may unwittingly create access for others who are not authorized (members of the family or any hackers who have compromised that computer.)