South Florida— You likely are not currently pondering any commonality between mixed martial arts and the recent government security breach of federal worker records.  But if you are someone concerned about the security and storage of important data–especially on ‘the cloud—‘ then you’ll almost certainly be interested in this.

Let’s work our way backwards.  The UFC, well-known mixed martial arts organization headquartered in Las Vegas, is bringing their “Fight Night” event to South Florida on June 27th at Hard Rock Live.  This event was to feature several well-known Brazilian fighters:  ever since Brazil’s Gracie family founded the UFC , the sport has remained enormously popular there as it enjoys huge growth in its fan base outside of South America.  Plans were well underway for this to be the first time ‘The Ultimate Fighter:  Brazil’ finale to happen outside of Brazil.

It was not to be so.  On June 19th the UFC issued a press release stating in part that  ‘visa system issue forces changes to several bouts on the June 27th fight card…’ including the co-main event between American Rick Story and Brazilian Erick Silva.  In total, 12 athletes were unable secure entry into the United States.

The problem is not limited to Brazil.  Apparently, anyone from outside the United States who applied for a passport or visa after May 26th is encountering a State Department glitch. A spokeswoman for the State Department denied that the delay is cyber security related, and this remains the official word.  But you still have to wonder, right?

Much like four million American federal workers probably are wondering how (allegedly) Chinese hackers were able to execute a large-scale breach of their (supposedly) secure employment records.

Er, make that eighteen million—more than four times as many as originally announced.   This thing is big, and truthfully, no one can really say how just how many are affected, or where it ends.

Cloud Vault Protection for Online Documents

The Chinese government denies any involvement whatsoever. Additionally, our government is not anxious to come clean on everything they know, either:   allegations came to light that the United States, after learning of the on-going attack, launched fake information designed to gather data on the attackers themselves- a cyber ‘honeypot.’

Access to the government records was likely starting from a ‘phishing’ campaign, and somewhere someone responded to an email they shouldn’t have.  This person or person(s) had their credentials stolen, and the hackers went on from there, expanding their efforts.  There are plenty of intelligent IT personnel right now who believe that the visa and passport glitch is absolutely related—unofficially.  All a trained hacker needs is a soft spot—and that is usually one or more humans who let the hacker in, without meaning to do so.

2015 Online Breach Report

It’s also important to note this:  yes, the attack caused problems.  But the attackers were caught, and measures were and are being taken to further secure government systems.

The common thread between these sudden visa and passport problems and the data breach of federal workers’ records is the fact that both situations involve data on external servers—the ‘cloud,’ if you will.  But a few words are needed in defense of off-site storage, I believe.

Before you dismiss the power and security that storing valuable data off-site can provide, you need to realize storing valuable data off-site is still better than paper records—which can be destroyed by natural events.  Safer than records stored on your own servers—which are likely not purpose built for storing data.  And as secure as you need them to be.

Advanced document storage solutions mean a “Cloud Vault,” with fully encrypted files, and access granted only to those whom YOU deem needing it.  Your data is meaningless to anyone without YOUR password.   Data can be restored only upon YOUR command, and ONLY to an IP address that YOU specify.

5i Solutions would love to share with you how Cloud Vault storage can securely meet your needs for preserving your vital data.  Automated backup.  Permission-level access.  Meeting legal and regulatory standards for records preservation, and working with all operating systems.

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