What Is Continuous Data Protection?

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is an automated data protection service that protects data at rest, in transit or both. It can be used on any computer, anywhere and at any time.

CDP is a free service that can live on your own desktop, or it can work in conjunction with Active Directory (AD), Windows Active Directory and other technologies to provide the best and most secure possible information security solutions for your organization.

We will be talking about CDP today (amongst others) as part of our upcoming talks/talks-notes series on the future of software, encryption and security.To quote the product description:”Continuous Data Protection (CDP) automatically protects data at rest, in transit or both. It works with any computer, anywhere and at any time.”


How does it work?


Like most things in the world, it all comes down to data. Data is the fuel of our economy, but it also fuels much of our politics, culture and every day life.

It’s practically impossible to get your data from one place to another without making copies in the process.In the case of software products, that’s no big deal — we just have a copy on our servers. But with personal information you’re dealing with very sensitive stuff — your credit card number, your social security number and so on.

So what can be done about this? A lot!

The good news is that you can use Continuous Data Protection (CDP) to keep your data from being lost or stolen in the first place.


Advantages of CDP


Continuous Data Protection or CDP (or Maybe it’s CDP? — see below) is the term for a way of protecting the data on a computer, phone or any other data storage device.

Continuous data protection can be considered as an insurance policy, covering all the possible combinations of hardware and software failures. While it is likely that your devices will have both hardware and software problems at some point, the likelihood of them being more than one per year is low.With continuous data protection, if one of these same problems occurs then it will not affect your device’s ability to store and transmit data.

In fact, it may even be able to store and transmit more data than before.The benefits are:  

  • Store personal files such as pictures and videos;
  • Share information between multiple devices;
  • The downside is that continuous data protection only works if there is no single problem which affects all devices.  

For example, if there is a physical problem with your phone’s battery then that problem may be fixed by replacing the battery; but if only software problems are present then continuous data protection will not work because you would have to restore each operating system you had installed on your device.


Drawbacks and Limitations of CDP


Data protection (or Data Protection, as it is more commonly known) is a term that has been used by a range of companies over the years. It can be used to refer to two quite different things:

1. The data you put in an online database, such as your credit card or social security number;

2. The data you put online, such as your home address or contact details for a bank account.There are good reasons for both uses but it does get into technicalities and the terms “data” and “protection” can be very different things:

For example, a company that wants to sell their products via Facebook may not want people posting their personal details (their home address) on Facebook.

The company may just want people to post photos of their products, which they can sell via Facebook. The same would apply with a company wanting to sell their products on Amazon or eBay (which we will cover later in this series).In this post though we are going to discuss what it means when someone says they have continuous data protection (CDP) and how it works.When someone makes an online purchase of goods or services there are two types of information that is captured: their name and email address.

If they were paying at the time of purchase then this gives them access to items they have bought before (this is called ‘session data’). This data is needed if the goods or services need to be resold so that credit card companies can allow customers to buy from them again, if circumstances so demand (if all other sellers are unable to supply, for instance).

If you do make an online purchase where you have provided your name/email then your name and email will be stored in an online database called an Online Transaction Records Database(OTRDB). This database contains all your transactions for the last three months and any transactions from the previous three months too (in other words all purchases from now on).


Conclusion


Continuous data protection (CDP) refers to a collection of features that make it possible to monitor and maintain a database in the absence of an on-site database server or backup.What follows is an explanation of these features, and a reminder that CDP is not an alternative to backups but only a supplement.

They are useful when you don’t have the choice of accessing your database from another system on which you have written programs. This can be the case if you want to maintain your database but don’t want to host it yourself or if you don’t want to run your own server, such as in a cloud environment.