Grass roots group addresses data protection

By Kevin Komiega

—New Year's resolutions typically range from losing weight to quitting smoking, but a new storage industry group is asking that smaller companies resolve to educate themselves about the risks of data loss and their options for data protection.

The newly created National Data Awareness Program (NDAP), a consortium of storage vendors, IT managers, professional development organizations, and distributors was launched this month to address the gap between real data vulnerabilities and existing data protection practices at businesses ranging from SOHOs to global enterprises.

The companies involved in the launch of the NDAP project—whose theme is "Are You Remotely Ready?"—include Asigra, Bell Micro, Breece Hill, Data Protection Services, Office Depot, PowerFile, ProStor Systems, Yosemite Software and ZeroWait, as well as the Data Management Institute.

According to one of the project's founders and the head of the Data Management Institute, Jon William Toigo, an alarming number of businesses still fail to adequately protect their data assets despite events such as 9/11, massive power outages, and the devastation of the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The NDAP's goal is to help businesses develop a systematic approach to evaluating their current data protection and disaster recovery capabilities, look for weak spots, and choose the optimal data protection products, technologies and services to minimize or eliminate their exposure to potential data loss.

While a good data protection strategy is necessary for any business, the main target of the NDAP project is small organizations. "The most underserved market is smaller companies. The lack of preparedness in small companies amazes me," says Toigo.

The NDAP Website (