EFCC fire raises questions on data recovery strategy in government

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Fire has gutted the Wuse 2 office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja impacting heavily on its data centre and raising questions on whether the agency had a data mirroring and recovery  strategy in place.

Insiders say it is unlikely but the anti-graft agency recently signed a data management agreement with the National Information Technology Development Ageny (NITDA) but it is not known if the agreement is already in effect or if it covers a recovery strategy.

The inferno consumed the former newsroom of the agency now serving as the storage point for ICT equipment retrieved from the commission’s former offices scattered across Abuja.
The former newsroom is domiciled in the two Storey Costa Hall which was commissioned by Dr. Antonio Maria Costa on 13th November 2007. The building currently houses the Data Centre and the Combined Inter Agency Task Force.

Data mirroring is real-time operation of copying data, an exact copy, from one location to a local or remote storage region so that incidences of damage or fire on the original location can be mitigated in real-time.

“Most government MDAs -ministries, departments and agencies – don’t have such strategies in place. Despite the presence of several data centers in the country, government is still shy of properly deploying ICT to drive their operations,” said Lagos based IT security expert, Tunde Ifalode.

“I am certain that the agency would have such a strategy in place. But it is a lesson for other agencies should they not have such strategy already,”  said Abuja base Cybersecurity expert, A.H. Ajibola.
Meanwhile, in Nigerian political circle, the fire incidence is raising controversy. The president had recently told visiting members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that he had ordered the agency to give him details of recovered funds. The fire incidence is raising posers as to whether it was not a case of arson.

However, if it is arson, “it’s in vain should the agency have a data recovery strategy in place. All the information mirrored elsewhere means that nothing is lost,” said Ifalode

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