Over the past week, we have received several inquiries pertaining to NRHA data and how it is secured. Serving as the standard-setting and recordkeeping body for the sport of reining, ensuring the safety and integrity of data is at the forefront of NRHA’s responsibilities. Although efforts aren’t seen by members on a daily basis, a strong line of defenses is in place to ensure that our history is protected.
NRHA maintains three separate, distinct databases: an internal production database for data pertaining to members, horses, shows, etc.; an external website database for pushing data to be viewed on nrha.com; and an accounting database. NRHA backs up all databases on an hourly basis and then a redundant backup is saved offsite every 24 hours. Archives of these backups also are saved for an extended period. There also are other layers of security such as edge routers, firewalls, intrusion detection, encryption, physical and credential authentication, etc. to control access to the databases.
This process ensures the integrity of NRHA’s data so that:
- Backups are available if the NRHA office was destroyed or another disaster recovery was needed
- Denial of service (DoS) attacks cannot affect internal processing
- If the website was compromised, the internal production database and accounting database would remain isolated and inaccessible from outside entities
- Heavy website traffic cannot impact internal processing
The process of populating data on nrha.com is always to refresh the website database and all of the data displayed on the website. This ensures that the most recent and accurate data is displayed at nrha.com.
Populating the website database inserts the newest data first. Occasionally, this process can get interrupted and leave the website only partially updated. This is what occurred during last week’s storms. Even though both databases are hosted offsite, the program that populates one to the other runs locally from NRHA. Thus, any interruptions in power can interrupt the update.
“I am sure that many of you are much more technical than I am. Your questions are probably much more involved than the ones that I could formulate. However, it appears to me that our data is safe and the loss of power in our part of Oklahoma City did not cause any loss of information,” said NRHA President Mike Hancock. “NRHA holds the integrity of our sport’s records as a key component that’s core to our mission.”
If you have further questions about NRHA’s recordkeeping processes, please contact NRHA Assistant Commissioner Christa Morris-Stone at (405) 946-7400. Founded in 1966, NRHA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the reining horse worldwide while celebrating and advancing the finest traditions of Western horsemanship. NRHA encourages the public interest in agriculture and ranching activities, provides for all levels of reining competition, and maintains the recognition of worthwhile purses.