Today, we are going to talk about an essential step that all businesses should take. Based on the title of this article, you already know that we’re talking about data backup. This also includes data recovery procedures, which are closely related. Without good data backup, you are only one crash away from losing everything. When data is so important, it would be a very foolish mistake to overlook this matter.
How Data Loss Can Hurt Your Business
Data loss is more than just an inconvenience. Sometimes, it can be a complete disaster. First, we should point out the obvious possibility of theft. If someone can get the right kind of information from you, they can potentially turn that information into profit. Financial information can be sold to scammers or used directly by the attacker. Personal data can be sold on the dark web for purposes of identity theft. Sensitive information could even be sold to the victims’ competitors.
Apart from the criminal possibilities, there are other problems to consider. When you are making plans for the future of your business, accurate data should always be used in the planning process. To figure out where you’re going, you need to figure out where you’ve been, but it’s really hard to do that if you have a bunch of missing data. Finally, we should also mention that the loss of crucial data can cause you some serious problems when tax season rolls around.
It’s All About Preparation
Data disasters must be dealt with before they occur. This is the only workable option, so now is the time to work out those issues. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Cybersecurity should never use a “break-fix” model, as preventative measures are usually the best remedy. You need to handle the problem immediately.
How To Be Prepared
First of all, you need to create a backup schedule. Your IT workers will be responsible for making sure that regular data backups are conducted. If that is not possible, an automated system can be used. Entire systems can be compressed into single files, so this is the best way to store digital data. However, if you don’t feel the need to do that, you can just store individual files in a well-encrypted folder on a well-encrypted computer with no access to the internet.
The first thing you must do is sort and prioritize that data. Not everything requires maximum security, because not all data is of equal value. Data protection becomes a lot easier when you separate the most important data from the least important data. We mentioned the idea of using a storage device that has been isolated from the web, but cloud backup is a lot more practical. Thus, only your most high-risk data requires total isolation.
The Most Important Reason For Data Backup
The most important reason to back up your data is this: Recovery. If you should suffer data loss through hardware/software failure, cybercrime, or any other means, data recovery allows you to get things running again. As we mentioned before, whole systems can be stored as a single file. Those files can be used to recreate a lost system in relatively little time.
Here’s the thing, though: Some hackers will target backups. They understand that backups are a powerful defensive weapon, and so they will try to take that away from you. That’s why they should be stored offline or in an offsite cloud server. As long as you have a recent backup, your data losses can be reversed. However, this will not prevent someone from using stolen data for criminal purposes.
Once you start doing regular backups, you will accumulate a lot of data before long. Those system image files are pretty big, and you will be storing a lot of them. External hard drives are a good option, as they are naturally isolated from the internet and can easily be stored under lock and key. Most external hard drives are only a little larger than your phone, so you can store a bunch of them with no problem.
That being said, we should talk about the importance of having multiple backups. If something is truly important, you want to have 3-4 copies of the data. This does create the risk of “information sprawl”, making it harder to control access to that data. For this reason, you need a system of organization for your files/folders/drives, etc. It also pays to use more than one storage location in case of fire, natural disaster, or other property risks.
Best Way To Prevent Ransomware Attacks
At present, data backup is the best way to deal with ransomware attacks. These are attacks that forcibly encrypt your systems without your consent or knowledge. Obviously, this allows the criminal to lock out legitimate users and then demand a ransom payment for the password.
Decrypting that data can take years or even decades, so that’s not an option. However, if you have a recent data backup, you can refuse the ransom demands and proceed accordingly. You will want to wipe everything and restore from the backup, but only after all available digital evidence has been preserved. There will still be a delay, but it will be a much smaller one. Make sure you share any relevant evidence with the authorities before you wipe the system.
Data backup is a simple and workable solution that can defeat many types of cyberattacks. However, it should be noted that most data loss is the result of simple human error. All it takes is one careless mistake, like hitting the “delete” key at the wrong moment or being careless with hardware/physical media. We always put a lot of emphasis on the importance of data recovery because it guards against multiple problems at once. If you would like to learn more, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.