Insights & Advice

Data backup…your last line of defence in the war against hackers

By Dave Sutton on 14/06/2019

What is the threat to my data?

In the rise of threats to our valuable & private data, cyber-criminals are forever creating new ways to disrupt and defraud our professional and personal lives. One of the many cyber threats that has seen a sharp increase in activity within recent years is Ransomware.  

Ransomware takes its action via the form of malicious software that restricts or removes your access to file data stored on your computer or server. Downloaded from a dishonest website or arriving on your computer via an email link or attachment, the Ransomware application rapidly installs itself & begins to infect or take control of your file data without the computer user even necessarily being aware an attack has taken place. 

Ransomware, as the name suggest, is a means by which hackers can take something belonging to you or your business and hold it to ransom for release upon receiving a monetary payment from you. Although, there’s no guarantee they’ll even release the file upon receiving your payment! 

 

Can we stop ourselves becoming a victim?

Yes, it’s critical to ensure you have cyber defences in place, unfortunately it’s almost impossible to ensure that you are 100% protected from the threat of cyber-crime, especially from the specific threat of Ransomware.

The malicious software used to launch a Ransomware attack is constantly evolving and can take many forms, despite security vendors continually updating their software & threat analysis, there is a strong chance that an innocent action by one of your users will result in their machine becoming infected at some point, which will always be the issue.

 

What can we do if we’re attacked?

Firstly, make efforts to limit your exposure to attack by ensuring you have cyber defences in place and have conducted security awareness training for your team.

But, when you inevitably suffer from an attack, your last line in the protection against cyber-crime is to rely upon secure recovery point from a current, ring-fenced data backup solution.

With a professional-grade backup service, you can benefit from peace of mind that your up-to-date data is stored, securely, in an alternative offsite location and is ready for recovery at a moment’s notice in the event of loss or corruption to any, or all, of your files or system data. 

But we already backup data to a disc?

Having a data backup of any kind is a helpful initial step to take in a bid to recover your data in the event of any loss. However! A standard backup to an external disk is by no means a reliable or secure means to achieve true peace of mind with all your important system data. 

There are several manual elements to a disk backup that limit its effectiveness in a disaster; most critically, the need for a person to take the disk offsite and remember to bring it back again.  

In the occurrence of a Ransomware attack, should the disk be connected to the network in use, it will most likely be infected and render the backup useless. This twinned with limited means of running effective regularly scheduled backups, results in a data backup to disk being a too restrictive and risky means of recovery in the event of a disaster. 

What should we do instead?

All businesses should operate with an automated on-site + off-site backup service, Following the 3-2-1 backup rule. 

3 copies of your data – one active on your server/cloud storage/computers, one local backup copy and one offsite copy. 

2 forms of media – varying medium of disk or device used to store the backup copies. 

1 copy held offsite. 

The service should be managed and monitored daily by your external IT service provider or member of internal IT personnel – with strict urgency placed on acting in the event of a failure or issue logged from the previous day’s backup.

It all sounds overly costly, however implementing a professional-grade backup solution doesn’t have to cost the earth; mainly if you factor in the cost and inconvenience of a total, or even partial, loss of data. Saving your Data doesn’t have a price, don’t get caught out. 

Commissioning these rules within your business can go a long way to certifying a fast & effective recovery from a catastrophe, should you suffer the loss or corruption of any data, however large or small. 

 

Who are EverythingTech?

For well over a decade we have partnered with clients across Manchester and the wider-North West as their outsourced IT department – covering all needs from IT Support, to Cloud, to Connectivity and Communications.

We are incredibly proud of our commercially-sound, technology solutions that drive efficiency, cost savings and performance for the businesses we support. 

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Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 826 2220, or email our team at hello@everythingtech.co.uk.

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