Backups and baking

I was taught as a child that I should always crack each egg into a cup before tipping it into the mixing bowl, one at a time, rather than cracking the egg directly into the baking mix. That way you can check that the egg isn’t bad before adding it to the mix.

It occurred to me recently that I have been doing this for decades, and I can’t remember the last time I found a bad egg—if ever.

Why do I still do it? Just in case.

So, like those old-fashioned riddles: how is cyber security like baking?

There are lots of answers, such as checking that the egg (new shiny object) is good (secure) before adding it to your mix (environment). But the one I’m going for today is: backups.

Like adding the egg directly to the mix, it is all too easy to get complacent.

Backups and assumptions

It is easy to assume that:

  • your backups are working fine
  • you’ll be able to restore good data quickly
  • you don’t need to run an extra backup before making a change, such as upgrading your software, because it has always been fine before.

However—like the egg—assuming that everything is OK can lead to a bigger problem later.

You will have a problem if you need a backup but:

  • your backup routine has stopped working
  • you have a recent backup, but you can’t restore it
  • you can restore a recent backup… but it has been corrupted by the same problem that means you need the backup.

In the same way, if you make a change to your environment such as upgrading your software without having a way to roll-back to the last known good version, but the upgrade causes a glitch… you have a problem.

We suggest checking regularly that your backup routine is still running; that you can successfully restore a backup; and that the backup is good. It’s always better to have a backup that you don’t need, than not to have one when you do.

You can find out more about backups in our guide to backups. If you’d like more information or advice on information security for your business, contact us on 0113 733 6230, or use our contact form.