Cyber Security Foundations: Backups

1. cyber security foundations - backups

Backing up your data files should be like brushing your teeth. It’s a good thing to do, for all sorts of reasons, and should be part of your regular routine—almost automatic.

If you aren’t in the routine of backing up your files yet, we outline below why you should be and some tips on how to get there.

The importance of backups

Your data is almost certainly a vital part of your business. Even if your work isn’t desk-based, you probably receive, create and store information most days of the week. This includes: customer details, quotes and invoices, work schedules and so on. If that data was lost or stolen, it would definitely have an impact on your business.

Increasingly, the data that businesses and charities store is under attack. Malware and ransomware can damage or destroy the data that you rely on. But it isn’t just criminal activity that you need to worry about. There are physical hazards that could also cause problems by accident. For example, the devices you store your data on locally, such as; your mobile, laptop or server, could be damaged or destroyed by being dropped into water, or onto a hard surface, left in the sun to overheat and so on. Without a backup, any data stored locally may be beyond recovery.

Only if you have a recent backup will you be able to get back to normal business. The more recent the backup, the less information you will have lost. If you backed up last night, it’s only today’s work that is gone…

Tips for backing up

  1. You don’t need to back up absolutely everything. Work out what is essential, and make sure that is backed up. It helps if you’ve kept your files tidy, keep your essential work stuff away from your collection of cat videos… Of course, your personal collections may also deserve to be backed up.
  2. Your backups should be kept somewhere safe and away from the device where you keep the original data. There’s no point backing up your laptop to a USB stick but leaving the stick attached to the laptop—if one goes, they both will.
  3. Online backup services mean that your backups are stored well away from your original data, on the service providers equipment. This is usually a subscription service (often low-cost) and once you’ve done the first backup, which can take a while, depending on how many files you have, you can update those backups almost instantly, reducing the risk of data loss.
  4. Choose a well-known and reputable provider, and make sure you’ve understood how your data will be kept secure, as well as how you’ll get it back if you need it.
  5. Finally, set up a regular routine for backing up. You can back up on a fixed schedule, such as; daily, or weekly. Or you could backup a file every time it’s changed and saved. Either way, make sure it is done automatically, so you don’t need to remember to backup yourself.

We’ve talked about file backup, but does your business have a website?

Websites should be backed up regularly too, (files and database, if you use one) as should any other custom-built software that you use. Any internet-based service that you use is probably already being backed up, but do check and talk to your web developer or IT support about these other backup requirements.

Our Click and Protect services can help you and your organisation, so contact us or call the team on 0113 7336250.

Read the next post in the Foundations series: Phishing Awareness