The data your company maintains is one of its most valuable possessions. After all, there’s a reason why hackers seek to compromise sensitive information. In the near future, one company specializing in IT support in Los Angeles expects the cybercrime industry to be worth more than ever. So, it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to protect your data. Let’s explore the primary reasons why data backup is so important and how you can do so.
What Exactly Is a Data Backup?
As you can discern from the name, a data backup involves archiving or copying essential data from a device in order to protect it. In practice, this means that you store it within a secure location that is kept separate from the original device.
Additionally, you properly label or categorize the data so that you can easily find it in the future. This last step is essential when it comes to emergency response, since acting as quickly as possible will help you minimize downtime.
Why Is It Important?
Interestingly, many organizations neglect the importance of properly archiving their data. Put simply, this process can often mean the difference between recovery from data loss and struggling to accommodate it.
Depending on the scenario, even a single data breach could cost your organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, you might even experience other parties taking legal action against you.
To clarify, let’s assume that your company operates within the healthcare space. This means that you are obligated to follow certain regulations when it comes to sufficiently protecting patient information.
If a patient who has been affected by a data breach can successfully argue that you did not properly secure this information, you may be ordered to pay a substantial amount in compensation.
It’s also important for a business to safeguard its information in order to prevent the dissemination of trade secrets. It’s not impossible for a hacker to procure highly valuable data from a specific company and that distribute it to its competitors.
What Type of Information Should I Backup?
While you don’t need to back up every single file stored within your organization, there are certain types that you need to prioritize. Doing so will help ensure that you are able to access this information in the future if you need to.
Let’s explore some of the most notable.
This will vary depending on what documentation your organization considers to be important. In general, however, it should always archive documentation that would negatively impact your business if it were to become compromised.
Additionally, doing so can help establish a document timeline that your organization can reference in the future.
Most companies spend years adding information to their customer database. In the event that a hacker prevents access to this information, the results can be catastrophic.
Instead, ensure that you regularly archive your customer databases so that you can pull from this information in the future if necessary.
As you might guess, losing access to your company’s configuration files can easily cause a significant setback. Fortunately, you can circumvent this issue by keeping a thorough archive of the necessary information.
This will allow you to quickly restore systems in the event that a cyberattack occurs.
What Are the Primary Threats to My Sensitive Information?
There is a large handful of threats that could affect your business. Although not all of these are potentially catastrophic, some cyberattacks could easily cause a major disruption.
It’s imperative that you keep the primary risks in mind. Listed below are some of the most significant.
Social Engineering Attacks
For those who are unfamiliar, a social engineering attack involves a hacker manipulating somebody else into providing access to sensitive data. For instance, a cybercriminal may pose as an official source or individual before asking for certain information.
In some cases, this tactic is so effective that victims often remain unaware any wrongdoing has occurred until well after the data has been compromised.
Although a trained eye can easily recognize an attempted social engineering attack, it’s impossible to guarantee that you will never suffer from one in the future.
Most of us have heard this term before. In fact, most of us have also experienced a phishing attack before, as well.
Although there are multiple different types of phishing attacks, one of the most common involves receiving a fraudulent email. This email often appears to come from a falsely represented source in order to gain the victim’s trust.
The victim is then prompted to click a link that installs malware on their computer. In practice, it’s also not as easy to avoid a phishing attack as you might think.
Someone might receive an email from their financial institution asking them to confirm recent changes to their account. Without thinking, they click the link in order to do so.
It only takes a few seconds for data to become compromised. When this happens on a business-level scale, you run into issues that could involve providing the hacker with access to client information or financial data.
Not every threat to your sensitive information involves misleading key players of your company. Sometimes, hackers prefer to take a more direct route in order to gain access to valuable data.
Data breaches come in many forms, and one of the most common involves the use of malicious software to facilitate access. A hacker might use malware that allows them to navigate through the user’s computer undetected.
In some scenarios, the hacker may be able to maintain access to the device indefinitely. This will provide them with the opportunity to immediately procure information from the machine.
As we’ve seen through the 2017 Equifax data breach, this type of occurrence can be potentially catastrophic for organizations that are affected.
Improper Employee Training
Proper employee training can go a long way when it comes to maximizing the security of your company’s information. One of the best practices that you can implement is requiring employees to present multiple forms of identification before accessing key data.
For example, an employee may be required to input a password as well as a specific access code that is sent to their email address. This will prevent unauthorized users from accessing certain information.
Additionally, you could keep devices with important data within rooms that require identity badges to enter.
The passwords that your employees use should always be a complex string of numbers, letters, and special characters.
We all know that it’s more convenient to choose a password that is easy to remember. But, hackers have methods that can easily crack these passwords and render them useless.
One of the primary ways in which they do so is known as a brute-force attack. This involves the use of specialized hardware or software that works to deduce every possible combination of characters that could comprise a password.
What Solutions Are Available?
Although the present threats might seem difficult to accommodate, there is a variety of solutions available. It’s also best to partner with an experienced outsourced IT support team to take advantage of more than one solution in order to establish comprehensive protection.
Below are some of the most useful that you should consider.
Storing your company’s data remotely is one of the most effective routes that you can take. But, this is only true if you are able to work with a reputable cloud storage provider. This means that you should look for a firm that prioritizes the security of its clients.
Some service providers place a heavier emphasis on access and convenience for their clients. Although this means that using the service is often highly useful, major issues could occur in the event of a data breach.
So, keep this in mind when searching for a potential firm to work with.
When your cloud storage is kept properly secure, it serves as a reliable way for you to maintain access to crucial information. This also means that you can access this data remotely and forego the need to have a physical hard drive.
External Hard Drives
However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the utility that an external hard drive is able to provide. Since it’s always possible for hackers to gain access to cloud data, archiving your data on a physical device can provide an extra layer of protection.
Of course, this comes at the cost of a notable amount of convenience. Additionally, physical drives could end up damaged or stolen.
If an external hard drive was the only method that you leveraged to backup your data, you may have to rebuild from the ground up if something happens to it.
As the name suggests, backup services offer a comprehensive level of protection compared to other methods. This involves utilizing the help of a professional in order to protect your data as sufficiently as possible.
In many cases, you will have a representative of the firm personally overseeing the security of your information. This option is ideal for larger organizations or those that have extremely sensitive information (such as high-value trade secrets).
What Else Do I Need to Know?
In addition to the above information, the tips listed below can help you add a bit more protection. So, is essential that you take them into consideration.
Let’s take a look.
Always Keep Physical Copies
As previously mentioned, physical drives are able to protect data in a way that cloud storage cannot. But, this shouldn’t be your primary method of data backup.
Instead, you should keep a physical drive in addition to backing your data up via remote storage. In the event that an issue occurs with the data that you store remotely, you will still be able to have access to it.
Since many cyberattacks can affect entire networks, this is a crucial option to keep in mind.
Overestimate Your Storage Needs
When deciding how much storage you would like to allocate for your data backups, it’s highly recommended to overestimate your total needs. This will allow you to easily scale your level of storage in the future.
Otherwise, you may run into a situation where you cannot add any additional information to your remote storage without getting in touch with your provider.
Although this issue is not overly common, it can prevent you from backing up additional data until it is resolved. If a data breach or data loss were to occur before you could archive this additional information, it could become permanently lost.
Backup On a Regular Basis
Performing regular backups is one of the most important obligations that you have as a business owner. As such, it’s in your best interest to schedule them to occur on a frequent basis.
Some organizations even perform daily backups of their data.
To help better organize your information, you can also arrange backups by month, year, etc. so that accessing certain information becomes easier in the future.
This will prevent you from scrambling to find the right data if your company experiences downtime.
Proper Data Backup Is Essential
It’s highly recommended that you keep the above information in mind. From here, you will be able to utilize a data backup in order to keep your organization’s information as safe as possible.
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