Ransomware attacks in the past years have proven to be bigger and bolder each day. These attacks are invading companies’ data and holding them in exchange for ransom money. This severely impacts the data integrity of companies and, by extension, their abilities to make a profit.
As hackers step up their games in ransomware attacks, so should companies improve their cybersecurity efforts. Doing so will most likely prevent them from falling prey to this and other types of cyberattacks, as well as improve their data integrity.
Below are the best practices you need to deploy in your respective companies to back up valuable business data. Following these important steps will give you a spare copy of your data so you can restore your systems should you fall victim to a ransomware attack.
What is a backup?
Accordingly, a backup is a term used in the industry to duplicate data. This allows retrieval of the duplicate set after a data breach, like a ransomware attack.
For individuals, storing data in separate drives like a portable hard drive or online drive software is a good example. However, for big companies, the process of creating a backup is a bit more complex.
Regardless of your purpose, creating backups should be an essential part of what experts call “cyber hygiene.” Protecting your individual and your company’s data is something worth investing in. Let’s take a look at a few best practices for backing up your sensitive data.
Best practices for backing up valuable business data
Consider data backup as an essential key for an organization to thrive. In an era of complex digital systems, creating backups for the most critical business data is a necessity. Backups can include documents, media files, data, operating systems and registry files. In complex organizations, clients’ data may also need to be backed up securely.
It would also help if you see and study some ransomware attack examples showing the behavioral trend of cybercriminals in pursuing ransomware attacks. Doing this will help you determine commonalities between these attacks and better bolster your security posture to prevent attacks.
We rounded up business practices for backing up valuable data, and here’s what you need to know:
1. Backup your data regularly
If you are a large organization, your dedicated cybersecurity or IT team must have a data backup policy in place. This is extremely important, and doing so as part of standard operating procedures is a good practice against data breaches.
It also pays to have several layers of protection for each data set. Investing in tools like anti-virus software is a smart move.
2. Remote storage
The rule of thumb that governs this rule is that if it’s too precious not to lose it, back it up. In doing so, you can effectively use the 3-2-1 rule in data backup.
What it requires is that you need to keep three (3) copies of all your data in at least two (2) different mediums, with one (1) being an offline medium. You can definitely rest easy if you make this a priority.
3. Restrict who has access to your data
Did you know that data loss can also be due to human error committed by any of your employees? Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and this is common in the workplace. For example, it could be that an employee accidentally alters a confidential file or brings damage to a hard drive. Simple as it may be, it can spell disaster for any organization.
Thus, it’s helpful to restrict who has access to your data. This means access to your precious organizational data should not be easily given to anybody. At the very least, ensure that employees can access only the data that they need to do their jobs.
4. Backups should be encrypted and protected
Data encryption means a piece of encoded information can only be accessed by a user with the correct encryption key. Take note that this does not prevent hacking or data theft. But good encryption tools can make it difficult for them to attack your data.
It’s recommended to utilize excellent encryption in your organization to protect you from possible ransomware attacks.
5. Test your backups
It’s not enough that you are creating data backup. Bear in mind that backups are still prone to data loss. Hence, ensure that your backups are tested on a regular basis.
This means checking whether your stored data are still accessible and working in case you need them in the future. In the event that it’s not usable anymore, that poses a question of reliability among other backup data.
6. Invest in cloud storage
Cloud storage is an excellent idea for creating a backup of data and files. Over the years, cloud computing has become popular, especially for small businesses. However, while it’s a good idea, do so with a high degree of caution.
This is because cloud services can still be vulnerable to data loss. Meaning to say, it can still be hacked. Nevertheless, as long as your cybersecurity systems are of considerable strength, your data will be in good hands.
Does your organization has a good backup strategy in place?
Ransomware attacks are a reality every business should face. Precautionary measures aimed at its prevention are a must for these organizations. The best defense against a possible ransomware attack is to protect your data properly.
Your business data is the lifeblood of your organization. Doing everything you can to protect it requires implementing cybersecurity best practices on your part. While copying the best practices of other organizations is a helpful idea, keep in mind that your business is unique, and security is not always a one-size-fits-all solution.