Cybersecurity Tips: Backup Policies
Cybersecurity has become a part of everyday life with millions of people and businesses falling victim to varying forms of attacks every day around the world. While there are many different aspects of cybersecurity a company’s backup policy is a vital element to its cyber risk management solution.
Data is the most valuable part of a computer system and in some cases may be irreplaceable if lost to a ransomware attack or if a system corrupts. The following tips will help you or your business in the process of planning and preparing for the worst-case scenario.
What is a backup policy?
A backup policy is a carefully considered plan to mitigate against potential data loss that could happen from elements such as ransomware attacks, hardware malfunctions, data corruption, or some other fatal events. When implemented well a backup policy will help a business return to its status quo more smoothly and efficiently.
The difficulty of the data policy depends on the size of the organisation, the number of databases and applications it uses, and the quantity of data that requires backing up. It will also depend on the company’s required obligations and internal policies.
How do I implement a quality backup policy?
1. Outline most important data and plan accordingly
Outlining the most critical data for your business will allow you to arrange and allocate the correct amount of resources to ensure that the data is being protected, with backups being tailored to data accordingly.
2. Take frequent backups
If you have project-critical data then attention should be moved to the frequency of your backups.
3. Use the 3-2-1 approach
Create 3 copies of your stored data in addition to the original file with 2 different backup media types stored locally and one stored remotely not on the worksite.
4. Employ versioning to data
Your backups should contain old versions of your data, not just the current versions of it that were backed up most recently. This is imperative as data corruption or ransomware attacks may destroy your most recent data versions.
5. Regularly test the integrity of your backups
Data should be checked regularly to ensure that it is easily accessed and legible.
Other backup policy tips
- When being backed up data should be encrypted to prevent unauthorised access.
- Consider remote storage with cloud storage being a cost-effective option.
- Consider your backups unchangeable and cannot be altered.
- Where possible automate your backups and make them part of your everyday business.
- Be aware of the retention period for your backups, which is especially important if using cloud-based storage.
- Think carefully about your data retention policy and what does and does not need to be stored.