A Beginner’s Guide to Backups
We all backup our computers and systems… don’t we? Regular backups of your organisation’s critical data, documents and systems are essential. Without them, the impact of a hack or technology failure could be catastrophic.
In this article, CQR’s cyber security consultants summarise the basics you should know about regularly backing up your data. This article is part of our “Making Cyber Simple” series. You can also download a free copy of the full guide which covers 9 key areas that we believe every organisation should be aware of and act on to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a cyber attack.
Why are backups so important?
Backups can ensure all of your data is safeguarded and protected. If a data loss does occur a backup can help restore order to your world.
We often take for granted that every time we turn on one of our devices and connect it to the internet, our information can be instantly accessible, wherever we are.
But what if a hacker managed to access and corrupt your systems? Without a recent backup your organisation could be brought to a standstill. The subsequent operational, financial and reputational damage would be disastrous.
Every organisation should have an effective backup strategy. Backups should always be safely secured outside of company premises. It’s also important to have a clear, regularly tested, backup recovery plan – so you know how to restore from your backups when you need to.
3 key steps to help you get started
1 – Audit & prioritise your data
As a first step, we recommend that you carry out an audit of all of the applications your organisation uses and classify each as either high, medium or low priority, based on how important each is to your business. For example, the database containing all of your client information could be high priority, the car park monitoring system could be low priority.
2 – Decide on backup frequency
Based on how critical the data is to your business, decide how often backups should be created, and how long they should be stored for. Then set-up systems and processes to ensure this actually happens!
3 – Have a plan for restoring data
Having an effective backup strategy in place is only the first step. Just as importantly you need to ensure you have a plan for how you restore all of this data when needed. Agree responsibilities and test your plan to make sure it will actually work as required if the worst happens.