Why Your Business Should Conduct Regular Security Assessments Reason – #2 Substandard Backup Plans

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To be sure the cyber security measures you have in place are adequate for your business, regular security assessments must be scheduled to identify internal and external security threats. Without them, security gaps can expose the company’s data to cyber crime, resulting in data and financial loss and create irreparable damage to your business and reputation.

The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, natural disasters, cyber crime, and infected software could have a significant impact on your business. In this article, we will talk about why you need a solid backup plan, which components of your IT systems could be affected if you don’t have one, and what to include in a stellar backup plan.

Why is a Backup Plan Important?

In an article by TechTarget, they wrote, It’s important to protect data from any potential threat so that an organization isn’t blindsided when disaster happens. A proper data backup plan will enable users to return to the last known ‘good point in time’ before the security breach occurred. In a best-case scenario, your backup should lead to a quick recovery of mission-critical data.

In a remote work environment, cloud backup is a valuable off-site resource. Remote work is especially risky, from a data protection point of view, because cybersecurity isn’t as strong on home networks, and users might be working on less-secure personal devices.

What are the IT Components of the System That Could Be Affected?

According to Ready.gov, technology recovery strategies should be developed to restore hardware, applications and data in time to meet the needs of the business recovery. Recovery strategies should be developed for Information technology (IT) systems, applications and data.

Information technology systems require hardware, software, data and connectivity. Without one component of the “system,” the system may not run. Therefore, recovery strategies should be developed to anticipate the loss of one or more of the following system components:

  • Hardware (networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers, wireless devices, and IoT)
  • Connectivity to a service provider (fiber, cable, wireless, etc.)
  • Software applications (electronic data interchange, electronic mail, enterprise resource management, office productivity, etc.)
  • Data and restoration

In this article, we will focus primarily on the latter two; we will offer tips for your hardware protection and backups in the future.

How to Create a Backup Plan

There are basically 7 steps in a rock-solid backup plan: 

When creating a security policy for your organization, one of the most important considerations that must be made relates to the backup strategy and backup policy that your company will implement in the case of a cyber attack. Having a backup policy that you can rely on not only ensures that your business can become operational after an incident, but also helps to recover important documents in the event of human error.

IT Disaster Recovery is the practice of anticipating, planning for, surviving, and recovering from a disaster that may affect a business. Disasters can include: Natural events, equipment failures, human error, and cyber attacks. An IT disaster recovery plan enables businesses to respond quickly to a disaster and take immediate action to reduce damage, and resume operations as soon as possible.

By default, employees can browse and search all the data backed up from a common resource like a shared laptop or file server. When you enable access control on data, the access control lists (ACL) for the data are also included in the backup, which allow users to access only the files and folders for which they have access permissions. Other files and folders for which the user does not have permissions will be filtered and hidden. And, remember to limit physical access to backups. Your data is not secure if anyone can take your external storage devices.

According to IBM, Data storage devices come in two main categories: direct area storage (DAS) and storage area network (SAN). 

  • DAS devices, some of which are known as removable media, include floppy disks, optical discs—compact discs (CDs) and digital video discs (DVDs)—hard disk drives (HDD), flash drives and solid-state drives (SSD). Unlike other backup storage options, removable media does not come with security features should your drive be lost or stolen.
  • SAN storage can be a network of multiple devices of various types, including SSD and flash storage, hybrid storage, hybrid cloud storage, backup software and appliances, and cloud storage. Most cloud storage services provide a large amount of storage space and encrypt the content for data security.

If your data backups are not encrypted, they could easily be compromised if the data is stolen, misplaced, or compromised in some way. Encrypt information so that it will be unreadable to anybody accessing it without authorization. Company devices that leave your office are at even greater risk. Encryption adds an extra layer of security in the event you have to use your disaster recovery plan.

Firms need to keep copies of their data to protect against hardware failures, system outages, network disruption, human error, flooding or fire. Backups protect a business against data corruption and accidental deletion. Increasingly, off-site backups are a vital defence against malware, and especially ransomware.

Backups, however, only protect the business if they work. This makes it vital for organisations to test backups, and do so regularly.The goal of backup testing is to ensure the business can retrieve its data and continue operations. Backup policies should be seen in tandem with disaster recovery plans, as well as the data protection strategy.

If you have a trove of important data and treasured files, you might want to consider calling in the pros to help with your data backup by hiring an IT provider that specialises in cyber security. They will have access to robust backup softwares, hardware appliances, or even hybrid data backup solutions that provide encryption.

No business is immune from the risk of losing access to their data and applications. A disaster recovery plan can help assure that a loss is a minor and temporary problem; restoring your business operations quickly. This checklist can help you get started in creating a plan that can protect your business from a variety of potential disasters.

***Sources for 1 – 6 can be found in the links of each header. The source for #7 is in the body of the last paragraph.