A data backup is an archived copy of a company's data assets, including documents, media content, machine images, configuration data, database records, and registry files, reserved for emergency use in case of data loss. Data backup is the backbone of data loss prevention (DLP), a key component of cybersecurity. The reason data recovery is so important is that there are many ways businesses can unavoidably lose their valuable hard-earned data, such as:
- Human error (accidental deletion, systems misconfigurations, and negligence of DLP policies)
- Cyberattacks and data theft
- Malicious sabotage and vandalism
- Hardware failure
- Software corruption
- Natural disasters and accidents such as extreme weather, floods, and fires
A data backup and disaster recovery system is your last line of defence against these threats: if your data becomes inaccessible, lost, or unusable for whatever reason, you can simply restore the backup copy and keep the business running as normal.
Does your organization back up its data? Here are four reasons why you should consider setting up a reliable data backup system as part of your cybersecurity efforts:
Quick recovery from cyberattacks (particularly ransomware)
Cybercriminals can steal, sabotage, or delete corporate data for financial gains or even just for kicks. Among the many cyber threats out there, ransomware stands out as one of the most prevalent and devastating dangers to business data.
A ransomware attack happens when a threat actor encrypts or blocks access to their victim's data and demands payment to decrypt or release it. According to Sophos' State of Ransomware 2021 report, the average cost of a ransomware attack is about $1.85 million. Worst of all, paying the ransom does not guarantee your data's safe return: only 8 percent of businesses reported getting all their data back after paying the ransom.
If you've backed up your data, there is no way you could lose it to a ransomware attack or any other cyber threat. Should an attacker encrypt, delete, or destroy your data, you can simply restore it from the backup copy.
Safeguard against insider threats to data
Human error is another major cause of data loss. Several studies (such as this one) suggest that most data breaches are caused by human error. These errors mostly involve system misconfigurations, poor data management, and irresponsibility. Human-triggered accidents such as unintentional deletion, liquid spills on computers, and hardware loss can also lead to company-wide data loss. Plus, not every employee may have the company's best interests at heart. If left unattended, malicious actors can sabotage corporate data.
Insider threats are even harder to predict or prevent than external cyberattacks. A data backup will preserve your data estate even after an internal data loss incident, whether malicious or unintentional.
Maintain compliance standards
Data availability is a requirement in most data security and privacy regulations, including HIPAA, CPPA, and PIPEDA. These laws do not explicitly require businesses to have a data backup system, but they do stipulate that consumers reserve the right to access, retrieve, or modify their personal data held by any organization. And the only way to guarantee data availability and integrity at all times is to keep a retrievable data backup.
Preserve business continuity
Since data is a key ingredient in doing business, its availability is invaluable for business survival and continuity. The odds of any business surviving a catastrophic data loss without a recovery plan are bleak. Most companies that suffer crippling data loss do not survive. The financial, legal, and loss of business impacts of data loss can take a heavy toll on a business.
Having a data backup ensures that your business continues to operate despite any technical challenges. This makes data backup and disaster recovery a critical facet of business continuity planning.
Creating a data backup strategy
What does it take to create a dependable data backup and recovery strategy? An effective and secure backup system follows the 3-2-1 rule of having at least three copies of data, in two different media formats, with at least one copy stored off-site. You also have to sync backup copies with the original data as frequently as possible and test backup systems regularly to ensure they'll work when needed. More importantly, your backup strategy must align with your IT processes, business model, and the nature of your data. Every business's data backup and disaster recovery plan is therefore unique.
Get that peace of mind by strengthening your cybersecurity and business continuity with a reliable data backup system. And Highway 99 Technology Solutions is on hand to help you design a custom data backup strategy that works for your business. Contact us to learn more.