QASSS has put together a quick guide based on NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) advice to help businesses protect themselves and improve their cyber security. In this article, we look at backing up data.
BACKING UP YOUR DATA
Think about how much you rely on your business-critical data, including your customer database, leads, quotes, orders, payments and more.
All businesses, regardless of size, should take regular backups of their important data, and make sure that these backups are recent and can be restored. By doing this, you are not only ensuring your business can still function following the impact of flood, fire, physical damage, or theft, but this will also protect you against data loss after a cyber attack.
Here are some top tips to consider from the National Cyber Security Centre:
Tip 1: Identify what data you need to back up
Your first step is to identify your essential data – the information that your business could not function without. Normally this will comprise documents, photos, emails, contacts, and calendars, most of which are kept in just a few common folders on your computer, phone, or tablet or network.
Tip 2: Keep your backup separate from your computer
Whether it’s on a USB stick, on a separate drive or a separate computer, access to data backups should be restricted so that they:
- are not accessible by staff
- are not permanently connected (either physically or over a local network) to the device holding the original copy. Ransomware and other malware can often move to attached storage automatically, which means any such backup could also be infected, leaving you with no backup to recover from.
For more resilience, you should consider storing your backups in a different location, so fire or theft will not result in you losing both copies. Cloud storage solutions are a cost-effective and efficient way of achieving this.
Tip 3: Consider the cloud
You have probably already used cloud storage during your everyday work and personal life without even knowing (unless you are running your own email server).
Using cloud storage (where a service provider stores your data on their infrastructure) means your data is physically separate from your location.
You will also benefit from a high level of availability. Service providers can supply your organisation with data storage and web services without you needing to invest in expensive hardware up front. Most providers offer a limited amount of storage space for free, and larger storage capacity for minimal costs to small businesses.
Tip 4: Make backing up part of your everyday business
We know that backing up is not a very interesting thing to do but the majority of network or cloud storage solutions now allow you to make backups automatically. For instance, when new files of a certain type are saved to specified folders. Using automated backups not only saves time but also ensures that you have the latest version of your files should you need them.
Many off-the-shelf backup solutions are easy to set up and are affordable considering the business-critical protection they offer. When choosing a solution, consider how much data you need to back up, and how quickly you need to be able to access the data following an incident.
More cyber security tips and advice
For further guidance, we’ve also provided advice and tips on a range of cyber issues, including:
IT solutions for your business
At QASSS, we truly understand the needs of home improvement and renewable companies and offer proactive and bespoke IT solutions to help businesses with infrastructure, cyber security, end-user computing and management and web management.
QASSS are a Cyber Essentials accredited business and able to provide businesses with support and insights on how to best manage security with their organisation. If you’d like advice and support, contact us on 0330 335 3354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org