All your data belongs to us!
That last choice was a really bad one – what happens next?
Anybody who has ever used or owned a computer knows that backups are a really good idea... but not everyone really understands why.
The first principles of information technology are to protect your data. The very first time the word processor crashed as your PC ate your homework made you realize that saving your work was not something you could afford to forget. No matter how often you save your work, or how many automatic snap shots are saved as you type, your work is still being saved to a file system, and file systems, like every other part of IT, will inevitably fail.
System failures, however, are not the only thing to worry about! Enter ransomware.
Did you know that a lot of ransomware is designed to look for your backups and to encrypt them first?
In fact, if your backup drive is connected to the computer that is infected with ransomware, it is almost guaranteed that this will happen. This can also happen even if your backup drive is in the cloud!
Big enterprises have known this for a long time. Depending on how important the data is, they will have multiple backups on different systems, and spend lots of money to make sure that they are never all online at the same time. This ensures that no matter the disaster, whether it be a hardware failure, a software error, a data center fire, a ransomware attack, or even a cyber breach, they can always get their most important data back and running on new or recovered systems. In fact, recovery from backups is practiced regularly just to make sure it works when you need it.
For smaller businesses, or simply at home, it is always a great idea to have at least two separate backups - one on a separate disk, and one in the cloud and always make sure that they are not both online at the same time.
Don’t forget your laptop can fail, and so can your backup drive, so checking that you can actually get a file back is a good idea. Especially if the data is your tax filing, or your family photos.
As a business you know cyber criminals always want your valuable data - a favorite way to get it is simply to steal the backup disk. So make sure your backups themselves are kept safe, locked up and kept in a different place than where your PC lives. It’s really embarrassing if your encrypted and tested backup disk is stolen at the same time as your laptop just because it was in the same bag. Make sure your backup is treated with as much care as your most valuable data.
Cybercrime is real! Let’s be careful out there!