How to counter cybercriminals: Backups

We live in a digital age. Photos you used to collect in very thick photo books have been replaced by instagram posts. Personal data of your customers used to be stored in thick filing cabinets, now a simple Excel file is more than enough. Digitalization has made life easier in many areas. But with new technologies come new problems. For example, just think of all the press releases about rogue cybercriminals. A common problem is hostage viruses. Hostage viruses/ransomeware are computer viruses in which hackers encrypt (scramble) photos, files and data, preventing you from accessing them. This is how they try to get you to pay money to release the files back. The loss of data in any way can cause a great deal of distress.

But don’t panic, you can prevent this by making timely and proper backups. So in this article we are going to further explore the usefulness of backups, because backups are essential not only against rogue cybercriminals. Backups are necessary for a lot of applications. After some googling, I came up with terms like: failover, emergency power, off-site, cloud, encryption, etc… Since I couldn’t see the forest for the trees through this dance of terms, I decided to go for it. Was it necessary to ask for additional explanation from a true IT specialist. For example, we had a conversation with Stefan Van Boven, business manager of the IT company SVB-IT with an obsession for everything related to data storage and security.

What can I do as an ordinary individual to secure my files as best I can? What can I do as a business?

As a user of the digital age, regardless of individual or company, it is important to consider the following two factors: security and backups. Good protection is half the battle, and with that a periodic (automatic) backup of all digital data is the key to avoiding problems.

Which backup system offers me the most guarantee? And how does that work?

Backups can be made to both local and off-site locations. Malware such as ransomware can infect entire networks, so keeping a backup off-site (cloud) is highly recommended. The off-site is then an identical copy (mirror) of the local backup. As a starting point, a full (complete) backup is always made, subsequent backups (depending on a number of factors such as size and speed) then contain only the changed data (incremental). This significantly reduces the backup time.

Failover, is switching to a backup solution. When node 1 fails, node 2 will take over (possibly automatically). For example: 2 batteries, where the second one is switched on only when the first one is empty.

You often read on the news about hackers who encrypt (encipher) files and charge money to release them again. What should I do as a consumer or business and how can I secure myself for this? Certainly never pay the ransom demanded. There is no guarantee that the files will be released afterwards, and thus be usable again. Protection and backups are the only correct preventive measures.

“Certainly never pay the ransom demanded.”

When should I back up my data?

Once data has been modified, a new backup should be made, in factor depending on how critical the data is, and what the cost of any loss may be.

How can you be fully covered in terms of data retention/backups so that you never lose anything?

Local and off-site backups, with both being a mirror. Daily backup of the changed data, so that data can never be lost for more than 1 business day. (Possibly several times a day, depending on cost factor)

Decision

As with anything, prevention is better than cure. The only way to make sure your data is safe is to have good security and make sure that if something does go wrong you can easily restore a backup. We also apply this.

Ready for a secure solution?

At Swift, we apply everything to prevent problems. For example, we offer up to 8 backups per day for your emails and website. Because websites are not spared either. Curious on what we also secure? Check out our secure web hosting page or contact us.

SVB-IT is our permanent partner for all our backup and security needs. Would you like a free consultation around security and backups? Quickly fill in your information below and we will do everything we can to serve you.

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