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How to protect your data against loss and ransomware attacks

Steve Denby

Head of Sales Enablement

Data loss in all its forms – from human error to ransomware attacks – is a big problem for businesses. The solution? A strong data backup strategy, as well as a suite of security tools and trained employees.

Is it worth the investment? When you consider the costs of data loss, it certainly is. Recovering data takes time, money and disrupts your service to customers. If data loss involves a data breach, you can lose customers’ trust, suffer reputational damage, make headlines and worst-case scenario, be forced to shut down your business.

So yes, you need to take data loss seriously and work on preventing it by:

Implementing a data backup strategy

It’s the strongest approach to data loss whatever the cause. Best practice is the 3-2-1 data backup approach, which involves:

3. Having at least three copies of your data (original plus two separate backup copies).

2. Storing the data in two different media formats (e.g. network share and SSD drive).

1. Having one copy offsite.

For your offsite copy, its worth considering Cloud Backup as a Service. While you could store a hard copy in a safety deposit box, it’s not the most practical option, given expanding data volumes and lack of time to maintain a true data repository.

Cloud as Service means you can take away the tedious work from IT teams, lower your costs and more (take a look at our information on Cloud and the benefits to your business).

Implementing security and software tools

While data backup is a safety net should your data be compromised or encrypted maliciously, you don’t want to have to use it. Which means setting up the right environment, so that the risk of data loss is as low as possible. Part of this involves protecting yourself from ransomware attacks, viruses and malware via:

  • Spam filtering on emails.
  • Content filtering to stop access to harmful websites and emails.
  • Antivirus and malware protection on endpoint devices.
  • Software updates and patches.

Training your teams

There’s more to preventing data loss than just having the right tools and procedures in place – there’s a people element to it too. Make sure that there are staff in your company who understand how data processing works, how your backup systems function and how to recover data in the event of loss.

Also, train your staff on cyber security, including best practice when it comes to receiving suspicious emails, and keeping devices and workspaces secure.

Revisiting your data backup strategy

While software and training are important, they can’t entirely protect you from data loss. Ransomware is continually evolving and there is always the risk that it will slip into your systems undetected. Human error - deleting files, clicking on phishing links, spilling liquids on devices – is inevitable and no amount of training will remove it completely.

The only way you can truly protect yourself from data loss is with the 3-2-1 backup approach, which means there will be a copy of your data available when things go wrong. And if you’re using Cloud as a Service, it’s more likely that your backup data will be well-maintained and up-to-date.

Learn more about Cloud as a Service and access a free trial.

Three months free Office 365 backup