Welcome to the Inside Secure-IT series of articles. Inspired by a post done by the US-CERT at the beginning of October describing the threat posed to MSP’s by hackers and other ne'er-do-wells. Our response, a comprehensive series of posts that takes a look at what we do at Lighthouse IT to keep your company data secure both on and offsite.
Backups have never been more important
In this day and age, it is easier than ever to store a large amount of data. Computers provide a compact manageable way to keep all your photos, recipes, reports and more. However just as easily as you could misplace an important paper, computers are susceptible to data loss as well. From accidental deletion, malware or hardware failure, there are numerous ways in which your data could be lost. Just because your data is gone from your computer does not mean that it must be gone forever though.
Making a backup
Having a copy of your data saved on some other device is what is known as a backup and it is the best way to protect yourself from data loss. Even if your hard drive were to fail, having a backup allows you to simply copy the data from the backup onto a new drive. You can then be back to where you were before the failure! Alternatively, you can pull important files from the backup onto a new drive and start anew with only the files you need.
There are two main ways that you can use to back up your files. The first is with an external drive. This is simply a hard drive that is not within your computer. From there you just use your operating system’s backup system to create a backup on your external drive. “Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Backup and Restore” The other main method for saving backups is over the internet by using a backup service such as Datto. Using a cloud-based backup service will likely cost a service fee, but they will take care of the storage and protection of your backup for you and you do not have to buy the hardware. Using the cloud will likely cost more after a certain amount of storage is used but it does mean you have access to your data as long as you have access to the internet. This means practically anywhere you go, you can get your files.
Good backup practices
The best tip to keep your data you safe from being lost is to have multiple backups of your data. That way even if one method fails you have another to turn to. In addition, you should not keep all your backups in the same place, having multiple external hard drives with backups will not help if you keep them all together. What if they are all destroyed in a disaster? Thankfully backup services and the cloud solve this problem themselves, but if you are only planning on using external drives to try and save money, try to keep one in a separate location. Using a cellular fail-over system is also a good practice to enforce. This allows your backups to continue even when the internet connection is lost. Finally, update your backups often. Many systems for creating backups allow for creating a schedule that will automatically update your backup after a certain amount of time passes. If you stop after first creating your backup, then you lose your data a year later you will only be able to recover your data from a year ago. Your backups are only as good as the frequency that you use them. So, backup often!
THE ULTIMATE SECURE-IT CHECKLIST: STAY AHEAD OF THE SECURITY THREATS!
Protect your company’s well-being. The best defense is an aggressive offence. Be active
in securing your data. Passwords, networks, backups, mobile-devices, etc. are all critical places that a company cannot
afford to have compromised. Follow each item and make sure you meet top security best practices.
What do we do?
Here at Lighthouse IT, we use Datto to offer the best quality backup service we can. They offer enterprise-grade technology for MSPs and their small-to-medium business clients. Our clients rely on us to protect their business continuity, ensure ongoing networking, provide a single source of truth for IT business management, and secure file collaboration and backup. We use Datto to ensure that we stay trustworthy in the eyes of our clients.