There’s a bit of a debate going on right now in the tech world after a recently published article by Forbes stated that backing up your data will do little to protect you from a ransomware attack. The theory is that if a ransomware attack penetrates your system and encrypts your data, the backup system will simply backup the encrypted data as well. You might be wondering, “Does backup and recovery help prevent ransomware?”
There is, of course, some truth to Forbes’ theory. However, there are many additional factors that need to be considered, such as whether your backup system is offsite, how often backups are performed, and whether other cybersecurity measures are in place to prevent malware from infecting the backup systems. In short, backup and recovery does help prevent ransomware’s devastating effects.
Backups Do Help to Prevent Ransomware
Ransomware attacks have become more targeted and sophisticated over the years. A recent study by Sophos found that half of all businesses experience a ransomware attack at some point. Of course, many of these attacks are repelled because of efficient cybersecurity protocols. But for those organizations that weren’t sufficiently protected, nearly 75 percent found their data encrypted and unaccessible.
It was also noted that most of those organizations that were victims of the ransomware attack were able to retrieve their data via a robust backup and recovery system rather than paying a ransom to the hacker.
So, if you want to be semantically correct, backing up your data won’t actually prevent a ransomware attack. However, an efficient and well-protected backup and recovery system can help you successfully retrieve your data and avoid having to give in to a hacker’s demands. Consider these best practices for data backups to improve your protection against ransomware.
Develop a Comprehensive Backup Plan
Backing up your data is imperative not just as a defense against ransomware attacks but also to ensure your data is preserved in the event of a natural disaster, accidental data loss, or data corruption. In today’s landscape of hybrid offices and remote workers, ensuring that data is backed up from all endpoints is crucial.
The backup plan should follow the 3-2-1 rule: three copies of your data, two backups stored on different media, and one stored on a network that is isolated from your business network.
Use Tape or a Mechanical Backup
Cloud storage is the popular form of data backup for many organizations, but it is not completely resistant to a ransomware attack itself. Instead, you can consider keeping at least one of your backups on a tape or some other mechanical system that can remain offline after the backup is complete. This ensures you have a clean copy that cannot be infected or encrypted.
Backup Data Regularly
Your backup plan should also state how often you will back up your data. A general rule of thumb is to run a backup at least once a day. Backups are typically performed in the evening or overnight when they are less likely to interfere with other network traffic. It is also wise to maintain several generations of clean backups, because some ransomware will delay the attack in order to avoid detection and first infect backup systems.
Work With an IT Services and Cybersecurity Provider
Cyberattacks against businesses of all sizes, in all industries, are increasing each year. To minimize the risk of cyberthreats, protect company data and ensure smooth network operations, many companies choose to work with a managed IT provider that offers advanced cybersecurity services.
DataTap’s services include robust data backup and recovery services, a great benefit to any business. Contact our team today to learn more about how you can protect your business from ransomware and preserve your data integrity.