Best Way to Protect Data

The best way to protect data is by storing them securely from any catastrophic disasters. There are best practices to keep personal and business information safe and 100% available.

Best way to protect your data forever from catastrophic disaster
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Table of Content

Protecting data is Crucial

Disasters are unpredictable that leads to partial or complete data loss. Hence, protecting data has always been crucial for everyone. Whether you are an organization or an individual, this must be your top priority.

Personal data is different from business data. Personal data is about sentimental photos, videos, music, files, and other documents. But business data is more about employee’s information, financial files, and infrastructure information that runs the organization.  Nevertheless, they are all important information for both parties at the end of the day.

We now live in a different time where the world is no longer the same as it was ten years ago. Cybercrime has increased drastically. According to Alertlogic.com, a company is hit by ransomware every 40 seconds worldwide. 

While enterprises are the most affected, malware does not pick its victim. This downloadable software puts any data at high risk. Just one click on the wrong link, it’s a call for disaster. The virus immediately restricts access to your systems and there is no immunity to such infection.

Well, malware has always been a nuisance for everyone. It causes costly damages. Mainly for those with no protection or a backup.

What is a Malware?

Malware is a downloadable program that demolishes systems with all your hard work. This program can be hard to identify over the internet as it might look like legit apps. 

However, such software is a device destroyer. It damages anything such as computers, servers, clients, networks, and even mobile phones. The common Malware includes viruses, worms, trojan viruses, spyware, and ransomware. 

Such software infects the entire system to prevent or limit access to your device. It typically locks the screen and encrypts your data. Ransomware is the type of infection that encrypts files making these files unreadable or inaccessible. It’s a common technique to demand payment in return for an encryption key.

Let’s understand ransomware.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a malicious program, another type of Malware. This malicious software encrypts selected files using a custom/modified public Key infrastructure.

It typically gets downloaded onto any system whenever users visit malicious sites or links. But usually, it comes through email attachments. These attachments are known as Crypto Viruses. They might look legit enough to get your attention. Once opened, it immediately encrypts files on your system.

No antivirus can protect you against such infection. If you have no backup, there is no choice other than to pay for the ransom.

How does Ransom Payment works?

The most common payment is bitcoins, iTunes, or Amazon gift cards.

Ransomware has been a critical concern for every individual & organization today. However, this seems a working method for hackers to extort money from their victims. Exceptionally for those with no backup solution in place.

Despite paying for the ransom, there is no guarantee of getting your data back. The ratio is one out of five never gets back their files.

Best practices to protect your data

Antivirus Software is definitely not an immunization to Malware. But, there are best practices that protect your data.

Backup is one of the solutions. Backing up data is what safeguard personal and company data. However, a business backup solution is designed differently from an individual backup solution. A private backup solution is less complex and cheap.

Personal Backup

A personal backup solution is simple and less expensive. It does not require much effort to implement. All you need is an off-site storage system where you can keep a copy of your files, photos, music, and videos. Off-site means somewhere away from your devices.

These personal backup storages are either external hard drives or these advanced Cloud Storage which is more practical. Most people find Cloud Storage more efficient and the best way to backing up their data.

I personally prefer Cloud storage to the traditional hard drive. That is because hard drives are more expensive and less expandable than Cloud storage. If ever the hard drive fails, it cost a fortune to recover. Perhaps it might not be recoverable. Cloud storage is scalable, and you only pay what you need currently. You can increase storage space as data grows. It works out to be far much cheaper than physical hard drive storage.

Visit BigMIND Home for affordable and reliable personal cloud storage. You only pay as you grow.  

BigMIND Personal Cloud Storage for all personal backup to protect data

Business Backup

Obviously, a company’s backup solution is different from a personal backup. Business backup is more complex with specific needs, and it cost a bit more than a private backup solution. The reason behind this is that a company has more requirements.

A company must follow a specific roadmap designed by its IT infrastructure. This roadmap is usually part of a Business Continuity plan. These plans are structured to quickly restore or recover business data in the event of any catastrophic disaster. The main objective is to have businesses go back online as fast as possible.

Snapshots solutions are typically the fastest recovery plan. It allows IT teams to restore their best-known copy in the event of file loss, corruption, or infection. Unfortunately, snapshots are not the best solution to fully protect data. Snapshots have retention limitations that are dependent on the storage system. For instance, snapshots could be at risk if the storage system fails.

After snapshots, replication is another recovery system. Replication enables rapid recovery from hardware or site outages. But replication alone does not provide complete protection against file errors or deletions. Corrupted files can replicate to the secondary backup site.

The best way to fully protect your data is to have backups in addition to snapshots and replication. Backups are fully independent copies of data.

Best way to backup your data

A backup storage system is your second line of defense after snapshots and replication solutions. As the best way to effectively mitigate the threat of data loss, there is a 3-way backup rule to take into consideration.

  1. Local Backup Plan – Keep at least two local copies (a primary and one secondary copy) for faster recovery and avoid losing data to a faulty backup.
  2. Secondary Backup Plan – Store each copy on two different media types. One copy on a tape drive and the other one on a disk.
  3. Off-Site Backup Plan – Keep at least one backup copy off-site away from your network. This way, you can recover a good copy in the event of infections within your network. Cloud Storage or Tape Drive are usually used in such scenarios. 
How to Backup Data efficiently to protect against cyber attacks?

Reason to keep backup history

There’s no doubt that backups are the best way to protect a company’s data. But, creating one backup is not enough for complete protection. Hence, it is recommended to keep old backups, thus not overwriting older data to maintain a backup history.

Backup history is another key to getting lost data back quickly. For example, if you discover deleted files weeks later or a virus several days after. Perhaps, you might need to downgrade to a previous version of the operating. Backup history saves hours, days, or weeks of your time. You can restore the original environment fast.

Furthermore, it makes sense to save weekly backups for a long time. Companies that take backup seriously keep them for several months or even years.

On the other side, an organization’s backup solution holds a large volume of information. That means maintaining a large volume of backups history in one place you would require storage space. 

What is Data Partitioning?

Data partitioning is a primary step to data prioritization during backup and restores processes. It also contributes to saving money on a backup solution while having complete data protection. 

The importance of having data categorization is because not all data are treated the same. Information should be categorized to create the best tier of data. This way, you have more control over your data to spend less on a storage system. 

Data are categorized into three tiers (Critical Data, Operational Data, and Historical Data).

  • Critical Data are information that could cause business losses. They are actual data required 24×7 with almost zero data loss are tolerated. 
  • Operational Data are related information that can disrupt the usual business activity when data loss. These data are also important, but not as these critical data resulting in catastrophic business loss. 
  • Historical Data are rarely accessed. They are usually stored off-site, often used for legal purposes. However, these historical data can be beneficial during an infected network. It is served as a last resort to restore a good copy. 

Thanks for the existence of Tape Drive. It’s one of the most robust and cheapest data protection strategies for critical data and operational data.

You can then move your historical data to a cloud storage system for more storage space. Zoolz Cloud Backup is fully HIPAA & GDPR compliance. It offers 1TB of storage that includes unlimited users & servers with top-notch data protection for only $15 per month. 

Why do you need a disaster recovery plan?

A disaster recovery (DR) plan is a formal document that contains detailed steps or actions to follow during unplanned incidents. Those incidents can be natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, or other disruptive events.

Business disruptions can severely affect revenue, brand damage, and customer dissatisfaction. For this reason, organizations have a DR plan to minimize the effects of a disaster so they can resume business as quickly as possible.

A plan on just paper is not enough. You require a technology that can assist with data restoration. This technology enables businesses to restore from a healthy backup. Thus, organizations can regain full access to go back to business as usual.

With that said, there’s no disaster recovery without a well-planned backup. While referring to (best way to backup your data), you should cover the basics to design your backup plan. You can then build on top to fit your business needs.

If you are looking for a Disaster Recovery tool, I recommend taking a look at iDrive BMR Pro. It offers both onsite and offsite backup solutions. This technology includes tons of features to prepare for any unforeseen disruptive events. In addition, it’s very affordable compared to its direct competitors out there.

IDrive BMR Pro

Onsite Bare-Metal Recovery with Cloud Replication

IDrive BRM Pro as a partner of VMware, offers ESXi/vCenter, virtualization, cloud, and Network-attached (NAS) backup. It uses AES 256-Bit for encryption, block-level dedupe and compression for storage efficiency, and many features for an effective backup solution. 

Here’s a short list of features:

  • BMR NAS uses the most popular transfer protocols such as SMB, NFS, AFTP, SFTP, and iSCSI.
  • VMware Backup with the ability to restore and replicate to cloud.
  • De-duplication and compression to save precious storage space.
  • AES 256-Bit Encryption for both onsite and cloud backup.
  • Snapshots point-in-time recovery capability.
  • Built-in KVM hypervisor for instant virtualization.
  • Incremental Backup to save network bandwidth and cloud storage space.
  • Business compliance & Business Associate Agreement (BAA)

The only downside, the service is only available in the USA, UK, and Canada. However, if you contact their 24/7 support, they may assist you with the best solution. 

Conclusion

In reality, there is no immunity against Malware. But there are best practices to keep your data always available under your fingertips. Even if your device gets hacked. 

  • For Personal data protection, always have an off-site backup.
  • Businesses should categorize their data for the best backup solution. It helps to quickly restore, save storage space, and spend less money on storage solutions while keeping data protected. 

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