5 Data backup best practices to protect your business from ransomware

5 Data backup best practices to protect your business from ransomware

Backups are crucial to businesses, as they provide a safety net in the event of data loss, but they're even more critical in the event of a ransomware attack. This is because ransomware encrypts some or all of a business's data, effectively cutting access to live files and forcing users to rely on their backups to keep operations going.

If your Ontario business doesn't have a recent backup when ransomware hits, you can lose data access and be forced to halt your operations. To protect your data from ransomware and secure business continuity, incorporate these best practices into your data backup strategy.

1. Always have an off-site backup

Having an off-site backup is fundamental to preventing ransomware from completely crippling your business. Storing your backup in a remote location means that if your primary data is compromised by a local attack, you’ll still have a copy of your files, which you can use to restore business operations.

A good thing to keep in mind is the 3-2-1 rule in backing up data: keep three copies of your data on two different kinds of media, with one of these backups stored remotely. This will guarantee that you can restore your data even if one of your backups gets lost or corrupted.

Related reading: What to do if your backup plan fails: An SMB’s guide to disaster recovery

2. Update all of your software

Keeping all of your software up to date is important for security in general, but it's also critical for protecting against ransomware. This is because many ransomware attacks take advantage of the security gaps in outdated software to infiltrate networks.

For instance, the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 exploited a vulnerability in Windows XP, an operating system (OS) that reached its end of support in 2014. As a result, many businesses still using Windows XP were infected by the ransomware. However, those that had updated their OS were spared from the attack.

Whenever possible, set your software to update automatically to make sure that you are always using the latest version and have the necessary patches.

3. Implement Defence in Depth

A defence in depth strategy involves having multiple layers of security that work together to address software and hardware vulnerabilities as well as human error. It typically comprises security measures at different levels, such as physical security, network security, and application security. This comprehensive system of defence makes it much harder for attackers to penetrate your organization, as it requires any intruder to bypass several security checks.

XBASE Technologies can help set up multilayered security for your business, from cybersecurity measures to managed services to disaster recovery solutions to everything in between.

4. Encrypt backup data

Encrypting entails scrambling data so it becomes incomprehensible to unauthorized users. This ensures that even if your backups are compromised, the data will remain secure because cybercriminals cannot make sense of the information.

It’s best to partner with a business technology specialist that can provide strong data encryption. We at XBASE offer full-disk encryption for managed backups to ensure that on-premises data is always protected. We also implement encryption in our cloud backup services, so you can count on your backups being safe even if they're stored off site.

5. Test the backup plan regularly

It's important to regularly test your backup plan to make sure that it's working as it should. This gives you confidence that in the event of a ransomware attack, you'll be able to quickly and easily restore your data from your backups.

Typically, you'll need to test your backup plan at least once a month. However, you may need to test it whenever you modify your plan, such as if you’ve added new data sets or changed the location of your backups.

By following these best practices, you can shield your organization from ransomware. If you need help in making sure your backups deliver, drop XBASE Technologies a line. We offer EXponentially Better™ services and solutions that can help you protect your data, whether you're using on-premises, cloud, or hybrid backup solutions.