While many businesses are moving their data backups to the Cloud, others are maintaining local backups too – and this is a great practice when it comes to security considerations. A local backup can prove to be very convenient in times of need such as a loss of data, or a ransomware or malware attack. You can have your systems up and running in no time and avoid paying cybercriminals to recuperate your data.
Nonetheless, local data backup is not immune to data breaches, so security strategies become vital for data protection. If you have opted to maintain local backup, make sure you have policies in place. Many cybersecurity experts suggest implementing the 3-2-1 method. This eliminates the on-premises vs. cloud security system dilemma because you use a combination of the two.
Companies should maintain at least three copies of data backup with two of those copies being stored locally in different locations or on different mediums and placing the third copy on the Cloud with a storage provider.
What to Do to Protect Local Data Backup
When storing backup data, you need to update all your security policies for data storage. These should include:
- Access control of the locations where your data is stored.
- Automated backups and data collection procedures.
- Cloud backup if included in your storage plan.
- User account accesses to storage servers.
- Safety for offline hardware data backup should internet devices or networks become compromised.
You can use a combination of several strategies for local backup such as:
- A USB flash drive is ideal for certain files but not generally sufficient for an entire operating system,
- A compatible external hard drive with adequate storage space,
- Cloud storage can store anything and encrypt it. It can be used as a primary or secondary backup system that can be accessed from any device or computer anywhere where the internet is present. Cloud systems are scalable to increase or decrease with your company’s growth or reductions and are incredibly more affordable than a hardware investment. They also are secure and easily accessible.
- Optical media such as DVDs or CDs provide a physical backup that does not require much space but is susceptible to data loss due to scratches or damages,
- Online backup service vendors to backup company data, encrypt and store it. This is an interesting solution in the event of computer or device theft or a computer crash.
- A NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. You can also choose to manually copy your data or to use the built-in backup software in your computer such as Apple’s Time Machine.
Have a Response Plan Ready in the Event of an Incident
Storing data locally does offer some peace of mind because it is more readily accessible. Yet, if a disaster such as a fire or an extreme weather event floods your storage location, you will need a plan for the devices storing company data backup. The company needs to have the plan to secure, recuperate or physically move stored data.
Company computers and devices are misplaced, stolen, and lost more than one would like or imagine. If that device contains data backup, your company might be in trouble. While access controls should be in place, encrypting all your data will add more protection. Should a bad actor obtain a backup device, he will be unable to access encrypted data. Encrypt hard drives.
Choose Your Physical Storage Location with Care
If you are storing backups within the company premises, they should not be in a spot where just anyone can get near the storage devices or where there is a lot of people traffic. Opt for a locked storage room, closet, cabinet, or similar. Other options include keeping your data stored locally but not in the same building. In the event of a fire or other disaster, this can be a saving move especially if your business is in an area that is subject to hurricanes, tornados, or flooding.
You can also consider using a storage service vendor. These are facilities that specialize in keeping data securely stored. They may also offer automation of backup data so that you are not required to manually update and risk missing one. When selecting a storage service vendor, make sure to inspect their storage facilities, delivery services, and all cybersecurity policies that are in place to evaluate if they offer the kind of security you need.
Preparing Your Local Data Backup
When preparing your local data backup, identify the important data that needs to be protected from loss. Not all of your company’s data will have the same level of importance to your company. Select the local backup method that is most conducive to your company’s operations. When you choose a physical location, make sure it is safe and secure. If you opt for an external hard drive or USB flash drive, make sure you store it in a safe that is both water and fire-proof.
If your company grows or reorganizes make sure to re-evaluate your backup plan and make any necessary adjustments per your company’s needs. Finally, test your backups at regular intervals to ensure that your data can always be readily accessed.
Never Shortchange Security When Creating Data Backups
If the day comes when you need your local backup, you’ll be relieved that you chose to prepare in advance and save your business from an operational standstill.