Data Security

World Backup Day: A Recommendation So Simple It Is Easily Overlooked – But Should You?

Written by: Anne Gotay 5 min read

Happy World Backup Day. If you were originally wondering like me why there is a day dedicated to backing up your data, let me tell you more. Believe it or not, March 31st has been coined as “World Backup Day” for at least the past ten years. This day is meant for both consumers and businesses to remember to back up their data, especially their sensitive data, before it is lost. Data can be lost due to insider threat, malicious activity, system failure, or human error. These mishaps can range from losing photos when you transfer data from an old to a new iPhone, all the way to costly ransomware attacks that not only render systems inoperable, but also threaten to and often do sell said data if ransom is not paid out.

According to the World Backup Day website:

  • 21% of people have never backed their data up
  • 29% of data loss is chalked up to accidents
  • 30% of all computers are infected with malware

 

Ransomware Everywhere – Backups Are Critical

This article is focused on the business side and just why backing up your data is so critical. According to Sotero’s ransomware infographic, a ransomware attack occurs every 11 seconds, in 2021 alone 121 ransomware incidents were reported, which is an increase of 64% since 2020. Without an extensive framework in place to back up all of an organization’s critical systems, a ransomware attack can bring an organization to a screeching halt. If no sufficient backups are in place, organizational downtime is exponentially increased. If backups are in place, it will still take a significant amount of time to run the breach investigation, patch vulnerabilities and loopholes, and to restore systems from backups. According to Security Boulevard, the average downtime after a breach that a company experiences is 21 days. Even worse, the downtime itself is often more costly than the ransom that is paid out if no backups exist. In 2021 the average cost of an organization’s downtime alone was $1.85 million.

 

Fast Forward Instead of Only Backing Up

Are you still wondering why backing up your data deserves a shoutout on its very own day? It is imperative, both from a cost perspective, as well as as resource and time perspective, to ensure your organization has a backup framework and solution in place. The most common solutions for backups are using external storage devices or dedicated online backup services. But in today’s threat landscape, backing up your data is no longer sufficient when it comes to keeping your business running and providing the best possible solutions for when things go awry due to internal or external factors.

Let’s review internal factors first. Even with a backup solution in place, many issues can occur. For example, if backups are not maintained on an ongoing basis, the backups will only be as useful as their latest updates. On a similar note, backup plans must be tested and executed on a periodic basis to arm a company to be ready for when an attack or data loss occurs. And let’s be clear, in today’s world, it’s not if an attack occurs, but when. Such an attack can be the difference between a resilient organization that leads innovation, or one where such a blow will leave it helplessly far behind its competitors.

When it comes to external factors, a comprehensive backup strategy is simply not enough. Even if an organization is able to back up its systems in the event of an attack or human error, data can easily be compromised and become publicly available. This brings with it a whole new host of legal issues. In the case of a ransomware attack, backups are the first line of defense to get an organization to run business as usual. Backups do not, however, protect an organization’s data from being made publicly available or sold. For this reason, organizations look to other solutions such as encryption and anomaly detection at the data level.

 

A Comprehensive Approach

Traditional data encryption solutions used to only protect data at rest, as in while it is being stored. Lately, innovative data encryption solutions have enabled organizations to protect sensitive data by keeping it encrypted regardless of where it is located or whether it’s being stored, moved, or used and analyzed. Layered with real-time anomaly detection that employs machine learning at the data level, organizations not only protect organizations at the core of their most valuable assets, but can also detect any malicious activity and halt it in its tracks. In this scenario, backups are there as an additional safety measure, while data encryption and anomaly detection at the data level keep your sensitive data secure at all times. When a threat actor attempts to steal your data, anomaly detection discovers and will stop the attack before it can be carried out. If you think this sounds interesting and that your organization is ready to take a step towards the future of data security, we’d love to talk. After all, you don’t want your organization to be called out on April Fool’s Day, right? Contact us today for a 30 minute demo of Sotero‘s data security solution.

Tags:

data protection,

data regulations,

data security

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