In the wake of recent “WannaCry” Ransomware attacks, hundreds of thousands computer systems have been affected around the world. This has raised one important question, “Are our data backup systems enough to ensure data security, privacy, and integrity?” Of course, large corporations already have disaster recovery systems in place to ensure data security but are small and medium-sized businesses ready to cope with such disasters?
There are many ways which cyber attackers employ to infect the systems. The two types which were evident in WannaCry debacle was the use of phishing emails and a faulty security patch for Windows XP. This is just one of the many threats that SMBs face as most of their data was not on the cloud or redundant backups because of cost constraints.
WannaCry ransomware, till now, has infected over 230,000 computers worldwide. It affected big conglomerates like Telefonica and FedEx. In Britain, the virus has wreaked havoc in the National Health Services network disrupting surgical procedures. The scale at which this attack was carried out is unprecedented in the history of cyber-attacks, as described by Europol.
Worldwide ransomware cyberattacks
According to Canadian cyber security firm, CGI, WannaCry is most dangerous to smaller companies. In the light of these updates small business owners need to understand how important it is to protect whatever you have worked for. Insurance safeguards businesses against unforeseen events and accidents that can adversely affect your business but what about your business data?
A backup plan can save you save small businesses owners from lots of adverse scenarios. However, according to the latest report based on a survey by CloudBerry Lab, a whopping 49% of Internet users don’t do any type of data backup. However, 11% more business users than individuals have implemented automated backup systems and 20% more business users perform daily backups. These are very depressing stats, to say the least, as businesses seem to be doing much less than what they should be doing in this regard.
The frequency of data backup should be uniform as setting up an ongoing backup plan for small and medium businesses ensures they always have the latest copy of the files available in case things go south.
Easy & Simple
In ancient history, backing-up your data was a complex process as not everyone was able to conduct the process totally on his own. It required copying data to tapes and later tapes were replaced by diskettes. Now you don’t have to fret a lot as there are quite a few companies that offer cost-effective backup services. So, business owners have no valid excuse now for not going for data backup.
The process of data backup won’t have far reaching consequences if at least one of the copies is not stored off-site. The cloud-based backup comes into play here. In this way, a business owner can be spared of taking the external hard-drive with him all the time. In using a cloud-based data back-up, it can be remotely stored anywhere across the globe.
As a business owner, you can also have the luxury of choosing that location. It is a good ploy to save the data to a different region or country, because in case a disaster happens or war begins, you can easily retrieve the data from that unaffected region rather than choosing your same city or region.
Cloud-based backup services offer greater security than backing up data onto your own servers. It doesn’t mean, however, cloud backup is foolproof. Choosing a business-class solution for greater security is a good bet rather than a consumer backup or free service. This aspect, however, depends on the funds that you’ve allocated for backing up mission-critical data. So, choose a data backup solution that fits your budget.
WannaCry Ransomware virus alert
There can be specific industry security standards like HIPAA regulation that some businesses require. If your venture also falls in the same category, be sure to ask your service provider to offer you that level of security.
The last factor is about how quickly you can retrieve the data, that is, how quickly you can access your backup when you really need it the most. Some services allow you to get it quickly while others may require 24-hour turnaround time. Even a few hours can be too long in some cases so you need to check this aspect too before finalizing the cloud-based data backup service. The quicker the recovery is the more it’s going to cost you. But it’s always good to invest in this to protect you against ransomware attacks similar to WannaCry that we’re witnessing these days.
You need to assess all your requirements before finalizing your data backup plan. The hackers are always altering their techniques to defeat anti-viruses and firewalls by exploiting the system’s vulnerabilities, so protecting against ransomware can be difficult for small businesses. Therefore, going for professional help is always the best option. But If you feel you can handle it yourself, then installing robust antivirus programs, firewalls (both software and hardware) and implementing strong data backup plans can help in minimizing the severity of such attacks.