Is your data backed up in case of disaster?

Disasters can come in many forms, and when the disaster involves the data on your computer, do you have a viable backup to restore from?

We have recently seen a rise in Ransomware attacks, normally from seemingly innocent emails informing the recipient of a failed delivery attempt or an unpaid invoice. These emails can even appear to come from someone that you know, but unless you are 100% certain that the email is genuine, don’t open it.

Why are backups important with Ransomware?

Ransomware is a piece of cleverly crafted software that encrypts all the files on your computer then demands money, usually as bitcoins, to decrypt your files so that you can get back to business. With a recent and viable backup, you don’t have to pay the ransom as you can just remove the software and restore your files from your backup. If you don’t have a viable backup then the only way to get your files back is to pay up!

Backup options

There are many different methods of backing up your data, so we will only cover the more common methods here:

  • Online ‘cloud’ backup
  • Local network attached storage device backup
  • USB device backup

Online ‘cloud’ backup

If you only have a small number of files to backup then this can be the most cost effective as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud all have a free tier that gives a certain amount of online storage, however the backup tools provided with these free services can be somewhat limited.

A ‘true’ online backup service will cost around £30 to £50 per year for a 250Gb (or in some cases unlimited) plan and will come with software to automate the backup process.

Local NAS backup

Network Attached Storage devices are becoming more common in the small office and home environment where they can be used as central file servers / media servers. As these devices are often configured with a RAID, they are an ideal device to become a local backup for all your computers. For Mac users, most NAS devices can be configured as ‘Time Machine’ targets so that you can use OS X’s built in time machine backup software. For Windows users the ‘Windows Backup’ can be used with a NAS, or other backup solutions can be purchased that have additional features.

USB device backup

With the continued reduction in price of portable USB hard drives, this is becoming a favoured backup device for many organisations.  You can have several devices and store them onsite or offsite, BUT you do have to remember to plug them in and perform the backup task regularly to ensure that you have a recent backup.

Summary

We recommend that at the very least any organisation should use one of the above backup solutions. For many of our clients we adopt a dual solution where they have a cloud backup service and an on-site NAS or USB device backup. This gives the advantage of an off-site backup via the cloud service and a very fast retrieval system from the on-site backup.

If you would like more information or a free no obligation check-up of your current backup processes, please contact us.