What’s better…preventing an IT emergency, or fully recovering from one afterward?
“Both” is the best answer, of course. Prevention and recovery are both possible, if you have the right elements in place.
What is Data Protection?
The term “data protection” has many definitions. But this one applies the most to businesses: “The process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss.”
To accomplish this, data protection plans must include both defensive and restorative elements. Defensive elements to stop disasters from occurring (e.g., a cyberattack or natural disaster). Restorative elements to keep your company operating if a disaster does occur.
The 4 Elements of a Successful Data Protection Plan
Today, a smart data protection plan covers all network entry points. It also contains a sound backup routine in the event of a breach.
How? Through two lines of defense, and two lines of preservation.
- Email and Content Filtering
Your 1st line of defense. Email filtering prevents the majority of malicious emails from reaching your employees. Content filtering identifies all the known sites that employees shouldn’t visit, and prevents employees from visiting those.
- Employee Cybersecurity Training
Your 2nd line of defense. We discussed training in the last issue as a guard against manmade disasters. When trained, employees learn how to watch for spoofing & phishing emails, and a host of other threats. They avoid clicking on them, and you don’t have ransomware holding your data hostage.
- Software Protection
Your 3rd line of defense, and your 1st line of preservation. Protective software can catch malware and some cyberattacks when they try to break in, and block them from going further. Examples include antivirus/antimalware apps (desktop and server), anti-ransomware apps (in development), firewalls, Approved Software lists, and even user permissions.
- Multi-Stage Backups
Your 2nd line of preservation. The cybercriminal is inside your network causing damage. Multi-stage backups (both on-site and in the cloud) help you recover from the attack.
To do their job, you must set up backups properly well in advance. A single external hard drive is not sufficient for business backups. The backups should be offsite and have versioning, encryption, and regular tests (at least quarterly, but monthly is better).
Sound too complicated? Fortunately, several easy-to-implement options exist. For example, the Datto device handles local & cloud backup easily. The MSP Cloud Backup tools also work—they’re fast, and don’t get in the way. Hire an IT pro to install & maintain these, for peace of mind.
“Backups are where you stand or fall. Take every prevention step you can, but make sure your backups are rock-solid. To keep them safe, host your cloud backups in a U.S.-based datacenter. That way you have the best security protecting the backups, and they’re still easy to access if you need them.”
—Robert Douglas, PlanetMagpie
Implement all 4 Elements and Your Business is Protected in Emergencies
Given the severity of 2017’s cyberattacks and natural disasters (hurricanes, fires), it’s wise to put protections in place around your data. “Just in case” is better than, “How will we recover?”
Make sure you have all the pieces together. Email/Content Filtering, Employee Cybersecurity Training, Software Protection, and Cloud Backups. Put all of them together, and your business can survive almost anything.
Does your organization have a Data Protection Plan? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think.