What ever you do, backup your data!

I think it’s fair to say that data is our most important asset.

Let’s be honest we have so much of it. In our personal lives we’re creating data daily in photographs and posts and emails and then in business we have all that valuable customer data, intellectual property coma even the emails and communications that we send.

Every piece of data that we have has a value.

The question that we always ask ourselves is – what if I lost this data?

It doesn’t really become a problem until the fateful day comes when you do lose the data and suddenly your entire world collapses.

I’ve been in information security now for over 20 years and with all the changes that have come there are still only a handful of things that we recommend that people do, not matter what. Pretty near the top of that list is ensuring that we back up our data.

Information security is about the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. That third tenant availability is so often overlooked.

Nearly all the information security standards from ISO 27001 to SOC 2 will have a requirement for backing up data and ensuring the security of that backup.

So, my top tips when it comes to backing up data are

  • Have a back up policy
  • Identify the information that is the most important to you
  • Ensure that that data is adequately backed up

There are things that you can do that will help you to identify what kind of a backup you should be doing around that data. A great tip is to conduct a business impact analysis. This will identify the key systems and key data for your organisation, and it will include working out what is the longest time that you can go without data and what is the last recovery point in terms of time that you can afford to lose.

If you’re only backing up once a week then you have to consider that potentially you will lose up to six days’ worth of information. If you’re backing up every day then you’re going to potentially lose up to 23 hours of new data.

I don’t claim to be an expert in backups and backup technology, but I do know a company that is. I7 Technologies should be your first stop when it comes to working out what your backup requirements are and providing you wave cost effective solutions. Do you self a favour and give them a call.

Stuart Barker is an ISO 27001 practitioner at High Table. He has been in information security for over 20 years. Today he is making information security templates available to business.