Backup your data now, not later

How many of us have experienced difficulties in opening an important file, found you’re unable to access data you need, or even experienced a hard drive failure resulting in the loss of important documents or photos stored on it? Just imagine that all your important data was unavailable, how would that impact your business?

Ransomware, for example, is a type of malware used by cybercriminals that causes data on your computer and wider network, to be encrypted meaning you can no longer access it. You will then receive a ‘ransom’ demand, or an on-screen notification, from the cybercriminal, explaining how to make a payment to unlock your computer and regain access to your data. Payment is usually demanded in a cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. If you have a back-up of your data then you are able to ensure your business can continue to operate.

Although ransomware is one reason why it is important to create a backup copy of your important data. This also applies when your device is lost or stolen, your device breaks, or the data is accidentally deleted.

When you make a backup, make sure it is stored in a separate safe location, whether that is on the internet (known as cloud storage), on removable media (such as USB stick, SD card) or external hard drive. This is very important because if it’s not saved separately from your main network/ computer then it’s vulnerable to encryption if and when a successful attack occurs.

On World Backup Day (31 March) everyone is encouraged to be prepared for data loss and data theft and to backup and better protect their data.

The National Cyber Resilience Centre provides in depth guidance on this, so, if you aren’t already backing up now is the time to start.

Case Study

Organisations of all sizes can become victims of ransomware and in a recent case the victim was able to quickly recover, due to their robust backup policy.

Despite the suspect deleting all evidence of their malicious activity, police and the victim were able to build a picture of the attack method and source from the suspicious activity logged and forensically stored by Police CyberAlarm. This proved invaluable in helping the member to better secure themselves against follow up attacks and improve their cyber security posture.

Police CyberAlarm (PCA) is a free tool that can help organisations better protect themselves. It does this by monitoring and reporting on any suspicious activity taking place against your organisation so that you have a better understanding of the threats your business faces, whilst giving you the chance to take action and minimise the damage an attack could cause. So, register today!.

If you do fall victim to a successful ransomware attack then you are the victim of a crime and should contact Action Fraud to report it. Reporting fraud and cybercrime | Action Fraud