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Cybersecurity Best Practice #8: Regular Backups

In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness month, let's deep dive into a previous post: The Top Best Cybersecurity Practices Your Organization Should Implement.

Regular data backups are essential for ensuring data availability and recovery in case of data loss, corruption, or cyberattacks. Here's a more detailed explanation:

  • Backup Strategy: Develop a comprehensive backup strategy that includes regular, automated backups of critical data and systems. Determine the frequency of backups based on the criticality of the data.

  • Offsite Storage: Store backups in an offsite or isolated location to prevent them from being affected by the same incident that impacts your primary data. Cloud-based backup solutions are often used for this purpose.

  • Data Retention Policies: Establish data retention policies to determine how long backups should be retained. Ensure that old backups are deleted in accordance with these policies to avoid unnecessary data exposure.

  • Incremental and Full Backups: Use a combination of incremental and full backups. Incremental backups only save changes made since the last backup, reducing storage and backup time.

  • Encryption: Encrypt backup data to protect it from unauthorized access, both in transit and at rest.

  • Test Restores: Regularly test the restore process to ensure that backups are functional and can be used for recovery. This helps avoid surprises during critical incidents.

  • Ransomware Protection: Protect backups from ransomware attacks by isolating them from the primary network and using write-once, read-many (WORM) storage solutions.

  • Documentation: Maintain detailed documentation of your backup procedures, including the location of backup copies, encryption keys, and the restoration process.

  • Backup Monitoring: Implement monitoring and alerting for your backup systems to detect any issues, such as failed backups or storage capacity problems, promptly.

Regular backups are a critical part of disaster recovery and business continuity planning. They ensure that you can recover your data and systems in the event of a cyber incident or other data loss scenarios.

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