The number of exposed data records this year, has 2019 on track “to be the worst year on record for data breach activity.” In a recent survey, 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report, 4.1 billion records have been exposed in data breaches so far this year — up 54% from this time last year. Three breaches have made the top 10 list of largest breaches of all time and affected more than 100 million records.
Data breaches, viruses, cyber crime, malware and ransomware attacks, disasters and even accidents, can happen to anyone, at anytime. Having a backup strategy can eliminate the crushing blow of losing all of your personal and professional data.
Considering external threats alone, let’s look at how big the Malware problem currently is. In 2015, 470 million malware attacks were reported. In 2019 that number has more than doubled. Already, this year, there have been over 900 million attacks reported. Think it can’t happen to you? Think again.
Recently, Microsoft revealed a Windows security vulnerability that could see a “wormable” attack which transmits from one system to another. This could be as devastating as WannaCry was in 2017. Microsoft also said that nearly 1 million systems could get attacked if not updated to their latest security update. And, that’s just one Windows threat.
Now, just think about all of the emails you get. Click on one infected link, and Cybercriminals can use seemingly unimportant data and patch it together to commit identity theft. It’s also a “banner year” for Ransomware attacks; criminals encrypt the system’s data and then demand a ransom to decrypt it—swindling victims of billions of dollars a year. Then, there are the Supply Chain Attacks, wherein a legitimate software vendor pushes out what looks like a trustworthy software update to users, but it’s really a destructive instrument of cyberwar.
A strong backup strategy can give you peace of mind. Knowing that when (not if) the unexpected happens, your data is safe and readily accessible.
Brett Gallant of Adaptive Office Solutions said, “I have a client who did backups regularly. In fact, she was so good she sent data to an external hard drive every day. One day she was talking with someone and, gesturing with her hands, she accidentally knocked the hard drive off the table and it came crashing to the floor. I said, ‘No worries, everything is on your laptop, we’ll just get you a new device.’ Wrong… the data was only on the hard drive. We were able to send the drive to a data recovery expert, who was able to extract her files… for the low, low price of $800! Now we automate backups for her.”
As a starting point, he recommends that you back up the following:
- Files and Documents
- Current ’works-in-progress’ (Projects, Research, Presentations etc.)
- Client/Contact Information
- Financial Records
- Accounts Receivable/Payable
- Internet Favourites
Backing up your data must be an automated daily task with multiple backup devices. It should be noted that sending backups to a hard drive does you no good if there is a disaster (fire, theft) etc. The more places your data is backed up, the better. Meaning, you don’t have to pick between locally-stored, physical backup and backing up in the cloud. Choosing both is your safest bet.
If you happen to lose your data due to any of the previously mentioned reasons, having current backup is the best course of action. Secure, online backup solutions are a great option because it takes out the human element of changing the usb drives or remembering to take the drives home.