March 31, 2020 marks the first World Backup Day of the new decade—and with the continual evolution of newer and more devastating cyber threats, backing up your systems and processes has taken on new importance. Just one click of a phishing email or inadvertent malware download can make your system vulnerable to any number of data-destroying events, bringing your business to a halt.
However, if you’re properly backed up, you can quickly recover any lost data as soon as the threat is neutralized. Learn why backups should be the foundation of any company’s cybersecurity plan and the specific types of cyber threats that a solid backup plan can protect against.
Why Back Up?
Failing to backup a personal computer, tablet, or cell phone can mean losing photos, contacts, and documents if the network is breached. While inconvenient, these losses generally don’t have a major impact on one’s daily life, even if not all data can be recovered.
But failing to backup business data can be like skydiving without a reserve parachute. If your data is compromised, you may be unable to transact business for days or even weeks while you try to rebuild your systems. For instance, losing inventory data for your retail business can mean putting future sales on hold until you’re able to see what you have in stock and ensure that you can fulfill orders in a timely manner.
Businesses that are forced to shut down temporarily after a cyber attack can lose money, lose customers and, if they’re transparent about the underlying reason for their temporary hiatus, even lose public trust.
What Cybersecurity Threats Make Backing Up a Necessity?
There are a couple of common cybersecurity threats that tend to thrive among those who don’t make regular backups a part of their IT security plan.
Ransomware attacks occur when a breach in a system’s security allows a hacker to gain a foothold. The hacker then locks the user out of their own system and demands a ransom (often payable in bitcoin or another hard-to-trace currency) in order to let the user back in.
Faced with a choice between paying a ransom to retrieve their data and risking the time and disruption of starting fresh, many business owners opt to pay out of pocket to avoid any disruption in their operations. But with the average ransomware payment exceeding $40,000 in 2019, failing to back up can be an incredibly expensive oversight.
This nautical name refers to the practice of sending a targeted, urgent-sounding message to a business employee or executive, requesting that the recipient click on a link to enter sensitive personal or financial information before an order can be processed or shipped. Spear phishing uses a variety of data-gathering methods to make these messages sound as though they come from a trusted source, and busy workers who want to avoid any potential business interruptions may be lulled into clicking on a harmful link.
Unfortunately, after such a link is clicked or a harmful file is downloaded, business interruption is exactly what ensues. The hacker may steal and sell information or use its access to your business’s network to turn your computers into expensive paperweights.
If you’re not sure your current backup protocol is enough to protect you from cyber threats, FutureLink IT can help. Check out our “8 Cyber Security Myths” infographic or click here to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts.