This time last year, employees at hospitals all over Britain arrived at work to face a dire problem. Instead of helping patients, they were greeted by black computer screens. Across the entire organization, all the computers had messages written in bright red letters. That message demanded cash payment to access important data that had been encrypted. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of the “WannaCry” outbreak of ransomware. It was so prevalent that hospitals effectively shut down. They were even forced to turn away patients in need because important systems where completely offline. And the ransomware outbreak went on to infect and ravage businesses everywhere. Back-ups were the only way to save businesses from the devastating effects of WannaCry. But as you’ll soon see, even with backups in place, a major flaw in a back-up system could leave data exposed. And when compromised by an outbreak of ransomware, your business might not recover. Once upon a time, back-ups were designed for hardware failure or accidental data deletion. Today, very real threats have changed that purpose dramatically. Yes, we still have hardware failures. But ransomware is a money-making business. With lots of money on the table, the problem will only proliferate and spread further. This means hackers see every business as potential prey for their extortion schemes. In the face of this persistent threat, businesses need a solid backup strategy to safeguard their systems and important data. Using a best practice backup strategy can virtually guarantee recovery from any kind of disaster, system crash, or ransomware outbreak. And you won’t have to worry about downtime and lost revenue.

Safeguard Your Data Using 3-2-1

Creating a bulletproof strategy is straight forward. And it’s not complicated. All you need to remember is “3-2-1.” Here’s what that means. Create 3 copies of your backup data. Place 2 copies on different storage devices. Upload 1 copy offsite. You can accomplish this by storing one copy of the data on a server, another on an on-site NAS, and a third in the cloud or offsite at second office. Here’s the best part: with a “3-2-1” backup strategy in place, data is recoverable, even if your business suffers a WannaCry catastrophe. Unfortunately, most businesses fall short of the “3-2-1” gold standard—and risk losing important data and revenue—and incurring the cost of lengthy downtime. Often, only a single NAS, server, or back-up tape stores the original backup data. Just one. And that’s incredibly risky! Hard drives will eventually fail. Tapes can go bad. The 3-2-1 method helps secure a back-up when a virus or ransomware attack hits your business. A cloud-only back-up solution is also risky because it creates just one single copy of your data. Most cloud service-level agreements do not cover backing up cloud data. And in some cases, cloud providers have crashed and lost customer data. Even worse, customers discover the problem after the back-up goes missing—or is outdated. The cloud is the ideal way to augment your 3-2-1 backups. With two copies stored locally, a third copy in the cloud can stand by for use in a disaster whether an external or internal one.

Protect Yourself Against Faulty Backups

Now comes the most important part of ANY backup strategy: testing. Untested back-ups often become non-existent back-ups. Regular monthly testing of the restore function will ensure that the back-up is working properly. What’s more, backup software has improved to support regular testing. Industry-leading backup programs not only back up your data but also include automated recovery testing features—allowing verification of backup integrity from the backup itself. Better still, an exact replica of the server can be tested in an isolated environment. Regular testing coupled with a 3-2-1 back-up plan can guarantee the integrity of your data—and keep you and your team from tears—whether from the WannaCry outbreak or the repercussions of user error. To learn how E2C can help you establish and test your 3-2-1 back-up system, contact us using the form below!