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The Need to Secure Your Backed Up Data

data_backup_400Your company’s data is extremely valuable, which is why you have security measures in place in order to keep hackers out of your network. Although, it’s easy to spend so much time focused on your network firewall that sometimes, securing your backed-up files gets overlooked. In the hands of a hacker, the copies of your backed up data can be just as valuable as breaching your network.

This is especially the case if your backup solution employs a full system backup, which means that 100% of your data is backed up, including your applications and operating system. If a thief were to make off with a full version of your backed up data, and they were able to successfully restore it, then they would have all of your organization’s files at their fingertips up until the point of backup. This is a scary thought because the information that can be stolen from backed up data can lead to stolen identities affecting yourself, your employees, and even your customers.

There are several different backup solutions available to your business; some are more susceptible to theft than others. The data backup solutions that are most susceptible to theft use external hardware. Backing up with tape drives and external hard drives are prime examples of this.

With tape backup, a user will typically take a full tape and store it away at the end of the day. Even external hard drives can become full and require you to store them somewhere. For examples like these, the security of your backed up data will only be as good as the physical security of your premises. The problem is that, for many businesses, storing these copies of backed up data is an afterthought. Often times, these copies of backed up data will be stored in a closet or shelf in a server room and the copies are explicitly labeled with something like “Data Backup Date/Time.”

If a thief breaks into your office and does some smart burgling, they would break through the flimsy lock on your closet, fill their black bag with copies of your backed up data, and then make a fortune selling the sensitive information to brokers over the Internet’s black market. Another scenario is if you have a disgruntled employee that understands the value of making off with an old external hard drive full of your company’s backed up data. They may want to use it as leverage to get a better position for a new job with your competitor. If you haven’t enacted any extra security measures to lock away copies of your backed up data in your office, then you might as well leave the copies on the coffee table in the waiting room and slap a bow on them with a label that reads, “Steal me, I’m super valuable!”

Digitally storing your backed up data over the network is a better solution, but even if you store your data this way, you still don’t want to make access to it as easy as accessing a regular file over your network. If so, a hacker from anywhere in the world that breaches your firewall will know that they can easily get ahold of everything important by locating the file labeled “Backup.”

When it comes to securing your backup files, encryption is one of the best security tools that you can use. With your backup files encrypted, if a hacker were to get ahold of your data, it would have the appearance of a random string of letters and numbers, making it essentially worthless. However, you and those on your IT team (that you trust) will have the decryption key, which equates to a simple password that you enter upon login that will give you access to your backed up data and decrypts it, ensuring that all of your files will be usable.

The very best data backup solution on the market is a Backup Disaster and Recovery (BDR) tool. TMS offers this as a secure solution that will deter any malicious hackers or disgruntled employees looking to rip off all of you backed up data via one easy-to-steal compressed file. BDR will backup your data to a device on your network that’s customized for your company’s data backup needs, and from there, your data will be stored to an offsite data center with impeccable security.

TMS can set you up with BDR for your business, and we can even perform a free network audit to show you where your network is vulnerable and let you know what technologies you can implement to secure your data. Don’t make stealing your data easy for those that want it; give TMS a call at 1 (626) 737-2960.