One of the key components of any computer infrastructure is the completion and testing of backups.
In the past, backups were used primarily to restore data in case of accidental deletion, a corrupt file or complete system crash.
Today there is an additional cause for good backups, ransomware.
Ransomware is advanced software that holds your data hostage and does not let you access it. Generally, the data is there on your hard drive, but it cannot be accessed as it has been encrypted and you do not have the key.
One of the most prevalent ways that ransomware can get on your computer is via SPAM emails that contain attachments that are nefarious in nature. Once the attachments are opened, the program goes to work and looks for and encrypts targeted files. Now you may be stuck in a bad place and will have to pay to get the key so that you can decrypt the files. But are you really stuck?
This is where the backup comes into play. Backups conducted over time and at
regularly scheduled intervals will allow you to restore your data from a time prior to it being
encrypted after the infected machine has been cleaned.
“Over time” is a particularly important concept here as there are some variations of ransomware that infect your machine but do not encrypt immediately. This means that your backups will contain the same virus that you are trying to avoid so you may have to dig deeper into the archives to retrieve a clean copy of that file to ensure that you do not restore an infected file back to a clean machine.
While this article is very simplified, your backup plan will most definitely be more complicated. You will want to look into how often you are doing full backups and how long you are going to keep them. There are weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even annual full backups that you will want to take into consideration. A well thought out backup retention plan can go along way to helping you restore your data and functionality and quite possibly save you a lot of money, time and effort.
If you would like help setting up a complete backup scheme give us a call. We can keep your network secure so you can focus on your business.