Back it up: Two ways to avoid losing your data

There are many ways you can lose data from your computer or mobile devices, but the most common causes tend to be:

  1. Equipment or system failure, such as the hard drive crashing
  2. Human error, such as accidentally deleting files or dropping your phone
  3. Viruses and malware, with ransomware becoming a growing threat

Anyone who has been the victim of data loss can tell you the most expensive and time-consuming part of the ordeal involves the data recovery and reconstruction.

Now that companies are moving more and more towards paperless systems, loss of data can make reconstruction impossible when digital records are gone.

Here are two things you can do to help facilitate successful data recovery in the event of a cyberattack, equipment breakdown or human error. While requiring a bit of set-up, these tips could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future.

Back up data to a remote server or cloud provider

First, back up your data. And not just on your desktop or portable drive you keep on location. There are a number of cloud providers that can back up your data on servers remotely.

When choosing a service, it’s important to consider how the data is backed up. Is the service backing up your files or your entire system? If the service only backs up your files and you need to restore the system, you will have to reinstall software, including the operating system.

When choosing a cloud provider, research their record for security. Cloud providers have been breached and are common targets for hackers. Read reviews, especially those written by security researchers.

Back up data to a removable device

Modern ransomware attacks can encrypt both targeted systems and their cloud backups, so it’s essential to have a contingency plan.

To prepare for data loss resulting from attacks like this, be sure to back up data periodically to a removable device. Conducting these regularly and making sure the device is not always connected to your system is essential. The value of disconnecting your backup is that it won’t be vulnerable to a cyberattack if your system is targeted.

The removable back up should be encrypted and password protected. This is critical because portable data can easily be stolen or lost.

Finally, store your removable backup in a secure off-site location. In case of fire, flood or other disaster, your data has a better chance of surviving.

For more helpful tips, visit The National Cyber Security Alliance’s resource page on backing up data.


© 2017 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only and does not modify or invalidate any of the provisions, exclusions, terms or conditions of the applicable policy and endorsements. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable coverage form.

Monique Ferraro

Monique is counsel in Munich Re’s US Cyber Practice at HSB. Previously, she was principal at a digital forensics, e-discovery and information security consulting firm and owner of a law firm. Ms. Ferraro is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

One comment

  • From my point of view, people who are planning to back up their data must hire a reputable IT service that will be able to do the job successfully. Well, thank you for sharing here that they should consider how they back up their data too. It’s a good thing that you suggested here that it would be a huge help if they store their files in a secure off-site location.

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