With University College London struck down by a ransomware attack which brought down its shared drives and student management system, we would urge businesses and organisations to pay renewed attention to their data backup procedures.
Last week’s cyber-attack, thought to be have been caused by a phishing email, also led to a number of University College London Hospital sites suspending their email servers as a precautionary measure in an attempt to prevent the repetition of last month’s damaging WannaCry epidemic.
This latest event reiterates just how essential data backup procedures have become. Should disaster strike or ransomware hackers come a-calling, the ability to restore critical data is key to getting a business or organisation back up and running fast.
While some may be rushing to invoke data backup solutions in the wake of the aforementioned WannaCry attack, others will be confident that their disaster recovery back-up protocols will help them survive a similar ransomware hack.
However, all too often backup testing is overlooked. Businesses and organisations can make a substantial investment and spend a lot of time backing up their data only to find that they have not captured the data they need.
An effective data backup service will only backup and restore what it is specified to and these backup selections need to be regularly reviewed to ensure you can restore what you need.
Most large companies test their disaster recovery plans at least once a year. Simple backups should be tested much more frequently.
At swcomms, we advise these tests should be carried out at least once a quarter and whenever there is a major hardware or software change to your backup system. It's particularly important to run a test after making large scale changes to the selected data.
We offer professional services to assist with test restores. We can provide as much assistance as required to complete the test restore, from one-hour remote hands upwards to whole days on site.