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How backups protect you from hackers

We all know we should back up our computers. But do we actually do it? How often do you back up your computer? If that question caused you to go looking for your external hard drive in your USB drive, we can probably agree - not enough. You may use a piece of software that does a backup on your computer. When was the last time you checked that piece of software or plugged that external hard drive into your computer?

Backups only become an issue when things go badly. We don't think about backups when things are good and going along well. We only think about backups when something is wrong.


Imagine with me that you come into the office and your office manager tells you, “I cannot access the server.” After a little bit of time wrangling and trying to remember how you log into the server, you finally get logged in and see the following message: Your computer has been locked. If you would like your computer to be unlocked, you must pay us a ransom in the amount of $1,000,000. You must pay us this in the next 72 hours or we will completely destroy all the files on your computer. To pay us, it must be by Bitcoin and here's the Bitcoin number to send it to. Once you send us the $1,000,000, you then will get an access code to type into this screen and you'll have your computer back like normal.


Your mind immediately starts racing… You could probably use insurance money? You definitely don't have this kind of money in cash in your accounts. What are you supposed to do? You don't have that kind of money; and even if you did, it would go to payroll… You start by calling your IT guy. Of course, he is late today. And you keep racking your brain: What are you supposed to do? What is on that server? You quickly call your plant manager in and start asking him questions about what is on that server? Well, EVERYTHING! All of the plans, all of the manufacturing guidelines, and all of the prints that are used to run things on the line. You say, “I'll be able to run stuff, but we only have yesterday’s stuff uploaded to the machines, and that's not what we need for today. So, we can't run the line today. No, we can't access the server.” Without the server, you’re unable to access the line. So now you've realized that your whole plant is in jeopardy because you cannot access the plans on your server, and you need $1,000,000 to unlock it!


Do you know what the statistics are on hackers who use ransomware to encrypt computers - when they ACTUALLY give you the unlock code after the ransom is paid? Statistics are somewhere between 30-40% who actually give you the unlock code. So now you must find $1,000,000, and even then, you only have a 30- 40% chance that you'll actually be able to get your data back. What are you going to do?


Here's the scenario you would have if you have a backup: A daily backup of your server gives you the ability to say it doesn't matter now. You can simply revert to the backup on a new server or the same server by pulling up that backup. Managing those backups are just as crucial to making sure that that computer is running every single day. You don't realize how important your computer is until after it's gone. If you want to save yourself from being in the situation where you have no other option but to pay a ransom to retrieve the data off of your own server, then you need to back up your server every single day. You need to have a dedicated person who checks that backup every day to make sure that the server backs up. You should keep at least three backups of the same data on file at all times. That backup should not be stored in your office. It should not be stored in your house. It should rather be stored in an offsite location where nobody else sees it, and nobody else knows how to get to it except for your key people. Having a backup when the day comes you are hacked means it won't matter because you were already planning on being hacked. When that day comes, your business will be back up and operational in just a few short hours.


DataCom Technologies is here to help. We’ll do our best to answer your questions and would be happy to help you create a plan for handling your system backups. Contact us through our website or by calling 330-680-6002.


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