An Overlooked Security Issue

When it comes to the security of your financial data there is an overlooked security issue I see frequently. No, it’s not weak passwords or failure to change them frequently, nor is it allowing people access to information to which they shouldn’t have access. All these are indeed ones I see frequently, but they are not the one I’m thinking of that exposes the data of so many companies to problems. So what is it?

Backups

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people and companies who cannot seem to comprehend that a failure of a hard drive of other device can mean disaster. Ever since I began using computers in business I made it a habit to make regular backups. But regular is not enough.

Frequency

Even if your backups are regular they also need to be frequent enough to prevent the loss of a large amount of data in the event of a failure. For example, imagine you do regular backups every Friday. That’s great and better than nothing, but if you are processing a lot of data and your hard drive fails late Thursday afternoon, you have lost four days of activity. The amount of transactions you are recording will largely determine the frequency needed, but I urge you to err on the side of caution and do backups more rather than less frequently.

Rotating Backups

If all your backups are done to the same device, what happens if your hard drive fails and you them learn that the backup you were counting on is also on a defective devise. While the failure of both may seem far-fetched, trust me it is not. In fact it’s entirely possible that something like a power surge could occur during a backup and damage both the drive you’re backing up and the device being used to backup. Then what do you do? That is why it is a good idea to have more than one device for backups. If one fails then you have another to use. While I’m at it, let me just say that I have a tendency to have several backups that I rotate regularly. Perhaps it is a throwback to years ago watching the frustration when a computer crashed while someone was working on a spreadsheet. With a large spreadsheet it can take a while to reconstruct what was lost. You don’t want that experience and the frustration that goes with it.

frustrated employee

Either an insufficient frequency or failure to rotate backups can be an overlooked security issue.

Offsite, Offsite, Offsite

I put the title of this section in triplet because it is that important. Okay, so you are making frequent, regular backups and you are diligently rotating your backup media. Is that enough? Well if you are storing your backups in the same building as the drive(s) you are backing up, then the answer is an emphatic no! A fire, flood, theft, or a host of other events could leave you in a position where you no longer have the original data, but you also no longer have a backup. Backing up online is one way to deal with this, but you can also be sure to store backups off premises.

These are just a few things to consider. Don’t let protecting your data be an overlooked security issue that may destroy your business.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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