4 Best Practices for Backing Up Endpoints in Your Business

Backing Up Endpoints, risk management, information security
Follow these critical steps to minimize threats to data in highly mobile environments.

The risk of data loss can keep any IT manager up at night. Disappearing data can cause major expense and even serious damage to the credibility of a business and significantly affect the productivity of ­individual employees and workgroups.

Endpoints are particularly vulnerable, with risks springing up like a perpetual game of Whac-A-Mole: user error; unauthorized data modification or other malicious action; and mobile devices being damaged, lost or stolen.

Today’s vast number of mobile workers and the adoption of BYOD programs add to the challenge. Critical and even sensitive data roams out and about on endpoints not always under the direct control of a company’s IT team.

Although backups might simply involve regularly copying files to a USB drive or cloud-sharing service, the most effective strategies encompass far more. It’s important to start with up-to-date operating policies, and then assure the integrity and security of data on all authorized devices.

Best practices and solutions will make these backups simpler, certain, compliant and complete.

To do that requires incorporating these tactics to help lock down endpoint security:

 

1. Make Backups Automatic and Easy for Users 

End users must comply with company-specific backup requirements but should not be responsible for implementing them.

Although it is acceptable for users to make working copies with a flash drive or online (if secure and within policy), the company should require employees to regularly connect to the corporate network for backups.

Backup solutions should be automatic and transparent at best, and at the very least easy — ideally with no user interaction required. The IT team should train users about how to restore information, unless IT handles this function on behalf of users.

 

2. Cloud Backups Keep Data Safe 

It’s easy today to use public and private clouds for backup, with a wide variety of cost-effective products and services available.

The cloud also has a huge advantage over local backup volumes: The technology minimizes losses that can occur because of events such as fire, flood, theft and related physical security issues. It may also be desirable in some cases to use two backup ­solutions simultaneously for both local and cloud storage — the suspenders-and-a-belt approach.

 

3. Mobile Device Management Protects Corporate Data 

Use mobile device management and mobile content management solutions.

Backup is integrated into most MDM tools, and MCM uses software containers to isolate corporate data, which a company can back up and manage separately from user data. This is the preferred BYOD strategy; the IT department is not responsible for noncorporate data.

 

4. Make Your Backups Comprehensive

Backups should be just as secure as any other data. This means that backup data encryption, authentication (ideally ­two-factor) and authorization must comply with security policy.

To maintain integrity, preserve multiple generations and copies. Also, check whether any industry-specific regulations require additional measures.

Some might argue that damage to data is so uncommon now that anything beyond infrequent backups is unnecessary. But the potential for loss of productivity is real. By applying a few simple, cost-effective techniques, a company can go a long way toward assuring continuity when a backup copy is required, as well as supporting data loss prevention and disaster recovery.

 

COMMUNICATE A CLEAR BACKUP POLICY TO USERS 

Employees should understand that the data they create, access and modify is the blood at the heart of business. IT teams need to clearly define, communicate and reinforce data use polices. Although you may need to update plans as new challenges and lines of business arise, having standards in place helps ensure that backups are consistent and an integral part of the business’s success.

Security: Spell out which information is sensitive; who may have access to it and under what circumstances; and what to do in the event of a breach, including misplaced backup copies.

Acceptable Use: Define what activities may be performed with a computer connected to a corporate network — prohibited uses as well. This includes defining items such as anti-malware and backup activities.

BYOD Policy and Agreement: Authorize specific device and operating system combinations, and detail connection activity required for updates and backups. Also, have all users acknowledge that they must maintain the integrity and security of data, and report if a device is lost or stolen.
Education and Training: Teach help desk personnel how to handle not just data recovery but also problems caused when users fail to f­ollow operational policies. Make sure to provide remedial education to individuals who repeat mistakes or fall out of compliance.

Backing Up Endpoints, risk management, information security

Related Training

 

Mathias, Craig J. (2017). 4 Best Practices for Backing Up Endpoints in Your Business. Recovered on 28 of August 2017 from https://biztechmagazine.com//article/2017/08/4-best-practices-backing-endpoints-your-business