Banging on about backup!

A sad story!
I knew this lovely young woman once who used to work at my local supermarket. We would chat and talk and then she disappeared for a while… she gone and had a child! Then about 6-7 months after this I went in one day and she was some what flat emotionally, I asked her if she was alright?

She said no someone had stolen her phone and it was not backed up. It also had the first 6 months of her child’s / family photographs on it.

A better story
A long time ago back when we had zip drives were a thing, and I did hardware work I had someone come in with a computer that had been used to write a thesis and it (and in-particular the thesis)  had never been backed up!

It took me 3 hours sitting with the client next to me to get the machine up and working again and then to back the thing up to a zip drive. We were both covered in sweat by the time we sorted this problem out but we did it! But it was a close run thing, that could have cost this person thousands of dollars not just the 300 odd dollars that we charged her.

But you can’t always get data off a failing device… and theft of a device that has not been backed up is just sad.

So I suppose this is another of my rants and pleads that you back up your data! Find a way! Do it now!

How long is your backup!

Computers screensRestoring backups can take some time! A number of years ago we had a NAS die on us. That was ok because we had it backed up on tape! (you know where this story is going?) Well the restore worked ok, and we were lucky because we could grab what we needed and then worry about the rest later…. but it took well over a week (and a lot of stuffing tapes into a machine) to get that thing¬† up and running again.

I helped a friend back up her laptop the other day – we used a usb3 drive that had an ssd installed – it took about an hour to restore 6-7 hundred gig’s worth of data. How much data do you have?

One element of contemporary Cyber Security is to have multiple backups so that if you don’t want to pay all that bitcoin to the bad guys, you just start with a new machine (or wipe the old one, if your brave enough) and start from backup.

The problem is of course is that if your whole network or 70 of your machines are now large bricks? How long is that process going to take and how much human power are you going to need to get things running again? Not to mention the cost.

A couple of things to consider is Cyber liability insurance. (although this is still not going to help if your public reputation is part of the issue)

A very good disaster recovery plan that is regularly tested and paid for as part of the on going company budget. The frustrating thing of course is that we hope that you never need this (just like dental work) we hope that things are going to be just fine and all. But hey – stay safe on the inter-webs people…. and maybe consider how long that backup / restore process takes.

If you want to read more about the horrors of being hacked and ransome ware and further discussion of the backup process this article from Brian Kerbs is well worth the read.