What would you do if your campus experienced a data breach or theft? In today’s cybersecurity landscape, ransomware attacks and other threats to data are targeting every industry, including higher education.
At Alphanumeric, we specialize in helping our clients implement data recovery services to protect them in the event of a breach. If you want to prepare for the worst, the best thing you can do is to put a recovery system in place. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’ll be able to recover your data.
Put a Backup System in Place
The first key to data recovery is ensuring that you’ll have something to recover. That means creating an effective system of backups and data storage. That way, you’ll have a clean copy of your data to install in the event of a breach or system failure.
You have many options when it comes to backup. If you want to use the latest technology, you may decide to contract with a cloud backup service to create regular backups of your data. The backups may be stored in the cloud, or you may choose to download them onto a device that’s separate from your network.
Ideally, your backup system should allow you to access your data even if your system is completely inaccessible. That’s an argument for either cloud data or a manual backup system where you create a backup on a thumb drive.
Test Your Backups Regularly
Just as important as creating a backup system is testing the system to ensure that you’re getting clean backups of your essential data. It’s surprisingly common for colleges to create a backup system and assume it’s working as it should, only to discover too late that there’s a problem.
We recommend running a test at least once a month. The test may be as simple as looking at a backup to ensure the data you need is there and accessible. Keeping track of your tests will ensure you’re able to catch problems as they occur.
Choose the Type of Recovery That’s Best Suited to Your Needs
In an ideal world, the recovery system you choose would allow you to recover all of your data and not lose any. However, most backup systems run daily and there is a risk of data loss in some cases.
One option that’s becoming more common is something called Continuous Data Protection, or CDP. It’s not available for every application, but the goal of CDP is to get you as close as possible to a recovery point objective of zero, meaning that no data is lost.
The other option is the traditional “snapshot” backup. If you run a backup overnight, it will capture a snapshot of where your system was when the backup started. Any changes made between backups would be lost in the event of a breach or system failure.
Create Data Recovery Protocols
If you must use a backup to restore your data, it’s essential to have clear protocols in place for the recovery process. Here are some to consider:
- Stop using the affected drive immediately to prevent data overwrites and additional data loss.
- Don’t format your affected drive, even if the system prompts you to do so. There are data recovery systems you can use instead to ensure that your data is protected.
- Create backups for scratch pages as necessary. Some applications use scratch pages as an alternative to RAM – and some of those will back up the data on the pages automatically, while others won’t. You can save time and space with your backups by identifying the scratch pages that must be saved.
- Use automation to streamline your backups and ensure your data is always in two places at once.
- Educate all staff on the recovery process.
Following these protocols – and any others you identify as being necessary for your particular systems and backups – will help you recover quickly and get your data back to where it should be.
Data recovery services are essential to campus cybersecurity. Having reliable backups and a proven recovery system in place will ensure that you’re able to get back to normal quickly in the event of a breach.
To learn how Alphanumeric can help you with your campus data recovery service, please click here.