World Backup Day: Why 31st March should be a day to act

World Backup Day: Why March 31st should be a day to act

According to Transport for London (TfL) an average of two laptops are left on the London Underground every single day , while the average cost of data breaches in 2022 is reported to total $4.35 million . Ransomware attacks too are on the rise, and these are not limited to the bigger companies but targeted at smaller businesses as well as individuals. This places the integrity of business and personal data on a critical footing, with the potential for cybercriminals to steal your data and sell it on the dark web for illicit purposes which should raise alarm bells.

Having a plan in place to back up your data is one of the most important ways to protect information and keep data safe. Backing up ensures that even if it falls into the wrong hands, a copy of the data is retained, secure and instantly accessible. Here are our 3 tips for World Backup Day:

1. Back up data using a 3-2-1 strategy

Getting into the habit of regularly backing up data will offer a lifeline should data ever be lost, corrupted or stolen. Employing a 3-2-1 strategy, as advised by the National Cyber Security Centre , means having at least three total copies of the data, two of which are local but on different mediums, and at least one copy stored off site. Flash drives, such as those in our datashur® range, offer a light, pocket-sized secure solution for those constantly on the move; for those commuting between office, co-work or work hubs, the diskashur® hard drives provide greater capacity but are still light and flexible; and if more heavy-duty, robust storage is needed for weekly backups, pick the diskashur DT2®.

2. Make sure the data is encrypted

When backing up your data, encryption is critical. Pocket-sized flash drives are light and flexible, but can be lost or stolen, so make sure your data is locked away. Encryption vastly improves the security of files, but it’s critical to select the right device. A PIN-authenticated, encrypted USB flash drive or HDD/SSD with on-device crypto-chip and AES-XTS 256-bit encryption offers complete data integrity, even when brute force action is used. Additionally, using a device with an internal microprocessor that is Common Criteria EAL5+ Certified, and encrypting data with a FIPS certified AES 256-bit encrypted encryption key brings into play military grade protection, which is as good as it gets.

3. Protect data stored in the cloud

When looking to store photos, documents and personal or business files, many people look to the convenience of the cloud. Cloud providers often offer encryption as part of a managed service, which, on the surface makes life simpler when this burden is taken away. However, an encryption key is required to decrypt the data, and this is also stored in the cloud which presents a degree of risk. Keeping the encryption key, which is itself encrypted within a secure microprocessor stored on a hardware encrypted security module, away from the cloud increases the number of security measures from just one layer of authentication - the cloud account login - to up to a five-factor authentication using our cloudAshur solution.

Following these simple tips will put you in a strong position, helping to eliminate security risks while providing fuller assurance as to the integrity of your vital information. This provides peace of mind to those backing up personal data, while for businesses, retaining full responsibility for data encryption and management will contribute to maintaining business continuity and upholding compliance to data protection regulations.

So, if you do nothing else this World Backup Day on March 31st, back up and encrypt your data.

Learn more about improving data security: https://istorage-uk.com/

Safer data and how to protect it in a multi-cloud environment

Safer data and how to protect it in a multi-cloud environment

By John Michael

Multi-cloud has grown considerably in popularity for many businesses due to its ability to increase agility whilst minimising vendor lock-in, improving disaster recovery and boosting application performance, all while streamlining costs. However, data protection issues are of increasing concern. This is because multi-cloud in the enterprise often comes about organically to meet evolving requirements, so is not always planned. When business departments create their own complicated silos of data, this decreases visibility and can impact upon compliance. But what is the solution?

Encrypting confidential data

A multi-cloud architecture can make data migration easy, but managing access to the data and keeping it confidential can be challenging. Regardless of the mode of transfer or method of storage, information remains a valuable commodity that is vulnerable at all possible points of connectivity. The most effective methods to address such vulnerability is to consider secure encryption.

Encrypting data both in transit and at rest is critical. Data should preferably be encrypted with a FIPS certified, randomly generated, AES 256-bit encrypted encryption key to be ultra-secure. Confidential information stored locally on a computer or hard drive, sent via email or file-sharing service, or shared via data transfer in the cloud should equally be securely encrypted. Taking such an approach guarantees ongoing protection, keeping data confidential and giving IT leaders peace of mind.

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Goverment certifications

Centralised remote management

As the use of multi-cloud environments means that sensitive data is stored in silos and transferred across numerous servers, it’s important for security managers to gain a holistic view as to which cloud providers hold which data, where that data is located and who holds access permissions within the organisation. This will enable geo-fencing and time fencing restrictions to be set, filenames to be appropriately encrypted and remote access to be enabled or disabled depending on requirement.

Key management for encrypted information is also important. Authorised users can be given a copy of a physical encrypted encryption key; a randomly generated encryption key stored within a USB module to allow ultra-secure and real-time collaboration in the cloud. Having a key management system in place provides greater control of encryption keys when using a multi-cloud solution, helping to facilitate a more centralised administration and management approach to data security.

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Securely collaborate in the cloud using our KeyWriter software

Multi-factor authentication

Businesses need to have clear processes in place that all employees follow to uphold adherence to data protection regulations, regardless of where they choose to store the data. Incorporating multi-factor authentication will help in relation to data protection governance and is an important step in standardising policies, procedures and processes across multiple cloud providers.

If a malicious threat actor obtains a user’s credentials and compromises an account, the breach is likely to remain unnoticed by the cloud service provider who will not be able to tell the difference between a legitimate user and an attacker. Using an encryption key that is kept away from the cloud increases the number of security measures from just one level of authentication - the cloud account login - to as many as five-factors of authentication. The encryption key should itself be encrypted within an ultra-secure Common Criteria EAL5+ secure microprocessor along with a PIN authenticated code.

As more businesses move toward a multi-cloud setup, security leaders should be looking to follow such recommendations to bring peace of mind to the enterprise and, ultimately, result in safer data.

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Managing and encrypting data in the cloud

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