Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, which is why many organizations have started to fully utilize backup solutions to keep their information safe. However, just because you’re consistently backing up your files doesn’t necessarily mean that they are protected from the wide variety of dangers out there. Everything from thieves and cybercriminals to floods and fires can put your backups at risk, making it important to put some safeguards in place to ensure business continuity. Let’s take a look at a few ways to keep your backups secure:

Use encryption

Encryption is possibly the most useful tool for ensuring that data is secure at rest and in transit. These tools codify information and distribute a set number of keys to authorized users to decode the files. Nick Espinosa, CIO at BSSI2, told Tech4BusinessNow that businesses should package their data backups and encrypt them with 256-bit AES at minimum.

However, while encryption is securing your backups, you’ll need to ensure that all keys associated with this method are kept in a protected place. After all, if you lose the key, you’ll no longer have access to the data. Encryption is the best line of defense against hackers, but it won’t amount to much if you don’t have the keys or tell everyone the passwords.

Encryption will be critical to securing business backups.Encryption will be critical to securing business backups.

Follow the 3-2-1 rule

While there are numerous tools to help protect information on devices, a fire, flood or other natural disaster could easily destroy your hardware and physical files. For this reason, it’s important to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. This guideline states that organizations should keep three backup copies, across two different mediums, with one stored off-site. Many businesses may use a combination of the cloud and disks to facilitate these needs.

With this many options for restoration, companies can rest easy knowing that their most critical information is accessible in any situation. TechTarget contributor Kevin Beaver suggested handling your backup media as critical hardware and storing a copy in a fireproof safe to keep your options open. It’ll also be important to gauge vendor security measures for off-site storage, to ensure it complies with industry regulations and is compatible with encryption techniques.

Test regularly

“Testing backups would help identify any vulnerabilities before you’re impacted.”

Encryption and multiple backup copies are significantly beneficial to securing your files, but you need to verify that you’re backing up the right assets and that your backups will work as expected in an emergency scenario. Testing your backups on a regular basis is vital and could mean the difference between easy restoration and potential closure. Beaver noted that testing would help identify any vulnerabilities before you’re impacted and enable you to adjust your backup strategy to better fit data security requirements.

Backups are an essential part of business continuity, making it important to ensure that they are secure. By using encryption, leveraging multiple backup copies and testing on a consistent basis, you can keep your files safe and have peace of mind that you’ll be able to recover in the face of a disaster.