It happens to the best of us: the unexpected demise of a trusty computer or cell phone (or perhaps a poorly executed keystroke… Hey, it was an accident!) results in losing precious data… documents, reports, contacts, logins, customer information, even that cute pic of you and your dog from last Halloween. Gone in an instant. Then there are the more nefarious scenarios: viruses, malware, or hackers busting through firewalls to steal, destroy, or ransom information back to unsuspecting victims, including both commercial entities and consumers.
Critical services like water and wastewater utilities are among those at risk. Business Week reported that in 2021 three U.S. water utilities in Nevada, California, and Maine were hit with ransomware attacks. In 2020, a New Jersey water utility fell prey to ransomware, as did a Kansas water utility in 2019. Intrusions like these are on the rise across the cyber landscape. According to Deep Instinct, malware attacks increased by 358% in 2020, and ransomware by 435%.
Whether through theft or accident, data loss is a tough lesson in the importance of backing up our files. That’s what World Backup Day is all about. It began in 2011 when Ismail Jadun, a college student from Ohio, created World Backup Day after talking with peers in a Reddit thread about how people don’t back up their files. Jadun set up www.worldbackupday.com and established March 31 as World Backup Day to help spread awareness and encourage people to make copies of their important (and often irreplaceable) data.
Believe it or not, according to WorldBackupDay.com, 21% of people have never made a backup. Considering that 30% of all computers are already infected with malware, there’s no time like the present to get started — and it’s not as daunting as it sounds. There are many ways to make a backup of important files: cloud storage services, external hard drives, or Network Attached Storage (NAS) for small businesses are among some of the most common.
In conjunction with other important cyber security precautions — like regular vulnerability scanning and patching or updating software and operating systems — backing up your data will ensure that important information stays safe and protected.
If you’ve never backed up your data, you’re clearly not alone. But maybe it’s time to start a new tradition! Whether it’s the first time — or the first time in a long time — backing up your data this month is a great way to celebrate World Backup Day and protect yourself from data loss.