FBI and DHS Recommend Data Backup to Lessen Risk of Cyber Attacks : Data Backup & Recovery Plan 2012

Have you ever wondered how easy it is for criminals to access your files on your PC? Unfortunately, it’s very easy. It goes without saying that your data is very valuable to you. All kinds of sensitive information is stored on your computer: financial data, taxes, photos, and even items like music that you’ve paid for. If you own a business with several computers in use, you’re probably keeping valuable customer data as well as proprietary company data on those PCs. All of this data, if not properly backed up, is vulnerable to erasure or theft at any time.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security recently released a report on cyber attacks. This report provided several recommendations on mitigating the risk of cyber attacks on individuals and businesses, which mainly employ the tactic of backing up data and protecting it safely off site, where it cannot be tampered with or accessed.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourage businesses and individuals to use mitigation strategies and best practices like:

  • Implement a data back-up and recovery plan to maintain copies of sensitive or proprietary data in a separate and secure location. Backup copies of sensitive data should not be readily accessible from local networks.
  • Regularly mirror and maintain an image of critical system files.
  • Encrypt and secure sensitive information.
  • Use strong passwords, implement a schedule for changing passwords frequently, and do not reuse passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Enable network monitoring and logging where feasible.
  • Be aware of social engineering tactics aimed at obtaining sensitive information.
  • Securely eliminate sensitive files and data from hard drives when no longer needed or required.
As a business or an individual, keep in mind that laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft. They are mobile, lightweight, and contain precious data. By scheduling backups regularly, you’ll always be able to recover data to a new machine or laptop quickly and easily.
The report was originally posted on US-CERT on January 19th, 2012.

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