Protect your data on World Backup Day

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How prepared is your business for damaged or lost files? And what about your flexible workforce?


It’s World Backup Day on 31st March – so what’s your backup plan? Do you religiously copy important data, contacts and business documents from your laptop and phone onto a hard drive every week? Every day? Or is your last backup session a distant memory…?

According to research from the World Backup Day organisers, 30% of people have never backed up their tech. This may be down to a gap in knowledge about how to do so, and also a lack of awareness that losing everything on a device can be a very real risk – one in 10 computers are infected with viruses each month, and 113 phones are stolen every minute. 

To spread the message, World Backup Day is inviting people to sign a pledge to back up their phones, tablets and computers on March 31st, and to encourage friends and family to do the same by sharing the pledge on social media. The idea is to communicate how quick and easy it is to send backup data to an external hard drive (connected to devices via USB) or an online drive (such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon Cloud Drive).

World Backup Day is a useful reminder of how easily we can swindle ourselves by failing to take the time to protect important data. Having a second, separate copy of essential digital information gives us peace of mind that if our tech is ever misplaced, damaged, compromised or suddenly unavailable, all is not lost.

In an increasingly digital workforce, many businesses would come to a standstill if company data and files became inaccessible. But despite this, amid the pressure and pace of our everyday working lives, finding the time to bolster our business’s data security and back up our devices still falls by the wayside.

For risk directors, World Backup Day is a great way to engage staff and remind them of the personal responsibility they have to protect company data. Encouraging everyone on the team to create backup data– and identifying where people might need guidance or support – is an effective way of making sure everybody is up to speed, and to kickstart better habits around data security in the workplace.

It’s also an opportunity to engage with any remote workers, who are using tech outside of the company’s headquarters – be it freelancers or teams based in flexible-workspace locations elsewhere. The continued rise of flexible working means that more than half of global employees now work outside their office headquarters for at least 2.5 days each week. This means workers are increasingly accessing company data from the outside, and many companies have concerns this opens them up to security hacks.

World Backup Day is the perfect opportunity for risk directors to revisit their company’s cybersecurity protocol and ensure it’s still relevant for the changing work patterns and disparate locations of employees. Flexible working is here to stay, so rather than resisting outside access to company data, businesses need to find a way to move forwards with next-generation data-protection strategies, and up-to-date workplace recovery plans in case valuable information is leaked. 

Outsourcing cybersecurity to a trusted expert, with the knowledge and understanding of evolving threats to central data systems, is the best move risk directors can make. But similarly, it’s important to create a company-wide culture in which individuals realise the role they have to play in regularly taking time to back up their devices – so they recognise it’s a priority, even when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. This way, businesses can rest assured they’re covering as many bases as possible to protect themselves from IT disasters.


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