Recently a client was a victim of ransomware – hacking malware that encrypted everything on their computers, and demanding payment of a ransom to obtain the unlocking key. They were saved from having to pay because they had an offsite backup. By reformatting their computers and restored data, they were back up and running the same day.
An offsite backup can take a number of forms, from simple to sophisticated. There are services you can subscribe to that will perform the backup silently and automatically, storing the backup “in the cloud”. Many of these services also allow you to access your backup from virtually anywhere in the world, allowing you to view and/or edit a copy of the backed up file. Some of these charge a monthly or an annual all-included subscription, while others charge by the amount of offsite storage used. The advantage for each of these is the “set it, forget it” automatic nature of the service. Each works in the background, trickling up to the cloud copies of your data.
If you prefer less expense and/or more control, you can create an offsite plan of your own. If you’re using a full backup local method using a USB attached device, simply purchase and at least two more of these devices, and rotate them, taking the most recently used one home with you (or store it in a different physical location), returning it when it’s time to use it again.
Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll be ready for any disaster.