Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Do your backups include this important information?

We hear a lot about the need to back important business data & applications. However, backing up your network configuration information is equally important.

We hear a lot about the need to back up your important business data and business applications. However, there’s an equally important backup you need to be making. The Grant McGregor team explains.


The latest update to the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme has changed its guidance around backups to reflect the growing threat from ransomware. It stresses the importance of making regular backups in order to mitigate the threat (by ensuring you can restore systems should the need arise).

Importantly, it isn’t only your data and applications for which you should be making regular backups. It’s also important to be making regular backups of your networking configuration and operational data.


Why is it important to backup network configuration information?

It can be easy to overlook the necessity to backup your network configuration data. However, it is just as important to take regular backups of this information as it is the rest of your organisational data and applications.

Imagine the scenario. A cyber-attack has brought down your systems. Your IT department is working urgently to restore your applications as quickly as possible, so you can get your users and your business back online.

Yet no one can access any of the restored data because your network is still down! You need to restore all your network devices before users can access vital data and applications. It can be difficult and time-consuming to do this without good network configuration backups if you don’t have the right expertise or up-to-date documentation.


How to backup your network configuration data

There are a variety of tools that enable you to make immutable backups of your network devices, cloud networking configuration and other operational data. Usually, they will be proprietary solutions – depending on the network tools you use. Your IT partner will be able to recommend a suitable solution.

The key is to ensure that your backups are made regularly and that they reside on a different platform to the rest of your operational data. This way, they can be accessed easily in the event of a recovery situation.

You’ll also need to ensure that your backup stores your most recent correctly working configuration. For complex environments, manual backups are unlikely to suffice. An automated solution makes it more likely that your most recent correctly working configuration will be captured. 

From this, you can then restore your network and give users the access they need while keeping restoration downtime to a minimum.


What next?

If you would like advice about how to get your IT backup strategy right, please reach out to the Grant McGregor team.

Call us: 0808 164 4142

Message us: www.grantmcgregor.co.uk/contact-us 


Further reading

You can find additional information and advice about IT security topics on our blog:

•    What can we learn from the Capita data breaches?

•    What are the risks of ChatGPT and large language models (LLMs)? And what should you do about them?

•    Is your business data at risk? Don’t take chances with old tech!

•    What is a watering hole attack? And how can you protect against it?

•    Cyber Crime on the Rise: how can you protect your organisation from it?