Over the past couple of months, a few of our client municipalities have been hit with an encryption/ransom virus. These types of viruses can encrypt all of the files (documents, Windows files, data, etc.) on your server/computers leaving them unusable unless you pay for the files to be unencrypted. Should you be infected by one of these viruses, your IT vendor will most likely wipe the server/computers clean and reinstall using (hopefully) a backup. Luckily, the municipalities in each of these cases had recent backups of their Avitar databases stored offsite that we used to quickly get their software up and running again.
With that said, now is a perfect time for you to review your backup procedures and confirm that you have an offsite backup plan in place. While we generally configure automated backups on the server when we install, without routine maintenance it’s difficult to ensure that these will remain a viable resource in the event a restore is needed. Fortunately, we provide another method within each application whereby you the user can take just a few minutes out of your day or week (depending on how frequently you add or update data) to create a backup of your database(s) from the server and then move the backup off your network.
To create a backup, make sure you’re logged into the program and navigate to File | Backup Database. Select the browse button (“…”) and choose the local Backup Destination. Once you have made the selection, click Backup Data. Note: If the menu item is not enabled, or the backup process fails, it indicates that the backup settings are not configured correctly for your system. Give us a call for assistance with configuring your backup settings.
Once you have backed up your database locally, we recommend that you copy the backup off of your network. Below are just a few ways that you can store your backup offsite:
- Copy the backup to an external hard drive that you disconnect from the network.
- Copy the backup to a USB flash drive that you disconnect from the network.
- Email the backup to yourself. (This will depend on the backup file size and the attachment size limit for your email service provider.)
- Burn the backup to a disc.
Manually backing up and copying your backup offsite is a simple thing to do that, regardless of the backups that may or may not be getting created on your server, can provide an invaluable safety net in the event of data loss on your network.