As the IT industry has evolved, so has the threat of data loss because of a virus. The importance of email in the daily operations of a business has caused many companies to adapt their disaster recovery plans to include a solution for virus protection. Unfortunately, many backup solutions do not combat the threat of a virus being backed up.
To protect your data, you should start at the source. Virus protection should be deployed on every system, regardless of the operating system. While Linux or Mac systems may not be susceptible to Windows based viruses, they still can spread the virus. Hackers are also beginning to focus their efforts on creating viruses for these operating systems, increasing the importance of protection for these machines. If the file contains a virus, any copies of it will transfer the virus. If this file is ever opened in the operating system it was made for, it can cause data to be destroyed through the network. This is why every computer and network should have the appropriate virus protection in place to ensure that all data entering the network is clean of any viruses. If no such protection exists, data can be altered or destroyed with little hope of recovery.
Disaster Recovery Plan
Every company should have a disaster recovery plan in place. This plan safeguards against viruses destroying any data on the network. An optimal plan includes virus protection that scans files that enter the network and makes point-in-time data copies. These copies must be stored separately from the network to ensure that they do not get infected as well. To shield a network from data loss, their backup solution must be robust enough to restore data from multiple points. Backup system software often conflicts with antivirus software because of the immense amount of data being transferred at one time. For instance, incoming data from a whole network would all need to be scanned. While this might not be an issue for very small companies, larger companies could cause the backup system to slow down significantly. This must be taken into account.
Common backup solutions, such as replication, are not optimal for restoring data damaged from a virus. If an infected file is transferred, the current backup solution is no longer safe to use. Ideally, a point-in-time backup system would be used as a disaster recovery solution. This would allow files to be restored before they were corrupted. However, it is important to install or enable antivirus protection during restoration to ensure continuous file integrity. Otherwise, the network would be open to virus attacks without any safeguards in place.
A company can never have too many precautionary measures in place when their data is at stake. Having an appropriate disaster recovery plan in place will minimize a company's downtime and help safeguard against any data loss due to viruses entering the network. Incorporating antivirus programs into your business is a start, but incorporating a point-in-time backup system will ensure that data can be restored confidently.