A number of risks can threaten electronically stored information:
- ransomware (or other system compromise)
- user mistake
- hardware failure
- disaster (a tornado, for example)
A reliable backup system lets you restore information after such an event. Offsite back ups are an important part of a disaster recovery plan.
Safeguarding back ups
Back ups must be protected as diligently as the source data—even more so when stored on portable media such as tapes. Ensure your back up system employs the following safeguards:
- encrypt data on the back up media
- store media in a physically protected facility (with access and environmental controls), such as an IU Data Center, and a physically protected offsite facility
- transport back up media to the offsite facility (not an employee’s residence!) using a commercial carrier specializing in electronic records
- periodically restore backed up data to a different system to ensure the data is still intact
- destroy obsolete back up media using IU Procurement’s shredding service
Indiana state laws hold employees, in some cases, criminally liable for sensitive data exposures (for example, if backup media is lost or stolen in transit to, or while stored at, the employee's residence). IU's existing university-wide back up services provide the above safeguards and eliminate any possibility of personal liability.
University-wide back up services
University-wide back up services store back ups in the physically protected IU Data Centers. These services include Commvault and back ups provided by HELPnet for the servers it maintains.