Why backup: part 1

A data or a file or the entire file system or a service or the entire corporate network may be corrupted or no longer usable for several reasons:

  • due to an error by an employee or operator;
  • for software problems;
  • why the file system got corrupted;
  • for hardware problems;
  • for a computer virus or for the intrusion of a hacker;
  • for a structural disaster or a natural disaster.

Why backup: part 2

Furthermore, if you have sensitive data according to the GDPR, it is necessary to have a backup system:

  • better if the data is encrypted with secure algorithms before being saved;
  • always active in order to have all the updates available;
  • easy to restore quickly and therefore necessarily the availability of data even in the event of a physical or technical accident;
  • a procedure (better if written and detailed) of how to restore the system. This procedure should be tested regularly;

All this is present in section 2 (Security of personal data) in article 32 of the GDPR:

Security of processing
1.   Taking into account the state of the art, the costs of implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of processing as well as the risk of varying likelihood and severity for the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller and the processor shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk, including inter alia as appropriate:
a) the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
b) the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;
c) the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;
d) a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.
2.   In assessing the appropriate level of security account shall be taken in particular of the risks that are presented by processing, in particular from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.

Service and data Backup

For security reasons and to ensure the continuity of your services, it is necessary to have a backup system that allows you to restore the service to a given moment of time identified as stable and not corrupted.

The backup can be implemented in different ways based on the customer’s choice such as:

  • backup to local disk (but in this way we will be at operator risk and viruses or hardware problems);
  • backup to corporate or remote NAS;
  • remote backup via software such as NetBackup or similar;
  • on a cloud space such as Amazon S3 or Glacier or others.

Backup rules and GDPR

For each type of backup, if necessary, in order to comply with point 1 a of article 32 of the GDPR, we will provide for the “pseudonymisation” (see Article 4 – Definitions of the GDPR for the meaning) of the files and encryption of the data.

Once the type of backup has been defined, we will prepare the temporal policies in which all or part of the data will be copied, i.e. when to make a full backup or when to do only the incremental so as to be in compliance with the GDPR.

Backup restore tests

At this point we have the backup but we have to test it to see that we have saved everything as we wanted.

Then, we will restore everything in a parallel environment (possibly on equivalent virtual machines) with both full and incremental backups.

If you encounter any problems during the restoration due to the backup, we will fix it until you have the desired result.

Finally, we will write a document (in order to comply with point 1 c and d of article 32 of the GDPR) on:

  • how the backup was done;
  • how to restore it;
  • the estimated time for all operations both on a virtualized environment and on one identical to the original.

System monitoring

To understand in advance a problem that could occur or in any case to be able to quickly intervene on a malfunction it is necessary to have a monitoring system.

In the simplest cases, monitoring could only be internal to the server while in all other cases it would be useful to provide for both internal and external monitoring that includes notifications to the manager.

  • monitoring via cron of the operating system;
  • preparation of internal monitoring scripts;
  • monitoring by external service such as Icinga;
  • timely intervention to restore the problem detected.

IT consulting as System Administrator

For any need relating to your server we are at your complete disposal with immediate IT assistance for:

  • new installation;
  • update;
  • internal and external monitoring;
  • system backup;
  • remote scheduled backup;
  • any other need.