Ask Intronis is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between. Submit your questions by emailing AskIntronis@intronis.com.
Q: I recently met the Intronis team at a IT channel event. Thanks for the free T-shirt! But, what’s up with the gremlin on it? What does that have to do with data loss?
Thank you for stopping by, and we hope you enjoy the shirt! The gremlin on your shirt is one of the data loss gremlins, which are something we came up with as a fun way to represent the major threats to your small business customers and their data. Each gremlin is associated with a specific threat, ranging from natural disasters to cybercriminals and malicious software.
Meet the Data Loss Gremlins
These six gremlins are on the lookout for any opportunity to mess with your customers’ data. In no particular order, they are:
- Scratch—This troublemaker is most well-known for causing equipment failures, tearing apart any information he can get his hands on.
- Scorch—This daredevil loves to burn up all of your business-critical data.
- Klepto—Sneaking around without your knowledge, Klepto infiltrates your system and steals your information.
- Mal—Infecting your files with malicious software, Mal can attach to a host and replicate across your system to attack as many machines as possible.
- Mayhem—Taking credit for all kinds of natural disasters, like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and blizzards, Mayhem enjoys wreaking havoc on small businesses around the world.
- Whoopsie Daisy—Carelessly handling your data, this gremlin could be voted: Most Likely to Misplace that File.
How to fight the Data Loss Gremlins
Here are four steps you can take to protect your customers’ data against the threat of a gremlin attack:
1. Educate your users on best practices for virus and malware prevention.
We can’t reiterate this enough—it’s critical that the users on your system are educated about malware threats and know what they look like. Make sure they’re aware of all the social engineering tactics used by Klepto and Mal, know not to open any suspicious attachments or downloads and never give away any sensitive information online
2. Encrypt data to keep it safe from cybercriminals.
Implement multiple security measures to reduce the threat of a cybersecurity attack. Use military-grade encryption, anti-virus and anti-malware software to properly protect your information.
3. Create a business continuity and disaster recovery plan (BCDR).
It’s also important for businesses to have a disaster recovery plan in place, so they’re prepared when something goes wrong. When developing a BCDR plan for your customers, identify the risks they need to be prepared for, analyze the impact on their business, and test the plan.
4. Use off-site cloud backup so you can recover the business.
Backing up your customer’s data to the cloud allows for consistent, reliable backups. So when disaster strikes or a user accidently deletes a file, you’re able to quickly recover that data. Relying solely on backup solutions like a tape or USB drive leaves them vulnerable to the threat of the data loss gremlins and does not allow for speedy recovery times.
Stay tuned for more tips on data protection and to learn more about the Data Loss Gremlins. We’ll be providing more information to help you protect your business and educate your SMB customers later this month.