One early morning in August 2015, on my birthday, I decided to give myself the gift of backing up everything I needed to survive the complete loss or hijacking of my digital life. Given four decades of "don't forget your scarf", and "do you have enough money for a cab?" and "may I confirm your AV is operational and up to date?", it seemed like a perfect day to focus all my attention on me. "Do you have a backup for all of your data?"
It's a tradition. I'm my own best mother each year, on my birthday.
Usually, my birthday choice is something more punitive than data, like giving up cigarettes or electing to take the stairs and stop asking people to hand me things. This year, taking my own security medicine was overdue.
I discovered 479,338 items on the root of C, and that was just my home PC. With work laptop, phones, tablets, thumb drives and a full PC graveyard, who could really say how much or how far and wide I'd have to search for all of my data.
And then, there was the duplication and commingling.
I really didn't want to pick through it.
But it was my birthday, my annual stop and take care of me day.
You may be thinking this is going to be a morality story about preparing for a ransomware attack, but you'd be wrong.
Not long after fixing my own carbonite backup process, deleting a few terabytes of unnecessary information that I likely shouldn't have copied in the first place, and organizing records that were long overdue for proper classification and storage, it became time again to do my job, to guide a client through annual controls.
I contacted all of the management and affirmed the commitment to our business recovery objectives. I notified managers that their team was likely not backing up their local directories. The approach was a simple report to compare the number of files in backup per headcount to a reasonable approximation of what those employees probably should send to offsite for emergency recovery.
I was reasonable the first four times I sent reports and suggestions. As I became more aware of what some people had at stake, I may have gotten a little aggressive in my approach.