Data Backup

There are several options for backing up University data.

Server Backups and Restores

All OIT managed servers are routinely backed up to prevent loss of data. Therefore, departments do not need to worry about backing up documents and files stored on the network drives or within any of the enterprise applications.

Desktop Backups

We currently use CrashPlan as the Enterprise Backup system for University-owned computers. Please see the CrashPlan service page for more details.

Storage Media

Users can backup data to physical media, such as USB drives and discs, but it is not recommended due to the security risk. We recommend using the University's Enterprise Backup solution. We recommend reviewing the Securing Storage Media section if you are to back up to local storage media.

Securing Storage Media

A password protects the data stored on your computer or within your various accounts. However, password protection is often not applied when data is burned to a CD or stored on an external drive.

Therefore, the contents of that media are available to anyone who has physical access to that media. It is imperative that all backup media is secured, and there are several approaches to securing this data.

  • Store backup media in a locked file cabinet at all times. Although this is not the best measure, it will provide some protection for your data. Backup CD/ external drives should never be left out in the open.
  • Password protect your backup media. There are ways to secure the media by providing a password. This password is locally stored and, therefore, can not be recovered if it is forgotten.
  • Use encryption: Encryption is, by far, the most secure option but can be complex to implement. Backup data can be encrypted using various tools, including Bitlocker and FileValut2. Please contact the IT Help Desk at help@smu.edu for information on data encryption.