Data backup in the world of ever-changing cyber threats
March 31, 2019
World Backup Day (March 31st) is a day for organisations to take stock and ensure the correct systems and processes are in place in case the worst happens.
With the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks looming over businesses, ensuring that you have effective backup solutions in place can be the difference between a minor blip in the working day, and complete chaos resulting in loss of reputation, trust and revenue.
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We interviewed a handful of IT experts to explain the value of data backup in a world of ever-changing cyber threats, and how investing in one can help to protect one of the most critical possessions a business can have.
World Backup Day is a perfect opportunity for businesses to ask themselves the following questions: How much time am I prepared to have mission-critical functions unavailable? How much data am I prepared to lose? How much money will it cost while these services are not available?
As Eltjo Hofstee, Managing Director at Leaseweb UK believes: “If these questions are raising concerns, then you need to address your backup strategy now.
"The most valuable assets should be prioritised and organisations need to be demanding about the quality, scalability and reliability of backup solutions. The process of backing up data is pivotal to a successful disaster recovery plan.”
Gregg Mearing, Head of Managed Services at Node4 agrees, stating that: “Backup and disaster recovery solutions provide continuity to businesses and should be seen as essential components of any business’ IT plans, no matter its size or sector it operates in.”
There are a few areas that organisations need to consider when planning backups. For instance, the operational impact needs to be taken into account.
“Carefully plan your backup windows to ensure there is no performance degradation for your systems and applications,” he insists.
In an age where ransomware poses a very real threat, on World Backup Day, many organisations will be considering the most effective ways of keeping their data safe in case of attack.
Trevor Daughney, VP, Product Marketing at Exabeam advises that ransomware attacks can have a much larger impact than temporarily denying access to certain files or systems in exchange for payment. “The demanded ransom amounts often pale in comparison to the collateral damage and downtime costs they cause,” he explains.
“This includes the destruction of data on backup disks, such as records being kept for compliance, corporate governance and other business reasons. Unfortunately, this insidious software is almost always detected after the damage has already occurred, when the hacker demands a ransom.
"The key to detecting and stopping ransomware is to find attackers in your system before they begin to encrypt files or data.
“One way is deploying user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA), which can detect the tell-tale signs of ransomware as it enters your IT environment.
"A behaviour-based approach baselines normal user behaviour, which provides the context necessary to track any ransomware-triggered deviations, and helps you identify an attack earlier in its kill chain, such as during the infection, staging, or scanning phases – before encryption occurs.”
As Cliff Duffey, founder and president of Cybera, agrees, “I’ve built my career and companies on the belief that access to data is not optional. World Backup Day is a valuable reminder to protect digital assets and to preserve them in both our personal and professional lives.”
Jason Magee, CEO at ConnectWise acknowledges that losing important data can be absolutely devastating to a business’s operations, customers, and even reputation. But it can be hard for internal IT teams to manage the required technologies on their own.
He explains, “Managed data backups are one of the most vital services an MSP can provide its clients, who depend on them to protect their data, ensure disaster recovery, and maintain business continuity.
"You never know when a natural disaster will strike your customer, or when they will be the target of a cyberattack.”
He concludes that, “World Backup Day serves as a great reminder for MSPs on the importance of helping clients establish a comprehensive and well-formulated backup strategy that includes proactive monitoring, remediation and advanced troubleshooting.
"And with the ease and availability of cloud backup solutions, there’s no reason MSPs shouldn’t make it a top priority for clients.”