Data backups: First things first: ensure the basics are in place
Eltjo Hofstee, Managing Director at Leaseweb UK, discusses what businesses should consider concerning maintaining backups.
“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?
“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.”
Alan Conboy, office of the CTO at Scale Computing, similarly believes that backup needs to be given priority.
“Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organisations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan. First, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Moreover, the location of your backup must be kept top-of-mind, the closer it is to the primary data, the better. In addition, cyberthreats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, so it’s important to ensure that IT infrastructure is secure and safeguarded with a disaster recovery plan. Finally, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is backup and disaster recovery plans must be assessed consistently to safeguard data and protect organisations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”
Data backup and security: not revolutionary, but required
With data on the up, risk follows suit
“Companies today are collecting more data on customers, partners and markets than ever before,” explains Jo Blazey, Global Data Governance Officer at Commvault. “With this exponential growth comes enormous responsibility, so organisations must work to ensure they retain the trust of those whose data they hold. It has been shown that businesses that are seen as ‘trustworthy’ outperform their sector by an average of 5% – so this is not something to be taken lightly.
“One way to create and maintain levels of trust is with a proven track record of keeping data secure. Achieving this requires organisations to take a hard look at how they manage, store and protect data, including backup policies and processes. Backup needs to be continuous, reliable, accessible and recoverable to pave the way for success. On World Backup Day 2019, organisations must remember that backup isn’t just about protecting data, it’s about trust too.”
Trevor Daughney, VP, Product Marketing at Exabeam, comments on how ransomware in particular is a dangerous threat to all businesses, and how backups can alleviate some of the risk.”
But 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. 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 telltale 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.”
Data backup and blockchain, is this a game changer?
Backups for networks are now a necessity
With networks increasing in importance day by day, Jason Wells, Vice President, Global Channels & EMEA at Cradlepoint reminds businesses why backing up networks is just as important as backing up data.
“On World Backup Day, many organisations will benefit by shifting their focus from backing up data to backing up their network. No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime – it’s not a question of if your business will lose connectivity, but when.
“It’s a serious risk: lost revenue; reduced productivity; poor customer experience and reputational damage are just some of the potential issues a business can be exposed to when a wired connection fails. This is where 4G LTE failover comes into play. A wireless wide area network (WAN) failover is a cost effective and reliable solution that provides critical backup connectivity when a wired connection fails.
“Introducing a wireless WAN link can also go far beyond backup. In agile-focused IT environments, for example those deploying internet-of-things (IoT) technology, 4G LTE offers a simplified lifecycle that requires less IT resources to manage and a lower total cost of ownership. Particularly as we move closer to 5G, this is helping many organisations lay the foundation for a wireless future.”
World Backup Day is a yearly reminder to all businesses that maintaining secure and reliable backups is no longer a luxury that you can afford to pass over. IT teams need to be able to trust their backups to work in any crisis, and at the helm of this should be their CTOs, leading by example and setting the precedent that backing up now makes for a safer future.