Data is the new “gold” on the market as it is an extremely valuable asset that allows businesses to very effectively and efficiently service their customers. However, threat actors also know the value of today’s data housed in mass by organizations today. There are several key facets to an effective cybersecurity defense mechanism that organizations can put into practice. An extremely powerful and important aspect of data security is data protection or backups.

Why is this the case?

Let’s take a look at how data backups play an important role in the overall security of data today and how businesses can effectively implement data protection plan in a cost-effective manner.

Why Data Protection is an Important Aspect of Security

Typically when thinking about security, we think of things such as firewalls, permissions, two-factor authentication, encryption, and other security mechanisms that provide security benefits to organizations. All of the aforementioned devices, technologies, etc are certainly important aspects of the overall security strategy.

Security has often been described as “layers of an onion”. No single layer can effectively protect critical data on its own. It generally takes multiple layers of technologies to do this effectively. One of the often-missed aspects when thinking about security is backups which is one of the important aspects of effective cybersecurity.

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Backups should be considered as an aspect of data security. At its most basic level, backup’s whole purpose is to ultimately protect and make critical data recoverable. Having the ability to effectively recover data is absolutely necessary. While threat actors can “steal” critical data which is certainly not desirable, they can also “damage” to cause harm or to cover their tracks.

Businesses must be able to recover data that is made unavailable by any cybersecurity event or malicious action. Backups provide the last known good configuration of critical files, services, and other data required for business continuity. Backups are sometimes the last resort in the line of security defenses. When all other security mechanisms have failed and an attacker has compromised or otherwise made critical business systems unavailable and data unreadable or destroyed, backups are the final line of defense to allow restoring data and services.

A key example of an attacker making data unreadable or otherwise unusable is ransomware. No security appliance or other security software is able to recover data that has been encrypted with ransomware. Businesses have two choices when ransomware strikes and has successfully invaded critical data systems. They can either pay the ransom or restore from backup. There are no other options. In this context, it is easy to see the security value of data protection in the form of backups.

For backups to be effective, they themselves need to be resilient. Often, malicious threat actors will seek out known backup file extensions or other backup technologies, knowingly destroying these in an attack on data. Ransomware can just as effectively encrypt backup files as it can “normal” data files. Businesses must ensure their backups follow the 3-2-1 backup best practice methodology. The 3-2-1 backup rule ensures that you have multiple copies of your backup data in the same way that you may have more than one copy of production data. The 3-2-1 backup rule states you have at least (3) copies of your backup data stored on (2) different forms of media, with at least (1) copy stored offsite.

The most disastrous scenario imaginable would be to have both your production data and backup data destroyed in a cybersecurity attack or ransomware infection. By following the 3-2-1 backup rule, it will be highly unlikely that all backup data will be destroyed, especially if you have backups of your critical data stored offsite.

One of the key failures that organizations make in regards to backups is failing to test backups on a regular basis. When a cybersecurity event takes place and data is deleted or otherwise corrupted such as in a ransomware attack, businesses can’t afford to have corrupted backups in that situation. Unfortunately, many may only find out their backups are corrupted or otherwise unable to restore data during a disaster recovery scenario.

Testing backups on a regular basis is the only way to know for sure the backups are valid, contain the data expected, and are restorable. Many businesses do not regularly test backups since this process can be labor-intensive, tedious, and cumbersome to perform.

Let’s take a look at how businesses can have a powerful, effective backup solution able to help ensure the security of their data and provide automated processes to verify backups.

Vembu – Providing Data Security with Backups and Automation

Vembu BDR Suite is an extremely capable and fully featured data protection solution providing data security and protection for today’s business-critical workloads.

Vembu understands the data challenges and risks to today’s business-critical data and provides the mechanisms built into the product that allows businesses to both protect their data, provide multiple copies of their data, and automate the labor-intensive processes needed to ensure the validity of data backups.

Vembu enables businesses to effectively implement the 3-2-1 backup best practice methodology. It provides the features needed to have multiple copies of data stored onsite, offsite, and on multiple media formats, including tape archives and cloud storage. Using industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, Vembu encrypts backup data both in-flight and at-rest so production data contained in backups are safe and secure.

To help businesses ensure backup data is restorable, Vembu provides the ability to automate the process of testing backups that have been taken. Virtual machines are booted from backups to ensure the VM is bootable, the data is correct, and no corruption exists in the backup data. It does this in an automated fashion with no administrator interaction. After the virtual machine is booted and the data is verified, a screenshot of the booted virtual machine is emailed to the administrator to provide verification of the valid backup.

Vembu provides powerful data migration facilities to be able to migrate data between platforms such as between VMware and Hyper-V. By providing the flexibility to easily move between different platforms and systems, businesses can ensure data is always available no matter which platforms or systems are affected by cybersecurity and other disaster recovery events.

Security Features of Vembu BDR Suite:

  • Powerful automated, multi-platform backups and replication
  • Encryption of backup data using industry-standard AES 256 bit encryption in-flight and at-rest
  • 3-2-1 backup best practice methodology built into the solution
  • Automated backup verification
  • Data migration abilities to seamlessly transfer data between systems

Concluding Thoughts

Data protection is an extremely important component of cybersecurity. Backups provide the last line of defense when all other security measures and protections have failed. In the case of ransomware, backups are the only mechanism that allows businesses to restore data and re-establish business continuity.

Vembu BDR Suite is a robust data protection solution that allows businesses to meet the recommendations outlined by the 3-2-1 backup best practice methodology and secure backup data in the means necessary to protect the production data it contains. Using powerful automated backup verification, businesses do not have to wonder about the recoverability of their backups. By using these and other built-in features of Vembu BDR Suite, businesses can be confident in their data protection and bolster their cybersecurity defenses by way of effective and secure backups.

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