Is your backup secure?

from Juergen Schelbert, Produkt Marketing Manager, Overland-Tandberg

Is your backup secure?

Businesses data is the most important asset of a company. Data protection is essential in order to continue after a catastrophic data loss event. Data loss could mean the loss of information which can never be recovered or rebuilt. A good backup strategy is vital for business stability and should be incorporated into every business continuity plan.

“Ok, I’m doing regular backups, so I’m prepared!”, you might say now. But are your backups secure?

Ward off cyber-attacks

Backups are usually done to local devices like disks or network attached systems like NAS. This might work as long as there are no local disasters or virus and ransomware attacks. Local disasters could also destroy backups on local devices. Ransomware infects local computers first, but they are able to spread amongst other systems through the network. With this, ransomware attacks can infect backup sets regardless of their location on the computer or in the network. After a ransomware attack, your system might be locked, or files are encrypted, deleted or inaccessible. Because of this, you should be prepared and take precautions.

How to protect your backup

Overland-Tandberg provide various solutions to protect your backup against cyber-attacks. One method is media rotation with RDX removable disk systems. The RDX technology simply attaches to laptops, desktops and server via USB 3.0, SATA III or iSCSI and is compatible with almost every backup application in the market. It consists of a drive and a media. RDX is ideal for use in regular office environments and fits perfectly in physical and virtual SMB environments. Because of its rugged design, there is no special care necessary. By implementing media rotation, a set of multiple backup media should be used to be able to rotate the media between the datacentre and the offsite location. The RDX media should be ejected immediately after the backup run!

In cases, where the media cannot be rotated immediately after the backup job has been finished, like multiple backups per day or a backup media is rotated only once per week, the backup data is still exposed to the risk being infected by virus or malware attacks. Overland-Tandberg optionally offers a security software for Windows systems called RDX RansomBlock which protects data on RDX media against virus and ransomware attacks while they are online and in use for backup. Blocked computer systems can be easily recovered with the non-infected backup set without the need of paying ransom. The RansomBlock functionality sets all data on the RDX WORM media into a read-only mode. In addition, it allows write operations to RDX media for granted applications and processes similar to a personal firewall.

Another method to protect backups against cyber-attacks is using tape. Because auf the special format how data is written to tape, ransomware and viruses don’t have a chance to harm the backup data. Overland-Tandberg LTO tape automation products and stand-alone drives are ideal to complement disk backups to implement ransomware-protection in larger environments. Business are able to implement the 3-2-1 backup concept, where at least on 3 copies of data should be kept on 2 different storage media types, and 1 copy should be stored off-site.

Conclusion

Backup to a single target is not sufficient for a comprehensive data protection strategy. Cyber-attacks, viruses and ransomware can threaten backup data as well. Using Overland-Tandberg’s LTO tape products or RDX removable disk products give backup administrators a peace of mind by setting backup-data off-line or off-site. In addition, data is protected on LTO tape media because of the characteristics how data is written. So, tapes could reside inside the drive and remain protected. This could also be the case with RDX. The optional software feature RDX RansomBlock refuse all unauthorized attempts of deleting, overwriting and encrypting data.

Nevertheless, putting backup media off-site is highly recommended to protect backups against local disasters and theft. Please see also the blog of George Crump, IT analyst and president of Storage Switzerland.

 

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