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Backup Requirements for Data Protection

by Sean Curiel, on Mar 19, 2021 4:30:00 AM

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As we enter this time of year, we must take a thorough and consistent approach to safeguarding our critical data. Cybercriminals do not take breaks, so neither should we. It is imperative that we regularly back up our data and adapt our security strategies to keep up with the evolving threats in our ever-changing world. Let us view this annual occasion as a friendly reminder that malicious actors have significantly increased the frequency of their cyberattacks, underscoring the need for proactive measures to combat them.

The year 2020 brought about fundamental changes in our workforce. The events that unfolded propelled a shift towards technologies that enable remote work and offer greater flexibility to employees. While these advancements have their benefits, they have also introduced new security vulnerabilities, providing cybercriminals with fresh opportunities.

In Q3 2020, we witnessed a staggering 128% surge in malware activity, accompanied by a sharp rise in phishing attempts, with cybercriminals exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as a lure (Source: Security Magazine).

It is crucial to understand how we can defend ourselves against such threats. When all other proactive and defensive measures fail, our backup systems become our lifeline, rescuing us from the brink of catastrophe and restoring our productivity. However, the term "backup" encompasses a wide range of technologies. The most important backup technologies and features vary depending on factors such as our environment, the type of data we handle, our restore priorities, and the regulatory requirements of our industry. It is essential to avoid unnecessary distractions and opt for backup solutions that offer manageable features for data retention and swift recovery, without burdening us with unnecessary processes that slow us down.

In this article, we will explore the crucial technologies that organizations should demand as part of their backup solutions. These features are designed to enable the implementation of the 3-2-1 backup rule, provide cloud storage support for added redundancy and compliance, leverage FastBIT technology for efficient backups, offer central monitoring for real-time visibility, enable granular application to restore to minimize downtime, provide disaster recovery images for flexible and rapid file restoration, support virtual machine backup to enhance flexibility, ensure regulatory compliance through testing and certification, offer data retention features to manage growing data volumes and provide local technical support for reliable assistance during critical situations.

The value of your data backup lies in its ability to reliably restore data when you need it most. Therefore, we encourage you to seize this annual reminder to reassess your business backup strategy and thoroughly test the restorability of your backups. Take a critical look at your existing solution to ensure it meets all the requirements and offers the peace of mind you deserve.

How can we defend against it?

When all other proactive and defensive measures fail, we depend on our backup to bring us back from the brink of catastrophe and return us to productivity. However, backup is a term that covers a wide range of technologies. Which backup technologies and features are most important? That depends greatly upon your environment, the type of data, your restoration priorities, and the regulations required in your industry. Additionally, numerous backup vendors offer a range of security products with bells & whistles that may distract from a clear focus on backup. Businesses desperately require features that they can manage quickly, for data retention and fast recovery of their assets, without the bloat and slowdown of unnecessary processes.

Today we look at the technologies that organizations should demand as part of every backup solution:

  1. Features that Enable the 3-2-1 Backup Rule
    To ensure the safety of your critical data, it is advisable to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. This means having at least three copies of your data stored on two different types of storage media, with one copy stored offsite. Your backup software should support various storage options, whether it be disk-cloud, NAS-cloud, or disk-tape. It is important to avoid any restrictions on storage devices and additional charges for local backup features as they can hinder your backup strategy.

  2. Cloud Storage Support
    Having a backup of your crucial data stored in the cloud offers an additional level of redundancy, providing organizations with the ability to meet compliance standards. It serves as a protective barrier against ransomware that may have infiltrated your local systems, while also enabling the restoration of data from alternative sources.

  3. FastBIT Technology
    FastBIT technology, found in NovaBACKUP Cloud solutions, performs a block-level comparison between files already backed up and the files you are trying to back up. Only the differences at the block level between backup files are transferred creating backups that are as small and fast as possible.

  4. Central Monitoring
    On-demand visibility into the current state of your backups is not something you can live without. You should be able to check the status from wherever you are physically located from a web-based interface and generate notifications to be delivered to those responsible for backup.

  5. Granular Application Restore
    In today's fast-paced business environment, time is of the essence. Waiting for an entire database to be restored can be detrimental to productivity. That's why it is crucial to have a backup system that not only protects your business applications but also allows for the restoration of small data elements like a single email or database object. Surprisingly, many backup solutions on the market today do not include the essential feature of Granular Restore. Don't settle for less when it comes to your backup system - choose a solution that offers the flexibility and efficiency you need to keep your business running smoothly.

  6. Disaster Recovery Images
    Having the flexibility to easily access your backups and restore files on the go is an essential and convenient aspect of File Backup. Equally significant are the System Image backups that enable you to restore applications and your operating system in the event of a catastrophic failure. Your backup solution must provide both of these options to ensure the security of your data.

  7. Virtual Machine Backup
    Virtual technology has become accessible to everyone in today's world. If you haven't already embraced it, you soon will. Virtualization not only enhances productivity for businesses, but it also adds flexibility to your backup and restoration processes. Imagine being able to transform a backup image into a bootable virtual machine. However, before you get too excited, make sure your backup vendor offers support for this feature.

  8. Regulatory Compliance
    HIPAA-Website-Verified-SealCompliance with privacy laws and regulations is a crucial requirement for all industries, but the level of restrictions can vary. While there are numerous solutions available to achieve compliance, only select backup vendors have gone the extra mile to proactively ensure that their solutions are compliance-friendly through rigorous testing and certification processes.

  9. Data Retention Features
    As your data continues to expand, it becomes clear that prioritizing your critical information for fast accessibility is crucial. Meanwhile, less important data can be archived or completely removed. To accommodate these needs, backup solutions should offer features that allow backup administrators to easily adjust data retention settings and efficiently remove unused data.

  10. Local Technical Support
    When faced with a potential partnership with a new vendor, it's essential to test the waters and get a sense of their technical support team. Are their responses thoughtful and deliberate, or do they rely on generic templates? Will you be directed to an overseas call center, or will you have access to local experts? In times of network downtime and mounting challenges, having backup experts at your disposal is invaluable.

The true worth of your data backup lies in its ability to restore your valuable information reliably when you need it the most. We encourage you to seize this annual reminder to thoroughly assess your business backup strategy and conduct comprehensive tests to ensure the restorability of your backups. Take a meticulous look at your current solution to ensure it ticks all the necessary boxes and provides you with the peace of mind you deserve.

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