IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news


World Backup Day 2019 update page

World Backup Day 2019, a day dedicated to the importance of regular backups, took place on 31st March. This page provides updates related to the event; including useful resources, information and statistics.

Backup – is your strategy evolving?

It goes without saying that backing up data is one of the most important things a business can do, especially considering how data is now essentially the lifeblood of an organization. With this in mind, five IT industry professionals give their advice as to how business continuity professionals can keep up with the ever-evolving world of backup... Read this article here

Global research reveals that backup and recovery strategies are shifting with evolving threats

Barracuda has released key findings from a global research study entitled ‘Closing Backup and Recovery Gaps’. Barracuda surveyed more than 1,000 IT professionals, business executives, and backup administrators worldwide to find out more about their data protection strategies. Read this article here

Acronis World Backup Day Survey

In advance of World Backup Day, Acronis announced results from its 2019 World Backup Day Survey.

Business users who responded to Acronis’ World Backup Day Survey are already prepared to protect their files, apps, and systems – with a significant majority citing safety and security of their data as the benefits that are most important to them, ranking them first and second, respectively.

The 2019 survey is the first-time companies were included in the annual poll, and the responses came from businesses of all sizes – including 32.7 percent small businesses with under 100 employees, 41.0 percent medium businesses with between 101 and 999 employees, and 26.3 percent large enterprises employing 1,000 people or more.

Regardless of the company size, the majority make protecting their data a priority by backing up their company data monthly (35.1 percent), weekly (24.8 percent), or daily (25.9 percent). As a result, 68.7 percent said they did not suffer a data loss event during the past year that resulted in downtime.

These companies were also clearly aware of the latest risks to their data, which is why they reported being either concerned or highly concerned about ransomware (60.6 percent), cryptojacking (60.1 percent), and social engineering attacks (61.0 percent).

In practice, businesses of all sizes rely on cloud backups, with 48.3 percent using the cloud exclusively and 26.8 percent using a combination of local and cloud backup. In terms of security (‘data protected against online threats and cybercriminals’), the cloud provides a buffer that such malware attacks have difficulty to breach.

Putting a stop to data loss: Aruba's recommendations for World Backup Day 2019

Aruba S.p.A., has shared some recommendations on how to secure sensitive data as part of World Backup Day 2019.

In today’s digital world, data loss cases have become more frequent than ever. However, a global survey conducted by Ontrack Data Recovery in 2018 revealed that out of about 350 organizations involved in data loss, 33 percent of them were not using any backup system when the data loss occurred.

What’s more, ensuring data protection is even more important given today’s regulatory framework. The GDPR requires that businesses provide, if requested by a customer, access to their data. businesses are also requested to store this data appropriately to avoid cyber attacks or mass-deletion. GDPR demands that data is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures ('integrity and confidentiality'). In this context, the use of backup solutions is a necessity for all businesses.

As part of World Backup Day, Aruba is recommending the below to businesses looking to secure their business-critical data:

1. Trust the cloud: the scalability of the cloud offers quick solutions to transfer and save your own content on a remote server. Advantages include the ease of consulting files and the ability to modify them from anywhere in the world, at any time, without compatibility limitations due to software or operating systems.

2. Make regular backups: software can perform regular backups automatically, on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis, thus minimising both the effort required and bandwidth usage so as not to interfere with other daily operations. Businesses should therefore set up constant backups and perform regular recovery tests to prevent data loss.

3. Consider the appropriate disaster recovery solution: backup and disaster recovery are two sides of the same coin. The first aims to safeguard the data in a granular way, with the possibility of returning to a specific moment in time. The second allows businesses to restore a service, in its entirety, a sequel to a disastrous event that can be completed by the service delivery site; the restoration takes place according to specific disaster recovery plans. Both approaches serve different purposes, but the most effective strategy is often a combination of both.

4. Choose a trusted provider: data is stored in data centres / centers, which is a physical location embedded in a territory. Each territory will have different certifications and security regulations. As IT grows as a strategic element, it is important to make sure that the supplier delivers certified services according to industry standards, such as ISO 9001 and 27001.

A comment from Jasmit Sagoo, senior director, Northern Europe, Veritas Technologies:

Data may have become the new oil, but many consistently fail to protect such a valuable resource.

Over a thousand mobile phones, laptops and hard drives are lost or stolen each day. Stored within these lost devices are sensitive intellectual property, customer and employee details, and business-critical information. In many cases, the data has never been backed up, which means it’s gone forever.

World Backup Day is a good reminder for us all to back up our treasured data. Businesses should also take the opportunity to declutter their digital data and educate their employees on best practice when it comes to data etiquette.

Here’s how you can take back control of your data:

1. Back up at regular intervals – setting up a regular schedule to make multiple copies of your data may sound obvious but is one step that many organisations forget to take. In the unlikely event of a cloud outage or ransomware attack, you want to maintain business resilience and ensure operations continue to run with minimal disruption.

2. Apply data protection across all workloads – data is growing rapidly and becoming more fragmented across clouds, virtual environments and application platforms. Unified data protection is the only way your IT organisation can deliver required service levels while limited costing and risk – whether data resides on-premises or in the cloud.

3. Isolate your backups – it’s crucial that the technology you use to store backup data is not part of your network. This is especially relevant for ransomware attacks. Public cloud is reliable and cost-effective to set up. It is also very easy to scale as your business grows and evolves. 

4. The 3-2-1 rule – keep at least three copies of your data, on at least two devices, with at least one copy offsite.

5. Test your recovery process – running fire drills on a regular basis will help ensure employees are familiar with the processes involved in recovering the data that they need. This may involve checking that a secondary site will go live if the main site fails, or it can be as simple as recovering an arbitrary file to a PC and checking it is identical to the original.

A comment from David Francis, Information Security Consultant at KCOM:

This World Backup Day, it’s vital that businesses track data movement.

It takes companies an average of 206 days to discover a breach, so generally, they are not aware when they have been attacked. The scary thing is, the threat doesn’t have to be external: insiders pose just as much of a threat to your data. Research shows that 90 percent of organizations feel vulnerable to insider threats. It could be a developer with a grudge placing a time bomb in the system to erase crucial intellectual property, or even an outgoing executive quietly deleting things in the background.

If done quietly over a period of time, you could lose your data and even your backups, with no way of tracing the culprit. This is in addition to the huge GDPR fines you would face. 

With that in mind, companies need to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their IT infrastructure – if they’re in the cloud, do they understand how data is proliferating across it, and what essential data is being stored where? An ongoing cloud optimisation programme can help to guide data backup projects, providing an up-to-date map of your cloud resources and which business units are using resource where.

Companies need to have measures in place to track data movement to prevent this kind of insider threat. Businesses should take World Backup Day as an opportunity to check whether your security system is tracking data movement – if not, your backups may be at risk…

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