5 Steps You Must Take To Ensure Data Resiliency (And Why #5 Might Surprise You!)

APRIL 2ND, 2024
Vitali Edrenkine
EVP, Worldwide Sales & Marketing

Data resiliency is the talk of IT these days, and for good reasons. Data breaches continue to soar. IT Governance recently posted that global data breaches and cyberattacks resulted in a breathtaking 719,366,482 records breached in February of this year alone. 

Meanwhile, Sophos’ State of Ransomware 2023 report found that 66 percent of those surveyed said their organizations were hit by ransomware last year, and 76 percent of those attacks succeeded in encrypting the victims’ data.

Data Resiliency: Preparing for the Worst

With so many threats, resilient data is the only way to ensure your organization can recover from any attack, breach, natural disaster, hardware failure, or other incident. While many IT pros may think of data resiliency as data recovery, the difference is straightforward: data resilience is proactive, while data recovery is reactive. 

So, what should you do to ensure your organization’s data is resilient and always available when needed? Here are five steps to get you there.

1. Strengthen Your Security Posture

As we said, data resilience is all about being proactive. That starts with implementing a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and data protection. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 is an excellent resource for doing so, offering standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage security risks. 

Then there’s ISO/IEC 27001, the world’s best-known standard for information security management systems (ISMS). This standard provides companies of any size with guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving ISMS. 

While these frameworks cover most of the areas you need to consider as you enhance your data security, here are some specific areas where improvements can make a significant difference:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities, threats, and risks so you can prioritize your security efforts and allocate resources accordingly.
  • Implement strong access controls, including multifactor authentication (MFA) and the principle of least privilege, granting users only the minimum access required for their roles.
  • Encrypt all sensitive data in transit and at rest.
  • Regularly update and patch systems to ensure vulnerabilities that hackers often exploit are removed.
  • Train your employees in security best practices, including recognizing ransomware and other social engineering schemes and what to do if they encounter anything suspicious.
  • Implement robust firewall and intrusion detection/intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS) to detect and prevent unauthorized access or malicious activities within your environment.
  • Conduct regular security audits and assessments and add a security information and event management (SIEM) system to collect, monitor, and analyze security logs.

2. Develop (Or Update) Your Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan

A well-defined disaster recovery plan is crucial for minimizing downtime and ensuring you can quickly get operations back up and running. Your plan should include your data backup strategy—including your RPOs and RTOs—and detailed procedures for data restoration, system recovery, and business continuity. Regular testing and updating of your disaster recovery plan is essential for ensuring it will be effective as your business evolves. 

3. Implement an Effective Backup Solution

Data backups are fundamental to achieving data resilience. The 3-2-1-1 backup strategy is the best way to ensure your backups are always safeguarded and available. And it’s pretty simple. Keep three copies of your data (one primary and two backups), with two copies stored locally in two formats and one copy stored offsite in the cloud or secure storage. The last one stands for immutable storage, where your backups are saved in a write-once-read-many-times format that can’t be altered or deleted. Immutability differs from encryption in that there is no key, so there should be no way to “read” or reverse the immutability. That gives you a last line of defense against any disaster.

4. Embrace the Cloud

The cloud offers unmatched scalability and flexibility. Cloud services like AWS also provide solutions like S3 Object Lock, an immutable format that lets you take advantage of the cloud without sacrificing security. Cloud-based solutions like Arcserve SaaS Backup offer you rapid recovery with automated backups and replication to multiple data centers so that even if a local disaster strikes, your data remains accessible

5. Harness the Benefits of Tape Backup and Air Gapping

You may be surprised to learn that magnetic tape was created in 1928. Let that sink in. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the technology was applied to data storage on mainframe computers. 

So why are we talking about a technology that is nearly 100 years old? Because it still works—very well. Tape is an excellent option for long-term data archiving and is especially effective for offsite, air-gapped storage—whether you use a virtual or physical air gap. Tape is also very cost-effective for large volumes of data. That may be why the global tape market is projected to grow to nearly $4.24 billion by 2027, a CAGR of more than 7 percent. 

With your data air-gapped and stored offsite on tape, you have one more reliable option for disaster recovery if all of your other options fail. 

Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) software includes extensions that deliver high availability and support tape backups. It offers much more than tape support, protecting against data loss and extended downtime across your cloud, local, virtual, and SaaS-based workloads. 

You can also reduce your downtime from days to minutes and validate your RTOs, RPOs, and service-level agreements (SLAs) with automated testing and granular reporting. 

For expert help with ensuring IT and data resiliency, and you can recover from any disaster, choose an Arcserve Technology Partner.

To learn more about Arcserve UDP, request a demo.

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