Data resiliency is the talk of IT these days and for good reasons. Data breaches continue to soar—IT Governance recently posted that its research identified 100 publicly disclosed incidents just in March 2023, accounting for 41,970,182 breached records.
Meanwhile, Sophos’ State of Ransomware 2023 report found that 66 percent of those surveyed said their organizations were hit by ransomware last year, with 76 percent of those attacks succeeding in encrypting the victims’ data.
Data Resiliency: Preparing for the Worst
With so many threats, ensuring your data is resilient is the only way to ensure your organization can spring back 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 between the two 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 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), which 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 how to recognize 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 is different 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. And cloud-based disaster recovery solutions like Arcserve SaaS Backup and Arcserve Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) 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. But 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 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.
Choose Backup Software Built for Tape
Arcserve Tape Backup offers powerful tape backup software for your high-capacity storage. The software centralizes management and storage resource manager (SRM) reporting, so you can monitor all backup activities, find the nodes that are taking the longest, locate backed-up data, and track volume, disk, and memory usage on every production server. It also incorporates sophisticated functionality for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer platforms.
Most importantly, Arcserve Tape Backup software lets you quickly restore individual application objects from Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint. And it delivers faster, more efficient backups and restores with UNIX and Linux data movers for storage-area network (SAN)-based backups.
Arcserve Tape Backup is versatile, too, meeting application-specific requirements with backup to disk, backup to tape, disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T), disk-to-disk-to-cloud (D2D2C), virtual tape library (VTL), hardware snapshot support, multiplexing, and multi-streaming.
For expert help with ensuring your organization’s data is resilient, and you can recover from any disaster, choose an Arcserve Technology Partner.