Talk about air gapping appears to be buzzing across our industry thanks to our ever-growing ransomware risks. It’s really no wonder, given that hackers seem to find ways to overcome just about every obstacle IT teams can put in their path. Let’s take a look at why air gap backups are worth considering.
What Does Air Gapping Mean?
The answer is pretty simple. An air-gapped backup, as part of your backup and recovery strategy, is a copy of your organization’s data that’s offline and inaccessible. Without an internet or other network connection, it’s impossible for your backup device to be remotely hacked or corrupted. That leaves only a direct physical attack as a means to getting to your data. Traditionally, air gapping has been referred to in the context of tape backups, but today’s options for backing up to the cloud offer a virtual equivalent of air-gapped tape. But, while the cloud’s object-based storage defenses are incredibly powerful, a physically air gapped backup is your absolutely final line of defense.
Updating the 3-2-1 Rule
This ties back to our recent post about StorageCraft’s take on the traditional 3-2-1 rule. There we discuss how you should store one copy of your backups in a secure, offsite location. If that offsite copy is disconnected, it’s protected from malicious software, direct cyberattacks, and other threats. It also protects your backups even if ransomware compromises admin passwords or other data. If everything else fails, your air-gapped backups should be capable of restoring your entire network system.
Air Gapping Challenges
Although air gapping is your ultimate defense against disaster, it can also be costly in terms of labor. When your backup device is completely disconnected from your network, the only way to access it is with direct physical contact. That limits your ability to automate backups, and, while there are automated solutions available, any device that is connected from a network could become compromised. That means going to the device and physically transferring data is your best bet.
Ultimately, whether you choose to include air-gapped backups in your strategy depends on your unique situation. What matters most is that you have a solid backup and recovery plan in place and that you keep it up to date. StorageCraft offers solutions for organizations of every size that simplify backup and recovery and ensure your data is always protected.
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