By Ahsan Siddiqui, Director, Product Management, Arcserve
The mass transition to remote and hybrid workforces has opened up new opportunities—and new attack vectors—for cybercriminals. With more and more data being stored in the cloud and employees working in home offices where security is not necessarily a primary concern, ransomware attacks have skyrocketed.
Sophos State of Ransomware 2022 report found that 72 percent of organizations surveyed experienced an increase in the volume, complexity, and impact of cyberattacks, while two-thirds were hit by ransomware last year. Even worse, 65 percent of those attacks resulted in the organization’s data being encrypted. That brings us to the only possible conclusion: It’s not a matter of if but when your organization will suffer an attack.
Data Protection Depends on a Comprehensive Strategy
Historically, CISOs have focused on building a moat around the castle, relying on firewalls, antivirus solutions, multi-factor authentication (MFA), intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and other tactics. Sadly, these barriers are no longer up to the task because most organizational data now resides outside the metaphorical castle. Even with layers of defensive measures in place, organizations are still vulnerable to cyberattacks—and their data is still being compromised.
Today, you need a 360-degree view of IT security for effective data protection. That means expanding your focus to include data backup and recovery solutions—and immutable storage. These areas haven’t previously been a core part of cybersecurity conversations. But with backups increasingly being targeted by ransomware, they must now be a critical component of every cybersecurity strategy.
In reality, backup, recovery, and immutable storage are the most critical components of your strategy because they are your last line of defense. A solid data protection plan can safeguard your organization’s mission-critical data and help secure your company against disruptions and cyberattacks. That minimizes the risks your operation faces.
You also need to look at rebalancing your overall approach to data security. And you likely need a better way to manage risk while optimizing your ability to recover your data in a disaster.
Here are the top three steps you—and every CISO—can take to balance the equation and integrate data protection into your cybersecurity plans.
1. Create or Update Your Recovery Plan
The first step in any cybersecurity strategy should be backing up critical data. But data backup isn’t enough. You also need a plan to recover your data quickly and cost-effectively in the event of a cyberattack. Without a well-considered recovery plan, you may be unable to restore the precise version of a file or folder you want if you experience data loss.
Here’s another way to think about data backup and recovery. Restoring your data without a solid recovery plan is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together with half the pieces missing. It’s a recipe for disaster because once a crisis hits, it’s too late. An effective recovery plan helps you locate what you need and quickly begin the recovery process because every minute of downtime is costly.
2. Choose Immutable Storage
A robust backup and recovery plan safeguards your data even if you do fall victim to a cyberattack. A storage solution that continually protects your data by taking snapshots every 90 seconds is a vital component for supporting that plan. These snapshots make it possible for you to go back to specific points in time—before an attack—and recover entire file systems in a matter of minutes. So, even if a ransomware attack is successful, you can quickly and easily recover your data from a very recent point in time.
With immutable backups, your data can’t be altered in any way—not even by admins or, more importantly, ransomware. So you can count on having recovery points available when needed. That’s the ultimate data protection. Immutability also creates a bridge between security and operational infrastructure teams, removing traditional silos by letting them speak the same language and collaborate in the face of cyber threats.
3. Get One-Click Recovery
You need to do everything you can to minimize downtime after an attack. The first step is choosing a data protection system that’s easy to deploy, simple to manage, and steady as a rock under even the most harrowing circumstances. The system should also include orchestrated recovery with a single click. And you should be able to recover confidently by safely spinning up copies of physical and virtual systems onsite and offsite in minutes—not hours or days.
The most effective data protection systems use analytics to identify frequently used data that your business should always back up—and less vital data that doesn’t require regular backups. The result is an intelligent, tiered data architecture that gives you fast access to mission-critical information. And it helps you reduce storage costs without sacrificing data protection.
Protect Your Most Important Asset
Your data is your organization’s most important asset. If it’s compromised by ransomware, your operations are dead in the water. That’s why you need to make data protection a crucial part of your cybersecurity strategy. With the right approach, your data will be quickly and easily recoverable, even after an attack.
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