Backup and Disaster Recovery Data Management Data Protection Data Storage Ransomware

Overcoming Challenges to Implementing Air-Gapped Technologies With Backup Software

October 19th, 2022

Air gapping isolates your backups by eliminating any external connections—wired or wireless—to the device or devices where your backups are stored. Air gapping adds another layer of data protection to your data resilience and business continuity efforts. And it can be your last line of defense if all your other systems are taken down by ransomware, a natural disaster, or another calamity.

A survey of global IT professionals by Statista found that 71 percent said their companies were affected by ransomware in 2022. Even worse, the same study found that the victims paid the ransom in about two-thirds of those ransomware attacks.

Backups Are Being Targeted

We’ve previously written about how Conti ransomware can encrypt files and delete backups. But backups are still the most crucial component for ensuring recovery from ransomware—or any other data disaster, for that matter.

Safeguarding your backups demands adding another layer of data protection. That starts with a sound disaster recovery plan that includes a 3-2-1-1 backup strategy. But in a world where almost anything can—and does—happen, adding an air-gapped backup gives you one more layer of protection. And it can be a priceless but cost-effective addition to your data protection efforts.

That’s why we found a post by DCIG’s Jerome Wendt regarding the challenges of managing air-gapped technologies using backup software to be of particular interest. The post lists the five challenges of using air-gapped technologies to store backups, and it’s well worth a read.

Arcserve provides logical and physical air-gapping solutions through it's Arcserve UDP and tape backup software.

Unified Data Protection Includes Air Gapping

The DCIG post notes that properly implementing and managing your backup technologies—including air gapping—starts by selecting a backup software such as Arcserve UDP that addresses the critical management challenges listed. Arcserve UDP unifies data protection, prevents cyberattacks across on- and off-premises workloads, and even orchestrates recovery.

Arcserve UDP does more than support air gapping, of course. It protects against data loss and extended downtime across cloud, local, virtual, hyperconverged, and SaaS-based workloads from a single management interface.

Arcserve UDP also:

  • Reduces downtime from days to minutes.
  • Validates RTOs and RPOs, and service-level agreements.
  • Deploys in minutes without the need for extensive training or professional services.
  • Prevents ransomware attacks on critical disaster recovery infrastructure with available Sophos Intercept X Advanced for Server.
  • Assures immutability of data backups with support for Amazon S3 Object Lock.
  • Restores faster with instant VM and bare metal recovery (BMR), local and remote virtual standby, application-consistent backup, and granular restore.
  • Includes hardware snapshot support and extensions that deliver high availability and tape support.
  • Protects Microsoft 365 workloads on-premises with deep data reduction, granular recovery, and offsite replication.

Tape Backups Offer Affordable Air Gapping

While many storage technologies can hold air-gapped backups, tape—a vintage technology that Univac first introduced in 1951—is still an important and cost-effective option. Allied Market Research says the global tape storage market will reach $9.42 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.8 percent. Tape isn’t leaving the marketplace anytime soon.

If you’re looking to upgrade your existing tape backup efforts, Arcserve Tape Backup software is a solution worth considering. A staple in global data centers for more than 28 years, Arcserve Tape Backup:

  • Eliminates IT time wasted sifting through data with centralized management and storage resource manager (SRM) reporting.
  • Monitors the status of all backup activities.
  • Identifies nodes that are taking the longest to back up.
  • Locates backed-up data quickly and tracks volume, disk, and media.
  • Enables sophisticated functionality for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer platforms.
  • Simplifies system management of your entire environment and mitigates the risk of data loss on virtualized servers.
  • Increases reliability with smart restore capabilities.
  • Allows the redirection of restore jobs to other media containing the same data without any manual intervention.
  • Quickly restores individual application objects from Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Delivers faster, more efficient backups and restores UNIX and Linux data overs for SAN-based backups.
  • Meets application-specific requirements with backup to disk, backup to tape, disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T), disk-to-disk-to-cloud (D2D2CC), virtual tape library (VTL), hardware snapshot support, multiplexing, and multi-streaming.

That’s quite a list. Add it all up, and it makes managing air-gapped tape backups easier than ever.

Get Answers About Air Gapping

Learn more about your air-gapped backup options by talking to an Arcserve technology partner.

Read the full DCIG post here.