Why Your Organization's Cybersecurity Strategy Should Be Built on Backups, High Availability, and Immutable Storage


By Byron Horn-Botha, Business Unit Head, Arcserve South Africa

You may be asking yourself what data backup, high availability, and immutability have to do with cybersecurity strategies. In a word, everything. These data protection components give you a rock-solid foundation for a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that protects you from a wide range of cyber threats. They also reduce the impact of security incidents and ensure business continuity. 

Backups Are the Foundation for Data Disaster Recovery 

Data backup solutions create copies of critical data and store them separately from your primary data, preferably offline or disconnected from the primary system, using virtual or physical air-gapping. 

That ensures you have a clean copy of your data that you can use for restoration and recovery in case of a ransomware attack, data breach, accidental deletion, or other data disaster. Backups give you a safety net by providing a means to restore lost data and minimize downtime.

Business Continuity Depends on High Availability

Keeping your operations continuously going demands that your data is highly available. That ensures critical systems and services stay up and running, reducing your risk of business disruption and financial loss. But immutability matters most. More on that later. 

Massive Data Growth Means More Vulnerabilities

Statista reports that the amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed globally will reach 120 zettabytes this year. That’s why incorporating these technologies and processes into your cybersecurity strategies is essential to safeguarding your ever-growing amounts of data and your systems and operations. 

But there are many types of data, including financial records, private customer data, and emails. Statista predicts that 347.3 billion emails will be sent in 2023. That translates into a ton of targets for hackers’ favorite entry strategy: infiltrating networks using phishing, malicious attachments, and other social engineering schemes.  

But that’s just the entry point. Once inside your systems, hackers move through servers and critical databases across your network, encrypting files. This is where immutable backups make all the difference.  

Immutability Starts With 3-2-1-1

Did you know that when you keep your backups in immutable storage, they are immune to cyberattacks? Immutable backups are copies of data saved in a write-once-read-many-times (WORM) format that unauthorized users can’t alter, tamper with, or delete—even if they gain access to your primary and backup systems.

That’s why we urge you to follow the 3-2-1-1 backup strategy. The first three digits haven’t changed from the traditional meaning: Keep three copies of your data (production data and two backups) on two different media (disk or tape, for example), with one copy kept offsite for disaster recovery.

The last “1” refers to keeping one copy of data in immutable storage where it’s safeguarded from malicious attacks, accidental deletions, and any other type of data loss. That makes it a core component of any data resiliency strategy.

Your Last Line of Defense

What about the ever-present threat of malicious insiders? Employees with access to critical information can create a data disaster with a single click. Immutable backups give you a last line of defense by ensuring a usable copy of your data is always available for recovery.

Immutable network-attached storage can deliver continuous data protection by taking low-overhead snapshots every 90 seconds, with each snapshot creating a new object. Each object preserves the image of the file system at the instant the snapshot is taken. Since the underlying objects are immutable, the snapshots inherit that immutability.

Snapshots Simplify Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

Immutability keeps your backups secure, ensuring data integrity by enabling you to compare backups to the original data to validate that it is intact. Using snapshots also makes it simple to go back to specific points in time and recover entire file systems in minutes.  

The only way to ensure you can recover from a data disaster is by implementing a sound data resiliency strategy. That includes choosing business continuity solutions that automate disaster recovery testing of business-critical systems, applications, and data on replica servers to ensure data integrity.

It’s also worth considering solutions that let you spin up virtual machines (VMs) from backup data that can serve as standbys should a source node fail. Finally, immutable backups can be crucial for compliance with regulatory requirements ranging from POPIA to GDPR.

Get Expert Support

Arcserve technology partners can help you put a sound data resiliency strategy in place that ensures your company can recover from any data disaster—no matter what.

You can find an Arcserve technology partner here.

And be sure to check out our free demos.    

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