Intelligent CIO North America Issue 3 - Page 68

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Enterprise Security

In the face of more sophisticated ransomware , backup must become unbreakable – but how ?

Charles Burger , Global Director of Assureon Solutions at Nexsan , discusses how data management flexibility combined with effective backup is critical .

Backup is a core part of any

organization ’ s overall data management strategy , but the ability to simply store and access data is not sufficient – maintaining consistent copies of data over time and being able to access it at any time is vital .
Unfortunately , backups have become the latest malware target , as more sophisticated ransomware attacks now not only seek to attack on-site production data , but every possible copy , wherever the copies reside . If infected users have access to the location where data has been backed up , there is a real risk that it will also be encrypted by the attack .
This is of major concern , because when backups are compromised by malware , it can eliminate any chance of recovery .
In this context , data management flexibility combined with effective backup is among the most critical capabilities in an organization ’ s data management strategy . This is also important from an efficiency and cost perspective because modern data-hungry organizations need to protect all of their unstructured data – all the way through the backups .
Many IT strategies wisely follow the 3 – 2 – 1 rule for data management , which recommends the maintenance of : Three copies of data , two copies on different media and one offsite or immutable copy . This layered accessibility allows the retrieval to the state of data at an earlier point in time or allows restoration due to data loss within the primary storage layer .
But what are the backup destination requirements in an era when unbreakable infrastructure is becoming key to defeating the threat of ransomware ? There are several vital components :
1 . Agile and effective data ingest and recovery
A backup destination must be capable of integrating into any backup solution and ingesting and recovering data with multiple GB / s of throughput . The benefits this offers users is that it enables plug-n-play deployment , scaling to multiple backup clients and the ability to quickly access backups when desired .
2 . Scale and capacity
Backup capacity is typically sized to be multiples of the amount of source data . Approaching the planning process in this way allows a user to maintain several full backups and incremental backups only constrained by backup storage capacity . A backup destination therefore needs to be able to scale to PBs and more .
3 . Integrity and availability
Despite significant advances in reliability and longevity , storage media has finite endurance . It is important , therefore , that a backup target , like any primary storage solution , should provide the ability to tolerate storage media failure and keep backed up data readily available .
4 . Security
Some backups are considered of higher value than others , such as those protecting data that is absolutely essential to the functioning of a business – data that cannot be lost due to cyberattacks or even human errors .
5 . Low total cost of ownership
The purpose of backup storage is to retain vast amounts of data , and as such , it is not primary storage . Access is only needed when primary data is not accessible , or when an earlier point-in-time backup is needed . Such a layer needs to be extremely dense and cost-effective . •
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