First, sorry for getting nostalgic with some of these cybersecurity special messages, but when I see the word “backups,” I get excited and it reminds me of Veritas, which was the original server backup software that CTS implemented over two decades ago. I remember the good ole days when there were backup tapes with robotic arms. After a new deployment, I would stand there for at least 10 minutes smiling and watching the arm, as if I created fire or something!
Now onto the important cybersecurity topic of the day, which is ensuring that your organization’s critical data is protected no matter what. Businesses have data located in more places than ever, meaning information is in the cloud (OneDrive, DropBox, etc), user’s computers and laptops, onsite servers, smartphones, and cloud-based servers (Microsoft Azure, AWS, etc).
So how do you know for sure that your data and business are 100% covered? The first step is to have a formal and well-defined backup disaster recovery (BDR) plan that is communicated to all stakeholders. Data backups of systems are just one piece of a proper disaster recovery plan to ensure that your business can continue operating at a profitable and reasonable level regardless of the disaster: Ransomware, building fire, power outage, data deletion, or corruption, etc. Currently, we are just going to discuss data protection/backups and restoration. If you have a need for a backup disaster recovery plan or want to learn more about them, please reach out!
The good news is that there are solutions out there to back up any kind of data, regardless of where it is stored. Even live databases and in-use files can now be backed up properly! Traditional backups would have the ability to backup flat files that weren’t in use, such as Word and Excel files, and would not be able to do live database backups. Also, traditional backups typically do not protect the operating system and non-data files. So, in the case of a complete server loss, you would need to reinstall the server and then bring back the data separately which increases your full restoration timeline.
BDR solutions are far more advanced and have functions that provide a comprehensive solution to all your data storage needs. BDR solutions take full system backups, meaning that it is taking live copies of the entire server, and this can be done every hour. So, in the event of a server being fully destroyed and dying, the worse amount of data loss is less than an hour. And because it has the entire contents (essentially a copy) of the server, you can actually spin up that server within 30 minutes in the event of a hardware failure. How amazing is that?! A critical server physically breaks, and your organization is up and running in 30 minutes.
For the past few years, BDR solutions allow those full backups to be synchronized to secure data centers. In the event of a building catching fire or flooding, you can fully spin up your servers within those remote data centers and your critical business processes can continue with employees working from home.
Regardless of what data protection you have in place, we STRONGLY encourage everyone to test their backups at least quarterly. We call this the CTS Backup Challenge and have users delete test data and see if we can recover the data. That is the only true way to ensure that your backup is working properly.
To discuss a disaster recovery plan or backup solutions, please reach out to Frank at fstephens@onlineCTS.com or (847) 894-6304. Together we are in this ongoing battle in keeping businesses safe!