Top bets for backup and business continuity

April 2024 Infrastructure

Backup solutions are no longer the outside player in the modern cybersecurity framework. They are a pivotal extension of what is required, governed, and mandated. Many organisations are doubling down on their backup and business continuity strategies to further mitigate risk against various cybersecurity attack vectors. This includes routinely embedding these issues in cybersecurity best practices such as identity and access management, multi-factor authentication and end user training.

Byron Horn-Botha.

This is required because it will further reduce the residual risk that is constantly evolving and pushing the goalposts on a near-daily basis. The following are the essentials of an effective backup and business continuity solution:

• First and foremost, the ability to restore. It is all very well backing up a solution, but not much use if it cannot be restored. Additionally, users and partners must ensure that data is restorable by proactively checking the validity and health of the data. A proactive approach like this can uncover corrupted data or if it has malicious content that needs to be removed or quarantined until further investigation and diagnosis can occur. Additionally, monitoring backups that are being missed or validating the reporting will ensure engineers are confident backups are available and have occurred. Valuable insights like this can stop data with malicious intent in its tracks.

• You need to ask - can the solution dynamically grow with the organisation’s ever-changing needs? We are seeing market consolidation en masse; this means exponential data growth over and above the already booming data landscape. The solution should be robust enough to evolve with organisational requirements and growth aspirations. This means scaling on demand and categorising servers for circumstances such as high availability for critically designated needs. This approach also supports a wide range of commodity-based hardware instances and is thus commonly available and deployed in organisations. There is no need for forklift upgrades or mass disruption in an organisation when changes occur.

• Is the solution cloud-ready? Can you follow best practices and still adopt a cloud strategy for offloading or replicating offsite to the cloud? Support for hyperscalers is excellent, but some niche players are entering the market and making provision for these offerings allows clients flexibility in evaluating a cloud strategy for their backups when formulating against best backup practices of 3-2-1-1 (3 copies of data, 2 different media, 1 offsite and 1 on immutable storage).

• Best practice implementation is the driver of business continuity. Adoption ensures your data is adequately protected and gives users peace of mind that restorable data is available. Implementing immutability has provided the needed push of backup and business continuity to the cybersecurity landscape by offering that extra layer of protection against malicious activity and attacks.

• So, what is your immutable strategy? Have you realised the value and importance? How will you adopt it to ensure you have a robust backup strategy in line with the data governance best practices you already have in place in your organisation? If the latter is not in place, how are you addressing that?

Become your organisation’s data pioneer and spearhead data governance and protection of critical data. Challenge why best practices are not adopted or in place, while highlighting the inherent risks this poses.

Finally, ensure that the solution offers 24/7 support. Partner with a vendor who is equally invested in your organisation's success and understands that uptime and access to data are crucial for recovery and continuity.

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