As Digital Life Gets Cloudy, Effective Backups Clear the Skies for Business Continuity

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Imagine a championship-caliber NBA basketball team losing its top three players to serious injuries midway through the season. The devastated fans would immediately reduce their expectations of a championship to an inferior feeder, and management would essentially abandon the season and focus on rebuilding the franchise. While a sports team can still bounce back from losing its core assets, in the business world the loss of one of your most valuable assets – data – is very often the fatal blow to the business.

94% of businesses suffering from catastrophic data loss do not survive. Of those, 43% never reopen, according to the University of Texas. And despite the perception that the cloud supports us for backup, data loss due to user error, data overwriting, or malicious actors is actually quite common.

The past year has seen a spike in data breaches, with the number of incidents increasing 68% year-on-year to an all-time high. Ransomware attacks, which at the best of times cause unwanted downtime and have the ability to wipe out the entire enterprise data pool, have also increased in 2021. The worrying trend does not seem not likely to reverse any time soon.

These and other data security trends are placing increasing pressure on businesses to not only ensure the maximum possible security for their networks, but also to properly safeguard every crucial service in the way that best suits their needs. business needs.

Evaluation of your data

Before developing its overall backup strategy and business continuity plan (BCP), any business should start with a strategic assessment of its digital assets. The business needs to establish how crucial each service and data set is to its operations, how long it can sustain activities without accessing it, how much data it can lose without going under, and how badly it could be impacted if leak.

Based on this assessment, the business must determine what data it needs to back up, how often it needs to be backed up, and how to secure the backups. If necessary, he must also develop a BCP taking into account a failover solution. Ultimately, valuation comes down to calculating financial risk – damage times probability.

Modern organizations rely heavily on software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to manage much of their day-to-day operations. Hundreds of companies rely on services such as Salesforce to do their CRM, Hubspot to automate their marketing campaigns, MailChimp to manage their email campaigns and use dozens of other services for hiring, customer support, development, etc. Additionally, they rely on these SaaS solutions to take care of backups and expect high availability and security at all times. However, most SaaS systems operate in the cloud, making many business applications publicly available to some degree, and therefore increasingly vulnerable. This includes their backup options. The lesson here is that a business cannot completely rely on one vendor and one cloud storage solution in general.

Backup Best Practices

The Well-Architected Framework, which contains design principles and architectural best practices for building and running cloud workloads, is a must-have for any DevOps engineer and leader. Moreover, it is a good starting point for developing concrete measures and protocols for safeguards. To improve their protections against data breaches, companies should explore a wide variety of measures, ranging from cloud risk assessments and updated security protocols to smarter authentication policies and security drills. phishing.

A close look at the company’s SaaS stack is sure to reveal some services that are more valuable than others. These require extra security in terms of backups, as losing them could mean the loss of the entire business, not just the loss of a winning year. Most popular SaaS solutions like Salesforce and Google Workspace work with third-party SaaS companies that can manage user backups. This is a good option – if available.

However, a third-party service can also go down, so businesses should be sure to go the extra mile to keep their data secure. Backups also need backups. This is why companies would be wise to favor backup solutions equipped with robust application programming interfaces (APIs). Setting up another backup for data stored in a separate cloud environment is just a matter of writing a few custom scripts.

Less developer-friendly solutions will mean more manual work for their customers. With these, the user will need to proactively extract the backup data from the service and transfer it to safe storage, whether it is another cloud environment or even an isolated archive containing a copy of the offline organization data. Although this process involves more headaches, its intrinsic value in ensuring the integrity of all business operations cannot be underestimated.

Backups are a critical safeguard that every business should take seriously. It’s not the sexiest component of CloudOps, and doing it right can impact operational budget. But with critical data backup, prevention is better than cure. Not to mention that data backups are essential to mitigate ransomware attacks.

As our digital future becomes increasingly cloudy, effective data backup, including preparing for the threat of ransomware attacks, requires focusing on alignment with enterprise architecture, which is essential for long-term business continuity. Rolling the dice and not taking these actions won’t just lead to taking time to rebuild the business, like in the NBA; instead, it likely means the end of the business.

Shalom Carmel is the CIO of GlobalDots.

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