Integrating modern data protection into the normal business cycle is one of the best things you can do for your organization. But where to start ? That is the question. This article aims to provide you with a practical framework for improving your company’s data protection.
Start by performing a data protection assessment of all of your company’s data sources. You need to profile all your data. Each dataset brings different value to the business. Before making storage and protection decisions, you need to know what category each part belongs to – and the level of value it offers or could cost the business. You need to figure out what to protect and how to protect it. This analysis should cover both primary and secondary storage.
On the primary storage front, you would be wise to perform data analysis, determine what data should be encrypted and what should not, and determine how protection should keep your business compliant, especially if your business is in a regulated market. On the secondary storage front, you need to figure out what to do from a replication/snapshot perspective for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Data security must go hand in hand with cyber resilience. Data must be isolated, including logical spacing and immutable snapshot technologies. Logical air spacing creates space between source storage and immutable snapshots, while remote air spacing sends data to a remote system.
Then you need the ability to create a fenced forensic environment (an isolated network). The Fenced Forensic Environment provides a safe place to provide forensic analysis of backup datasets to identify a copy of the data that is free of malware or ransomware and can be safely restored – that copy is often referred to by storage and backup administrators as “a good copy.”
Immutable snapshots enable rapid recovery from cyberattacks and ensure that copies of data cannot be altered, deleted, or altered in any way. This ensures data integrity. At the same time, you need to use a system that can speed recovery time to minutes, not hours or days.
Together, immutable snapshots, air spacing, a fenced forensic environment, and fast recovery time bring a much-needed new level of enterprise-grade cyber resilience to an organization.
Stan Wysocki, President of Mark III Systems, a North American IT solutions provider, said, “What excites me the most is providing our customers with a complete storage-based ransomware solution that combines snapshots isolated immutables with a network automated solution to determine safe recovery points and then provide near instantaneous recovery.
As modern data protection improves testing, you need to figure out how to use snapshots, replicas, and backup for DevOps and software developers, while staying in control. To stay in control, you need to delineate all of your processes. You also need to know how to manage compliance, especially with archived data.
When a security incident occurs, it is recommended to examine it holistically. Here are some simple steps to keep in mind:
Make sure the primary storage is clean.
Identify a known good copy of the data and your backup datasets, which frankly is easier said than done, but it’s important.
Establish a fenced forensic environment.
Fetch into this fenced network for your data analysis so you can identify the “known good copy”.
Make sure there is no ransomware or malware on the data before performing your final recovery on your production servers and storage infrastructure.
Then continue the process for all your relevant datasets.
Because a company’s data sets have different levels of value, many are turning to scalable data protection to protect their most valuable assets at the appropriate level, which keeps storage more affordable. Since proper data protection and backup is an operational expense (OPEX), businesses should always be cost conscious.
Data in the enterprise space alone is worth trillions of dollars, and you can’t let it fall into the wrong hands or allow an attack on it to cripple the business. It’s no wonder the World Economic Forum has named cybersecurity one of its top five priorities.
Good data protection and cyber resilience can be the difference between staying in business and going bankrupt. It all starts with integrating storage into your company’s cybersecurity strategy.