Addressing cyber attacks with the right backup solution

by in Information Management & Governance

We've commented in our Data Protection journey, how Micro Focus Data Protector provides customers a modern backup solution with new and advanced functionalities to address new Hybrid IT environments.

We've also talked about how to reduce backup cost and complexity choosing the right backup solution  to provide, with just a single solution, the required backup functionalities for your most exigent and heterogeneous environments.

In this new article, we will highlight our approach and some of the Data Protector functionalities that may help our customers successfully face the epidemic of cyberattacks in the XXI century.

As a result of recent events, the use of IT technologies as well as the generation of digital information, has increased exponentially during 2020, ransomware has become a global pandemic for the IT world and that is spreading like wildfire. Since ransomware started to appear, there has been an ongoing evolution of attacks, targeting different IT sectors, IT system vulnerabilities, and it´s developing its techniques to create as much as possible damages to the different targeted companies, and just because ransomware is a very profitable business.

Continuous and enhanced Data Protection capabilities

When facing with a ransom demand, there is a dilemma that you may not get your data back even if you pay. According to an FBI internet crime report1, “The FBI does not support paying a ransom to the adversary. Paying a ransom does not guarantee an organization will regain access to their data; in fact, some individuals or organizations were never provided with decryption keys after having paid a ransom.”

So, what should an organization do? It is easy to say ‘no’ to ransom demand when you have an up-to-minute copy of the data tucked away safely somewhere that the ransomware cannot touch. Equally important is how easy it is to restore the data to minimize productivity impact and operational disruptions. Customers need to choose an enterprise backup software that delivers the enterprise those functionalities they need to address cyber-attacks, some of the required functionalities should be:

■ Policy based to ensure that business critical data is backed up with the right RPOs and RTOs.

■ Deep integration with primary storage, is critical to meet the recovery performance expectations.

■ Manage the snapshot schedule performing snapshots on an hourly basis, thus minimizing the amount of data loss if ransomware strikes.

■ Efficient in consuming network bandwidth and storage through advanced deduplication capabilities.

■ Secure in both data transmission and storage.

■ Bare-metal recovery capabilities to be able to recover to dissimilar hardware and that it can recover both system information and data as well.

12017 Internet Crime Report

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Real Backup solution

Protecting corporate assets is a tremendous responsibility placed on IT teams, and the only real solution against ransomware is to prevent the attack. But, it’s a task that is too vast and complex to be handled without the right backup tools and automation.

As mentioned above, effective backup solutions should include functionalities specifically designed to help IT teams to cope with, not only current ransomware attacks, but vast number of future cyber-attacks on IT businesses. Therefore the question is simple, could we implement a data protection strategy allowing us to simplify the processes but including advanced capabilities for the full hybrid IT environment? Yes we can!, by using Micro Focus Data Protector as the single data, application and virtual system backup and disaster recovery software. Let´s take a look about how a real enterprise backup solution may help to protect critical assets against cyber-attacks:

3-2-1 Back rule

Having the data in different media types and locations will prevent customers to be impacted by Cyber-attacks; backing up data onto a different media types that are isolated from the regular system environments, will prevents malicious code from infecting the systems and data. This approach follows the well-known 3, 2, 1 backup rule. This first involves keeping three copies of your data (the original and at least two backups). The backup data should then be stored on two different storage types which could be disk or tape or cloud. Finally, at least one copy of the backup should be offsite for maximum protection, disaster recovery and often for long term backup. For compliance reasons it is sometimes necessary to store data on different technologies which fits well and is supported with this methodology.

Data Protector is an enterprise class, highly scalable backup and recovery software solution that allows data to be backed up to multiple targets including disk, tape, or cloud either on site or off site. Data Protector allows additional copies of any existing file system or image backup without the need to create a separate special backup. The target for these additional copies can be whatever best fits the needs of the company and can often be on different media in different locations for different data sets.

Overall, the solution is centrally managed, providing reports and status dashboards for instant visibility of your data backup status.

The right RPO and RTO strategy for each data

Micro Focus Data Protector provides one of the most comprehensive mission critical applications protection for applications2 such as Oracle, SQL, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, SAP, and SAP HANA.  This provides backup support across the enterprise and ensures business continuity with a rapid recovery after any data loss or system interruptions.

For each mission-critical applications it could be necessary to be able to define different Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) to reduce any downtime. Less critical applications with lesser service level expectations can then be tiered to enable a strategic approach for disaster recovery.

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The application integration offers granular recovery to enable individual files, directories or file systems to be recovered quickly to minimize any disruption. Data corruption and restore inconsistencies are avoided by utilizing the application-consistent recovery of Data Protector rather than having to rely on crash-consistent recovery.

Finally, ransomware attacks tends to be more focused on specific operating systems that are typically more common in the market and therefore in the data centers. On top of the previous capabilities already mentioned, Data Protector allows customers to integrate the solution under different operating systems, no matter if we talk about Data Protector Management console (Cell Manager) or applications systems upon customers’ decision, this flexibility could also help customers prevent cyberattacks simply by choosing different systems for each type of application.

The shifting sands of ransomware attacks and its direct consequences necessitate a holistic approach that protects against malware. Continuous data protection and advanced recovery options are essential weapons in this winnable fight and Micro Focus Data protector provides these weapons against the epidemic of cyber-attacks in the IT world.

2For additional applications information please access Practitioner Portal.

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