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The Missing Link in Cybersecurity

by   in Portfolio

Your security strategy may be missing something important: Backing up mission-critical data in a way that makes it unreachable to bad actors and safe from data loss.

Challenges to data security and business continuity haven’t slowed down—if anything, this landscape has gotten more threatening as time goes by. Cyberthreats. Hackers. Extreme weather. Disaster. War. The lingering effects of Covid 19. You must protect against all this and more. And we all know data breaches are rising. 83% of organizations experienced more than one data breach during 2022 alone. And ransomware has surged into a $900 million business for data kidnappers.

You know it’s not a question of if anymore. It’s when and it’s what.

You’ve already got your first line of defense in place: You’re securing your perimeter and defending against malicious activity. And that’s great. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

But there’s a last line of defense that’s every bit as important to your overall security posture as that first line of defense is, and that last line of defense leverages data backup and recovery to protect your business. Because cybercriminals don’t just hit primary data sources. Today, they’re also going for backup stores.

Think about it: When your business does get hit—and you know it will, you must assume that; when your company’s data is infected or stolen, or when a hacker has captured your data and is holding it hostage—getting that vital data back at the push of a button, healthy and unharmed, is nothing short of a miracle.

But to make that miracle happen, you need more than simple data backup. You need a solution for data backup that can keep your mission-critical data invulnerable to bad actors no matter where it is—whether it’s on primary sites or in secondary backup stores—like the cloud, for instance, or a tape vault. Because the people who ransom your data don’t just capture active data—they make it a point to hold your backups hostage, too. And hackers sneak pernicious viruses into backup systems that could render that backed-up data useless. Cyberthreats, ransomware and data corruption are always going to threaten the mission-critical data your business runs on. Think of losing all the data in your SAP system. What would it do to your company? If it’s ransomed, how much would you have to pay to get it back? Could you guarantee that you would? If it’s corrupted by a virus, how much of it would you lose?

To protect that data, you need that last line of defense, and you need it to be robust enough to circumvent all these threats coming at you.

Of course, the best way to protect mission-critical data is to have multiple copies and store them safely in multiple locations and on suitable mediums. That should be standard data backup protocol. But if those copies are corrupted, you still lose that data. If even your backups are ransomed, you still must pay…and pray you’ll get it back.

These are unacceptable losses. Employees can’t use restored data that’s corrupted beyond use. Invaluable company IP is rendered unreadable. Hackers destroy or ransom data they shouldn’t be able to touch. And if restore times are too slow to meet recovery-time objectives, the resulting productivity delays, contractual breaches and tarnished reputations can be every bit as deadly as the attack itself. 

It’s clear that backing up data is just as much a security issue as it is an IT maintenance protocol. But most data-protection designs only consider backup as a failover mechanism. As a security professional, you need to consider securing the data that’s backed up. That means making sure your company’s data backup solution meets security standards with protection techniques that are every bit as sophisticated as cyber attackers are. And that means making sure IT is doing more than simple backup. Here’s what to look for in a security-aware backup solution:

  • Make sure it has advanced security capabilities—like immutability, secure peering, and inflight as well as at-rest encryption.
  • Look for a solution that protects your backups. Remember: Ransomware attackers don’t just go for primary data sources—they also capture backup stores. Make sure your solution provides a format change that cannot be infected by ransomware attacks and can be converted to an unreachable deduplication format so it’s no longer vulnerable.
  • Look for something that verifies backup software credentials and encrypts backup commands to minimize interference from bad actors and cyber attackers.
  • Make sure it can apply policy-based protection for hybrid IT environments to reduce exposure to data loss and improve data resiliency.
  • Ensure tape libraries support offline backup and true airgap functionality. At the same time, look for fast, efficient data restoration so the company can quickly return to normal operations—minimizing loss and reputational damages after a security breach.
  • Look for a solution that minimizes vendor lock-in and other dependencies that could get in the way of protecting or restoring your data—including losing valuable IP to system issues, security attacks and disasters, or limitations due to supply-chain problems. If you’re not free to choose how you protect the data independent of certain building blocks, you won’t be able to protect your enterprise.
  • Ensure you’re able to follow the well-known 3-2-1-1-0 backup rule. Have 3 copies of your data, have it on 2 different media types, have 1 copy immutable, have 1 copy with a true air gap and know your restore works.
  • And finally, look for a solution that is as independent as possible on the architecture to allow for restorability under the worst circumstances, to whatever architecture and location makes the most sense.

You know what we’re going to say next: That’s where we come in. OpenText Data Protector has all these advanced security capabilities built into our backup solution. Look: We know data backup isn’t sexy. But data is the life’s blood of any. Breach, loss, corruption, ransoming—you know, more than anyone, how devastating these things can be. OpenText Data Protector does more than back up and restore data. It provides centralized protection of backup data across hybrid environments to help you protect it efficiently and effectively against cyberattacks, viruses, malware, and ransom for all those mission-critical applications—like SAP—that your business depends on. Think of it as insurance for your data. And make it part of your security strategy today to serve as your missing link in cybersecurity.


Learn more about OpenText Data Backup and Resiliency.

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