A survey at the end of 2021 found that 80% of the organizations were victims of ransomware attacks. Even more alarming is that over 60% of them had to pay the ransom. Ransomware attacks can bring even giant corporations to their knees by crippling critical systems and destroying valuable data. A strong backup and recovery system can help you mitigate the risks. But, the ultimate protection is an immutable backup – let’s explore this further.
What Are Immutable Backups?
Immutable backups are a way to ensure that data is fixed, unchangeable, and protected against deletion. Companies with an immutable backup are guaranteed to have a copy of all their valuable data, which cannot be destroyed by a malware or ransomware attack. Since no alterations, changes, or deletions can occur, it is safe and secure.
When a ransomware attack occurs, the archive of immutable backups facilitates the finding and recovery of the last clean backup. So when your data is breached, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll always have immutable backup data, which also takes power away from cybercriminals.
Immutable backups can offer this protection by maintaining an optimal amount of recovery points and preventing sources from tampering with the data storage blocks. However, it is essential to note that immutable backups should go beyond basic add-ons for backups. A truly immutable backup should address all security vulnerabilities that can threaten backup files.
Who Needs Immutable Backups?
Anybody who values their data and wants to take power away from malicious cybercriminals needs immutable backups. Due to the massive threat from malware and ransomware attacks, most IT professionals incorporate immutable backups as part of their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) strategies. Keeping data as iron-clad as possible makes immutable backups a desirable prospect to:
- Organizations with super-strict compliance codes – Immutable backups ensure that sensitive and secure data is kept as safe as possible, ticking the relevant compliance boxes.
- Law enforcement – Immutable backups facilitate the safe and secure storage of substantial amounts of extremely sensitive data that can pose potentially life-threatening risks if destroyed or tampered with.
- Healthcare organizations – Immutable backups ensure that medical and pharmaceutical records and data are backed up safely and securely to maximize patient privacy and safety.
- Any organization keeping the personal records and details of public members – The rules regarding the use and protection of personal data are stringent in the US. Therefore, companies permitted to do so must ensure the highest levels of protection for this data.
- Financial and Investment Firms – Personal financial records require the highest levels of protection as cyber-criminals most often target them.
What Are The Benefits?
Immutable backups are the best defense against malware and ransomware attacks. But there are a few other benefits they have too.
- Ensuring Backup Integrity – Immutable backups don’t only protect the data from deletion, but they also ensure that the data cannot be tampered with in any way. This protects the data from external and internal breaches. Importantly, it also protects the data from potential non-malicious errors in processing.
- Total Compliance – Many organizations must ensure that data capture and storage align with regulatory frameworks, and immutable backups are often compulsory or highly recommended. This is especially true in the industries we discussed previously.
- Mitigating Risks Of Unauthorized Access – Backed-up data is usually highly sensitive, and only authorized users can access or alter it. Immutable backups are a way to enforce these policies by backing up data that ensures restricted access only.
How Is Air-Gapping Connected To Immutable Backups?
You might have heard of air-gapping being one of the most popular and effective ways to ensure immutable backups. Air-gapping includes an offline data storage policy ensuring that some data backups are removed from the network entirely. A common technique used in air-gapping includes the 3-2-1 backup rule. In this approach, you have:
- 3 copies of data on
- 2 different storage media types and
- 1 off-site copy.
Because of the inherent redundancy created, the data can typically be recovered even for cyber-crimes like ransomware and malware.
Air-gapping can facilitate immutable backups and the best protection possible by:
- Restricting the spread of malware to data backups completely
- Making it virtually impossible for cyber-criminals to get to the backed up offline data
- Making it much easier for businesses to protect and recover data due to any disruption
Getting The Best Help
As mentioned, immutable backups should be multi-layered to be genuinely effective. To get the best possible results and ensure that your data isn’t compromised, you need to seek out experts in technology. Conscious Networks is a trusted technology advisor with entrepreneurial business experience. We set ourselves apart by designing and operating superior technology solutions for business, with a holistic approach to technology. To find out more about backup and recovery systems and immutable backups, contact us to schedule a consultation.