How important are immutable backups?

In 2022 one in five UK businesses who suffered a cyber attack identified it as being in the form of a ransomware attack. A sophisticated and ever-evolving threat this disables files and systems unless a financial sum is paid.  

Such a risk to business continuity, reputation, and income sits alongside other external and internal risks to your data that exist in our globally connected world particularly with the move in archiving from tape to disk.  

These risks and the subsequent potential irreversible damage make the inclusion of robust data back-up an absolute critical part of any IT strategy. 

Against this backdrop, we ask how important are immutable back-ups as an effective method of protecting your data against all risk, malicious, human error or otherwise? 

What are the risks to your data?

Before we look at the effectiveness of immutable back-ups in terms of not only protecting your data but ensuring compliance with regulation, it is important to briefly examine what the risks to your data are. 

External Risks: Alongside ransomware, hacking, and other criminally minded cyber-attacks which will corrupt, encrypt, degrade, or delete stored data, natural disasters out with your control such as fire and flood could leave your hardware and valuable data ruined if not backed up offsite.  

Internal Risks: Contrary to popular belief one of the biggest threats to your data security can be from inside your own organisation. Disgruntled former employees with IT access; human error due to poor training, lack of knowledge or IT awareness; poorly controlled access/management policies or an unstructured infrastructure; and hybrid working across multiple devices in different locations are all examples of vulnerability where data breaches can occur. 

Most organisations do not have a method for addressing either of these risks. Often, backups are stored on a disk onsite making it electronically accessible and vulnerable to direct internal and external attacks.  

In addition, such historic and often poor performing storage methods with poor climate control and humidity, do not protect your data from long-term concerns which develop overtime like bit rot or data decay leaving it unreadable and unreliable.  

How to improve your data security:

There are thankfully a variety of ways you can improve your data security and protect your business.  

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – this is a way of protecting your data by ensuring a robust access process to prove user identity. A user is only able to access the data if they produce two methods of verification. This prevents someone with malicious intent simply using a password to see private information. 
  • Extended recycle-bin (delaying garbage collection) – human error does on occasion lead to mistakenly deleting vital information often permanently. This method ensures that the period in which it is held in the recycle bin is extended therefore allowing recovery to take place. 
  • Copy backups to immutable storage in the cloud – an immutable backup is a file that cannot be altered, corrupted, or destroyed in anyway. This means that should your data be attacked it is completely protected and unchanged. The benefit of this in a ransomware attack or with any data loss incident is that no time is wasted, no data harmed, and business continuity remains unaffected. 

Brightsolid Back up as a service Solution (BaaS) offers extensive security features that protect your business-critical data and mitigate the risks from threats and incidents.  

One of the most effective in next level security, is the storing of data on immutable, air-gapped back-ups with external access blocked in a variety of methods. This ensures that only key identifiable stakeholders have access, your data is protected and in the event of a breach or loss can be recovered quickly and efficiently.  

As well as this, the storing of data and workloads on malware-resistant architecture prevents the execution of a ransomware attack by scanning for malware and quarantining and deleting affected backups. 

Discover more about the complete and secure protection we offer and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team today