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The Five Tenets of the Most Secure Backup

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Data loss can hit a business in any number of ways, from employees accidentally deleting information and hardware failure to natural disasters and cyberattacks wiping out your systems.

In reality, companies should expect to lose data at some point. The challenge is having a plan to recover from such an event. 


Today, the need to have a recovery plan in place is more critical than ever when you consider that 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more.

Traditionally, companies would back up their files and systems, but with ransomware increasingly targeting backup files and software, it’s clear that a new level of protection is needed. Managers must employ a new-generation strategy to protect their business’ most valuable asset – or else risk suffering costly downtime.


Want to know what you need to put together an effective plan to survive a crisis? These five tenets of the most secure backup are a great starting point.


1. Data security must be job one

Former FBI counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operative Eric O'Neill explains that "businesses today are up against a rising tide of threats. Cybersecurity threats and data espionage are more prevalent than at any other point in our history – contributing to an anticipated $2 billion loss due to ransomware this year. What is scarier is malicious attacks are no longer limited to hackers; ransomware-as-a-service kits can be purchased for a mere $39 by anyone with low moral standards and a desire to generate a few dollars.”


That means that the wrong backup solution can give a company a false sense of security. Legacy backup products, for example, weren’t created with modern data protection threats in mind, so they are ill-prepared to counter them. Businesses need to be prepared for the worst scenario with a solution that addresses security at every stage.


2. Stopping attacks in real time


As O’Neill describes, ransomware doesn’t just attack online systems. Increasingly, off-line backups are being targeted for corruption and encryption in order to render them useless in recovery.


While traditional anti-ransomware defences can detect known strains by looking for recognizable traits in the code, they rarely can identify new ransomware variants. Stopping never-before-seen types of ransomware requires new technology.

While legacy backup solutions cannot tackle this threat, modern solutions are available with the capabilities needed to fight back. Differentiating good system behaviour from potentially malicious behaviour can be an extremely effective approach – one that is now possible by using new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Anti-ransomware defences based on these technologies are able to recognize and stop potential attacks as they happen, in real time.

3. Covering all the bases

Companies often rely on a combination of physical systems, virtual systems, cloud services, and mobile devices for their operations. Protecting that entire infrastructure is the only way to ensure the business keeps running, so you’ll want a solution that covers them all with advanced security-oriented technologies while being compatible with all of the other protective applications being used. Each operating separately, but in concert, to defend the entire system from damaging threats.

One facet of those applications should be fast, reliable disaster recovery, which will help make sure backups are ready in an instant when the need arises.

4. Ensure protection with cutting-edge technologies

If you pay attention to tech headlines, you’ll know that blockchain has been revolutionizing the financial world by powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Yet in the world of data protection, blockchain is offering a way for businesses to ensure no one can tamper with their data. By attaching a blockchain-based cryptographic fingerprint to backup files, modern business backup solutions can prove the files are unchanged, ensuring they are safe to use.

Keeping your data private is also a major consideration, which is why progressive solutions feature industry-grade encryption of data. Machine-based encryption can make it practically impossible for bad actors to access your files, while advanced solutions also include the ability for the user to define the password needed to decrypt the file – adding another layer of protection.


5. Easily keep backups secure off-site

As explained above, data loss is more a question of when it will happen – not if  - it will. Whatever the cause, the best strategy is to guarantee you have a copy you can always recover from – which means keeping a copy of your backup off-site in a safe location in case of a fire, flood or local cyberattack destroys both the original file and a locally stored backup.

A convenient off-site storage option is using the cloud or online backup. It allows you to keep a secure copy away from local threats while maintaining easy accessibility.

For Acronis’ cloud storage, a new Archive 3 data storage format increases the security of cloud backups, while also making it possible to migrate data to another remote data centre, including popular platforms like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Preparing for the worst


The average cost of unplanned downtime for a small business is $256,000, so taking preventative steps is a smart way for a business to protect its bottom line and its reputation (source: IDC). Using a solution that leverages cutting-edge technologies and strategies – while ensuring compatibility with the existing apps and infrastructure – means businesses can both keep their data protected and their operations moving without having to worry about the latest threats.

Try Acronis Backup free for 30 days and see how easy it can be to realize truly complete modern data protection.


Edited by: Andrew Leniart

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