A backup only works if it works

David Ford


Despite recent news of data being stolen from law firm Gateley, it is more likely to be the growing threat of ransomware that keeps business owners awake at night, knowing cyber-criminals only need to be lucky or effective once to cause havoc, expense and reputational damage.

However, most businesses will long ago have recognised the threat and taken steps to ensure systems remain secure, safe in the knowledge they can always use their backup to restore systems made unavailable by a nasty virus, ransomware or even sabotage by an employee.

Unfortunately, the latest generation of ransomware are clever enough, or devious enough if you prefer, to seek out the backups and ensure they are compromised too. The criminals and their tools are far more sophisticated today; the prizes are bigger and easier to get thanks to cryptocurrencies.

At this point you might be forgiven for thinking of an ‘air gap’ between systems and the backup, like in the old days when tape was the go to medium. Keeping tape backups off site, also addressed at least two points of the old three, two, one rule.

For those requiring a refresh, the rule was/is: keep at least three copies of your data, store two backup copies on different storage media and at least one of these should be kept offsite.

However, while tape was great in its day, it can take a long time to effect an accurate backup from a tape stored offsite. When the worst happens, the time taken to recover is directly linked to long term survival of a business – the more time it takes, the less likely it is the business will survive.

Backups are much easier to create now than ever before and many businesses believe by using the Cloud, there exists the air gap that offers greater security. Unfortunately not all Cloud backups are immutable and that can be a problem.

What do we mean by immutable backup?

An immutable backup is one where the data is fixed, unchangeable and can never be deleted. And that is critical when combatting new ransomware, which seeks to encrypt the backup as well as the live files in the system, to ensure an organisation has no option but to pay up for the decryption key.

It’s not just ransomware that an immutable backup protects against, but also administrative mishaps and deliberate sabotage by an insider, or corruption to files through application bugs.

These immutable backups cannot be changed, or by definition, overwritten. This means an organisation can keep an archive of these unalterable backups, to guarantee survival from a ransomware attack by recovering from the last clean backup.

This ability to archive immutable backups also provides additional data compliance benefits for those businesses like law firms, operating in regulated sectors, where demonstrably accurate copies of historical data can be retained and presented when required.

Immutable backups also prevent regret

There are lots of backup solutions available today, with most cheaper, simpler to implement and easier to use than in previous years. Many, like ours, now include immutable backups, which make sense for any business seeking greater confidence in its ability to mitigate a ransomware attack.

When implementing Eloquent Ransomware Protect, your critical data is also stored in our Cloud, totally separate from your live systems and separated geographically, both important cornerstones of data storage best practice.

The Cloud remains accessible from anywhere, protecting your data against any disaster that may befall your location and ensuring recovery of your most recent immutable, air-gapped backup can be immediate, unlike tapes which used to have to be retrieved from an off-site location.

Eloquent Ransomware Protect means you will never be in the awful position where paying the ransom to gain access to your data is your only option. It also protects you against data corruption, whether through hardware failure or malicious action, which all makes for a compelling case to get in touch with us today, before you regret not acting before the hackers do.