What Measures Can A Company Take To Secure Its Backups

A spread-out workforce invites new challenges, which is likely to make it trickier and more significant to back up data. It is important to inform workers about data backup management best practices, among others.

So, we will look at 5 things that are doable for IT managers to confirm that they maintain the most effective procedures for backups at an enterprise level and individual worker level.

Following The 3-2-1 Backup Rule

According to this rule, it is vital to have 3 copies of vital data: the original one and a couple of backups, ideally in different locations and formats. That will aid in minimizing the chance of losing important data due to ransomware, malicious software, or some other event.

For remote workers who store their day-to-day work, it is good to blend a local pen drive backup or NAS backup and a cloud-based backup. As for cloud-based data storage for bigger databases and systems and employee data, go for immutable backup. That choice will keep any data change or deletion from occurring, which could be vital in case a cyberattack involving ransomware happens.

Some clients have immutable cloud backup and local storage. One of those clients encountered a ransomware-type attack that encrypted their on-premises backup and primary files. The attackers asked for millions of US dollars in return for restoring those files. The malicious parties were unaware that that client had immutable backup. They managed to restore data from that immutable storage facility, so they did not need to spend any amount of money as ransom for restoring their files.

Backing Up All Data

You should think about a couple of components.

Firstly, you must be sure of creating a backup with the right company data (right in terms of its formats and versions). Secondly, it is a must to be sure that your remote workers are acting as per the best practices, unlike the practices they would do at their usual workplace.

Thirdly, it is vital to establish policies and processes for creating a backup of your data and the data that you create through the Software as a Service platform. Several individuals unfortunately think that this kind of data sitting in cloud storage will automatically mean that it is already backed up. This is not true.

For instance, Microsoft does not make automatic data backups. On the other hand, Salesforce is changing automatic company data protection. While enterprise data backup vendors such as NetBackup and Veeam provide SaaS-based backup, be sure of educating remote workers on any steps they should take to make these providers work as required.

Always Enabling Encryption

It is vital to have encryption, as either a turned-on feature on a non-custom-made backup solution or an enterprise standard. In the former situation, encryption is generally optional, meaning several users do not activate the feature.

Confirm that there are unambiguous instructions for workers on the way of enabling encryption in data backup programs. Those instructions may include the way of securely storing passphrases so that encryption can be enabled if required.

Confirming That Backups Are Functioning

While this sounds obvious, we often see cases of workforces feeling confident about their backups working correctly, only to find that they are actually not. When this issue happens, the workforces tend to try to restore the backup.

That could become worse if your team is working remotely. Workers who run a backup program may not understand that their devices should be active for that process to finish.

Fortunately, there is this easy solution of communicating frequently and unambiguously with workers regarding the actions they should take to confirm that backups are finished. Some companies have had success by sending frequent, brief messages instead of the odd longer updates. For instance, a weekly email or video from your chief information security officer can convey digestible amounts of critical information, including the detail that everybody should consider backups regularly.

Testing Restores

Not many companies test their restores. Some have the usual belief that passing the audit means they are fine. That is not a safe attitude to have. What if retention periods are not set properly? What if backups are invalid? What if ransomware enters your data backups and then corrupts or encrypts them? Many bad things can happen, so running regular tests is a must.

At an enterprise level, we would usually recommend runbook testing on a per-quarter basis. Restore a computer from data backups, give it back to your worker, and check with them whether those restored files are correct. You may make them extract accounting files, marketing and sales folders, and whatever else they require for their work.

During a period of extensive telework, it is a good idea to ask workers to do self-service data restore processes. Retrying to restore separate PowerPoint or Excel documents to confirm that the restored things are correct and complete.

For Best Outputs, Combine Your Policies, Processes, And Communication

It is vital to establish procedures and policies that summarize in what way your enterprise manages backups. It is equally important, particularly when remote work happens almost all over the world, to adequately tell workers what their roles are in handling the condition of your organizational backups.

If in doubt, unambiguously stipulate what you expect regarding employee behavior. As for backups, it is better to be very cautious.

Security Amid Chaos

Cloud, automation, and DevOps have led to cloud-based companies speeding up their releases, improving their innovation, and expanding their app scalability. But the speed and unlimited scalability can cause some shortfalls. You will start noticing the real repercussions when you are granted the facility to build without any restrictions.

Whether you are a new SaaS or a mature organization like Reddit, discoverability of the assets is the key to detecting vulnerabilities that prove costly. However, even the large and well-resourced teams of players find it difficult to achieve visibility.  The high frequency of changes in the engineering cycle or DevOps pipeline makes it difficult for engineers and security analysts to spot vulnerabilities. This brings us to the question, how can companies sustain in this challenging environment without slowing everyone down?

Leaders in digital technology like Auth0, Reddit, Databricks, and others are adopting a data-driven approach that powers a continuous governance and security solution to manage vulnerabilities efficiently.

Data Should Be The First Priority

Data reliability is critical in all tasks including security reviews, enforcing policies, asset visibility, monitoring changes over time, or remediating gaps in the security framework.

It is impossible to protect what you cannot see and most organizations aren’t really seeing the overall picture of the complex environment of the present.

Just take the example of misconfigured public S3 buckets continuing to deceive many people. The problem seems like an easy fix but if you lack the right tool to consistently provide up-to-date data, it would be difficult for you to discover the depth of the problem and its root causes.

Companies like Auth0 and Reddit identify the activities like routinely collecting and consolidating their disparate infrastructure data as core parts of their vulnerability management process. Automation of resource recovery ensures the reliable identification of infrastructure-vulnerable packages.

Automate Context And Not Action Alone

The context of a task, its vulnerability, and risk significantly influence the way your team decides priorities. You are in fact inviting disasters by treating alerts and notifications from multiple security tools equally. The most effective among the security teams give the required weightage to assessing context to address the most critical needs-context derived from living in your environment.

Your organization, treated as a combination of infrastructure, policies, tools, and team members are unique. Out of the box automation is seen as a compelling option by security teams who are finding it hard to keep up with the attack of vulnerabilities. However, this type of automation often fails in addressing the root cause of the issues.

Automating context through relationship mapping of resources and their owners is a much better way to bring up the accountability rate.  This is a better way when compared to auto-remediating issues that lead to poor security and development hygiene. Mapping of the relationships between resources and their owners enable the cloud security teams to automate accountability.

Managing Vulnerability And Risk

With the data in place, the security teams at Reddit can deploy a seamless vulnerability management program and assess the things that have and haven’t been scanned for their infrastructure and the person responsible for remediation. An example would be the maintainer of a repo code or the technical owner of a server instance.

These companies can make use of data and query to know the number of services and products in their organization and report on the percentage of servers in production scanned on a daily basis. They can also identify a resource quickly and gather all of its attributes and contextual relationships within a few seconds in order to generate a response to an active threat.

Ensure That You Avoid Noise By All Means

Never lose your focus on your key goals; preventing security incidents and spotting and remediating accidents when they occur. It is important to prioritize simplicity and visibility of the security operations. This is especially true when it comes to tooling.

Noise is undesired even if it is sourced from the tools designed to make your job easier. The operations slow down due to noise in data and reporting. Noise also has a negative impact on your urgency and response to alerts making you vulnerable.

Simple And Reliable Security Operations

By centralizing data collection, DevOps and security tooling, consolidation, and aggregation from their infrastructure, companies like Reddit, Databricks, and Auth0 can rely on this data-driven foundation to perform their overall security operations.  They have developed insights into all the resources that exist in their environment and visibility into the owners that are in charge of remediation. They can do even the hardest tasks and make decisions confidently.

Advantages Of Managed Cloud Services

Information management and data management are vital for all modern business entities. Without the correct cloud management, your entity will be exposed to many different threats and the possibly costly downtimes associated with these. The downtimes might just prove much costly and particularly in the distant future.

What Does A Managed Cloud Service Mean?

A managed cloud service vendor covers tech support and IT management for the services provided through the cloud. In the event of running a combination of the public and private cloud systems, the vendor could aid you in improving your business operations and developing management solutions. Now, what benefits does seeking the help of managed cloud services have? Let us discuss a few reasons why it is more important to utilize a managed cloud service than ever before.

A Scalable B2B Service With Predictable Pricing

With managed cloud services, you may select the level of support that suits your requirement in the best possible way. This enables leveraging the solid network infrastructure without having to bear the hefty cost. Managed cloud services also let you scale up or scale down, according to your usage, and this is a different plus point of these solutions. In the event of requiring seasonal changes in the service, its pricing could be tweaked accordingly. This will allow you to not just save funds but also put more of the resources of yours into other business aspects.

Free IT Staff And In-House Developers

Are you aware to what extent it is costly to provide an IT department with full-time staff? Outsourcing your cloud management duties to another company possibly enables reducing expenditure on recruiting people for the task. This way, you could save on acquisition and training too.

Reliability

Managed cloud service providers monitor your network closely around the clock, to help make sure that your business operations are organized. The usual uptime from almost every provider is 99%, meaning they will be able to maintain 24/7 service for your entity. This is significant when it comes to solving issues fast and ensuring that you serve your customers consistently.

Better System Availability

The cloud-based services are agile and fluid, and these enable transferring data at quick speeds and processing a considerable amount of data live. This is important in avoiding the need to spend money and time for your entity. The services are at your disposal, so you can focus on other aspects where you should come up with better plans and strategies.

Compliance Support

Entities that manage sensitive data like web-based retailers, financial institutes, and healthcare providers are supposed to follow all sorts of privacy and security legislation. A managed cloud service vendor will be able to aid you in handling data compliance. The provider will help you not only to avoid issues in regard to data regulations but also to confirm that your entity is always adhering to the legislation.

Cybersecurity Support

There are cybercriminals everywhere online, and your entity may become a victim of cybercrime at any time. Cyber-attacks contribute to a loss of billions of dollars yearly. To keep this from happening to your entity, protect the data from cybercriminals with the assistance of managed cloud service vendors. The providers will have security professionals who can defend against cyber-attacks and thereby, help to safeguard your data.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Managed cloud services provide DRaaS to aid in saving your data in the event of a disaster. It is essential for businesses that depend on data; loss of data is likely to ruin your whole business. It matters a lot for entities that utilize Amazon Web Services (AWS). A provider of AWS managed cloud services can backup your file systems, OSs, and every existing configuration somewhere safe. This will mean you’ll have an always-accessible data copy for your business.

How The Cloud Possibly Benefits Your Business Entity In The Epidemic Period

Cloud computing is in the right position to transform the landscape of businesses. Cisco forecasts that the cloud will manage 94% of workloads by 2021, and the coronavirus epidemic is accelerating the process.

With the virus causing much panic in the world of business, no entity can afford to not be ready for the change. Traditional, server-based computing (SBC) solutions are possibly slower as compared to today’s sophisticated technologies. Embracing cloud computing confirms that your entity has essential tools to handle any challenge that might emerge in the future.

An increasing number of entities are now headed down the online route, but some of these lack the required digital infrastructure. When looking to keep your business unharmed until the epidemic period is over, you will require cloud computing. Below are 5 ways in which the cloud could help you during this period.

Document Sharing

When a crisis like COVID-19 emerges, entities may not want to rely on email to share documents as there will be countless emails to take care of. Sharing documents through the cloud possibly helps to make key details accessible to anybody who wants to view these without searching for hours.

With the coronavirus epidemic making workers go home, collaborating remotely is now tougher and more significant than ever. Fortunately, document-sharing solutions have started to respond to the epidemic. Dropbox, for one, has integrated several of their features with Zoom in order to enable a seamless collaboration. Applications such as Google Docs or Dropbox simplify maintaining tight control over your important information, while all else are prone to instability.

Cybersecurity

While cyber-attacks have invariably been a big threat to businesses that have become more and more digitalized, the epidemic is worsening the issue. McKinsey’s research reveals that the pressure on certain businesses and the proliferation of people who work from home have made breaches much more likely to occur.

Cloud-based cybersecurity is a potential solution to several issues that entities encounter in this domain. Putting security operations to the cloud can offer your entity much more digital capabilities than before, with numerous top security platforms using AI to discover and stop threats live.

Customer Service

Do not think that the epidemic has affected businesses alone. Consumers around the world are also affected in terms of reduced incomes and greater uncertainty. Research featured on Harvard Business Review’s website discovered that COVID-19 is making it even tougher for contact centers to get by, which will worsen over time.

Using the cloud for your business’s customer service will definitely aid in reducing these issues. This form of customer service has potential advantages such as additional bandwidth and extra speed, plus it can also simplify things for your customer service agents. With the help of Google Cloud, the cloud-based contact center named ‘Five9’ enables CS agents greater real-time access to pertinent customer details. Businesses should be capable of handling the high number of calls in this period to work, and fortunately, the cloud possibly helps them to achieve this.

Working Remotely

Several offices have closed temporarily due to the coronavirus epidemic, but there are signs that it might have equally deep effects in the long-term. One of these signs is that 74% of entities plan to downsize, even after COVID-19 goes away. While remote work may have been becoming more popular over the last few years, there are more home-based employees today than ever before. This means that entities should be capable of dealing with their whole workforces situated beyond their offices.

While the aforesaid video conferencing and file-sharing platforms are important parts of a work-at-home model, these are several other tools available for use. Zoom enables making smooth and continuous video calls. However, using the platform can reduce the internet speed, and it is potentially unruly sometimes. On the other hand, the messaging platform ‘Slack’ now only requires less random access memory to work and it is speedier than before. This means Slack is a cloud-communication product worth considering using because it will keep your employees in constant communication when needed.

Scaling

When it comes to size, COVID-19 is a period of much uncertainty for almost every business. Certain digital companies, like Amazon, are seeing more growth, but several others now face the likelihood of temporary leaves of employees and/or worker count reductions. To remain solvent, an entity should be capable of scaling up and scaling down its operations quickly.

A physical web server is not needed for the cloud to work, but it enables using as little or as much computing power as one requires. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows that designing a data center project possibly takes as long as 12 months. This much time might not be available to your entity. Cloud computing allows scaling your business dynamically, without having to wait longer.

With the epidemic comes unknown things that are never seen before, so your entity should deal with everything involved in the situation to remain ready. Relying on the cloud possibly allows running each important business operation from home or office, and it has many other benefits.

Cons Of Going Serverless That Cloud Providers May Not Tell You

Serverless computing has been a revolutionary invention. When looking to fast-track the post-COVID-19 movement to the cloud environment, we would prefer to not have to size the resources that we feel our workloads will require.

The serverless technology not only provides the cloud-based resources required, like storage, but it also removes access to these resources after workflows complete processing. Some may describe this as a lazy individual’s platform as a service, but eliminating the need for guessing about providing the precise resource count will save you much hassle nowadays. Anyhow, as with any other technology, serverless computing also has some drawbacks, and we will take a look at some of these here.

Cold Start

If you run a serverless computing function in a VPN (virtual private cloud), then it might just cause a delay or cold start. This is similar to the action of starting Buick, according to individuals of a certain vintage.

Furthermore, different languages come with their own set of lags. In the event of benchmarking these, you may discover that Java and .Net are the slowest and Python is the quickest. You may utilize tools for analysing the lengths of lag and determining the effect of these on your workflows. In the event you rely on serverless computing, we would recommend utilizing the products mentioned above.

Distance Latency

The phrase ‘distance latency’ refers to what extent the function mentioned above is from its end users. We notice that businesses are running the tasks in Asia even as most users hail from the US. Bandwidth may not be thought of as a problem, but the users prefer convenience over utility. Moreover they do not think about the effects, like the administrator being situated in the subcontinent.

The data being situated somewhere different from the central serverless function, which utilizes the data, is a source of one more distance problem. This poor choice is usually based on process distribution through the public cloud. While it may appear great on Microsoft PowerPoint, it is not a pragmatic choice.

Insufficient Runtime Configurations

These configurations tend to be disregarded. There is a pre-set list of compute and memory configs for serverless systems, where things such as memory range between 64 and 3008 megabytes. Central processing units are usually allocated on the basis of the level of memory utilized. A lower computer memory environment is generally more affordable, but a performance-related compromise would be there in the event of the serverless computing provider treating you unfairly in regards to CPU and memory.

There may be several pros to using serverless systems, but you should also think about the cons. Understanding these things pragmatically will let you bypass them successfully.