Cybercriminals go where the money is. Thanks to COVID-19, one of today’s biggest cybercrime moneymakers is exploiting network vulnerabilities created by millions of new remote workers. These highly distributed IT environments are being aggressively tested by ransomware operators who are targeting home networks, cloud systems, remote access technology, and distracted employees, looking for ways to gain access to sensitive data.
Remote work will likely continue for the foreseeable future, so IT security teams must be prepared not only to fight off a higher volume of cyberattacks but also to respond quickly in the event an attack is successful.
The most effective way to mitigate damage from a ransomware attack or other type of disruption is to proactively create a cloud backup and disaster recovery strategy that meets the unique needs of your distributed IT environments.
Today’s IT environments are notoriously complex, so cloud backup and DR solutions that simplify management with a single user interface are the best choice for easy, fast access to business-critical data after a disaster.
There are several other key features to look for as you consider right-fit cloud backup and disaster recovery technologies for your organization. We’ve highlighted a few of these features below and provided a high-level look at the relative ease of deploying these data protection solutions so your distributed IT environments are crisis-ready fast.
Backup as a Service (BaaS)
Backup as a service is a scalable, flexible way to free up IT’s time while still providing the security of frequent, complete data backups. With direct-to-cloud backup, there is no local hardware to manage or maintain, which also saves money and decreases complexity.
BaaS has several advantages over traditional, on-premises backups, including:
- Convenience: Automation is a key component of BaaS. Once you have set your solution, data is saved automatically with no need for IT’s continuous involvement.
- Cost savings: BaaS does away with the need to budget for backup media, the hardware and software to drive the backup processes, and IT oversight and management.
- Security: BaaS solutions such as Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct prevent data loss with advanced encryption and security capabilities such as data encryption via SSL in transit and AES at rest.
- Redundancy: BaaS solutions offer multiple layers of redundancy, so copies of your data are backed up to several independent locations. This adds additional security against data loss caused by natural disaster, accidental deletion, or cyberattack.
- Efficiency: Built-in WAN optimization provides cloud-first architecture for more efficient backup across your entire distributed environment, including protection for Windows, Mac, Linux, and VMware vSphere.
The exact process for deploying backup as a service varies by solution, but in general, the steps are fairly similar:
- Install agent
- Replicate data to datacenter
- Configure backups: Initial, changed data, and so on
- Setup local backup copy preferences
- Manage backups with web-based console
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
As the name suggests, disaster recovery as a service is a cloud computing service that protects data and IT infrastructure so they are recoverable after a disaster, database corruption, or other major disruption.
DRaaS replicates physical and virtual servers in secure data centers, so data can be restored from server image backups and normal-ish business operations can resume quickly while the crisis is being resolved.
The major benefits of moving disaster recovery to the cloud include:
- Increased access: DRaaS solutions are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, so if your office is damaged or inaccessible, recovery operations can be initiated from an alternate location.
- Secure, state-of-the-art data centers: The best DRaaS providers offer cloud data centers that exceed industry standards for security, integrity, resiliency, availability, and performance.
- Faster recovery time: Time is money when it comes to service disruptions. Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions can usually have business operations back up and running in minutes.
- No paying for what you don’t use: On-site storage usually means buying and maintaining way more storage space than you’ll ever use. DRaaS lets you add and remove storage as needed.
- Freer IT resources: DRaaS takes disaster recovery planning, maintenance, testing, and IT support off your team’s plate and lets them focus on core IT functions.
Again, the specifics will depend on the specific disaster recovery as a service solution you land on, but here is a high-level overview of the steps to deploy DRaaS:
- Install agent
- Replicate data
- Backup server image, including operating system, files, directories, and applications
- Transfer data to the cloud
- Manage account and reporting from centralized portal
If and when disaster recovery is needed, select the server image recovery point and securely connect to the recovered environment via VPN.
The possibility of disaster striking has become more of a “not if but when” consideration for today’s distributed IT environments. Moving backup and disaster recovery to the cloud is an efficient, economic, and effective business strategy more organizations are adopting in our current uncertain times.
Implementing cloud backup and disaster recovery is fairly easy, but for maximum data loss prevention and business continuity, download How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan for more tips on protecting sensitive company data and applications during a crisis.