Ensuring Data Resiliency: Best Practices and Implementation
Ensuring Data Resiliency - Best Practices and Implementation
Discover the importance of data resiliency and how it can help protect your business against data loss in our latest blog. We delve into the best practices and implementation strategies to ensure that your business data remains available, secure, and protected in case of any unexpected event.
The Data today, whether from websites, applications, or transactions, is stored in multiple locations across the world. Data is the single most valuable resource that helps businesses cater to their customer's needs while offering a customized, safe experience. However, risks posed by cybercriminals and insiders are growing rapidly. Despite these growing demands, IT is expected to perform at a higher level with fewer resources. A simple solution? Adapting the concepts of data resiliency and network infrastructure in organizations so they can continue functioning with security.
What is Data Resiliency?
Data resilience refers to the speed with which a server, network, storage system, or data center can get back up and running after experiencing an interruption, such as a power outage, ransomware attack, or hardware failure. Resilient data results from deliberate design decisions in conjunction with other disaster recovery (DR)-related concerns, such as data protection. An organization’s data resilience refers to its ability to continue in disruptions. Data resilience comprises several variables, including business continuity (BC), disaster recovery, and emergency response. The main objective for this resilience is to maintain as little downtime as possible. In an ideal scenario, users of a resilient system would be completely unaffected by the fact that disruption had taken place.
One way we could explain this: keeping extra copies of keys helps you not get locked out of your home or car.
The deployment of backup hardware, software, and networks is a common method for increasing data resilience. When one component fails or encounters a glitch, the backup component takes over and ensures that the user base continues to get services and resources, seamlessly. However, due to their sheer size, some organizations often skip backing up their databases.
Data Resilience Implementation Methods
There are various methods to implement data resilience, from backups to snapshots and even replication strategies. The appropriate data resilience implementation within an underlying business continuity plan is a crucial but challenging task.
By taking snapshots of logical disk units, it’s possible to create a backup that extends beyond the scope of individual apps. However, you will need to be careful of the possibility that they will not always operate well with striped or mirrored data.
Mirroring, also known as replication, is typically managed by the OS. The mirror copy may reside on an identical disk or be transferred to an offsite location, depending on the mirroring methods used.
You could use synchronous or asynchronous replication while mirroring – data mirrored synchronously is identical at both ends and doesn’t carry the risk of failure due to latency. Asynchronous mirroring, however, is not limited by the distance between the server getting backed up and the backup/storage destination. However, there may be a delay depending on how far apart the primary and secondary sites are. Unlike synchronous mirroring, asynchronous mirroring isn't restricted by maximum range, but it does run the risk of losing data in the event of a failure due to latency.
Data backups have been the standard method for data recovery. Multiple points of failure exist for backups, including the backup client, backup server, storage device, and cloud service (for backups stored in the cloud). You cannot recover your data from previous versions if you let any level of control go away.
Typically, a single application provides a framework for a backup. There are three types of backups – Full Backup, Differential Backup, and Incremental Backup.
However, resynchronization issues might arise with backups in a networked environment, especially when applications are networked. The delay between backups can also cause data loss. The time and effort required to restore a backup for remediation might be substantial when incremental backups are used.
The Three Layers of Data Resiliency
Data resilience strategies that employ many layers of protection can effectively tackle complex cybersecurity and disaster recovery problems.
Layer 1 – Zero Trust Model
If your primary system is hacked, all of your data could be wiped or corrupted. The whole backup service should be based on a zero-trust model. Specifically, this refers to:
- Removing all admin privileges to the backup infrastructure (i.e. no one can directly access the servers, the data, or the applications).
- Keeping an eye on the admins and notifying IT security personnel if anything is noticed to be out of the ordinary (this includes removing backups or making major policy changes).
- All measures should be taken to ensure backups aren’t deleted abruptly and are recoverable if necessary. This prevents damaging administrative activity.
- Data should be unreadable by anybody other than its owner this is best achieved using end-to-end encryption.
Layer 2 – Revised Backup Policies
The well-known and trusted "3-2-1 rule" for backups is a good place to start. If a human mistake, a failed system, or an act of nature happens, the "3-2-1 rule" would kick in and ensure safety. However, since purchasing a second backup appliance is costly, businesses have limited themselves to creating offsite copies of their mission-critical data.
Most attacks start by tampering with the copies on the local machine.
Second, even offshore backups could be targeted unless they are air-gapped and sealed away from the production environment. In more than one instance, customers that had kept their backups on-premises found that their data was lost before they were even aware that they were the target of an attack.
As a result, it’s only wise to tweak the "3-2-1 rule" so it requires at least three backups: on two different media, with one copy kept in a location wholly isolated from the production environment.
As such, you require a backup solution that provides:
Air-gapped Backups: No need for duplicates thanks to air-gapped backups, which keep every data in an isolated, distinct location under their own administration.
Immutable Backups: Immutable backups are backups that cannot have their data modified or deleted.
Multi-cloud Backups: A single, unified approach to cloud storage across on-premises, public cloud, and mobile environments and cloud-native and SaaS apps.
Layer 3 – Ransomware Data Recovery
When you consider that most businesses don't even have a solid disaster recovery strategy in place, you can see how challenging ransomware recovery may be. The ransomware recovery strategy must include the security, legal, and human resources departments. To make matters worse, in the aftermath of ransomware, you have no idea if your infrastructure, data, or backups will be recovered. Recovery from a ransomware attack should not be attempted "on the fly;" rather, there should be a plan.
While there is currently no "cure" for ransomware, a good data backup solution should help you recover the data from ransomware as quickly as possible. When properly implemented, data protection may speed the recovery procedure at every step:
- Enable consolidated access to log data to conduct forensic analysis.
- Examine backup streams for out-of-the-ordinary data patterns to determine what was harmed and when.
- Figure out what data needs to be recovered, and have the system automatically seek out the most up-to-date, uncorrupted copy of it.
- Initiate further malware scans on the recovered data by enabling in-line scans and sandbox recoveries.
- Data recovery can be performed locally or in the cloud, with automatic scalability to minimize recovery time.
- The data security system must also provide low-cost testing without impacting the live environment.
Although ransomware recovery is difficult, it may be avoided with careful planning, a data security solution like Slik that includes managed recovery and immutable backups, and regular testing.
Best Practices for Ensuring Data Resiliency
Make your data management more cyber resilient
Business organizations have relied on data management systems for years. Unfortunately, many of these methods have not yet advanced to incorporate new forms of cyber resilience. A good moment to assess the data management systems in use is now, as new entrants have entered the market and current solutions are being improved by adding cyber resilience capabilities.
Some recent developments in data management that have been particularly useful to IT managers include:
- Data management that employs AI to recognize and categorize data for more precise storage, provisioning, and security.
- A continuous solution for data management that incorporates risk calculations based on relevant privacy requirements to keep tabs on your risk exposure.
- Data management tools that automate the above processes may ensure compliance with data protection and privacy standards.
- Several data management solutions employ automated encryption in transit and end-to-end encryption throughout the transfer process to ensure data privacy during its transfer to a new storage system.
Data collection methods and data management rules (such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOX) are always evolving. The data management systems must also change rapidly to complement the cyber resilience measures. Analyze the present methods to see if they are enough for achieving the goals.
Disaster Recovery Planning
The evolution of disaster recovery planning has been driven by the broad spectrum of incidents, from natural disasters to ransomware. The next step in disaster recovery planning is identifying the types of losses that may occur.
This implies categorizing the many kinds of data loss that might occur because of different circumstances rather than creating a disaster recovery plan for each scenario. The method streamlines the disaster recovery planning process by shifting the focus from identifying and fixing the root cause to addressing the most likely consequence.
By categorizing potential losses and their effects on your organization, [you can create a DR plan that will stand the test of time and ensure that your organization can recover quicklyteam will be free to concentrate on enhancing recovery performance and reducing risk.
Protecting the Backups to ensure Data Resiliency
While backups are an essential aspect of data resilience, they are also a common weak spot for hackers to exploit. The key requirements for safeguarding data backups, especially in cloud storage, and guaranteeing data resilience are as follows:
- To prevent unauthorized access, backup data must be encrypted end-to-end and in transit before being sent to the cloud.
- Use object storage features like versioning, immutability (WORM - Write Once Read Many), and at-rest encryption to keep your data safe from accidental deletion or tampering.
- Cloud service providers can create an air gap between the data and the network, making a copy of your valuable data always impenetrable to an external threat.
It is the constant responsibility of organizations to safeguard themselves from cyberattacks and natural calamities alike. Having a reliable, frequently tested, and adaptable data resiliency plan for mission-critical processes can make it simpler to keep up with the next cyberattack or natural disaster.
It's crucial for businesses to take precautions against the loss of data and to guarantee that it's always recoverable. Organizations that put in the time and effort to ensure their data is robust and secured before any problems arise will see their business activities continue without interruption, even in disasters, cyberattacks, or other breaches.