It is common knowledge that Backup and security are two different IT streams. In a data-driven world where information is often a company’s most valuable asset, protecting data is more important than it’s ever been. Data security and data backup should comply with strict DSGVO/GDPR rules in today’s era.
Ransomware continues to be one of the most dangerous threats to a company’s main resources. In 2017, in particular, everyone was talking about ransom money being blackmailed through encryption. As per a latest study by Arcserve, which surveyed 600 participants from America, Japan and Europe, 17% of respondents revealed that ransomware attack was considered the main concern about data security. If this continues, the companies can estimate an attack every forty seconds by the end of 2018 and every fourteen seconds by the end of 2019.
Data backup and ransomware
Backup or archiving solutions naturally cannot prevent these attacks. Forassured protection companies need to be equipped with robust anti-virus software, consistent administration of admin accounts, patch updates and employee awareness. IT security has to avoid encryption attacks, however backup and disaster recovery also play an important role, as not every attack can be fended off. Correctly implemented, managed and functionally tested backup processes ensure that information is still available in the event of an attack on an unencrypted, up-to-date and functional backup of information and systems.
Line of defense
Data is the asset of every company. In the current times, companies invest heavily to protect critical information and ensure appropriate back up after an attack. But sometimes even with high quality preventative backup solution implementation, companies face cybercrimes like ransom attack where they struggle to extract any personal or official data. For such unforeseen times, companies should be prepared and look out for advanced solutions that can protect their data.
For example – In an organization if an administrator sets up a second replication server that is remotely controlled and managed by another account and preferably in a domain other than the first replication server, he or she is likely to remove this second backup from the reach of an attacker and can quickly make systems and applications available again at the same time. Data backups of high-availability solutions cannot always be decoupled from the rest of the enterprise IT because they are designed to enable faster recovery of current data. For more security, it is therefore advisable to observe the 3-2-1 rule, according to which a company should make three backup copies. Two copies are backed up at different locations, one of which is then offline. This regularly created copy is then the reinsurance against encryption attacks. It is important that backups are regularly checked for usability. Often data cannot be accessed because backups are corrupt or replications are damaged, hence companies should always do recovery tests to ensure appropriate security and do the needful archiving on time.
Archiving, compliance and DSGVO/GDPR
Backup and archiving solutions support the protection of user data or compliance with DSGVO/GDPR regulations. Certainly, the provisions of the DSGVO are so comprehensive that these solutions alone cannot guarantee the conformity of data storage with these requirements.
E-mail archiving plays an important role here, as a lot of sensitive information is collected in this medium in particular – and often only here. An additionally configured e-mail archiving server receives all incoming and outgoing e-mails via journal e-mail forwarding. This forwarding ensures an automatic, unchangeable, timely and always complete backup of correspondence without the need to install an additional client in the system. An archiving server should serve various platforms such as Office 365, MS Exchange, Gmail, Domino as well as on-premise and cloud mail servers. Role-based administration then ensures regulated access to the mails – which also enables the use of an archiving server in the data center of a cloud service provider. E-mail archiving with Single Instance Storage (SIS) ensures efficient data backup if an e-mail is only saved once to 20 recipients. Such a backup also functions as a mailbox recovery solution. Metadata such as sender, recipient, subject, send and receive date are read out from the archive server via a filtering interface for the search, export and forwarding of relevant e-mails in the event of data deletion requested, for example with reference to the right to oblivion and the DSGVO. In addition, indexing with a full text index is possible for later finding text content in messages or attachments.
Flexible data recovery options allow the company’s legitimate interests to be taken into account. An administrator can – justifiably – refrain from deletion. For example – legal reasons, such as, an ongoing process – has to meet requirements for the retention and/or unchangeability of data. In this case, according to the DSGVO, a company may archive the data, but not restore it, even if the right to forget has been claimed. An email archiving solution marks files as held as soon as an individual withdraws consent for storage from the company.
Companies with limited time and resources should prioritize backing up as per importance of their files.
They should not be dictated by data and should make sure data security and back up encryption are safeguarding their critical information on either disk tape or in the cloud.