• 27 May 2024, 06:07 AM

Category Archives: Cloud Backup

Offering Immutable Data Backup as Standard: A Game-Changer in Data Security by DSM Group

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, data is the lifeblood of businesses. From financial records and customer information to intellectual property and operational data, companies rely heavily on their digital assets. With the ever-increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats and the potential for accidental data loss, having a robust backup strategy is essential for any organisation.

One innovative approach to data backup that has gained traction but is still far from the industry standard is “Immutable Data Backup.” Immutable data backups offer a level of data protection that goes beyond traditional backup methods, providing an added layer of security against ransomware attacks, human errors, and data corruption. While very few companies currently offer this service due to the associated infrastructure and costs, some forward-thinking organisations are breaking new ground.

One such company is DSM Group, which has made it their mission to prioritise data security and offer immutable data backup as a standard service. Their investment in cutting-edge infrastructure, including a solar farm and a water-cooled data centre, has allowed them to provide this game-changing service to their clients without breaking the bank.

Understanding Immutable Data Backup

Before delving into the benefits of immutable data backup, it’s essential to understand what it entails. Immutable data backup refers to a backup method where once data is stored, it cannot be altered, overwritten, or deleted until a predefined retention period expires. In other words, it guarantees the immutability and integrity of your backup data, making it impervious to external threats or accidental data modifications.

The Advantages of Immutable Data Backup

  1. Ransomware Resilience: Ransomware attacks have become increasingly prevalent and sophisticated. Attackers often target backups, rendering them useless and leaving victims with no option but to pay a ransom. Immutable data backups are immune to such attacks, as the data remains unalterable, regardless of external interference.
  2. Data Integrity: In a world where data integrity is paramount, immutable backups provide assurance that your data will remain unchanged, ensuring its accuracy and reliability for compliance and auditing purposes.
  3. Protection Against Human Errors: Accidental data deletion or modification is a common cause of data loss. Immutable backups safeguard against these mistakes, guaranteeing the ability to restore your data to its original state.
  4. Historical Data Retrieval: Immutable backups preserve historical versions of data, enabling organisations to recover files or records from any point in time. This can be invaluable for investigating incidents or tracking changes over time.
  5. Peace of Mind: Knowing that your critical data is secure and immutable can offer peace of mind to business owners and IT professionals, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives rather than worrying about data loss.

The Slight Space Requirement and Cost

One consideration to keep in mind when adopting immutable data backup

is that it typically requires approximately 20% more storage space compared to traditional backup methods. While this might lead to concerns about increased costs, it’s essential to emphasise that the additional storage cost is minimal when weighed against the substantial benefits of data security and protection against potential data breaches or loss.

The investment in the extra storage space for immutable backups is a proactive measure that ensures the integrity and availability of your critical data. In the grand scheme of data security, this added expense is a small price to pay for the peace of mind and resilience it offers against cyber threats and data disasters.

Overcoming the Cost and Infrastructure Challenge

The primary reason many companies have yet to adopt immutable data backup as a standard service is the perceived cost and infrastructure required. However, forward-thinking organisations like DSM Group have found innovative solutions to overcome these challenges.

By investing in renewable energy sources, such as a solar farm, and developing an efficient water-cooled data centre, DSM Group has managed to significantly reduce operational costs. These investments not only make their data centre environmentally friendly but also allow them to pass on cost savings to their clients, making immutable data backup an affordable option.

Making Immutable Data Backup Accessible to All

The move toward offering immutable data backup as a standard service is a significant step in enhancing data security for businesses of all sizes. While the infrastructure and costs may have been barriers in the past, companies like DSM Group are demonstrating that it’s possible to overcome these challenges.

In an era when data breaches and cyber threats are a constant concern, investing in immutable data backup is a proactive approach that can protect your organisation’s most valuable asset: its data. As more companies recognise the importance of this service, it may become an industry standard, ensuring that businesses are better equipped to safeguard their digital assets in an increasingly volatile digital landscape.

In conclusion, immutable data backup is a game-changer in data security, and DSM Group is leading the way by making it accessible and affordable to their clients. As businesses continue to prioritise data protection, immutable backups may soon become the gold standard for safeguarding critical digital assets. The minimal cost of additional storage space pales in comparison to the invaluable protection it provides for your data.

If you would like to know more or get a quote please call us or fill in the form below.

    Veeam V11 Immutable

    V11: Immutable primary backup storage

    Ransomware and malicious acts within our IT environments are rampant across the world, and the last line of defence is going to be your backups.

    In Veeam Backup & Replication v10 the ability to store your Veeam backups using the Object Lock API was introduced. This would mean that you would have a secondary copy of your backup data most likely offsite and in an immutable state, which means it can’t be modified and is protected against insider malicious activity.

    Fast forward to the release of Veeam Backup & Replication v11, and a way of storing data, agnostic to hardware in your primary location leveraging Linux with the NEW Hardened Linux Repository has been enabled.

    Benefits of immutable storage backup

    By definition, immutability is a solution that prevents data deletion or modification from the storage.

    Knowing that data is critical to all businesses—leveraging an immutable copy of your backup data ensures that there is an untouched version of that source data that is always recoverable and safe from any failure scenario.

    Veeam Backup & Replication v11 enables you to store your short-term retention backups locally onsite for fast recovery with the protection of immutability. In addition, you can now tier those backups into an immutable object storage offering offsite, giving you additional protection against unforeseen malicious activity or accidental deletion.

    Immutable backup storage can help in the following cases:

    • Production data is corrupted or compromised
    • Accidental deletion of production data
    • Insider malicious activity, administrators modifying backup job retention or deleting restore points.

    What is the Hardened Linux Repository?

    The Hardened Linux Repository enables primary backups to be immutable, not by packaging a storage appliance together, but by offering the ability to achieve local immutable backup storage by using generic compute and storage with a supported Linux x64 distribution that provides this functionality.

    Immutability protects your data from loss because of malware activity or other failure scenarios mentioned above by temporarily prohibiting the deletion and modification of data.

    A storage solution that prevents deletion and modification of backups

    Now you know the purpose behind it and why we are doing this for our primary backups. But you have only seen part of the How — on the Linux server itself you do not need to set anything, Veeam will have that covered for you.

    By default, the immutability is set to seven days for standard backups on the repository. It is very important that your job configuration reflects this so that your active backup chain is protected.

    Ransomware or outside malicious activity are well-known 24/7/365 threats. Take a lesson from history – even the great city of Troy, that resisted outside threats for centuries, was quickly destroyed from within. When you use the immutable flag even the kings of backups themselves, the backup administrators, cannot delete those backup files.

    Single access credentials

    Protect the keys to the kingdom! It’s clear to see that a lot of this new feature is focused on the security and protection of your backup data. By focusing on access control, we are further reducing the possible attack vectors by not allowing Veeam or the backup administrator to have unbridled access to an elevated user account that was or is used initially to deploy Veeam services. These one-time use for deployment credentials are not stored by Veeam Backup & Replication.

    I hear you asking, how do we get started?

    Call us on 03333 22 11 00 or contact us using the form below:

      Credit: Michael Cade

      DSM Group Achieve Veeam GOLD Partner Status

      DSM Group are proud to announce they have been awarded the Veeam Gold Cloud and Service Provider Partner Status.

      Veeam are the number one global leader for Cloud Data Management solutions which encompasses Data Backup, Replication and Disaster Recovery.  Veeam provides a secure Backup & Recovery solution for both virtual and physical environments, ensuring data and systems are recoverable come what may.

      DSM Group now join the select few Gold Service Providers across the United Kingdom.

      Related Solutions

      Managed Services

      6 Benefits Of Using Managed IT Services

      “By giving IT staff more time to focus on progression and increasing productivity, a managed IT supplier offers businesses the support and room they need to grow.”

      While new technologies present powerful opportunities for enterprises, they also introduce challenges. The pace of change in IT is unprecedented. IT departments can no longer survive on one or two computer models, a single operating system, and a short list of approved applications. The mobile devices and cloud-based technologies that have brought so much possibility have also introduced a multitude of devices, platforms and apps for IT departments to manage and secure.

      For many organisations those challenges add up to significant expense: the cost of hiring and training qualified workers, purchasing the infrastructure to support emerging technologies, and keeping systems up to date. Rather than struggle to keep pace with technology, many organisations turn to managed IT providers for help. By trusting a third party such as DSM to handle cloud deployments, data center solutions, mobile initiatives, collaboration tools and security, organisations can focus their time and resources on their core business objectives.

      IT service providers take a pragmatic approach to IT solutions resulting in a higher standard than many organisations are able to achieve in-house. Top service providers also offer ongoing management and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure, along with end-user support and service guarantees.

      The benefits of managed IT services are clear: In 2014, only 30 percent of organisations used managed services, but within a year, that figure had nearly doubled. Managed services can cut IT costs by as much as 40 percent while doubling operational efficiency.

      Turning to a trusted IT partner offers several advantages, including:

      1. Freeing up IT staff

      Most internal IT departments are at capacity. Outsourcing back-end functions or complex, rapidly changing technologies to a managed service provider, organisations can dedicate their in-house technology experts to projects that will further their core objectives and promote innovation.

      2. Keeping pace with the demands for IT expertise

      Organisations around the UK are struggling to fill IT positions, particularly in cybersecurity and cloud solutions. Outsourcing these functions to a partner with technically skilled and specialized engineers in new and emerging technologies alleviates these pressures.

      3. Greater scalability

      IT organisations spend weeks, even months, deploying massive systems. Many organisations are finding it more effective to start small, move fast and expand as needed. DSM’s modular approach to managed services makes it easy for enterprises to scale up or down depending on demand, such as a retailer increasing capacity around peak periods or a startup experiencing sudden growth.

      4. 24/7 availability

      The 9-to-5 workday is as outdated today as the phone booth. When users work around the clock, so must the network. With a managed IT provider, help is always available — days, nights, weekends or holidays — to support users.

      5. Shifting the burden of compliance

      In addition to regular audits, many organisations are obligated to meet standards and requirements with their IT initiatives. Reporting and security are imperative in the healthcare, education, financial services and retail industries. DSM understands the regulations that organisations are bound by and can provide the systems, processes and reports to guarantee that organisations meet their requirements — without placing that burden on in-house staff.

      6. Predictable monthly costs

      Every IT investment comes with peripheral costs. Organisations need adequate networks, storage, and security. They must train staff, deploy systems and manage equipment. Unexpected costs arise at any time. By outsourcing initiatives to a managed IT provider, organisations can break down their costs into fixed monthly payments. Instead of the large capital expenditures that come with managing systems in-house.

      To discuss your requirement or book a free IT review please contact us @ support@dsmgroup.co.uk or call 03333 22 11 00


      Four key reasons why you should backup your data

      Today’s world revolves around electronic data; Business simply cannot operate without it.  No data = no business.

      Data is one of the life bloods of a business; With the ever increasing risks (viruses, hackers, natural disasters, hardware failures etc.) it’s almost inevitable something will, eventually, go wrong;  It’s not an ‘if’ but more like a ‘when’. The scale of loss could be anything from a hard drive failure to a ransomware attack.

      We have created a list of the four main reasons why you should ensure your data is correctly and securely backed up.

      Hacking and ransomware

      It is estimated around half of UK businesses faced some form of cyber-security breach in 2019/20. Most of the time the firewall and/or anti-virus software will trap the attempted infiltration however…. just like some human viruses, there’s an occasional one that gets through and causes havoc.

      In extreme cases, hackers can encrypt and hold your data to ransom. If you don’t have your data backed up (effectively), the only way to recover it might be to pay them.  There is, of course, no guarantee that your data will be returned.

      Ransomware or a virus may not be specifically targeted to you – they are designed to be smart and will automatically seek the weakness in IT systems then spread further and embed themselves until the circumstances are right for maximum damage.

      The best way to negate a ransomware attack is to ensure your systems are correctly patched, firewalled and an effective data backup is in place.

      Not all data loss is malicious

      While it’s easy to think of data loss as being a purposeful act, UK government stats, indicate that the vast majority of data losses and breaches are the result of human error.

      Staff within your business have to handle your data as part of their job, so there’s always a chance of data being deleted by accident. If you don’t want your company to be detrimentally impacted by a business critical file or email that’s accidentally been deleted (or maybe purposeful by a disgruntled employee), you need an effective backup solution.

      Disasters happen

      When protecting against data loss, businesses also need to think about the safety of the hardware that stores their data. It is often more fragile than you might think.

      Disaster is often thought of as being a grand scale event eg: Fire, Flood, Explosion but, in fact, it’s often more mundane actions that cause the issues: Poor-quality electrics, leaking roof or pipe, failed air conditioning unit etc

      Without an effective backup, you can seriously risk the future of your business.

      Critical data loss destroys businesses

      Approximately 9 out of 10 companies that lose their data for more than 10 days end up filing for bankruptcy within a year. In fact, many of those businesses file for bankruptcy immediately.

      Why? The loss of data can cause significant business interruption. Most businesses simply cannot afford such downtime. Depending on the scale of the breach, a business may also be subject to regulatory fines (as a result of GDPR for example).

      Data loss can also prove catastrophically damaging to reputation. Companies can find that the cost of losing (and subsequently trying to win back) customer confidence, following data loss or theft, far outweighs the actual cost of the data loss itself.

      The faster you can get up and running again, the more likely you are to retain customer confidence. This is why an effective data backup is imperative.

      Protecting your data

      There’s a number of ways you can backup your business data however, the most recognised and effective solution is an offsite, cloud backup.  ‘Cloud’ is not a  mythical place but a purpose designed building with specialist technical staff and systems.

      By working with such a specialist provider, you can ensure that your critical data is automatically backed-up  – effectively and securely and perhaps, more importantly, capable of being recovered – easily.

      Don’t know where to start? We are here to work with you to create a custom backup solution for your business data.