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Effective Cybersecurity Starts with a Data Protection Strategy

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By Nikhil Korgaonkar, Regional Director, Arcserve India & SAARC

Many large and small businesses have transitioned to flexible remote/home/office-based work. While this is great for productivity and well-being, it has also created vulnerabilities for cyber attackers to exploit. With more data stored in cloud environments and home, office, and field-based employees needing access from the less secure home office or remote environments, ransomware attacks have skyrocketed.

Building a moat around the castle through firewalls, antivirus solutions, multi-factor authentication, intrusion detection and prevention, and more is a great start, but these barriers are no longer good enough because most organisational data now resides outside the castle. Even after deploying layers and layers of defence, organisations are finding that they are still vulnerable to cyberattacks and that their data is still getting compromised.

According to a research report by CyberPeace Foundation (CPF) and Autobot Infosec Private Limited around 1.9 million attacks have been recorded on India’s healthcare systems. This is a cause of worry for the government which has been pushing for the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) that aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. AIIMS Delhi was brought to a grinding halt for nearly a week due to a ransomware attack. AIIMS is a premier institute for people from across the country and VIPs. While close to 1.3 TB of data was encrypted and nearly 5 servers were brought down, the entire digital system collapsed and the operations shifted to manual mode. Personal data, especially medical records need to be very private. Compromising medical records and other related data of patients cause people to lose faith in the healthcare system taking the digital route.

This is why companies now need a 360-degree view of IT security to protect their data. That means expanding their focus to include data backup and recovery solutions and immutable storage that, until now, have not been a primary focus.



Immutable storage is part of the 3-2-1-1 strategy
One of the first steps you should take is to adopt the 3-2-1-1 data-protection strategy. The 3-2-1-1 strategy directs that you have three backup copies of your data on two different media, such as disk and tape, with 1 of those copies located offsite for disaster recovery. The final one in this equation is immutable object storage.

Immutable object storage safeguards information continuously by taking snapshots every 90 seconds. Even if disaster strikes, you can quickly recover your data. Immutable snapshots are read-only versions of metadata for data and files. These snapshots provide point-in-time data recovery. In downtime, natural disaster, or ransomware attack, snapshots enable you to roll back to a previous file state. Immutable snapshots cannot be altered, overwritten, or deleted, so they safeguard data integrity from loss due to human error, hardware failure, or ransomware attack.

And then have a recovery plan
The first step in any cybersecurity strategy should be backing up critical data. But data backup alone is not enough. It would be best if you also had a robust plan to recover your data quickly and cost-effectively following a cyberattack. The truth is that without a well-thought-out recovery plan in place, you may be unable to properly restore the exact version of a file or folder following a data loss.

Here’s one way to think about data backup and recovery. Attempting to restore data without a solid recovery plan is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle after half the pieces have gone missing. It’s a recipe for disaster, especially during a crisis when you’re scrambling to save your data now—because tomorrow could be too late. A good recovery plan can help you locate all the pieces and swiftly put them together at a time when every minute is vital and you don’t have a moment to lose.

One-click recovery
Minimising downtime in a cyberattack could save your business. That’s why looking for a data protection system that is easy to deploy, simple to manage, and rocksteady even under the most harrowing circumstances is imperative. You should be able to deliver smooth, orchestrated recovery with a single click. In the event of a cyberattack, this will allow you to recover confidently by safely spinning up copies of physical and virtual systems onsite and offsite in minutes—not hours or days.

Your data is your most important asset. If compromised by ransomware, you’re dead in the water. That’s why you need to make data protection a crucial part of any cybersecurity strategy. With the right approach, your data will be quickly and easily recoverable even after an attack, and you’ll be able to survive anything the bad guys throw at you.

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