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Modernize your cyber recovery strategy with these five simple steps

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By Ripu Bajwa, Director and General Manager, Data Protection Solutions, Dell Technologies India

The transportation of data is a complicated task in the digital era. Business professionals will look to move data regularly as they work. However, information resides in a multitude of data centers, cloud services and edge locations – and moving data can be a complicated and expensive task.

Digital leaders must lay the groundwork to ensure data is accessible in the future. They should think carefully about how to store data. They should focus on tagging data and should concentrate on storage management and protection. That way, digital leaders can be sure data is collected, backed up and accessed by the right people.

Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index Report 2022 stated that 86% of businesses had experienced a cybersecurity incident led disruption. The report also captured that businesses would be experiencing more frequent cyber-attacks or incidents this year. To create a more cyber-resilient approach to data protection, businesses need to modernize and automate their recovery and business continuity strategies and leverage the latest intelligent tools to detect and defend against cyber threats.

The current challenges in security can be mitigated through a robust Cyber Resiliency strategy. Cyber resilience requires a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity. In addition to advanced threat protection and security training for employees, a strong cyber recovery strategy can promote cyber resilience by protecting backup systems from corruption and enabling fast recovery of business-critical systems, applications, and operations after an attack. In short, Cyber Resiliency is a strategy that incorporates people, processes, and technology into a holistic framework that protects an entire business, organization, or entity. This strategy allows businesses to prepare for and recover rapidly from disruptions caused by cyberattacks.

Here are five components of a proven and modern cyber recovery strategy:

Automated Data Vaults
Cyber resilience cannot be achieved without a major component – the Cyber Recovery Vault. It offers multiple layers of protection to provide resilience against cyberattacks even from an insider threat. It moves critical data away from the attack surface, physically isolating it within a protected part of the data center, and requires separate security credentials and multifactor authentication for access.

Additional safeguards include an automated operational air gap to provide network isolation and eliminate management interfaces that could be compromised. If a ransomware or data destruction attack impacts data and applications in the main production environments, the threat actors still cannot access the contents of the data vault. Post-attack, as part of the incident response and recovery process, clean copies of data and applications stored in the data vault are used to restore the production environment. If a cyberattack occurs, we can quickly identify a clean copy of our data, recover our critical systems and get our business back up and running.

Data Isolation and Governance
Similarly, ensuring an isolated data center environment that is disconnected from corporate and backup networks and restricted from users other than those with proper clearance is another method for ensuring a water-tight cyber recovery strategy. By isolating critical data, identifying suspicious activity, and accelerating data recovery, enterprises can more easily achieve cyber resilience with this approach.

Intelligent Analytics and Tools
Additionally, machine learning and full-content indexing with powerful analytics within the safety of the vault are effective tools for detecting threats. This also includes automated integrity checks to determine whether data has been impacted by malware and tools to support remediation if needed.

Recovery and Remediation
If an incident has indeed taken place, remediation consists of workflows and tools that perform recovery by using dynamic restore processes and existing data recovery procedures to bring business-critical systems back online quickly and with confidence. This must also include a comprehensive methodology for protecting data, as well as performing damage assessments and forensics to provide an organization with the confident and most reliable path to recovery of business-critical systems.

Solution Planning and Design
Finally, expert guidance and services can help organizations determine which business-critical systems need protection and can create dependency maps for associated applications and services, as well as the infrastructure needed to recover them. For example, Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model that shifts how organizations approach security from relying solely on perimeter defenses to a proactive strategy that only allows known good activity across ecosystems and data pipelines. It allows organizations to better align their cybersecurity strategy across the data center, clouds, and at the edge. Such services also generate recovery requirements and design alternatives, while identifying the technologies to analyze, host and protect data, along with a business case and implementation timeline.

Executives dealing with data must be pragmatic. Organizations and their employees will continue to use a range of platforms for security. Rather than assuming data is consolidated and constrained, businesses need to create a cyber resilience strategy that addresses a broad range of threats and barriers. Only then will data be fully utilized as the valuable resource it can and should be.

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