With the recent spate of ransomware targeting previous versions, and some backup file extensions, you may have heard the term offline or air-gap backups. This is essentially backup media or repositories that are only in use during the backup, tape is a great example of this.
Devices like Network Attached Storage (NAS), or USB drives, which are either permanently on line or left connected for 10-12 hours a day, can be vulnerable to these types of ransomware attack. Now, if you’re not familiar with ransomware, or have never heard of it there’s a great webinar here. Before we get into scare mongering territory, there’s plenty you can do to protect your data.
Most of it is pretty straightforward, and hopefully already a staple of your day to day operations:
- Regular proactive security patching of your servers and client devices
- Regular Anti-Virus updates and scans of your servers and client devices
- Perimeter security services like Open DNS.
But this ‘prevention’ is only part of the solution. The ‘cure’ element is just as crucial, maybe more so in the context that anti-virus, anti-malware and security patching, are all reactive.
Now this blog isn’t about ransomware, although ransomware is a great topic as it asks a lot of questions as to how well your IT estate is proactively looked after, how you data is protected and not least because it is considered the de facto IT threat to all businesses, creating a billion dollar business according to the FBI.
Veeam Cloud Connect. Is the topic I’m actually covering today.
For those unfamiliar, Cloud Connect is an add-on feature to Veeam’s Availability suite which allows businesses to synchronise their backup data with a trusted service provider. This is achieved via a secure HTTPS tunnel with the data between client and service provider being encrypted to 256 bit AES while in flight.
In the context of our ransomware discussion, this is an air-gapped backup repository. Unlike tape however, this repository is always online and you can synchronise your backups as frequently as required. If we keep to the ransomware example, is recovering from last night’s (or older) backup tape really meeting your businesses Recovery Point Objective(s) (RPO)?
Going beyond that example, and considering availability, how does this feature help businesses drive down their Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and keep the critical business services running in the event of a disaster?
The answer is that Veeam’s Cloud Connect can also be used to replicate virtual machines from customer premises to a trusted service providers platform, giving their customers a business continuity platform which can be invoked much quicker than a traditional disaster recovery process can be turned around.
Since we’ve mentioned DR, that’s another string to Cloud Connects bow. If the recurring cost of a Business Continuity platform isn’t feasible, or your business RTO’s simply don’t warrant it, Cloud Connect can allow your trusted service provider to recover your infrastructure to either their own platform or into the Azure public cloud.
Obviously, in either scenario, it is critical to work with you trusted service provider(s) to understand and identify your businesses key services, and put together a plan that allows your business to mitigate risk and continue to operate should the worse happen.
Now Veeam’s availability suite has a whole host of other features besides this, and it’s modular deployment really lends itself to any infrastructure and can scale in either direction, but just taking the Cloud Connect piece into consideration, ask yourself
‘Can your current backup solution do this?’
Written by; Russell Gower-Leech Bsc – Select Technology Systems Senior Project Consultant
Russ has been working in IT with MSP’s for over 10 years, starting as a support engineer and working his way up through field engineer, project engineer and finally found his calling as a Consultant. He really gets a kick out of designing technical solutions to meet, and exceed, Clients business needs.
He is one of Select’s Cloud Champions, helping clients leverage the power and flexibility of the hybrid cloud. He is also the in-house Veeam Evangelist – “I really love the flexibility and resilience of Veeam based solutions, especially as I spent the early parts of my career working with products like Backup Exec.”
Please call us today on 01892 830111 if you would like to find out more about Veeam Cloud Connect.