[Video] How To Quickly Review Overnight Backup Success

The standard question any backup admin asks when coming into work each morning is, “How did my backups do last night?” Yet answering this question can often take several hours a day. Zeroing in on the servers and clients of interest is just the first step. Admins then need to write scripts for different backup products, and often merge reports for a single view of critical data. Something so integral to data protection management should be much faster to answer.

This is why Bocada created the Job Trends Report. By pulling data together from different backup servers, the Job Trends Report offers an automated, summarized view of your backup environment…without any need to log into your backup servers. This report can be delivered to your inbox each day before you even arrive for work so you can quickly isolate failures and zero-in on fixing them.

Further, by looking at results across a longer time frame, you can begin seeing backup success and failure trends. While a single backup failure may not be cause for concern, seeing it fail time and time again can be the motivation you need to prioritize fixing deeper problems.

Come watch how our Job Trends Report will give you a faster way to triage your backup work.

Would this type of recurring backup environment reporting save you time? Contact us at sales@bocada.com to learn more.

Making Ransomware Protection Second Nature

Ransomware Protection & Response PlanA recent radio segment on our local public radio station had me thinking about ransomware attacks. In light of October’s Bad Rabbit attack that impacted Kiev’s metro system, the Odessa airport and the Russian media organization Interfax, our radio station shared their own experience with a ransomware attack this past summer.

As you can imagine, the attack wreaked havoc on every department and every system at the radio station. Perhaps the most remarkable piece of the radio segment was their director admitting to something we are all guilty of: choosing convenience over security. Allowing themselves to be lax on data security led to the most inconvenient situation possible – operational chaos.

Cybersecurity planning and ransomware protocols don’t have to be inconvenient. Consistent, logical incident response plans can make this entire process second nature.

The Full Impact of Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of cyberattack where hackers breach corporate networks and systems to lock organizations out of their own data with encryption. Cybercriminals demand money to unfreeze the lockout, devastating business operations in the process.

Though early ransomware attacks focused on healthcare and financial services targets, 39% of global organizations experienced ransomware in recent months. This summer, NotPetya and WannaCry ransomware attacks – which crippled major shipping, pharmaceutical and advertising enterprises’ operations and cost hundreds of millions of dollars — jolted CIOs, CISOs and their boards to start taking ransomware threats seriously. Just ask FedEx and Merck.

When medical systems are held hostage, doctors can’t access patient electronic health records. Pharmacists resort to manual paper scripts to dispense urgently needed medications. Bank and trading operations break down. Yet, a recent Ponemon survey shows 68% of respondents believe their organizations will not be resilient in the wake of a cyberattack.

Then there are the crisis management costs, reputational harm, system remediation, consumer identity fraud for leaked data and cyber insurance costs. The FBI estimates that in 2016 US businesses paid as much as $1 billion in ransom to attackers. Cybersecurity planning that includes data protection protocols to minimize looming ransomware attacks are no longer an inconvenient task to kick down the road.

Protect Your Organization from Ransomware Attacks

If ransomware has not affected your organization yet, it’s likely a matter of when, not if. Mostly likely, your organization is not ready. A full two-thirds of respondents in the Ponemon survey said their organization is not prepared to recover from a cyberattack. Additionally, 75% admit they don’t have a consistently-applied cybersecurity incident response (IR) plan and just over half admit they have never reviewed or updated their IR plan.

While new cyberattacks make it necessary to continually review and revise IR plans, one component has remained consistent: incorporating data protection through backup and recovery in the plan. After all, when ransomware locks you out of network data, backups get your operations back online. Incorporating backup processes as part of your IR protocols must become second nature.

Here are a few things to keep think about as you update cyberplans with data backup and recovery in mind.

Backup frequency. Consider full backups on mission critical clients or servers, with partial or differential backup at slower rates for less mission critical data. That way you know you can always access the most current version of key data while not unnecessarily overloading your system.

Oversight of backup successes and failures. Require regular backup audit reports on backup successes and failures across all backup systems. Preferably consolidated, executive level reporting that integrates this data from backup systems in all corners and regions of your enterprise. This will allow your team to isolate partial or failed backup targets that need attention.

Isolate Backup from the operational environment. Store backup data in an environment that will not be impacted by a ransomware attack. For instance, experts now recommend “…streaming the data over the network to another storage device using a backup application.” For companies who have migrated data to the cloud, recommendations include  setting up separate cloud storage that can only be accessed from backup systems, and is never, ever connected to the main network.

Constantly Monitor Data Backup Server Performance. Your CISO will want reassurance that servers can handle the massive data your organization generates every day for backups. By generating data capacity and occupancy reports, you’ll receive visibility into storage usage, and see trends over time to inform future storage spending. The last thing you want is a ransomware attack the day after you ran out of storage capacity.

Test your data recovery plan. Plans are only as good as their implementation. It is important to periodically recover operations from backup data to test your data recovery plan. You don’t want something going awry the day that dreaded ransomware lockdown takes your data hostage.

Keep Calm And Report On

As IT leaders, you will feel the pressure to constantly demonstrate that your data backup and recovery processes comply with ransomware and cybersecurity mandates. You will be audited on your everyday protocols, and regularly asked for assurances that you can efficiently restore operations with backup data during an attack.

Providing professional, timely backup operations reporting can offer the peace of mind of knowing you will pass these measures. When evaluating what type of reporting you’ll need, consider reports that give you:

• Visibility into backups across targets, clients, and servers;
• Transparency across business units and geographies;
• Insight into backup successes and failures; and
• An understanding of available storage and backup performance trends, and if they’re evolving.

Performing this manually is painstaking and time-intensive. If you’re ready to have this type of security in your IT environment and need a more efficient solution, we encourage you to schedule a demo with Bocada’s backup reporting software. When installed in your native environment, you’ll be able to quickly isolate problem areas that stand in the way of your cyberattack preparedness.

Bocada Free Trial

Accelerating Backup Job Failure Diagnosis

A backup job failure can mean losing valuable company or account information, or even customer or patient data in the case of malware attacks. But finding failed backup jobs can take a lot of time. Having all failed jobs highlighted provides a “worst case” view of backup performance and offers backup admins a way to quickly identify and solve failure issues.

Traditional backup activity reports can have thousands of jobs and multiple layers of information which may mask specific job failures. Backup failures at the client or target level may be obscured by subsequent successes or partial successes when rolled up to the server level. However, with Bocada’s Failure Emphasis feature, backup administrators can zero in on failed jobs more quickly. With quick access to the failed job information the admin can determine root causes and the need for re-running a specific job.

Come watch how our Failure Emphasis function gives backup admins a faster, more targeted look at servers that need greater attention.

Would this type of targeted view of your backup environment save you time? Contact us at sales@bocada.com to learn more.

Surviving the IT Budget Crunch

IT teams are increasingly being asked to do more, with less. With 50% of IT leaders reporting that their budgets are staying flat, or shrinking, it’s no surprise that ESG found “reducing costs” to be a top business initiative driving technology decisions. Lean IT organizations cannot keep up with all the enterprise demands unless they target certain functions for automation.

In this dynamic environment, strategically finding functions to automate and processes to streamline is more than just achieving efficiencies. It is an imperative for IT leaders to juggle growing system demands with budget realities. Read more

Top Strategic Priorities for CTOs

We see three big trends receiving laser focus from CTOs: cybersecurity, enterprise digital transformation, and regulatory requirement compliance. While these challenges are diverse, they all rely on flawless execution of one core technical competency: enterprise data protection. Nailing data protection is a ‘non-negotiable’ issue for technology organizations. Before taking on these three key strategic initiatives, CTOs must have confidence in their data protection operations. Having the right reporting and operational oversight can be the difference between bulletproofing your IT infrastructure and leaving it completely vulnerable. 

Cybersecurity

Experts predict that cyberattacks will cause economic losses in line with catastrophic natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy. The enormous costs of cyberattacks – reputational, stock, customer, operational and remediation – moved cybersecurity and incident response planning into the Boardroom. CTOs are now required to report on the state of their corporation’s data backup and recovery capabilities as part of intensified cyberthreat protection efforts.

The June NotPetya cyberattack led Merck and FedEx to announce that financial projections might not be met due to the cost of fixing affected systems. In fact, as of early August, Merck was still struggling to entirely restore manufacturing, packaging and active ingredient operational systems and processes frozen by NotPetya.

CTOs recognize that having a data protection policy is no longer enough – they need accountability throughout their IT operations. Having enterprise reporting systems in place that regularly audits data protection operations will allow CTOs and IT staff to focus on higher priorities around cybersecurity. Getting clear reporting is the difference between having a disaster recovery plan and verifying disaster recovery operations.

Digital Transformation and Cloud Migration

IDC estimates that as of 2017, 65% of large global enterprises have committed to a digital transformation (DX). CEOs lean entirely on their CTOs to devise this approach from scratch, no small feat considering that this involves the assessment and integration of systems, technologies and processes across all levels, departments and geographies in which an organization does business.

The speed at which this transformation is happening – or expected to happen – is staggering. IDC’s 2016 Datacenter Survey found that organizations expect their data volume to grow by 52% in the next 12 months! Technology organizations in huge corporations are expected to add capacity, technology-enabled new business processes, and leverage new infrastructure simultaneously. This complexity and need for speed puts pressure on technology organizations and creates risk. With all these moving parts, data protection can be overlooked.

Making data and platform decisions requires a sound foundation in data protection. Without an automated process in place to monitor your data protection operations, you’ll be flying blind on the impacts of your DX initiatives. Getting reporting in place before making such large changes will give you benchmarking opportunities as well as more confidence in the ability to roll back changes if something goes wrong. If you are moving your data from a physical infrastructure to the cloud and your backup volume suddenly doubles – or worse, cuts in half – you need to know!

Meeting Data Compliance Obligations

In addition to delivering on business growth objectives and cybersecurity, you are faced with the ever-present need to comply with government regulations. Consider the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law instituted by the EU to strengthen data protection for all EU residents. Under the GDPR:

  • Article 32 requires that organizations have data backup and restoration capabilities readily available in the event that data is lost, altered or breached; and
  • Individuals have a “right to erasure,” in which consumers can demand you delete all of their personal information. This rule requires your company to prove every data instance has been deleted, including backup copies.

GDPR compliance has many twists and turns, some of which addresses knowing what you have backed up, and where it’s stored. Without systems in place to report on your data backup at an enterprise level, you’ll never know how well your company complies with this portion of GDPR regulations. The penalties for non-compliance can be harsh. Organizations caught non-compliant by May 25, 2018 can face fines as high as 4% of annual revenue.

The Bulletproof CTO

Of course there is no way to bulletproof your technology office. Cybersecurity, digital transformation and regulatory requirements are complex initiatives that affect every aspect of what you do. But the buck stops with the CTO – you will be in the hot seat if things are missed or mistakes are made. Give your team the tools to make sure data is protected and then maintain accountability through executive level enterprise reporting. As you execute on these seismic shifts in technology operations, we encourage you to ask:

  • How can we achieve greater accountability from, and visibility into, our data protection operations?
  • How can we automate audit and regulatory compliance reporting obligations?
  • How can we gain visibility into the entire enterprise data protection environment, independent of geography, organization, and backup tool?
  • Do we have the capability to validate backup infrastructure and process investments while showing ROI over time?
  • How can we spin up reports at a moment’s notice to respond to any data crisis or audit request?

Are you unsure of how to answer these questions? If so, we encourage you to schedule time for a personal demo of the Bocada system. When tested in your native backup environment, you’ll see right away just how healthy your backup systems and protocols really are.