Your organization dealing with a cybersecurity attack isn’t a matter of if, but when. While putting the necessary barriers in place to ward off these attacks is a critical part of any cybersecurity strategy, knowing how adept your organization is at rebounding from an event is just as important. After all, without a clear understanding of how well critical assets are protected on a recurring basis, you’ll never know until a cyberattack happens if you’ll be dealing with a catastrophic loss or an inconvenient blip to your business and IT operations.
Consider just a few private and public organizations that have been felled in recent years by poor security safeguards following a malware attack. In 2019 the city of Baltimore’s files were held hostage in exchange for a financial ransom by the RobinHood attack, an event estimated to cost the city $18.2 million in damages. And of course, there was the exceptional damage caused by the 2017 WannaCry attack which hijacked servers across the globe, costing organizations upwards of $4 billion in lost productivity, forensic work, and efforts to restore lost data.
A key difference between finding yourself in one of these organizations’ shoes and being fully resilient is proactively identifying and addressing data protection holes an on ongoing basis.
Assessing Your Cyberattack Resiliency
Do you know if you can successfully restore the data your organization needs, in a timely fashion, if you fall prey to a cybersecurity attack?
Answering a series of simple questions can identify where your organization lands:
- Are you highly confident that files were successfully backed up during the last backup cycle?
- Can you assess, at any point in time, the data that may be lost entirely in the event of an attack?
- Do you have a high level of certainty that all existing virtual machines and cloud-based resources are fully protected?
- Can you show regional or business unit heads that their data was successfully protected?
- Are you able to quickly isolate where critical backup data is stored across different backup products?
- Can you measure backup failures across your entire enterprise or all of your customers in a single place?
Answering “yes” to all these questions indicates that your organization has the right tools within its existing IT infrastructure to pinpoint vulnerabilities and act. However, answering “no” to any of these questions, let alone all of them, indicates serious weaknesses in cybersecurity defense.
Backup Monitoring Builds Cyberattack Resiliency
Being able to restore your data in the event of a cybersecurity attack is the fastest, easiest way to bounce back…so long as you can actually restore your data. Rather than finding out if restoration is possible after the attack has happened, take a proactive approach to data protection monitoring. Automated tracking of backup and storage activities provide much-needed clarity about data integrity and your ability to withstand an attack.
To achieve this proactive approach requires automation and monitoring tools that enable the following six activities.
1. Centralize monitoring of all backup operations. Complex environments with multiple backup and storage solutions wreak havoc on efficient oversight operations. Consolidate that oversight into a single dashboard so that you have a one-stop-shop to oversee data protection health and performance. You’ll minimize the need for software and hardware-specific expertise while broadening overall monitoring.
2. Offer holistic visibility over backup performance. Invest in a single reporting tool that gives you a clear read of backup performance rates across your entire complex environment. You’ll be able to easily see if your backup environment is positioned to withstand a cyberattack, or not.
3. Understand VM, AWS and Azure resource protection levels. Virtual machines and cloud resources are spun up so quickly, and often without the knowledge of backup and storage teams, that they are incredibly vulnerable to lost data following a cyberattack. Implement solutions that identify unprotected VMs and instances so that teams can add backup policies proactively.
4. Segment performance reporting by region, business unit or data value. Support better team monitoring and coaching by effectively segmenting backup operations by relevant categories such as business unit, geography, or application. Clear reporting parameters will offer insight into backup environment sectors that are adept at surviving a cyberattack and those that need improved protection.
5. Consolidate cloud and on-prem storage monitoring. More and more organizations are required to implement data protection activities in the cloud. However, this means that in the event of a cyberattack, you’ll need to restore data from multiple locations. Ensure that your storage solutions are capable of storing all necessary data by leveraging a tool that regularly reports on storage usage and capacity.
6. Automate backup failure remediation and tracking. At any point in time, there will be backups that fail and need remediation to ensure a successful backup. Consider a tool that automates the ticketing for failed backup jobs with all the information your team needs to address the underlying issues. You’ll enjoy faster response times and improved job success rates.
No matter how savvy your IT team is, the possibility of a cyberattack will always be present. Mitigate the need to fight fires by building a robust IT infrastructure that supports improved oversight and risk prevention.