Are you creating or maintaining cloud backups for your business and unsure of what security issues you may face in 2020 and beyond?
Data protection and disaster recovery are now more important than ever before. Enterprise data is growing at a faster rate than ever before, to the point that many traditional backup solutions cannot keep up. That is where the cloud comes in.
With its immense flexibility, near-infinite capacity, and ease of connectivity, cloud storage makes for an attractive option when it comes to backing up your files and infrastructure.
If you are not careful, however, it can be a double-edged sword.
Make any of these five mistakes with your backup, and you will soon regret it!
5 Cloud Backup Security Issues Your Cannot Ignore
Here are five essential issues you should watch out for when creating, monitoring, and maintaining cloud backups:
1. Ignoring Encryption and Making Unencrypted Backups
There have been a number of high-profile data breaches in recent years. These should serve as a warning for your business. The cloud is only as secure as you make it. If you do not encrypt your data and control access through two-factor authentication, your backups are at risk
Security is not something you can ignore, no matter where your backups are stored. If you are storing your backups without encryption, they are at risk of being compromised.
With ransomware attacks becoming more prevalent every day, if stored backups are not encrypted, they can be targeted, too. This can lead to data being stolen or deleted.”
Encryption is a critical layer of safety for your backups you must have in place. With leading backup solutions like Acronis Cyber Backup, all backups are encrypted.
Just don’t forget your backup key, because without it, your backup cannot be accessed or restored.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
When connecting to your cloud services, be sure to enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), also known as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).
MFA secures your login to your backup system with additional methods of authentication such as a text message or email confirming your login. This makes it so that hackers would have to compromise both your login credentials and your phone or email in order to gain illegitimate access to your backup server.
2. Failing to Test and Monitor Backups
The cloud takes away a great deal of overhead – but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your system completely and expect everything to run like clockwork. It is imperative that you monitor your cloud for potential problems, and regularly test backups to ensure all is still working as intended.
There have been countless times when an organization was the target of an attack, and when they went to restore servers from backups, they found their backups were corrupted or missing some key element.
Regularly test backups and monitor event logs to ensure that problems like this do not arise, and that backups are ready to be restored when you need them.
Between testing backups and monitoring logs, systems must be maintained and new data may need to be added or removed from backups. Storage space should be monitored, too!
Try monitoring the following:
- File access logs
- Which files are being backed up, and whether or not they are being backed up properly
- Unusual or suspicious activity, such as files being duplicated without cause, bandwidth spikes, etc.
3. Not Planning for Disaster Situations and Disaster Recovery
Cloud backups can be a great service and protect data in a lot of ways. But having a cloud backup system doesn’t mean that you can forget about potential pitfalls in disaster situations.
Automated disaster recovery programs can be helpful to keeping your business running smoothly, but having a plan for disasters is imperative to maintaining backups.”
People need to know what processes to follow in a crisis – like today’s coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly remote workforce – and who is responsible for doing what. The more confusion there is, the longer your downtime could become.
Knowing how to access your backups or who needs to implement a recovery plan is important when disaster strikes. Your time is valuable and your process should be smooth and well-thought-out in advance.
On top of the damage of the disaster, you will be losing time and money without a solid plan.
4. Focusing Only On Your Files
If you are only backing up files and certain important folders, you are missing out on some vital data that helps reduce the damage of a compromise.
Make sure to maintain backups of software, databases, and even logs, in addition to your important files. Any data that you are missing from a backup can potentially come back to haunt you.
There may be a small missing ingredient from your backup that leaves an important configuration missing and can lead to reworking whole applications.
When creating and scheduling backups, you should be making full system screenshots as well. This will include the operating system and everything within it. This means that in the event of a disaster or attack, you can roll out the entire system without having to pre-configure a new server with applications, firewall rules, and domain information.”
Having multiple backups that cover each part of your infrastructure is important to a speedy recovery. Any time lost during a compromise is time that is valuable, and the quicker you can restore your server, the quicker that you or your organization can get back on its feet.
5. Poor Backup Schedules
It is important to understand what different backup schedules you have available, and what you will need in a compromise or disaster situation.
Between daily, hourly, weekly, and by the minute, there are plenty of ways to schedule your backups, each offering something different from the rest.
If your site or server is receiving a high volume of traffic, database changes, and important records or financial data, taking backups frequently is important to keeping and restoring your data.
If you work with a company that gets hundreds of entries or data changes in an hour, you may want to be backing up by the minute or the hour as a lot of money is on the line for every missing change.
If you are running a server that doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, a daily or weekly backup could work for you. It all depends on how your servers are performing and the amount of data you’re processing.
Incremental backups are a popular choice for many circumstances, which are backups only made as data changes and without re-copying the entire system.”
Know your resources available, your bandwidth, and your space in order to find the right backup schedule for you. In most cases, taking backups too often is a great problem to have.
Keep Your Judgement Unclouded
The cloud is a powerful backup tool, but it can also cause more harm than good if you do not know what you are doing.
Luckily, it is not particularly difficult to use. And if you would rather leave the technical details to someone else, you can always use a third-party solution like Acronis Cyber Backup, which is offered by Liquid Web.
When creating backups, schedules, and recovery plans, it’s easy to miss small things during a recovery process.
Be diligent about testing backups and schedules, do full disaster recovery tests, and learn from people who have been in these situations before.”
It’s easy to think a weekly or daily backup is fine for your systems, until you are in a position where you are missing incredibly vital information that was entered in the past day or hour.
Understanding the type of data you have can give you great insights into what you will need in the event of a disaster or compromise.
Take the extra time to understand your cloud backups and what you need out of it. Backups can be the difference between an attack shutting down a business completely, or only for a few hours.