Lest we forget the importance of business continuity when it comes to information systems: amid a wave of high-profile attacks over the last year, the audacity and frequency of hacking incidents have grown. Aside from the Colonial Pipeline, Solarwinds, and Kaseya attacks, recent attacks have evaded major news coverage including several attacks originating from Asia, an incident between two tech superpowers, and widespread phone-based attacks.

Still, a large number of attacks are much smaller in scale. While they do not attract national attention, by some estimates 43% of all cyberattacks are levied against small business—of which only 14% of small businesses are prepared to repel.

The short version is this: cyberattacks can happen at any point, unfortunately even to the most protected infrastructure. Recent nature of remote work offers new avenues prone to attack. While we of course don’t want to make it easy for criminals to infiltrate our information systems, a prepared business will have backups at the ready.

Why Backups?

When discussing the importance of business continuity, the core philosophy revolves around getting systems back up and running. Planning here assumes that a system has been infiltrated and is compromised, likely encrypted beyond easy access (as is common in ransomware attacks). A business with no current backup has much more to lose by not paying the ransom, as the cost of lost work is often many times more than the ransom. (In reality, this is the goal of the criminal: to force a business/organization owner or decision maker into a choice where paying the ransom is the lesser of two evils.)

However, a business or organization that has current (indeed, ideally only hours old) data may be in a position to lose only very recent data. A proper continuity plan will ensure this; thus, not having a business continuity plan is not a realistic approach for any organization serious about data security.

Which Backups?

Having established the importance of backups, let’s examine options for backups.

“On-prem” vs Remote

Commonly called Network Attached Storage, or a NAS, the most common local backup device is essentially a box of hard drives that continually stores machine images. While on-premise backups can be useful and one of the quicker methods to get back up and running, an on-premise solution must be, itself, backed up. While there are multiple reasons for this, one of the more obvious reasons is that a destructive local event—extreme weather or a fire—which destroys the server could additionally destroy the backups. Some solutions, such as the Datto SIRIS, use a hybrid on-premise and remote solution to gain maximum flexibility in restorations. Our engineers describe the SIRIS as “flick of a switch” due to it’s speedy recovery and, at times, invisibility to employees using it rather than a regular server. Because of this, SIRIS is one of our more popular choices and is the de facto best solution for businesses that place the importance of business continuity at the forefront. Generally the deciding factor against SIRIS is its cost; the industry leader in this space is priced as such.

Another “small but mighty” solution is the Datto ALTO. The ALTO leverages the power of the Datto Cloud to get a business online in a minimal amount of time and is a great and less expensive solution for smaller businesses or organizations that do not have heavy storage requirements.

Our third primary backup solution is Storagecraft ShadowProtect. This product offers a great solution for businesses or organizations not quite prepared to make the investment in the Datto SIRIS and are willing to accept being down for a slightly longer period of time.

No matter which backup solution is right for your business, it is very important that some backup solution is integrated. The bad guys are hoping otherwise.

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