Cyberthreats, once a mostly predictable risk limited to isolated incidents, are now pervasive. Attackers aided by advancements in AI and global connectivity are continually seeking out vulnerabilities in security defenses so they can access critical infrastructure and customer data. Eventually, an attack will compromise an administrative account or a network component, or exploit a software vulnerability, ultimately gaining access to production infrastructure. These inevitable attacks are why having immutable offsite backups for both application and customer data is critical to achieving a swift recovery, minimizing downtime and limiting data loss.

In an era characterized by digital interconnectedness, businesses must confront an ever-evolving array of cyberthreats, which present formidable challenges in defending against attacks. Some of the common challenges that enterprises face when protecting data are:

  • Maintaining data integrity and privacy amid the threat of potential data breaches and data leaks.
  • Managing IT budgets while dealing with increased cyberthreats and regulatory compliance.
  • Dealing with strains on resources and expertise to implement robust data protection measures, which leave businesses vulnerable to data loss and cyberattacks.
  • Contending with new complexities of managing and securing sensitive data from massive information producing workloads like IoT, AI, mobile and media content workloads.

Use backups to protect your data

Backups serve as a foundational element in any robust data protection strategy, offering a lifeline against various threats, from cyberattacks to hardware failures to natural disasters. By creating duplicates of essential data and storing them in separate locations, businesses can mitigate the risk of permanent loss and ensure continuity of operations in the face of breaches or unforeseen catastrophes. Backups provide a safety net against ransomware attacks, enabling organizations to restore systems and data to a pre-incident state without succumbing to extortion demands.

Additionally, backups offer a means of recovering from human errors, such as accidental deletion or corruption, thereby preventing potentially costly disruptions and preserving valuable intellectual property and customer information. In essence, backups function as a fundamental insurance policy, offering peace of mind and resilience in an increasingly volatile digital landscape.

Workloads and patterns that benefit from a comprehensive backup strategy

There are some typical scenarios where having a backup strategy proves particularly useful.

Cloud-native workloads:

  • Applications that use virtual machines (VMs), containers, databases or object storage in AWS, Microsoft® Azure and other clouds should have a backup strategy. Storing these backups in a separate cloud environment such as the IBM Cloud® provides the best isolation and protection for backups.
  • Top cloud service providers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud and Oracle.

Virtual machines:

  • Most organizations run some applications in virtual environments either on premises or in the cloud. These virtual machines must be backed up to preserve their storage, configuration and metadata, ensuring rapid application recovery in the case of cyberattacks or disaster scenarios.
  • Key virtualization technologies: VMware®, Microsoft® Hyper-V, Red Hat® and Nutanix.

Enterprise applications and infrastructure:

  • Enterprise applications and infrastructure support critical business workloads and workforce collaboration. Ensuring quick application and data recovery in the case of cyberattacks is mission critical to avoid top line business impact.
  • Critical enterprise applications: Microsoft® Suite, Oracle Database, SAP and other database technologies.

SaaS applications:

  • Many customers are not aware of their responsibilities for backing up their data in SaaS applications. Even though they have SaaS, they can benefit from a backup solution that can prevent customer data loss if the SaaS service is compromised.
  • Common enterprise SaaS applications: Microsoft 365, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Splunk.

Back up data to the cloud for enhanced data protection

Effective disaster recovery (DR) practices mandate keeping usable business-critical backups offsite and immutable. Traditionally, this was achieved by sending backups to tape libraries in offsite locations. However, managing tape libraries became operationally complex due to the need to ensure that backups remained available for restoration in disaster scenarios. Restoring from tape libraries can also be slow and cumbersome, failing to meet recovery timelines crucial for critical application workloads.

Cloud storage offers a compelling offsite alternative to traditional tape backups. IBM Cloud® Object Storage is a fully managed cloud storage service with built-in redundancy, security, availability and scalability that is highly resilient to disaster events, ensuring data availability when needed. Accessible through APIs over the internet, cloud storage simplifies operational recovery procedures, which results in faster recovery times and lower data loss risks in cyberattack scenarios.

How IBM Cloud Object Storage protects backups

IBM Cloud Object Storage is a versatile and scalable solution that is crucial for storing and protecting data backups. It is used by clients across a wide range of industries and workloads to store hundreds of petabytes of backup data. Four of the top five US banks use IBM Cloud Object Storage to protect their data.

Clients can develop their native data backup solutions targeting IBM Cloud Object Storage or opt for industry-leading data protection tools such as Veeam, Storage Protect, Commvault, Cohesity, Rubrik, and others natively supporting backups to IBM Cloud Object Storage.

Key benefits of using IBM Cloud Object Storage for backups

Immutable data protection: Native immutability features help prevent backups from being modified or deleted during the retention window. Immutability provides the ultimate data protection against ransomware by blunting its ability to overwrite backup data with encryption.

Reduced disaster recovery time: Because your backup data is stored in a secured and separate environment, you can be confident that the backups will remain unaffected by cyberattacks on production environments. These unaffected backups make it easier to restore data and recover quickly.

Lower cost of backing up: Object storage is a fully managed storage service available at very low costs, allowing organizations to keep backup operational costs low while ensuring continued protection.

Resilience and availability: IBM Cloud Object Storage is a globally accessible service backed by redundant storage zones and network technologies, so your backups always remain available.

IBM Cloud Object Storage’s robust architecture ensures durability, scalability and cost-effectiveness, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes. Moreover, its immutability feature adds an extra layer of protection by preventing accidental or malicious alterations to backup data, thus ensuring data integrity and compliance with regulatory requirements. This feature, combined with IBM’s stringent security measures and extensive data protection capabilities, makes IBM Cloud Object Storage a trusted choice for businesses looking to secure their backup data reliably. By using IBM Cloud Object Storage, organizations can mitigate risks, streamline backup processes, and maintain peace of mind by knowing their critical data is securely stored and protected against any unforeseen events.

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