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May 2021

Air Gap

Putting space between you and the cyber criminals. The recent statistics from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on cybercrime make for grim reading but there are steps that you can take to protect your business from these growing and ever more sophisticated attacks.

Categories Technology Consulting, Infrastructure, Business Resilience

Executive Technology Consultant

With a rise in crypto-locker ransomware attacks and the cost to a business hit by such an attack, the importance of backing up your data securely is critical. A 2020 Sophos* survey found 51% of companies had been hit by a ransomware attack. Without adequate protection, the cost to a business in terms of downtime, lost opportunity and ransom paid averages £600K with the potential to stop your business from functioning. We’ve been working with our customers to develop strategies to both prevent and protect them from such attacks.  

Using an ‘air-gap’ is a really effective way to keep your data safe. The term ‘air-gap’ refers to a backup strategy that holds one copy of your data offline that cannot be compromised. The industry standard 3-2-1 back up rule ensures 3 copies of production data are maintained across 2 different type of storage media with at least 1 held offsite so if your data is compromised the cost and time of restoring it can be kept to a minimum.

There are numerous approaches to a 3-2-1 strategy that can be tailored to meet an organisation’s specific needs and work within their budgets.

3-2-1 Air-Gap strategy diagram

Gap in the Cloud

The latest release of Veeam Back-up & Replication – v10 introduces the new ‘Cloud Tier Copy Mode’ meaning the 3-2-1 rule with an air-gap can be implemented immediately.

With native object storage integration this new feature copies back up files directly to the public cloud storage as they are created making long-term and offsite data retention affordable. This offsite copy can be protected further by leveraging ‘object file locking’ with S3 compatible storage creating the desired air-gap and ensuring backup file immutability.

I’m still using tapes?

Not everyone is on cloud. So good news – tape isn’t dead. A tape library investment will provide long-term data retention, completely offline with a very low cost per TB of data. A tape library needn’t involve manual administration either, combined with offsite storage either public or private, tapes can remain and rotate through the library whilst still observing the 3-2-1 rule with an ‘air-gap’.

We can tailor these options to any scenario to provide the best form of data protection within your means to achieve optimal recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives to suit your business needs.

*Sophos: The State of Ransomware 2020 an independent survey of 5,000 IT Managers across 26 countries