Any business out here understands how important it is to win consumer trust, maintain customer confidence, and protect consumer data. With information being stored digitally, there has been a rise in hacking cases and ransomware, which brings the need for a secure backup system immune to intruders. This is precisely what immutability offers. Here is a dive into immutability in a backup.
Understanding Immutable Backups
Immutable backups are copies of data and files you cannot alter or tamper with for a predetermined duration. Most businesses are now switching to immutable backups as a security measure to ensure the backup is secure during a cyber-attack, especially ransomware, which is becoming popular.
Usually, without immutability, a malicious user can target a system and its backup system as well, deleting the data stored there. Immutable storage allows only specific users to make any changes to the data stored in the backup. It also automatically generates immutable backups of any changes made. So, even if a hacker gains access and tries to make alterations to the data, the original version will remain untouched.
Immutable backups are necessary for companies that comply with certain regulatory requirements because the backup keeps a record of their data. So, when need be, these organizations can prove they took action and the necessary steps to keep the data secure and private.
Companies operating in the law and enforcement sector, financial industry, medical and legal field greatly depend on the security of data that clients entrust them with. They require next-level security, which they can get through immutable backup storage.
How it Works
Immutable storage is flexible and can be used even on traditional platforms like SSDs and disks. However, with recent advancements, more businesses are opting for cloud storage. When you store your data on immutable cloud storage, the data will be protected by WORM- Write Once Read Many mechanisms.
With this technique, when an employee saves a file, they specify how long they would like to store it. Then, they upload the data and set a self-timer, known as the immutability flag, which locks the file in place for the predestined time. Therefore, the files cannot be tampered with.
So, depending on the business and the company’s needs, the storage administrator can set their retention time for the immutable volumes. It can be days, weeks, months, or years. Once the time is set, no changes can be made to the stored data, as these files will be locked until the retention period lapses. On lapsing, the stored data is either erased or transferred to archival tiers, depending on the business.
3 Main Benefits of Immutability in Backup
Immutability in backup offers numerous benefits, but we will discuss the three main benefits. First, immutability provides a very secure way for organizations to store data since immutable storage prevents hackers from altering or deleting data on the backup system. So, should a cyber-attack happen, the organization can be certain their data will remain safe and secure.
The second benefit of immutable storage is that it ensures the data is readily available. The data can neither be changed nor deleted, and users can access files even after something goes wrong with the system. Thus, it is a suitable choice for a business because, in case of an attack, it can quickly restore corrupted or lost data without the need to rebuild the entire system from scratch. This way, the organizations do not need to invest heavily in costly disaster recovery solutions, reducing overall business expenses.
Third, immutable storage offers consistent and reliable protection against disaster, ensuring data compliance. Immutable storage is a reliable protection not only against cyber-attacks but also against power outages and natural disasters like rain and earthquakes. Additionally, it helps companies, especially those governed by strict data compliance regulations, adhere to these guidelines.
How Immutability Backup Is a Strong Defense Mechanism
How well a system is able to continue functioning optimally even when there is data corruption, hardware failure, or a malicious attack is referred to as data resilience. Immutability helps achieve data resilience because it acts as a reliable reference point in the case of data recovery. Thus, ensuring business continuity.
When companies implement immutable storage systems, they can be confident that their data is secure and will remain available even in unforeseen events. Businesses operating in the digital space must be aware of the competition, hackers, disgruntled employees, and cyberattacks. A common yet devastating and expensive attack to deal with is ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack where the hackers target acquiring data. They acquire data and encrypt it, making it impossible for the original owner to access the data until they pay a ransom, after which the hackers release a decryption code.
Most ransomware infects the entire network, affecting all the connected systems, shared storage devices, backup systems, and servers. So, successful ransomware will lead to business disruption, financial loss, loss of business reputation, and sometimes, even lawsuits.
Usually, there are no guarantees that the hackers will give up the decryption code, which is costly for organizations. Immutability ensures that even if hackers get access and the data is compromised, the backup remains untouched. So, companies will be able to restore their data without paying ransom.
Specific industries have stringent data storage regulations and often require companies to keep an immutable record of their data for a certain period. An immutable backup makes regulatory compliance easier because the organization can ascertain that its data is secure and compliant with applicable regulations. Therefore, meeting any regulatory requirements pertaining to privacy and data security.
The only constant thing is change, and as technology continues to evolve, the digital landscape continues to become more complex, and there is an increase in threats. Immutable backups can also prove that these companies comply with applicable regulations.
Immutability also simplifies disaster recovery processes and helps to reduce costs associated with such operations. So, if you are yet to jump on the bandwagon and use immutability storage, you might be jeopardizing your company.
About the Author
Rahul Ghundiyal is CEO of RNG SEO. He loves his area of expertise and does work within his limits. Well graduated guy and looks to do good research while writing. He can be found on Twitter