As we celebrate World Backup Day this year, disaster recovery and business continuity are more top-of-mind than ever, with a remote workforce and digital-only operations across healthcare, research, financial services and more.

Unstructured file data in particular is a challenge to back up, since the sheer amount of individual files makes it time-consuming to identify which files are modified or need protecting. The shift to “anywhere operations” has accelerated digitization efforts, making enterprises more data-intensive — and making it harder to protect that data. The volume of data created in a given day can overwhelm the capabilities of many traditional backup solutions.

We observe World Backup Day because the stakes are high and file data is irreplaceable. Unrecovered file data can come in the form of missing security camera footage that would have caught a crime in action, a lost painting in a museum archive that filled a gap in history, a medical image that impacts a patient outcome, stolen intellectual property or ransomware. Any outage or attack on your data could have serious consequences not just for the business, but for your end users, customers or community.

The good news is, when it comes to protecting your valuable file data, Qumulo has your back on World Backup Day and everyday. Here are best practices for massive-scale file data backup and security, based on our white paper, Security Architecture and Best Practices to Counter Malware.

1) The old “castle-and-moat” approach won’t work anymore: only a holistic strategy can protect your file data infrastructure.

The traditional “castle and moat” mindset in cybersecurity — focusing on outside threats instead of inside threats — won’t work in today’s file data environment, because applications don’t exist in isolation. Only a comprehensive solution can completely protect an organization from increasingly sophisticated security threats like ransomware.

According to Gartner, “By 2025, at least 75% of IT organizations will face one or more attacks, as free-rein researchers document a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks during 2020, pointing to sevenfold or higher rates of growth.” * 

Qumulo provides a rich set of data services that allow customers to implement a holistic defense strategy against all kinds of malware, including ransomware. It provides several technology advantages that minimize the risk surface to attackers, such as a locked-down Linux version, a user space application, and several advanced security features that target the key areas of prevention, detection and correction.

On average, every employee has access to nearly 11 million files, and both inside and outside threats from all environments have to be accounted for. With Qumulo Secure, organizations can benefit from a granular data access and management event stream in an industry-standard format that is supported by all major intrusion detection and monitoring systems. This allows them to integrate Qumulo into a holistic security architecture that detects ransomware and other potential threats from anywhere. In addition, Qumulo’s API allows you to initiate automated mitigation actions from any point of entry, should a malicious activity be detected. 

2) Ensure your file data backup solution can scale out as your data grows.

The amount of file data growing in your system could rapidly outpace your IT team’s ability to back up and protect it. This means you need to be able to back up and secure your data in real time as it scales.

Qumulo’s scalability enables you to dynamically scale to serve petabytes of data, billions of files, millions of operations, and thousands of users with cost-efficient storage for different files that intelligently adapts to your growing needs. Built in with this capability is Qumulo Secure, which automatically protects data from external threats, integrates with corporate IT security systems, and tracks usage by internal users. That way, as your data scales, it will be automatically secured with software-based encryption. 

Qumulo Protect also provides a robust set of corrective controls such as snapshots, data movements to AWS S3, backups, and snapshot replications to support secure and robust recovery strategies. In case a file or directory needs to be rolled back to a previous version, files can be copied back from a previous version. Because snapshots are immutable (read-only), a potential malware or ransomware will not be able to change its content. 

And if you want another potential backup for safekeeping your rapidly scaling datasets, Qumulo Shift offers a way to copy data to native AWS S3, ensuring you can always access your data from an AWS S3 browser and replicate all data across multiple locations. 

3) Eliminate the complexity of your backup and recovery systems with a solution that radically simplifies data management.

File data management should be radically simple, and that includes your backup and security architecture. As more enterprises adopt a hybrid cloud approach, they don’t have everything in one data center, and users are accessing file data apps and services from anywhere. Your technology shouldn’t be siloed, and neither should your security. 

To ensure consistent, repeatable backup and recovery across all of these locations, you need to eliminate the complexity of ongoing orchestration. It’s important to manage file data changes in real time, but it’s difficult to pull off when you’re managing a massive amount of data. Traditionally, this was a lengthy undertaking with dreaded “tree-walks,” or the tedious process of inspecting every directory, sub-directory and file to collect a record of the filesystems’ state. But there are solutions that make tree walks a thing of the past.

Qumulo tackled this challenge by releasing a petabyte-scale backup solution in partnership with leading data protection company Commvault to simplify the file data backup and recovery process, with features designed to facilitate easy deployment and management.

In the latest release of Commvault Backup & Recovery, the data awareness capabilities in Qumulo Protect have been extended including REST APIs that show which files have changed in real time. This allows backups to begin in mere minutes instead of hours—up to 28 times faster than before. The fully integrated Qumulo and Commvault solution also significantly improves manageability, giving administrators a single view for managing backup and restore jobs, and provides real-time job status at a glance.

We’ve Got Your Back(up) on World Backup Day

It’s never too early to start thinking about your backup and recovery strategy, but it can definitely be too late. If you’re ready to prevent a catastrophe from downing your precious data, Qumulo has your back. 

To find out more about best practices and solutions that will keep your data storage protected, download our white paper on security architecture, or check out our full suite of data services.

* Gartner: Detect, Protect, Recover: How Modern Backup Applications Can Protect You From Ransomware, by Nik Simpson and Ron Blair, January 26, 2021

Learn More

White Paper:  Security Architecture and Best Practices to Counter Malware 

White Paper:  Software Architecture Overview

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