All posts by Natasha Rabinov

What’s the Diff: 3-2-1 vs. 3-2-1-1-0 vs. 4-3-2

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/whats-the-diff-3-2-1-vs-3-2-1-1-0-vs-4-3-2/

When it comes to having a backup plan, Navy SEALs go by the rule that “Two is one and one is none.” They’re not often one-upped, but in the world of computer backup, even two is none. The gold standard until recently has been the 3-2-1 rule—three copies of your data on two different media with one copy stored off-site.

The 3-2-1 rule still has value, especially for individuals who aren’t backing up at all. But today, the gold standard is evolving. In this post, we’ll explain why 3-2-1 is being replaced by more comprehensive strategies; we’ll look at the difference between the 3-2-1 rule and emerging rules, including 3-2-1-1-0 and 4-3-2; and we’ll help you decide which is best for you.

Why Is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy Falling Out of Favor?

When the 3-2-1 backup strategy gained prominence, the world looked a lot different than it does today, technology-wise. The rule is thought to have originated in the world of photography in Peter Krogh’s 2009 book, “The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers.” At that time, tape backups were still widely used, especially at the enterprise level, due to their low cost, capacity, and longevity.

The 3-2-1 strategy improved upon existing practices of making one copy of your data on tape and keeping it off-site. It advised keeping three copies of your data (e.g., one primary copy and two backups) on two different media (e.g., the primary copy on an internal hard disk, a backup copy on tape, and an additional backup copy on an external HDD or tape) with one copy off-site (likely the tape backup).

Before cloud storage was widely available, getting the third copy off-site usually involved hiring a storage service to pick up and store the tape drives or physically driving them to an off-site location. (One of our co-founders used to mail a copy of his backup to his brother.) This meant off-site tape backups were “air-gapped” or physically separated from the network that stored the primary copy by a literal gap of air. In the event the primary copy or on-site backup became corrupted or compromised, the off-site backup could be used for a restore.

As storage technology has evolved, the 3-2-1 backup strategy has gotten a little…cloudy. A company might employ a NAS device or SAN to store backups on-site, which is then backed up to object storage in the cloud. An individual might employ a 3-2-1 strategy by backing up their computer to an external hard drive as well as the cloud.

While a 3-2-1 strategy with off-site copies stored in the cloud works well for events like a natural disaster or accidental deletion, it lost the air gap protection that tape provided. Cloud backups are sometimes connected to production networks and thus vulnerable to a digital attack.

Ransomware: The Driver for Stronger Backup Strategies

With as many high-profile ransomware incidents as the past few months have seen, it shouldn’t be news to anyone that ransomware is on the rise. Ransom demands hit an all-time high of $50 million in 2021 so far, and attacks like the ones on Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods threatened gas and food supply supply chains. In their 2021 report, “Detect, Protect, Recover: How Modern Backup Applications Can Protect You From Ransomware,” Gartner predicted that at least 75% of IT organizations will face one or more attacks by 2025.

Backups are meant to be a company’s saving grace in the event of a ransomware attack, but they only work if they’re not compromised. And hackers know this. Ransomware operators like Sodinokibi, the outfit responsible for attacks on JBS Foods, Acer, and Quanta, are now going after backups in addition to production data.

Cloud backups are sometimes tied to a company’s active directory, and they’re often not virtually isolated from a company’s production network. Once hackers compromise a machine connected to the network, they spread laterally through the network attempting to gain access to admin credentials using tools like keyloggers, phishing attacks, or by reading documentation stored on servers. With admin credentials, they can extract all of the credentials from the active directory and use that information to access backups if they’re configured to authenticate through the active directory.

Is a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy Still Viable?

As emerging technology has changed the way backup strategies are implemented, the core principles of a 3-2-1 backup strategy still hold up:

  • You should have multiple copies of your data.
  • Copies should be geographically distanced.
  • One or more copies should be readily accessible for quick recoveries in the event of a physical disaster or accidental deletion.

But, they need to account for an additional layer of protection: One or more copies should be physically or virtually isolated in the event of a digital disaster like ransomware that targets all of their data, including backups.

What Backup Strategies Are Replacing 3-2-1?

A 3-2-1 backup strategy is still viable, but more extensive, comprehensive strategies exist that make up for the vulnerabilities introduced by connectivity. While not as catchy as 3-2-1, strategies like 3-2-1-1-0 and 4-3-2 offer more protection in the era of cloud backups and ransomware.

What Is 3-2-1-1-0?

A 3-2-1-1-0 strategy stipulates that you:

  • Maintain at least three copies of business data.
  • Store data on at least two different types of storage media.
  • Keep one copy of the backups in an off-site location.
  • Keep one copy of the media offline or air gapped.
  • Ensure all recoverability solutions have zero errors.

The 3-2-1-1-0 method reintroduced the idea of an offline or air gapped copy—either tape backups stored off-site as originally intended in 3-2-1, or cloud backups stored with immutability, meaning the data cannot be modified or changed.

If your company uses a backup software provider like Veeam, storing cloud backups with immutability can be accomplished by using Object Lock. Object Lock is a powerful backup protection tool that prevents a file from being altered or deleted until a given date. Only a few storage platforms currently offer the feature, but if your provider is one of them, you can enable Object Lock and specify the length of time an object should be locked in the storage provider’s user interface or by using API calls.

When Object Lock is set on data, any attempts to manipulate, encrypt, change, or delete the file will fail during that time. The files may be accessed, but no one can change them, including the file owner or whoever set the Object Lock and—most importantly—any hacker that happens upon the credentials of that person.

The 3-2-1-1-0 strategy goes a step further to require that backups are stored with zero errors. This includes data monitoring on a daily basis, correcting for any errors as soon as they’re identified, and regularly performing restore tests.

A strategy like 3-2-1-1-0 offers the protection of air gapped backups with the added fidelity of more rigorous monitoring and testing.

What Is 4-3-2?

If your data is being managed by a disaster recovery expert like Continuity Centers, for example, your backups may be subscribing to the 4-3-2 rule:

  • Four copies of your data.
  • Data in three locations (on-prem with you, on-prem with an MSP like Continuity Centers, and stored with a cloud provider).
  • Two locations for your data are off-site.

Continuity Centers’ CEO, Greg Tellone, explained the benefits of this strategy in a session with Backblaze’s VP of Sales, Nilay Patel, at VeeamON 2021, Veeam’s annual conference. A 4-3-2 strategy means backups are duplicated and geographically distant to offer protection from events like natural disasters. Backups are also stored on two separate networks, isolating them from production networks in the event they’re compromised. Finally, backup copies are stored with immutability, protecting them from deletion or encryption should a hacker gain access to systems.

Which Backup Strategy Is Right for You?

First, any backup strategy is better than no backup strategy. As long as it meets the core principles of 3-2-1 backup, you can still get your data back in the event of a natural disaster, a lost laptop, or an accidental deletion. To summarize, that means:

  • Keeping multiple copies of your data—at least three.
  • Storing copies of your data in geographically separate locations.
  • Keeping at least one copy on-site for quick recoveries.

With tools like Object Lock, you can apply the principles of 3-2-1-1-0 or 4-3-2, giving your data an additional layer of protection by virtually isolating it so it can’t be deleted or encrypted for a specific time. In the unfortunate event that you are attacked by ransomware, backups protected with Object Lock allow you to recover.

For more information on how you can protect your company from ransomware, check out our guide to recovering from and preventing a ransomware attack.

The post What’s the Diff: 3-2-1 vs. 3-2-1-1-0 vs. 4-3-2 appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Vanguard Perspectives: Microsoft 365 to Veeam Backup to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/vanguard-perspectives-microsoft-365-to-veeam-backup-to-backblaze-b2-cloud-storage/

Ben Young works for vBridge, a cloud service provider in New Zealand. He specializes in the automation and integration of a broad range of cloud & virtualization technologies. Ben is also a member of the Veeam® Vanguard program, Veeam’s top-level influencer community. (He is not an employee of Veeam). Because Backblaze’s new S3 Compatible APIs enable Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage as an endpoint in the Veeam ecosystem, we reached out to Ben, in his role as a Veeam Vanguard, to break down some common use cases for us. If you’re working with Veeam and Microsoft 365, this post from Ben could help save you some time and headaches.

—Natasha Rabinov, Backblaze

Backing Up Microsoft Office 365 via Veeam in Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v4 included a number of enhancements, one of which was the support for object-based repositories. This is a common trend for new Veeam product releases. The flagship Veeam Backup & Replication™ product now supports a growing number of object enabled capabilities.

So, why object storage over block-based repositories? There are a number of reasons but scalability is, I believe, the biggest. These platforms are designed to handle petabytes of data with very good durability, and object storage is better suited to that task.

With the data scalability sorted, you only need to worry about monitoring and scaling out the compute workload of the proxy servers (worker nodes). Did I mention you no longer need to juggle data moves between repositories?! These enhancements create a number of opportunities to simplify your workflows.

So naturally, with the recent announcement from Backblaze saying they now have S3 Compatible API support, I wanted to try it out with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.
Let’s get started. You will need:

  • A Backblaze B2 account: You can create one here for free. The first 10GB are complimentary so you can give this a go without even entering a credit card.
  • A Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 environment setup: You can also get this for free (up to 10 users) with their Community Edition.
  • An organization connected to the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 environment: View the options and how-to guide here.

Configuring Your B2 Cloud Storage Bucket

In the Backblaze B2 console, you need to create a bucket. If you already have one, you may notice that there is a blank entry next to “endpoint.” This is because buckets created before May 4, 2020 cannot be used with the Backblaze S3 Compatible APIs.

So, let’s create a new bucket. I used “VeeamBackupO365.”

This bucket will now appear with an S3 endpoint, which we will need for use in Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

Before you can use the new bucket, you’ll need to create some application keys/credentials. Head into the App Keys settings in Backblaze and select “create new.” Fill out your desired settings and, as good practice, make sure you only give access to this bucket, or the buckets you want to be accessible.

Your application key(s) will now appear. Make sure to save these keys somewhere secure, such as a password manager, as they only will appear once. You should also keep them accessible now as you are going to need them shortly.

The Backblaze setup is now done.

Configuring Your Veeam Backup

Now you’ll need to head over to your Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 Console.

Note: You could also achieve all of this via PowerShell or the RESTful API included with this product if you wanted to automate.

It is time to create a new backup repository in Veeam. Click into your Backup Infrastructure panel and add a new backup repository and give it a name…

…Then select the “S3 Compatible” option:

Enter the S3 endpoint you generated earlier in the Backblaze console into the Service endpoint on the Veeam wizard. This will be something along the lines of: s3.*.backblazeb2.com.
Now select “Add Credential,” and enter the App Key ID and Secret that you generated as part of the Backblaze setup.

With your new credentials selected, hit “Next.” Your bucket(s) will now show up. Select your desired backup bucket—in this case I’m selecting the one I created earlier: “VeeamBackupO365.” Now you need to browse for a folder which Veeam will use as its root folder to base the backups from. If this is a new bucket, you will need to create one via the Veeam console like I did below, called “Data.”

If you are curious, you can take a quick look back in your Backblaze account, after hitting “Next,” to confirm that Veeam has created the folder you entered, plus some additional parent folders, as you can see in the example below:

Now you can select your desired retention. Remember, all jobs targeting this repository will use this retention setting, so if you need a different retention for, say, Exchange and OneDrive, you will need two different repositories and you will need to target each job appropriately.

Once you’ve selected your retention, the repository is ready for use and can be used for backup jobs.

Now you can create a new backup job. For this demo, I am going to only back up my user account. The target will be our new repository backed by Backblaze S3 Compatible storage. The wizard walks users through this process.

Giving the backup job a name.

 

Select your entire organization or desired users/groups and what to process (Exchange, OneDrive, and/or Sharepoint).

 

Select the object-backed backblazeb2-s3 backup repository you created.

That is it! Right click and run the job—you can see it starting to process your organization.
As this is the first job you’ve run, it may take some time and you might notice it slowing down. This slow down is a result of the Microsoft data being pulled out of O365. But Veeam is smart enough to have added in some clever user-hopping, so as it detects throttling it will jump across and start a new user, and then loop back to the others to ensure your jobs finish as quickly as possible.

While this is running, if you open up Backblaze again you will see the usage starting to show.

Done and Done

And there it is—a fully functional backup of your Microsoft Office 365 tenancy using Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 and Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.

We really appreciate Ben’s guide and hope it helps you try out Backblaze as a repository for your Veeam data. If you do—or if you’ve already set us as a storage target—we’d love to hear how it goes in the comments.
You can reach out to Ben at @benyoungnz on Twitter, or his blog, https://benyoung.blog.

The post Vanguard Perspectives: Microsoft 365 to Veeam Backup to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Enhanced Ransomware Protection: Announcing Data Immutability With Backblaze B2 and Veeam

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/object-lock-data-immutability/

Protecting businesses and organizations from ransomware has become one of the most, if not the most, essential responsibilities for IT directors and CIOs. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, occuring every 14 seconds, but you likely already know that. That’s why a top requested feature for Backblaze’s S3 Compatible APIs is Veeam® immutability—to increase your organization’s protection from ransomware and malicious attacks.

We heard you and are happy to announce that Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage now supports data immutability for Veeam backups. It is available immediately.

The solution, which earned a Veeam Ready-Object with Immutability qualification, means a good, clean backup is just clicks away when reliable recovery is needed.

It is the only public cloud storage alternative to Amazon S3 to earn Veeam’s certifications for both compatibility and immutability. And it offers this at a fraction of the cost.

“I am happy to see Backblaze leading the way here as the first cloud storage vendor outside of AWS to give us this feature. It will hit our labs soon, and we’re eager to test this to be able to deploy it in production.”—Didier Van Hoye, Veeam Vanguard and Technology Strategist

Using Veeam Backup & Replication™, you can now simply check a box and make recent backups immutable for a specified period of time. Once that option is selected, nobody can modify, encrypt, tamper with, or delete your protected data. Recovering from ransomware is as simple as restoring from your clean, safe backup.

Freedom From Tape, Wasted Resources, and Concern

Prevention is the most pragmatic ransomware protection to implement. Ensuring that backups are up-to-date, off-site, and protected with a 3-2-1 strategy is the industry standard for this approach. But up to now, this meant that IT directors who wanted to create truly air-gapped backups were often shuttling tapes off-site—adding time, the necessity for on-site infrastructure, and the risk of data loss in transit to the process.

With object lock functionality, there is no longer a need for tapes or a Veeam virtual tape library. You can now create virtual air-gapped backups directly in the capacity tier of a Scale-out Backup Repository (SOBR). In doing so, data is Write Once, Read Many (WORM) protected, meaning that even during the locked period, data can be restored on demand. Once the lock expires, data can safely be modified or deleted as needed.

Some organizations have already been using immutability with Veeam and Amazon S3, a storage option more complex and expensive than needed for their backups. Now, Backblaze B2’s affordable pricing and clean functionality mean that you can easily opt in to our service to save up to 75% off of your storage invoice. And with our Cloud to Cloud Migration offers, it’s easier than ever to achieve these savings.

In either scenario, there’s an opportunity to enhance data protection while freeing up financial and personnel resources for other projects.

Backblaze B2 customer Alex Acosta, Senior Security Engineer at Gladstone
Institutes
—an independent life science research organization now focused on fighting COVID-19—explained that immutability can help his organization maintain healthy operations. “Immutability reduces the chance of data loss,” he noted, “so our researchers can focus on what they do best: transformative scientific research.”

Enabling Immutability

How to Set Object Lock:

Data immutability begins by creating a bucket that has object lock enabled. Then within your SOBR, you can simply check a box to make recent backups immutable and specify a period of time.

What Happens When Object Lock Is Set:

The true nature of immutability is to prevent modification, encryption, or deletion of protected data. As such, selecting object lock will ensure that no one can:

  • Manually remove backups from Capacity Tier.
  • Remove data using an alternate retention policy.
  • Remove data using lifecycle rules.
  • Remove data via tech support.
  • Remove by the “Remove deleted items data after” option in Veeam.

Once the lock period expires, data can be modified or deleted as needed.

Getting Started Today

With immutability set on critical data, administrators navigating a ransomware attack can quickly restore uninfected data from their immutable Backblaze backups, deploy them, and return to business as usual without painful interruption or expense.

Get started with improved ransomware protection today. If you already have Veeam, you can create a Backblaze B2 account to get started. It’s free, easy, and quick, and you can begin protecting your data right away.

The post Enhanced Ransomware Protection: Announcing Data Immutability With Backblaze B2 and Veeam appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Succeeding from Home with Backblaze Business Backup

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/succeeding-from-home-with-backblaze-business-backup/

Succeeding from Home with Backblaze Business Backup

Remote work, and therefore remote IT management, have become an essential part of the global fight to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. Thankfully, it appears that widespread social distancing is working to reduce the acceleration of new cases in a number of regions, but it’s clear that the disruption this has caused for businesses is far from over. And for those tasked with IT management during this unpredictable time, their work is more challenging than ever.

With these challenges in mind, we wanted to take a moment to offer our Backblaze Business Backup customers a quick primer to make sure they understand the full range of solutions available to them if they’re experiencing disrupted workflows due to the current pandemic. We hope they help, and if you need any additional guidance, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments, or on our help page.

We understand that deploying new IT systems during this time could be impossible in many scenarios, so this guide begins with a focus on current customers. But if you’re in need of remote backup, restore, or file-sharing services over the coming weeks and months, scroll to the end of this post to learn how seamless and incremental Backblaze Business Backup onboarding can be.

Tips for Remote Backup, Restore, and File Sharing

For those of you that already use Backblaze, here are some tips and tricks to work more efficiently while you’re remote.

Remote File Access

View and Restore Files

There’s a good chance that a number of employees undergoing mandatory work from home (WFH) arrangements have lost access to files and directories they typically work with on their office devices. With a solution like Backblaze, employees can access their work files from any location, including home. To do so, they merely need to sign in to their account at Backblaze.com, and follow these easy steps.

IT-Side Restores

Users and Computers

If for some reason the user is not able to access their account, then an administrator of a managed Group can prepare a restore on behalf of that employee directly within the admin console. The admin can then either notify the employee that their file is ready to download, or download it on the admin computer and email it to them.

Groups-Level File Sharing

Alternatively, if you know exactly what you need to push to your users, Backblaze offers the option of sharing a file directly with multiple recipients without the need to download or have users log in. This can be done directly within the admin console as we outlined here.

Physical Restores for Low-Bandwidth Users

Hard Drive and USB Restores

Of course, given that your teams will likely be on a wide array of networks with varying qualities of connectivity, the quantity of data you need to share could saturate a home internet connection if downloaded.

For users in this scenario, Backblaze offers the option of shipping an encrypted restore drive with your data preloaded on it to locations anywhere in the world. Admins can log into their account, prepare the restore drive with the data needed, and ship it to their employees. If the drive is returned after the files are recovered, the price of the restore is refunded, making the process of restoring via USB drive free.

For Users in Need of Remote Backup, Restore, and File Sharing

For businesses with majority onsite teams, it’s tempting to use on-premises backup tools for individual workstations and servers, with backup drives being stored remotely to satisfy a 3-2-1 backup approach. But when teams suddenly have to work off-network for long periods of time, these solutions often no longer cut it. With team members only intermittently logging on to the VPN, or working on their personal machines at home, much of the data created during WFH periods may never hit your server or your backup drives.

If this sounds familiar, we’d urge you to consider using a cloud backup service, if only for the hopefully short duration of time that your team will be out of the office.

Remote Installation of Backblaze Business Backup in Three Steps

If you’re interested in giving it a shot, Backblaze Business Backup can be set up remotely in three easy steps:

      1. Administrators email an invitation to employees.
      2. End users click on the link in the email to install Backblaze and they’ll be backing up in minutes.
      3. Once the files are backed up, employees’ data is safe regardless of an employee’s physical location, whether they are in the office, working remotely, or even offline.

It really is that easy, and once you’re set up, you can scale up or down your use of Business Backup as you need to for your current business reality. You’re not locked into any level of commitment. If you’d like to learn more, you can get started here.

Staying Together, Apart

These are hard and uncertain times for all of us to navigate, but we hope this information can help those of you out there who are tasked with managing your business’ technical infrastructure find some useful information here. As our CEO, Gleb Budman, noted in his message to customers about our response to COVID-19, it’s all about being “together, apart.”

The post Succeeding from Home with Backblaze Business Backup appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Hot Sauce Drone Delivery: Backblaze at SpiceWorld 2019

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hot-sauce-drone-delivery-backblaze-at-spiceworld-2019/

Backblaze drone delivery at SpiceWorld

Backblaze is coming in hot to Austin, Texas for SpiceWorld 2019, from September 23rd through the 25th at the convention center, and hundreds of bottles of Backblaze brand hot sauce is just the beginning. If you’re attending, we hope you’ll visit us at booth #26 to say hello and join us for a little of what we’ve got going on:

Our very own Andy Klein will be joining us. He’s the “real deal” at Spiceworks, according to credible sources:

SpiceWorld 2019 - https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2220342-discover-what-sponsors-will-be-showcasing-at-spiceworld
Source: https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2220342-discover-what-sponsors-will-be-showcasing-at-spiceworld

Known for his love of our Backblaze Storage Pod and famous for his authorship of our Drive Stats series, Andy will be at the booth to talk in depth about hard drive failure rates, the current drive populations of our four data centers, and:

The Storage Pod! We’ll have a sixth generation production storage pod for you to take a gander inside of. Sure, we’ve open sourced our pod design since 2009, so you shouldn’t be surprised by what you see, but it’s always good to take a look under the hood of the real thing, even if you’ve already built your own. Come for a chat with Andy and the Storage Pod, stay for…

…a complimentary bottle of Backblaze hot sauce, a chance to win a drone (for participants of the Passports to Prizes raffle), and, for just a handful of visitors, the chance of mystery swag for any current customers willing to talk to us about their experience with our services.

Come for the backup, stay for the blazing flavor. We hope you can join us at SpiceWorld!

The post Hot Sauce Drone Delivery: Backblaze at SpiceWorld 2019 appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

When Ransomware Strikes

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-ransomware/

Ransomware Prevention & Survival

Does this sound familiar? An employee walks over with panic and confusion written all over their face. They approach holding their laptop and say that they’re not sure what happened. You open their computer to find that there is a single message displayed:

You want your files?
Your computer has been infected with ransomware and you will need to pay us to get them back.

They may not know what just happened, but the sinking feeling in your stomach has a name you know well. Your company has been hit with ransomware, which is, unfortunately, a growing trend. The business of ransomware is a booming one, bringing productivity and growth to a dead stop.

As ransomware attacks increase on businesses of all sizes, ransomware may prove to be the single biggest destructive force for business data, surpassing even hard drive failures as the leader of data loss.

When Ransomware Strikes

It’s a situation that most IT Managers will face at some point in their career. Per Security Magazine, “Eighty-six percent Small to Medium Business (SMB) clients were recently victimized by ransomware.” In fact, it happened to us at Backblaze. Cybersecurity company Ice Cybersecurity published that ransomware attacks occur every 40 seconds (that’s over 2,000 times per day!). Coveware’s Ransomware Marketplace Report says that the average ransom cost has increased by 89% to $12,762, as compared to $6,733 in Q4 of 2018. The downtime resulting from ransomware is also on the rise. The average number of days a ransomware incident lasts amounts to just over a week at 7.3 days, which should be factored in when calculating the true cost of ransomware. The estimated downtime costs per ransomware attack per company averaged $65,645. The increasing financial impact on businesses of all sizes has proven that the business of ransomware is booming, with no signs of slowing down.

How Has Ransomware Grown So Quickly?

Ransomware has taken advantage of multiple developments in technology, similar to other high-growth industries. The first attacks occurred in 1989 with floppy desks distributed across organizations, purporting to raise money to fund AIDS research. At the time, the users were asked to pay $189 to get their files back.

Since then, ransomware has grown significantly due to the advent of multiple facilitators. Sophisticated RSA encryption with increasing key sizes make encrypted files more difficult to decrypt. Per the Carbon Black report, ransomware kits are now relatively easy to access on the dark web and only cost $10, on average. With cryptocurrency in place, payment is both virtually untraceable and irreversible. As recovery becomes more difficult, the cost to business rises alongside it. Per the Atlantic, ransomware now costs businesses more than $75 billion per year.

If Your Job is Protecting Company Data, What Happens After Your Ransomware Attack?

Isolate, Assess, Restore

Your first thought will probably be that you need to isolate any infected computers and get them off the network. Next, you may begin to assess the damage by determining the origins of the infected file and locating others that were affected. You can check our guide for recovering from ransomware or call in a specialized team to assist you. Once you prevent the malware from spreading, your thoughts will surely turn to the backup strategy you have in place. If you have used either a backup or sync solution to get your data offsite, you are more prepared than most. Unfortunately, even for this Eagle Scout level of preparedness, too often the backup solution hasn’t been tested against the exact scenario it’s needed for.

Both backup and sync solutions help get your data offsite. However, sync solutions vary greatly in their process for backup. Some require saving data to a specific folder. Others provide versions of files. Most offer varying pricing tiers for storage space. Backup solutions also have a multitude of features, some of which prove vital at the time of restore.

If you are in IT, you are constantly looking for points of failure. When it comes time to restore your data after a ransomware attack, three weak points immediately come to mind:

1. Your Security Breach Has Affected Your Backups

Redundancy is key in workflows. However, if you are syncing your data and get hit with ransomware on your local machine, your newly infected files will automatically sync to the cloud and thereby, infect your backup set.

This can be mitigated with backup software that offers multiple versions of your files. Backup software, such as Backblaze Business Backup, saves your original file as is and creates a new backup file with every change made. If you accidentally delete a file or if your files are encrypted by ransomware and you are backed up with Backblaze Business Backup, you can simply restore a prior version of a file — one that has not been encrypted by the ransomware. The capability of your backup software to restore a prior version is the difference between usable and unusable data.

2. Restoring Data will be Cumbersome and Time-Consuming

Depending on the size of your dataset, restoring from the cloud can be a drawn out process. Moreover, for those that need to restore gigabytes of data, the restore process may not only prove to be lengthy, but also tedious.

Snapshots allow you to restore all of your data from a specific point in time. When dealing with ransomware, this capability is crucial. Without this functionality, each file needs to be rolled back individually to a prior version and downloaded one at a time. At Backblaze, you can easily create a snapshot of your data and archive those snapshots into cloud storage to give you the appropriate amount of time to recover.

You can download the files that your employees need immediately and request the rest of their data to be shipped to you overnight on a USB drive. You can then either keep the drive or send it back for a full refund.

3. All Critical Data Didn’t Get Backed Up

Unfortunately, human error is the second leading cause of data loss. As humans, we all make mistakes and some of those may have a large impact on company data. Although there is no way to prevent employees from spilling drinks on computers or leaving laptops on planes, others are easier to avoid. Some solutions require users to save their data to a specific folder to enable backups. When thinking about the files on your average employees’ desktops, are there any that may prove critical to your business? If so, they need to be backed up. Relying on those employees to change their work habits and begin saving files to specific, backed-up locations is certainly not the easiest nor reliable method of data protection.

In fact, it is the responsibility of the backup solution to protect business data, regardless of where the end user saves it. To that end, Backblaze backs up all user-generated data by default. The most effective backup solutions are ones that are easiest for the end users and require the least amount of user intervention.

Are you interested in assessing the risk to your business? Would you like to learn how to protect your business from ransomware? To better understand innovative ways that you can protect business data, we invite you to attend our Ransomware: Prevention and Survival webinar on July 17th. Join Steven Rahseparian, Chief Technical Officer at Ice CyberSecurity and industry expert on cybersecurity, to hear stories of ransomware and to learn how to take a proactive approach to protect your business data.

The post When Ransomware Strikes appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Simplify Server Backup with CloudBerry and Fireball

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/cloudberry-server-cloud-backup/

CloudBerry Lab adn Backblaze logos on a server

Server and simple are words rarely seen together. However, we get consistent feedback from customers on the effectiveness of CloudBerry in removing challenges from backing up the most complex environments. Customers that switch to B2 & CloudBerry already realize savings of up to 75% over comparable backup solutions, and our joint solution has helped thousands of customers get their data offsite affordably.

As anybody who has had to wrangle overflowing servers knows, getting your data backed up to the cloud is important. Yet, customers with large datasets face their own challenges with the migration of their data, including upload times, bandwidth management, and more. Today, CloudBerry has released support for Backblaze’s B2 Fireball, and in doing so, the process of getting your servers backed up offsite has become even more efficient.

The B2 Fireball is an import service for securely migrating large data sets from your on-premises environments into B2 Cloud Storage. If you have 70 TB of server data that you are looking to get offsite, the initial upload can take over two months on a dedicated 100 Mbps line. This lengthy process doesn’t even factor in incremental uploads. By adding this frequently requested functionality to our joint solution, we are able to help customers back up their servers quicker, with even greater savings.

Using the B2 Fireball alongside CloudBerry, customers now have an affordable and viable method of backing up large datasets with no strain on their network. For a customer with 70 TB of server data, using the B2 Fireball with CloudBerry and B2 can get your data offsite and secure in 1/10th of the time of uploading over a dedicated line.

When using CloudBerry with the B2 Fireball, there is no need to increase your bandwidth or saturate your connection. To get started with the Backblaze Fireball, we will send a Fireball to wherever you are keeping your data. The Fireball is equipped with 1 Gbps connectivity. Using the CloudBerry client on your servers, you simply point your backup destination at the Fireball. Once the data is uploaded, send the Fireball back to Backblaze and your archive gets uploaded inside our secure data center (no bandwidth used on your network). After the Fireball upload is complete, you can point your CloudBerry client at your B2 bucket and CloudBerry seamlessly syncs everything. You can then continue to upload incremental data to Backblaze B2 from a single server or multiple ones, all managed through a single pane of glass. Best of all, the entire process is available fully on-demand. To get started, visit our Fireball webpage to order your Fireball.

For many of our customers, this solution has given them the ability to move their server backups offsite. Besides being simple and generating significant savings, here are the other key benefits customers get from the CloudBerry & B2 solution:

  • Automated backups. Increase efficiency by automating backups to avoid data loss.
  • Web-based admin console. Set backup plans once, deploy across multiple servers, and manage those servers, all from a single location.
  • Security. Client side encryption and the ability to set a private key secure your server data and offers protection from hackers.
  • Versioning. Set a minimum number of file versions to protect yourself from ransomware and avoid getting stuck depending on a single version of an important file.
  • Retention. Set retention policies to comply with company policies or regulatory agencies.
  • File level backups. These are typically faster and easier to execute when it comes to restoring a single file.
  • Native application support. Back up an Exchange and SQL Server appropriately.
  • Reliability. Be sure that your data is secure with notifications of failing backups.

Regardless of whether you have a single server or multiple ones, CloudBerry and Backblaze B2 provide the features necessary to ensure that your server data is securely and affordably backed up offsite. Our joint, low-touch solution only needs to be set up one time and your backup plan can be easily replicated and deployed across as many servers as needed. With Backblaze and CloudBerry, your backup plan can match your infrastructure, minimizing cost, so that you pay for only what you need.

If you’re interested in learning more, please take a look at our step-by-step guide, CloudBerry Labs Backup with Backblaze B2 Storage and Fireball Rapid Ingest. There is also a downloadable PDF guide that will allow you to get started right away. Once this setup is done, your server data will be safe in the cloud and you can no longer worry about losing your data.

The post Simplify Server Backup with CloudBerry and Fireball appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

Future-Proofing Backups for Your Business

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/future-proofing-backups-for-your-business/

screenshot of PagerDuty dashboard

An alert from PagerDuty sets off alarm bells for anyone in IT. Alerts might signify that a disk is nearly full or has failed entirely. Although unpleasant and imminently critical, hard drive failures come as no surprise to IT Managers. They are prepared for those alerts and have likely seen such incidents and failures before. Experience has shown them that it is not a question of if hard drives will fail, but when.

In fact, from the moment they are hired, IT Managers begin protecting company data and assessing points of failure. On that first day, the threat of data loss may inadvertently come from internal mistakes.

When my execs are on the road, what happens if they lose their laptop? How can I get them the latest version of their files, no matter where they are?

Although execs may be the ones losing their laptops, they will surely turn to IT Managers to recover data right away.

Questions continue to build up when thinking about company growth and the impact on IT.

We just hired another five people and the server is almost full. When will I have both time and budget to spin up another one?

IT Managers are typically not lacking in projects; they are often short on time. Budgets certainly matter but time management is also a problem — there already isn’t enough time in the day.

Many of these IT issues can be mitigated if they are tackled early on. The right backup solution is simple, silent, and affordable. A low-touch solution can give IT Managers back two precious resources, time and budget. They can move on to other projects while their backups run automatically in the background, not interrupting their users. The best plan is something that scales as the company grows from its first IT manager through IPO.

A good example of a company that future-proofed their backups is PagerDuty. At the time of their first IT hire, they accurately assessed their current and future backup needs. Here is their story.

PagerDuty server rack

Case Study: How PagerDuty Future Proofed Backups

The first thing Matt Spring, IT Manager, noticed when he joined PagerDuty was that they worked in the cloud. While everyone carried around a laptop or perhaps had a desktop system, there were no file servers, no database servers, no mail servers, no servers of any kind located in the office. At first glance, it seemed everyone simply connected to the internet and used cloud-based applications, but as Matt soon discovered many people were also using Mac-based applications as well. Matt instinctively knew he had a backup problem and he had to act to ensure the organization would not lose important data.

The backup problem that Matt faced is one encountered by companies that use both cloud-based and PC/Mac-based applications in their environment. For example, a company might use a cloud-based HR system, but Office applications on their laptops and desktops. While Matt had some confidence the cloud-based data was backed up, the local data on the company’s laptops and desktops was not being backed up.

As Matt was building a list of backup vendors to consider, he included Backblaze. He was familiar with Backblaze because he had been following their Hard Drive Stats blog posts. He appreciated the company’s transparency and included them in the list. His primary criteria for selecting a backup service were:

  • Able to be installed with little or no user involvement
  • Automatically back up all the data on a laptop or desktop with no user intervention
  • Affordable

After a review process, he chose Backblaze Business Backup.

As PagerDuty grew, so did the number of laptops and desktops, and Matt and his team ensured that Backblaze was installed on all of them. This was especially important to PagerDuty as some of the newly hired employees worked in locations across the globe. Matt could send them a system provisioned with Backblaze and from the moment the new employee started working, they were being backed up to the Backblaze cloud.

One of the features that Matt likes is how Backblaze scans the users’ system looking for data to back up versus having to pick and choose folders and files. He points out how he once restored an Office autorecovery file from Backblaze when a user forgot to save several hours of work before their system crashed. He commented that, “no other cloud backup system that I know of would have automatically backed up that file.”

Over the years that PagerDuty has been a Backblaze Business Backup customer, they’ve had several instances where they needed to restore data. Every restore has been successful.

As a bonus, most users find the restore process easy enough so they can restore their own files, but Matt and his team have from time to time done complete system restores to replace a failed or lost system.

“No other cloud backup system that I know of would have automatically backed up that file.”

— Matt Spring, PagerDuty

Recently, Matt and his team upgraded for free to the most recent release of Backblaze Business Backup. This release included Business Groups. This feature allows administrators to organize users into groups for billing and management purposes. For example, groups might be created for administrators, executives, and staff. Groups can also be managed or unmanaged. Contractors and interns could be in a managed group where IT controls the restore process, while company employees could be in one or more unmanaged groups, as desired.

Matt Appreciates the Flexibility That Business Groups Provides

As PagerDuty continues to grow, Matt expects the organization to be more and more dispersed, with even more employees and contractors spread out internationally. While this presents many challenges for IT, one thing Matt already has covered is having the data sitting on the company’s laptops and desktops automatically and securely backed up to the Backblaze cloud.

If you are interested in learning more, you can read the PagerDuty case study. Or, if you would like to back up all of your end users’ data today and future proof your backups, we invite you to try out Backblaze Business Backup.

The post Future-Proofing Backups for Your Business appeared first on Backblaze Blog | Cloud Storage & Cloud Backup.

You Asked Us Anything on Reddit!

Post Syndicated from Natasha Rabinov original https://www.backblaze.com/blog/you-asked-us-anything-on-reddit/

Backblaze team members answering IAmA questions on Reddit

When you open the door to the internet, you have absolutely no idea what is going to come through. That is especially true for Reddit — the front page of the internet and one of the world’s most popular websites. Since Backblaze prides itself on the transparent way we do business, the decision to participate in an IAmA on Reddit was an easy one. It was an exciting opportunity to give people insight into Backblaze and start a conversation with anybody in the world that could lead pretty much anywhere.

If you’re not familiar with a Reddit IAmA (I Am a), it’s a subreddit (/r/IAmA) for question-and-answer interactive interviews. Redditors can ask the subject(s) whatever they wish, which is the reason it is called an AMA, short for “Ask Me Anything.” The resulting comment thread is preserved on Reddit. Backblaze did our first AMA in 2012, so we thought it was time for a second one.

How Did We End up on Reddit?

Twelve years ago, Backblaze was formed after our founder’s friend called to tell him that her computer had crashed. She had no backups and her data was gone. As a result, Backblaze was founded to help consumers and businesses back up their data in the simplest way possible to avoid data loss.

World Backup Day was similarly started when a Reddit user lost their hard drive and wished someone had reminded them to back it up. A small group within the Reddit community realized the importance of backing up and the rising trend of data loss. In an effort to raise awareness, they created World Backup Day. With our goals aligned, in partnership with World Backup Day and Reddit, Backblaze decided to do an IAmA.

In 2012, Backblaze was a smaller company with only 25 petabytes of data under management and fifteen employees. Most of us participated in the IAmA that year. At the time, people wanted to know about the future of Backblaze and the possibility of our company going out of business. Our CTO, Brian Wilson, responded with:

“We’re not going anywhere. We’re happy and profitable.”

Seven years later, both of those statements still hold true.

Of course, in almost a decade since, a lot has changed. We store over 750 PB of customer data from customers in 150+ countries. Our 15 person team has grown to almost 100. But, some things still stay the same — less than 6% of computer owners back up their data once a day or more. So, Backblaze decided to return to Reddit to promote World Backup Day and check in with the internet.

Once again, the most upvoted comment came from our CTO, Brian. When asked why Backblaze forced users to back up their C drive, Brian explained that he wrote the client that way “to solve a very real problem.”

The Problem

Originally, Backblaze allowed users to de-select their main drive. And a horrible problem appeared almost immediately. Customers began de-selecting their drive, either because they were unaware that the C drive contained data that they might need or simply by mistake. They would then contact our support and find that they were unable to restore their data. This included photos of children that had passed away already (we had two cases of that exact situation), and other irreplaceable data now gone forever.

The Solution

At that point, Brian re-wrote the client to force the inclusion of the main drive. It was a decision that some didn’t like. However, per Brian, “the fix worked spectacularly well” and we no longer have any customers accidentally losing data because they de-select their drive. Based on the numerous responses from people working in IT, Brian got it right. “Software has to be written for the end user”, one IT guy replied. “All the best and most popular software (and hardware) is simple and easy to learn.”

What Were Some Other Questions?

While we had originally scheduled two hours for the IAmA, we ended up going for five (our social guy, Yev, may still be on there right now).

Among the questions were a couple of requests to show off our Storage Pods. We talked podcast sponsorships, clarified our process for ordering hard drives, and answered hundreds of questions and comments. As of the publication of this blog post, we had over 1,300 comments.

Classic Storage Pod

Of interest was how Backblaze continues to provide a truly unlimited computer backup solution. Our industry has seen almost all unlimited solutions vanish from the market. But Backblaze has doubled down on it over the past few years. That begs the question of how we continue to sustainably support the product line. We currently have one customer backing up 430 terabytes for $6 a month. At that price, we are clearly losing money on that customer. However, most of our customers have much less data. So, while we are losing money on that one customer, we are profitable on average. There are other reasons to support the outliers — those customers demonstrate that we are truly unlimited. No service that was throttling or selectively backing up files would enable 430 TB to get backed up. Yes, that ends up being a business cost, but those outlier customers become big evangelists as well. You don’t get that much data without being somewhat of a storage enthusiast. Our CTO, Brian, brought up another great reason: when the product works for the really big outliers, then “it will work really smoothly for the average customer.”

If you are interested in reading more of our IAmA conversation, you can do so on Reddit. Or, if you would like to back up all of your end users’ data in the most simple, reliable way possible, we invite you to try out Backblaze Business Backup.

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