12-27-21 | Blog Post

Air-Gapping your Data: 3-2-1-1

Blog Posts

Remember the 3-2-1 data backup rule? It states that it’s a best practice to replicate at least three copies of data stored on two different media, with at least one copy off-site or off-premise. IT professionals often use an additional step; the backup rule is now 3-2-1-1. That extra “1” accounts for an air-gapped copy of your data.

The data that you store in the Cloud is consistently backed up via software accessible on your network. But what happens when your network gets hit by ransomware? Even if just one file on your laptop gets infected, your entire business’ network can become infected too. Those backups that are stored on a file server inside your business’ network are now also at risk.

How does it work?

When you backup your data to the Cloud, your business can choose to create a copy of those backups that can be stored off-site and off-network. Air-gapping involves isolating a copy of your business’ data so that it’s not accessible via your network, the internet or any external connection. This creates a literal “gap” in between your backed up data and a copy of your backed up data.

Let’s take the tape storage example; people used to store data on tape (some non-Cloud believers still do) and store the tape offsite, creating a literal physical gap. This tape data is not attached to the network or literally anything for that matter. It’s safe and secure, but dealing with tapes can be extremely tedious and often times backing up from tape can take days. This physical storage nightmare is why people are moving to the Cloud. In the Cloud, you can still have this same air-gapped security without the headache of physical storage. Air-gapping writes copies of your data to a non-native, non-accessible location. It can only be accessed with additional special software and credentials.

Why do Air Gapping?

As businesses move their data to the Cloud, criminals and hackers will try to infiltrate these backups and virtual environments in an attempt to cripple companies. If your business becomes attacked by ransomware, there’s no telling what damage could be done. Ransomware can compromise administrative passwords or domain information that can lead to the hacking of backed-up data. The software platform you use to backup your data to remote servers could subsequently become infected by ransomware and wipe out your data backups. For this reason, incorporating an air-gapped backup into your backup strategy can save your company time, money, and resources if you are hit by an outside attack. It’s a simple solution to a complex problem, and one that is easy to implement!

The Bottom Line

Ransomware can erase your data backups. That’s scary for an IT professional! Creating an air-gapped copy, however, that is not accessible by your immediate network, can prevent ransomware or hackers from “hopping” from one environment to the next. Air-gapping creates a literal “gap” in between the data backups that can be infiltrated and a copy of those data backups that is safe and secure. Backup infrastructure will come under fire from hackers if not now, definitely in the near future. Your virtual infrastructure can fall into the hands of unwanted, dangerous hackers. An air-gapped data backup solution is the only solution that provides your business exceptional data security and access to your data anytime, anywhere.

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