Announcing Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021

The National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has designated October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that all individuals and organizations have the information and tools they need to be safer and more secure online. This year’s theme is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

I have a couple of quotes that underline the importance of cybersecurity. The first one is from Surya Varanasi, CTO, StorCentric (www.storcentric.com):

“Driven in large part by the COVID pandemic, massive layoffs, and record numbers of people being sent home virtually overnight to work, learn, shop and live, the number of successful cyberattacks climbed to dizzying heights. In fact, recent IDC research indicated that over the past year, more than one third of organizations worldwide experienced a ransomware attack or breach that successfully blocked access to systems or data. And for those that fell victim, many experienced multiple ransomware events. With cybercrime projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, it is clear why ensuring your organization is taking the appropriate measures to ensure cyber safety and security must become priority number one.  

Traditionally, the game plan has been to maintain production data storage on-site, snapshot the data, replicate to an off-site location, store it to a disk, and then move it to tape storage and/or the cloud. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this and have engineered their technology to behave accordingly. Bad actors can now rather easily use ransomware to infiltrate your network and render all forms of traditional backup useless.  

Today, what is required is an elevation in backup strategy from basic to unbreakable. In other words, for today’s ransomware threat what’s needed is to make backed up data immutable, thereby eliminating any way it can be deleted or corrupted. Unbreakable Backup can do just that by creating an immutable, secure format that also stores the admin keys in another location entirely for added protection. And, by layering-on a backup solution that has built-in verification, savvy SysAdmins can alleviate their worry about their ability to recover — and redirect their time and attention to activities that more directly impact their organization’s bottom-line objectives.” 

The second quote is from JG Heithcock, General Manager of Retrospect, a StorCentric Company:

“Today’s cyber criminals are attacking backups first, and then once under their control, coming after production data. This means that many enterprises are feeling a false sense of security, until it is already too late. 

I like to say, ‘backup is one thing, but recovery is everything.” In other words, choose a backup solution that ensures the recovery piece (which surprisingly, not all of them do). Look for a provider with vast experience, as well as a track record for continuous innovation that ensures its offerings are prepared to meet prevailing conditions. The solution(s) should provide broad platform and application support, and ensure protection of every part of your IT environment, on-site, remote, in the cloud and at the edge. Next, the backup solution should auto-verify the entire backup process, checking each file in its entirety to ensure the files match across all environments, and you are able to recover in the event of an outage, disaster or cyber-attack. And, as a last but highly critical step — at least one backup should be immutable — unable to be altered or changed in any way, at any time. Even if the ransomware took a ride along with your data to your backup site, during the last backup.”

Throughout October, the National Cyber Security Alliance will focus on a number of areas in their promotions and outreach. You should visit them via the link above to see what they are up to.

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