With today’s nearly 99% Remote Workforce, which is likely to remain in force for a long time to come, many businesses across Corporate America are realizing the benefits of moving their entire On Premises infrastructure to a Cloud-based one, such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. With a Cloud-based platform, organizations can quickly create and spin Virtual Machines (VMs) and Virtual Desktops (VDs).
Another strategic advantage of using the Cloud is the ability to back up data and call it up again during the process of recovering from a Cyberattack. We will now examine other key benefits of the Cloud-based approach.
Key Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based Platform
- You can still use existing hardware. Despite the advantages that the Cloud offers, some companies remain hesitant to make the full migration. However, by using virtualization, a business owner or CISO can take part of their On Premises solution and run it in the AWS or Azure while keeping the other part (which is the actual hardware) in the physical presence of the business. This dual approach also allows a business to abide by one of the cardinal rules in security, that is to have redundant data backups located both offsite (in a Cloud-based platform) and onsite (in the On Premises hardware), in case they need to be used in a restoration process.
- Virtualization streamlines the process. The traditional ways of backing up data have typically included making use of tapes, external disks, and even portable storage devices. While these are a good way to a certain extent in backing up your data, they can be clunky and make it time-consuming to restore what is needed in the event you are faced with a Disaster Recovery process. The traditional forms of data backup can also take up room at your business, especially if you have been using this method for a long time. But with virtualization, all you need to do to capture a full backup of your data is to image it. Essentially, the image contains all of your files, software applications, and data sets in one complete file. So, if you need restore your data again, you can use that image to gain all of it back in just a couple of minutes, versus using the tape backup process which can take hours.
- Data can be backed up across multiple data centers. With virtualization, you are often given a choice as to which data center you want to use to store and back up your data. But the nice thing here is that you can make and create backups across multiple data centers, in different geographic data centers, literally all over the world. For example, if one of these data centers were to be impacted for any reason and there is downtime, you can roll over to another data center so that you can keep backing up your datasets on a real-time basis.
- You can test backup strategies. Given the dynamics of the Cybersecurity threat landscape, you and your IT Security team will have to come up with new ways to back up your data so it can be recalled quickly. Doing this On Premises can be time-consuming and costly. But with Virtualization, you can easily create a sandboxed environment in which to test your new strategy. For example, after you have created a test image (as previously described), you can see how well it conforms to your new plans. If all goes well, you can then take this new backup strategy and apply to all the datasets that you have stored in your Cloud environment.
- The process can be automated. Another cardinal rule in Cybersecurity is to make backups on a daily basis, typically at least twice a day. Doing this with On Premises hardware can prove to be a time-consuming process, as you will need someone from your team to take time out of their workflow to do this. But with Virtualization, you can create certain rules that will automate this process. The end result of using Virtualization is that as you are fending off any threat variants, the backup process will continue to run in the background, and the latest version of your datasets can be available to you when you need it.
- Scalability will be available. Most businesses today have a huge online presence, so scalability is a must, especially as your data keeps growing. With Virtualization, you can create new VMs quickly to store and back up the explosion in data that is coming in, and you can do so at a fraction of the cost it would take to invest in new hardware with On Premises architecture.
This article has examined some of the ways Virtualization can be used in your data backup and Disaster Recovery process. But there is another, huge advantage here as well. The data privacy laws of the GDPR and the CCPA now mandate that companies keep effective data backups in place. By using the AWS or Azure, all backup tools that you make use of are already compliant with the statutes and their provisions, thus making your company fully compliant.
Ravi Das is a Cybersecurity Consultant and Business Development Specialist. He also does Cybersecurity Consulting through his private practice, RaviDas Tech, Inc. He also possesses the Certified in Cybersecurity (CC) cert from the ISC2.