Anti-Malware-01

Securing Financial Institutions: StorTrust by Abtech Technologies

StorTrust by Abtech Revolutionizes Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery in Banking

In the banking industry, data security and business continuity are paramount. Financial institutions handle vast amounts of sensitive customer information, transaction records, regulatory reports, and critical operational data. The loss or compromise of such data can have severe consequences, including financial loss, reputational damage, and regulatory non-compliance. To address these challenges, Abtech Technologies has developed StorTrust, an innovative cloud backup and disaster recovery tool that is revolutionizing data protection in the banking sector.

1. Protecting Sensitive Financial Data

As custodians of valuable financial information, banks must prioritize data security. StorTrust understands this necessity and employs robust security measures to safeguard sensitive data. The tool utilizes advanced encryption algorithms to protect data both during transmission and while at rest. This ensures that customer records, financial transactions, and confidential banking data remain secure, even in the face of unauthorized access attempts.

Furthermore, StorTrust enables banks to implement strict access controls and permissions, allowing only authorized personnel to view and manage sensitive data. This capability significantly reduces the risk of data breaches and unauthorized data manipulation, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and enhancing customer trust.

2. Ensuring Business Continuity

Downtime in the banking industry can result in significant financial losses and disrupt customer services. StorTrust offers financial institutions a reliable cloud-based backup solution, eliminating the need for physical storage infrastructure and simplifying data management. By automatically backing up critical data in real-time, StorTrust ensures that the latest customer records, transaction logs, and operational information are securely stored off-site.

In the event of a disaster, whether it’s a system failure, natural calamity, or cyberattack, StorTrust’s efficient recovery process enables banks to quickly restore their data and resume operations. The tool’s intuitive interface and comprehensive recovery options minimize downtime, allowing banks to provide uninterrupted services to their customers and maintain business continuity.

3. Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

The banking industry is subject to stringent regulatory requirements, including data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). StorTrust assists banks in meeting these compliance obligations by offering features designed to align with regulatory standards.

With StorTrust’s robust audit trail capabilities, financial institutions can easily track data access, modifications, and backups. This functionality ensures transparency, accountability, and compliance during audits and regulatory assessments. Additionally, StorTrust supports long-term data retention, enabling banks to meet legal requirements for data preservation, such as those mandated by financial authorities.

4. Enhancing Disaster Recovery Planning

Effective disaster recovery planning is essential for banks to mitigate risks and ensure operational resilience. StorTrust empowers financial institutions to develop comprehensive disaster recovery strategies tailored to their specific needs. The tool allows banks to establish regular backup schedules, define recovery point objectives (RPOs), and set recovery time objectives (RTOs) aligned with industry best practices.

By providing flexible recovery options, StorTrust enables banks to prioritize critical systems and data, ensuring rapid restoration and minimizing the impact of disruptions. This strategic approach to disaster recovery planning helps financial institutions adhere to regulatory requirements, protect customer assets, and maintain the trust of stakeholders.

 

Your Trusted Partner

In the banking industry, where data security, business continuity, and regulatory compliance are critical, StorTrust by Abtech Technologies emerges as a game-changing cloud backup and disaster recovery tool. By safeguarding sensitive financial data, ensuring business continuity, facilitating compliance with regulatory requirements, and enhancing disaster recovery planning, StorTrust empowers banks to protect their assets, provide uninterrupted services, and maintain the trust and confidence of customers and stakeholders.

Data Breach

8 Effective Ways to Reduce the Impact of Data Breaches

Data breaches have emerged as a pressing concern for businesses worldwide, impacting organizations of all sizes and industries. According to the “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022” published by IBM, the financial consequences and reputational damage resulting from data breaches continue to rise. The report highlights the urgency for small and medium-sized companies to bolster their data security measures and mitigate the risk of data breaches. In this blog post, we delve into ten effective strategies that your organization can employ to reduce the impact of data breaches. By implementing these cost-effective solutions, your business can strengthen its security procedures, protect personal and confidential information, and safeguard your brand reputation in an increasingly data-driven world.

 

1. Adopt a Zero Trust Security Model 

Adopting a Zero Trust security model is a powerful approach to data security that assumes no trust in any user or device, regardless of their location or network environment. Implementing Zero Trust involves verifying and validating all access requests, regardless of the user’s location or network connection. By enforcing granular access controls, continuously monitoring user activity, and authenticating every access attempt, you can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches. Implement strong identity and access management practices, such as least privilege access and micro-segmentation, to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive data. Adopting a Zero Trust model strengthens your overall security posture and helps protect against both internal and external threats.

2. Encrypt Sensitive Data

Protecting sensitive data in cloud environments using policy and encryption is essential. Implement encryption techniques to make your data unreadable to unauthorized individuals, even if they gain access to it. Encryption can be applied to data at rest, in transit, and in backups. Use robust encryption algorithms and ensure that encryption keys are securely managed. By encrypting your sensitive data, you add an extra layer of security, making it significantly more challenging for cybercriminals to exploit the information even if they manage to breach your systems.

3. Conduct Regular Security Audits

Regular security audits are vital to maintaining a robust data security posture. Perform comprehensive audits to assess your company’s information security measures, identify potential vulnerabilities, and evaluate the effectiveness of existing controls. During audits, review your security policies, procedures, and technical controls to ensure they align with industry standards and best practices. Additionally, conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to identify any weaknesses in your systems and applications. By conducting regular security audits, you can stay proactive in identifying and addressing potential security gaps.

4. Train Employees on Data Security

Employees play a critical role in data security and providing them with proper training is paramount. Educate your employees on the importance of data security and the potential consequences of data breaches. Train them in best practices such as creating strong passwords, recognizing phishing attempts, and handling sensitive information securely. Reinforce these training sessions regularly to keep data security top of mind. Consider conducting simulated phishing campaigns to test employees’ awareness and provide additional training if necessary. By empowering your employees with knowledge, you create a strong human firewall that can help prevent data breaches.

5. Create and Test Incident Response Playbooks

Increasing cyber resilience involves having well-defined incident response playbooks in place. Create playbooks that outline the steps to take in the event of a data breach, including communication protocols, containment measures, and recovery procedures. Regularly review and update these playbooks to incorporate lessons learned from security incidents and reflect changes in your organization’s technology landscape. Additionally, conduct tabletop exercises and simulations to test the effectiveness of your incident response procedures. By proactively preparing for potential data breaches, you can minimize response times and mitigate the impact of incidents.

6. Invest in Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)

Investing in Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) solutions can significantly improve detection and response times. SOAR platforms integrate various security tools, automate manual tasks, and orchestrate incident response processes. These solutions streamline workflows, enable faster threat detection, and facilitate coordinated response actions. By leveraging SOAR, your organization can reduce the time and effort required to investigate security alerts, leading to quicker incident response and containment. Additionally, SOAR enables better collaboration among security teams and enhances overall cybersecurity effectiveness.

7. Use Tools to Protect and Monitor Endpoints and Remote Employees

In today’s remote work environment, protecting endpoints and remote employees is crucial. Employ endpoint protection tools that help safeguard devices and monitor their activities. These tools can detect and block malware, enforce security policies, and provide visibility into potential security risks. Additionally, deploy remote monitoring and management solutions to gain insight into remote devices, apply security patches, and ensure compliance with your organization’s security policies. By using specialized tools for endpoint protection and remote monitoring, you can extend your security perimeter and mitigate the risks associated with remote work.

8. Engage a Third-Party Security Provider

Consider partnering with a reputable third-party security provider to enhance your data security capabilities. These providers offer expertise, resources, and specialized tools to assess, protect, and monitor your company’s sensitive data. They can conduct regular security assessments, offer advice on improving data security measures, and provide 24/7 monitoring and incident response capabilities. Leveraging the knowledge and experience of a trusted security provider allows you to stay ahead of emerging threats and ensure a proactive security posture. Evaluate different providers and choose the one that aligns with your organization’s specific needs and budget.

 

Data breaches pose a significant threat to small and medium-sized companies, but by implementing these 8 effective strategies, you can reduce the impact and protect your valuable information. Enhancing access controls, encrypting sensitive data, conducting regular security audits, training employees, investing in SOAR, deploying firewall and intrusion detection systems, protecting endpoints and remote employees, regularly updating and patching systems, and engaging a third-party security provider are crucial steps to safeguard your organization’s data. Remember, investing in data security is an ongoing process, and staying vigilant is key to mitigating risks and maintaining information security.

Protect your sensitive data, enhance cyber resilience, and protect your brand’s reputation today by exploring these cost-effective solutions. Ready for the next move? Contact our security experts at 800 4747 397 or email info@abtechtechnologies.com to discuss the best solution for your organization.

Cyber-Resilient

How to Make Your Business Cyber-Resilient

How to Make Your Business Cyber-Resilient

Any business of any size is a potential target for a cyber-attack and cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Even with the most advanced security measures in place, businesses are still at risk of having data attacked, corrupted or inaccessible.

In recent years, advanced ransomware attacks have infiltrated backups, leaving businesses with little chance of recovery without paying the ransom.
Cyber Insurance is available, but the increase in the number and size of ransomware payouts has meant that insurance providers are putting additional requirements into their policies before they will offer coverage. These requirements are particularly focused on the integrity of data backups.

So, what do you need to do to meet these requirements and make your business Cyber-Resilient.

Protection Goes Beyond Preventing Cyber-Attacks

We shall assume that you already have front end security measures in place such as anti-virus software, network firewalls and user security training.  Whilst these are important, we should expect that a sophisticated cyber attack will find a way through these protections. Almost all businesses that suffer a cyber-attack, have these front-end security measures in place.

What is important is being able to recover, should such an attack take place.  This starts with having a good, clean backup copy of your data.

Isolation, Immutability and Intelligence

Current research shows that there are three key areas to focus on when planning how to make your business cyber-resilient. Isolation, Immutability and Intelligence.

 
The following table shows the type of threats that are most common and how these measures protect against them.

Isolation

This involves creating a copy of your data backup that is isolated from your core network. This copy is stored in such a way that it cannot be accessed by anything running on your core network or anyone who has access to that network.

This means that if a cyber attacker manages to gain access to your core systems or infect your local data backup, it cannot infect the isolated backup.

Immutability

To achieve immutability, you need to ensure that the original copy of your data cannot be changed. It cannot be modified, overwritten or deleted. Additionally, by keeping multiple copies of immutable backups, organizations guarantee recovery from ransomware attacks by finding and recovering from a clean backup.

Intelligence

Intelligence is the final and arguably the most important part of the cyber-resilience jigsaw. It involves using analytics and machine-learning software tools to analyze the backup looking for known threat patterns. The software effectively knows what ransomware looks like and can raise the alarm and isolate the infection before it is launched.

What Solutions Are Available to Make Your Business Cyber-Resilient

There are many solutions and services on the market that meet one or more of these requirements, but few meet all three.  One solution that does meet all three is Dell’s Cyber Recovery solution.

Cyber Recovery can be deployed on premise in the main business data center, at a remote location or a cloud service. In each case, data isolation and immutability are achieved by building a Cyber Recovery Vault based on Dell’s Data Domain technology. Local backup is performed by software backing up to a Dell Data Domain appliance.  

Another Data Domain Appliance resides in the Cyber Recovery Vault.  Cyber Recovery software also resides in the Vault and periodically pulls a copy of the backup into the Vault. Once this has occurred, Cyber Recovery shuts the port isolating the Vault copy from the core network

retention lock is applied to the copy in the Cyber Recovery Vault to ensure that it remains immutable.

The final component is the CyberSense software.  This provides the Intelligence, but analyzing the data that is brought into the Vault.  CyberSense has a library of known cyber threat patterns that it uses as a reference to find and isolate infected data.

Infected data is interrogated to allow for further analysis.  This also raises an alarm of a possible ransomware attack so appropriate steps can be taken to remove the infection from the core business network and isolate any infected systems.

“The Dell EMC PowerProtect Cyber Recovery solution offers comprehensive ransomware detection and recovery capabilities both on-premises and in the public cloud. The solution supports an immutable and air-gapped architecture and meets Sheltered Harbor recommendations.”   Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup & Recovery Software Solutions – July 19, 2021

Deployment Options for Cyber Recovery

The Cyber Recovery Vault can be deployed in 3 ways.

  1. On premise in the main corporate datacenter
  2. At a remote business location
  3. As a service delivered by a cloud provider such as Abtech’s StorTrust

This gives the business the flexibility to choose the deployment solution that best meets their resources. Deploying a solution on premise or at a remote business location involves more up-front cost and ongoing management resources but provides the benefit of having total control of the solution.  Deployment by a cloud provider spreads the cost of the solution and can take the ongoing management responsibility away from the business IT team.  Both options follow Dell’s rigorous validation process.

Summary and Next Steps

I hope this article helps provide some direction in how to achieve cyber-resilience for your business. We have covered the types of threat that are most common, the steps to take to protect against these threats and presented a market-leading solution.

Abtech is fully certified to design and deploy Dell Cyber Recovery and CyberSense.  We are also certified in Data Domain and Dell’s suite of backup software tools.

If you would like to know more, please reach out to our Data Protection team and we can set up a presentation.

We look forward to working with you to achieve cyber-resilience for your business.

Useful Links

Cyber Recovery Solutions

Cloud Disaster Recovery Services

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Prevent, Protect and Mitigate Cyber Attacks

Prevent, Protect and Mitigate Cyber Attacks

An anatomy of a real attack

  1. User targeted by spam email.
  2. User engaged with hacker and their local laptop was compromised.
  3. The hacker then used the VPN connection on the laptop to access the corporate network.
  4. With access to the network the hacker started a network discovery sweep.
  5. One spreadsheet with admin credentials was found.
  6. Ransomware was deployed and in less than 20min the entire network was encrypted.
  7. The company did not have an effective backup plan an it too 2 weeks for them to get back to 80% of production.
  8. As of 2 months after the attack they are only at 90%

Signs of unauthorized access attempts on your computer systems.
The hackers target individuals who may hold confidential company information. Then, they contact them via text messages or emails containing executable malware or links, by posing as someone of a familiar identity. If these links are clicked on, the hackers could gain substantial access to the victim’s network and data.

What will an attack look like?

Identifying the malware, phishing, spyware, trojans and viruses.

Presuming the cybercriminals are successful, the target company may experience:

  • Malware infections: Bitcoin mining, Keystroke loggers or Identity theft.
  • Data theft/high jacking.
  • Ransomware.

How to prevent the attack?

Preventing a cyber attack and saving your data and network. People need to be educated about this threat, and strong awareness needs to be spread throughout the organization. Companies need a Defense in Depth approach to a security architecture that is multilayered and spans all networks, endpoints, mobile devices, and the cloud. These are the measures recommended to ensure maximum safety:

Basic IT Security Measures

  • Phishing and password training
  • Proofpoint email protection
  • Datto RMM anti-Ransomware
  • CyberHawk
  • KnowBe4
  • End point Security Software
  • Web Application Firewall
  • Botnet protection
  • Latest updates from vendors
  • Identify all attack vector

High End Security Measures

  • Additional Security Measures: Bi-Annual Penetration testing, Internal Vulnerability Scans, Annual Information Security Audit and Compliance audit readness
  • Intrusion Prevention System
  • Cyber Insurance
  • StorTrust: Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery: Allows data to be stored offsite and be restored should an accidental deletion, a failed software upgrade, database corruption or ransomware occur.
  • Stortrust Immutable Backup: Immutable backups are air-gapped and cannot be affected by ransomware originating from a client site.

We protect your data and your business. With our service, file and systems can be recovered instantly from a local appliance. If disaster strikes, we can spin your critical systems up in our cloud so your business can keep running. We include an annual DR test, sou you can relax, knowing we will be there when you need us.

Phishing

6 common items that help identify a phishing attempt

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. Generally, emails sent as phishing attempts are masked so they appear to be sent by the business, person, or institution who is known by the recipient.

Here are 6 common items that help identify a phishing attempt:

  1. Is the message sent from a public email domain, such as Gmail?
  2. Check the email address. Does the email address match the email address of the sender? Example: Bob – Bob@exxon.com, but shows Bob – bob@gmail.com.
  3. The email domain name is misspelled. (exxon.com is Exxan.com)
  4. The body of the email is poorly written with misspellings, bad grammar, or poor word choice. (However, be careful, the cybercriminal’s grammar is improving)
  5. The message includes attachments or links that are suspicious. The link says it goes to one place but when you hover over it is shows another URL.
  6. The message creates a sense of urgency, such as please change your password or look at this document ASAP.

If you ever have a question about an email and if it is legitimate, you have options: contact the sender via telephone and confirm or ask Abtech and we will provide an expert opinion. And please remember that as a client of Abtech, you have access to resources to mitigate Phishing and Ransomware attacks. Here are a few examples. Your company may already be utilizing some or all of these:

  • Endpoint Security Software such as ESET or Capture Client
  • Email Security and Spam Filer – Abtech Recommends Proofpoint Essentials
  • KnowBe4 Security Awareness testing and training
  • Datto Ransomware Protection
  • Cyberhawk Internal Threat Detection
  • Internal Vulnerability scans and mitigation
  • Cloud backup and disaster recovery (Stortrust)

Abtech offers a range of services aimed at protecting you and your users from cyber attacks.

If you would like to know more, please click here or reach out to info@abtechtechnologies.com

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Disaster Recovery — Back-up site challenges solved with DRaaS

Disaster Recovery — Back-up site challenges solved with DRaaS

Disaster recovery is a topic that every business should include in their strategic plan. It is an ongoing discussion. We should approach this problem from the point of not if, but when. Today’s business world has a lot to consider and as technology improves, business leaders face greater threats that could easily become a disaster. As grim as this statement is, back-up challenges solved with DRaaS are both affordable and comprehensive.

Disaster Threats that Every Business Faces

Natural Disasters — Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados, fire, and whatever else the world can throw at us. We’ve lived with these as threats since the beginning of time. They are a viable threat. The question to ask is, “can my business survive if hit with a natural disaster?”

Human Error — Intentional or unintentional, humans make mistakes. They say “to err is human” and from time to time we live up to that saying. There are plenty of examples of disgruntled employees who have destroyed data. Understanding how data theft or mal intent affects businesses allows leaders to safeguard data and reduce the risk of data loss due to human activity.

Cybercrime — Cybercrime is huge. There is the ongoing threat of ransomware, virus, malware, spyware, and hackers. Anyone of those events could take down a small business. One of the questions that every business owner or leader should ask is “Can this business survive data loss.”

Ransomware is very active. In 2015, it became a real pest. In 2016, it grew even larger. In fact, it grew so large that California amended its laws to include ransomware as part of its existing statutes that cover extortion. This is the first law of its kind among the states. The expectation is that ransomware will outshine itself in 2017. The techniques that ransomware uses have evolved. You no longer have to click a link in an email. You can just be shopping at a trusted site and click an image or link for ransomware to lock down your computer. It is very hard to undo ransomware and if you do not pay the ransom, then it destroys your data, files, operating system files, etc.

Virus, malware, and Spyware all evolve at the same rate as technology. Dealing with any of these vectors requires an almost constant attention to updating antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware programs. It also requires that software installed on your system be updated frequently too. It helps to understand how all of these things fit together. With software, hackers and those people who design and write virus and malware use a variety of tricks to cause harm. One of the most common tricks is that they rely on aging software to gain entry into systems. That is why updating software is such a critical part of IT management. Without the security patches issued by software companies, all of these denizens would easily find a way into people’s computers.

Cybercrime seems like a hopeless and endless struggle. While it is endless, it is certainly not hopeless. It just requires the skills and talent to deal with it. That is why data recovery as a service (DRaaS) is important. It opens doors for small- and medium-sized businesses to manage the ongoing threats of data loss caused by natural disasters, human error, equipment failure, and cybercrime. Cybersecurity is difficult. Society has moved past the point where an antivirus program alone will reduce the risk of incident. Cybersecurity involves ransomware, virus, malware, spyware, identity theft, phishing, and a host of other issues.

Outsourcing data recovery gives business leaders access to professionals who live and breathe data recovery. These are the folks who deal with the emerging threats and handle the task of creating defenses that safeguard data.

Ten years ago it was sufficient to install antivirus. Today, you have to consider how time changes technology. We are past the point where we can install a program and then go about our business. Cybercrime has become so sophisticated that those people work to overcome security defenses. Without a constant effort to block them, your data is toast.

Can your business survive data loss?

Dell-EMC-Launches-Dell-EMC-PowerStore-with-Modern-Infrastructure

Swimming to the top in a sea of server offerings

Evaluating server suppliers can be tough.

In considering the Big Four, with similar options from the same chip manufacturers, NICs from the same networking vendors, and the same OEM’s disk and memory options, it can be difficult to look at servers as anything but a commodity.

On the other hand, each server supplier has their own unique messaging around how their server is the only server, and you are foolish to even consider any other option.

Sadly, there is no easy button. Speeds and feeds, if we are keeping it real, can be closely duplicated across brands. If you are looking for a differentiator, consider management tools. They are not all created alike. Here is a quick breakdown.

Lenovo XClarity

First, IT folks seem to expect a pricing advantage when choosing Lenovo. This does not seem to be the case: ‘… the price, for example, for the memory option, does not match other vendors such as HP or Dell.’ peerspot.com XClarity Controller does not monitor other suppliers, which means additional complexity and panes of glass XClarity caps at managing 1,000 servers – a paltry number compared to the other three XClarity files are triple the size, which means more time to execute and reboot Automation: This is the point, right? Not so much with XClarity – automation in response to alerts is not supported. Custom reports are also a no-go in XClarity

HPE OneView

Separate instances of OneView are required to manage Rack and Blade chassis (we live for managing management tools, right?) Because OneView does not recognize Converged (Blade) chassis as a system, management is wound back to the component level – something converged is designed to fix in the first place Automation: pack your coding chops, nothing comes pre-packaged While HPE dubs OneView as all-inclusive, storage management is not comprehensive

Cisco UCS Manager

UCS Manager only monitors Cisco. Is it realistic in 2022 to assume a 100% homogenous environment? Security: Surprisingly, Cisco offers no Silicon Root of Trust, no digitally signed firmware updates, no real-time firmware security scanning – all critical in detecting configuration drift and ensuring secure architecture that takes less time to manage Complexity: A UCS Manager instance is required for each domain. Multiple UCS Managers are managed by UCS Central (manager of the managers?). Cisco, not generally known for simplicity, stays the course here. Complexity in configuration and management costs time. Time is money. No OS deployment Data and management networks are one in the same. If one goes down, the whole thing goes down.

Dell OpenManage

Manage up to 8,000 devices from one, easy to use console, with elastic search for easier and faster navigation to what’s important

Deploy and manage infrastructure (including OS) for any Dell form factor as well as monitoring and creating alerts for 3rd party solutions

Template based automation is easy to get into production

Customizable Reports that are easy to get started and modify for your environment

Certainly, this is a high-level view, and management requirements are as unique as the workloads that drive the infrastructure. In any event, the criteria that really makes for the ‘best’ server go well beyond the experience of ‘that one time I called support in 2007.’

For more information, please contact myself, tfrederking@abtechtechnologies.com, or my AE, Barb Adkison at badkison@abtechtechnologies.com

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BEST PRACTICES FOR DISASTER RECOVERY IN THE CLOUD?

BEST PRACTICES FOR DISASTER RECOVERY IN THE CLOUD?

When you are operating a business or organization it is necessary to create an actionable and sound disaster recovery plan in order to protect yourself in the event of a natural disaster like a fire or flood, as well as from cyber-attack.  Disaster recovery plans help your organization to survive and thrive.

With disaster recovery services it makes restarting critical operations seamless and simple.  Cloud recovery services also help to mitigate major losses in revenue that inevitably happen following a slow-down in operations.  To keep your system running while maintaining profitability, a strong disaster plan is absolutely necessary.  Our plan supports business continuity.

In the unlikely event of a disaster, it is vital that you are engaged in a series of best practices to keep your organization safe and operable.  The importance of cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery is vitally essential.  These practices are helpful in protecting business operations, while providing safety against lost data as well as secure document backup.

Develop an effective disaster recovery plan   

The first thing any business needs in developing a disaster recovery plan is a good business impact analysis.  This will enable you to identify your system and dependencies.  Obviously, giving vital importance to your database is a critical component in protecting it.  Disaster recovery services help to support data backup securely.  A competent cloud disaster service will assist you in recognizing the associated risk that your company may face.  Also, disaster recovery helps find the impact of the risks on your IT systems and business procedures.  You should choose those disaster recovery plans that minimize your cost while maximizing benefits.  We also offer select services of continuous data protection as well as full data backup services.  You will have more frequent recovery points if you have more copies of your data.

DATA BACK-UP AND STORAGE – LOCAL OR CLOUD?

In a time of disaster, keeping your data safe and available should be a priority.  In the data-conscious world, cloud computing is becoming ubiquitous.  It offers various advantages for disaster recovery which are described below:

  • Programs and data can be recopied and restored rapidly due to automatic backup of your company’s programs and data…off-site.
  • For availability and maximum data security, redundancy of data banks is applied.
  • Automatic fail-back and fail-over events.

Although, during disaster recovery, local storage is still useful.  For instance, local storage is the most consistent option in case of any disturbance in internet connectivity or any external networks.  The best fit and highest protection for many businesses are a combination of local and cloud storage.

TEST YOUR PLAN REGULARLY

After the full testing of the disaster recovery plan, you will be aware of the efficacy of the plan in the face of disaster.  Regular testing is suggested as the business environment is continuously evolving and changing.  For the most ideal outcome, the following steps should be followed.

  • For your test, set specific goals and define key performance indicators clearly.
  • Along with the testing environment, look closely at the production environment as well.
  • Select a test that transforms your unique business requirements into deliberation.
  • After a full review of test results, update your plan as required.

To ensure system adherence, constant testing at frequent intervals is required.  This is essential especially, after adding new services such as cloud recovery services, network infrastructure changes as well as well as changes in human resources.  You should also include a brief review of the disaster recovery plan with every vital technology placement as well as process improvement.  For example, you will engage both internal and external partners by conduction cross-functional tests on critical processes.  You can use multiple scenarios for the testing.  You should also completely review your plan from top to bottom at least once per year.  After the wide-range review, you can adapt the reflected changes in your organization accordingly.

CONSIDER DISASTER RECOVERY AS A SERVICE (DRAAS).  

Outsourcing to disaster recovery as a service is an alternative option if you don’t have disaster recovery professionals in you in-house office.  Generally, a DRAAS partner can suggest best practices for your ideal business needs.  This is essential to maintain a balance between your unique business needs and essential IT investments.   

For the backup of critical processes, DRAaaS uses cloud resources.  It is also available for creating a secondary infrastructure to secure your complex data in the event of a disaster.  With the help of DRaaS, you can get your data protected and avoid data loss although, the business environment is constantly evolving and changing.  A proficient DRaaS partner can implement instruction according to test results and update your system for maximum security.  

You should also pay attention to your DraaS agreement.  It consists of what will and what will not be offered with your cloud service.  In order to avoid any disturbance, you need to understand it.  You must ensure which operations and what services are essential for this service.  You should know about the accessibility of data and applications and how rapidly they are accessed.  Make sure you are comfortable with the testing and update of service along with the guarantee of the integrity of data.

If you business would like suggestions on the development, testing, or implementation of disaster recovery plans, fee free to contact Abtech Technologies.

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Top 10 Reasons to Refresh legacy DellEMC storage with PowerStore

Top 10 Reasons to Refresh legacy DellEMC storage with PowerStore

As they say, all good things must come to an end. Storage administrators with expiring DellEMC storage solutions know this better than anyone. Acquired by Dell in 2010, Compellent, later dubbed as SC, featured Auto-Tiering which proved as a nifty way to keep the most frequently accessed data on flash media, and tier less frequently accessed data to less expensive spinning media. As newer technologies like NVMe have become affordable, Dell Technologies has cleared the way for a new front runner by expiring service for VNX, EqualLogic and SC. PowerStore, the first storage solution conceived, engineered and launched since the merge, offers features and functionality that build on all of these solutions. Even for Unity Customers, PowerStore is emerging as a storage platform that will be relevant for years to come. For Customers trying to calculate which direction to go, here are some things to think about.
  1. Native Migration: Dell has built in native, non-disruptive migration tools into PowerStore OS. For all of the headaches associated with any storage migration, this is something to think about. This includes LUNs and Volumes, Consistency Groups and Volume Groups as well as thick and thin clones. This is a BIG time-saver.
  2. Block and File: We have come a LONG way since Fluid FS. The ability to manage both from the same pane of glass and the same OS makes life much more simple.
  3. All NVMe: Performance we can afford has arrived. Throughput and IOPS a-plenty.
  4. 4:1 Deduplication is G-U-A-R-A-N-T-E-E-D: With a few exceptions (web-cam video is not included), capacity is sized for effective vs. usable, as Dell guarantees 4:1 data reduction.
  5. Dedicated hardware for deduplication: One of the rubs with UnityXT was that precious CPU and memory needed for I/O was also used for deduplication. There is a dedicated chip in the de-stage path reserved exclusively reserved for dedupe.
  6. Performance and scalability: Scale UP by hanging up to 3 SAS SSD expansion shelves under the first 2 node Base Enclosure OR Scale OUT by managing up to 4 Base Enclosures from a single pane of glass.
  7. Container Based OS: Gone are the days of clunky, slow, monolithic software updates. PowerStore users get more relevant features and functionality faster.
  8. Hypervisor Deployment: In a PowerStore X deployment, with the OS running as a VM, AppsON capability makes 50% of the system resources available to run guest VMs directly on the appliance.
  9. Single Drive expansion: Dynamic Resiliency Engine provides for mixing and matching drive sizes in single drive increments.
  10. Future Proof Guarantee: Satisfaction, Deduplication, and transparent support price guidance is all in writing.
For a demo, sizing, configuration, and preferred refresh pricing, please reach out to Barb Adkison at badkison@abtechtechnologies.com
4ddee79d-a011-4a79-a11c-84c3b231f8f2_Killware+Malware+That’s+Lethal+-+meta (1)

‘killware’ Raises the Stakes in the Game of Cyber Security.

‘killware’ Raises the Stakes in the Game of Cyber Security.

As Business Leaders and IT Professionals continue efforts to get off their heels and in front of cyber criminals, the threats are changing and making it more important than ever to protect our most valuable commodity – data.

While ransom events like Colonial Pipeline and Solar Winds certainly grabbed national attention, bad actors continue to quietly evolve their efforts. Colonial Pipeline reminded us that long gas lines, a 5-day shut down and $5M in crypto-currency are without question, undesirable circumstances. Solar Winds showed us that questions around data security in government agencies including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and the State Department are never welcome. Malware is center stage and the complexities of dwell time, customer confidence and lost revenue, to name a few, are real issues. Sadly, this seems to be the starting point for bad actors.

 

Enter killware.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sounded the alarm regarding killware last week in an interview with USA Today. Referencing an attack on the Oldmsar, Florida water system earlier this year, he remarked, ‘The attempted hack of this water treatment facility in February 2021 demonstrated the grave risks that malicious cyber activity poses to public health and safety.’ The attack was intended to distribute contaminated water to residents.

In 2017, Julian Gutmanis, an experienced cyber first responder, was called to an undisclosed Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant where Triton malware had been deployed in an effort to disable safety systems.

In September of last year, Universal Health Services went to paper and diverted incoming ambulances in response to a cyberattack.

Malware is no longer just an issue of business continuity and profit. The next evolution, killware, is a matter of safety.

When it comes to protecting mission critical data, whether it’s accounts receivables, configuration files for day-to-day operations, or even safety systems, ‘good’ is no longer good enough.

On June 2, the White House issued guidance on protecting against ransomware. Among the recommendations, network segmentation was one of the highlights. Dell Technologies’ Power Protect Cyber Recovery solution differentiates by vaulting mission critical data behind an air gap.

Dell’s solution goes one step further by analyzing each replication to the vault at the content level. Using AI, ML and over 100 metrics, the Dell solution ensures integrity of the data by looking for indications of suspicious activity represented by encryption, corruption, and unusual change rates, to name a few. By focusing on the integrity of the data and by analyzing replications at the content level (competing solutions fall short by only looking at the meta-data), customers have the confidence that data in the vault is free of malware.

Multiple copies of data are important, unless they are all just copies of malware.

For a detailed discussion around Cyber Recovery strategies and Abtech Technologies’ 30-year tradition of services, please feel free to reach out at tfrederking@abtechtechnologies.com.