Adam Miller – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Tue, 23 Apr 2019 19:12:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Disruption: 3 Key Findings That May Impact Your Resiliency Strategy https://infocus.dellemc.com/adam_miller/disruption-3-key-findings-that-may-impact-your-resiliency-strategy/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/adam_miller/disruption-3-key-findings-that-may-impact-your-resiliency-strategy/#respond Thu, 21 Mar 2019 12:45:49 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=37821 Natural disaster, cyber-attack, scheduled data center maintenance: What do these have in common? They all cause disruption. Disruption occurs for a variety of reasons, and whether planned or unplanned, you need a strategy. Traditional Disaster Recovery (DR) approaches relied on an all-or-nothing attitude when a disruption occurred, with the limited ability to only recover the […]

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Natural disaster, cyber-attack, scheduled data center maintenance: What do these have in common? They all cause disruption.

Disruption occurs for a variety of reasons, and whether planned or unplanned, you need a strategy. Traditional Disaster Recovery (DR) approaches relied on an all-or-nothing attitude when a disruption occurred, with the limited ability to only recover the full site, not specific applications or application bundlers. With the increasing number of applications managed by IT and the increasing reliance on those applications by business users, it’s time to consider your strategy.

data-protection-resiliency

The Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index is a Dell EMC commissioned survey of 2,200 IT decision makers across 18 countries globally on the maturity of their data protection strategies and how they value data and assess the relative preparedness of their businesses.

This year’s results paint a grim picture for those responsible for application availability, with over three quarters (76 percent) of respondents experiencing a disruption of some kind in the last 12 months. That’s 24 percent higher than the 52 percent who experienced an outage in the 2016 edition of the Global Data Protection Index1. 24%!!! This points toward a staggering trend of drastically increasing numbers of outages per year.

Breaking down the overall disruptions within this year’s report, there were a few key take away’s I wanted to highlight:

  1. With outages being so widespread and costly, early adopters have started looking toward the next generation of methods to maximize availability for their users. In fact, 41 percent of respondents had experienced unplanned system downtime in the last year, costing businesses an average of $527,000. To combat these costly disruptions, a recent concept has emerged as a favorite of early adopters – application mobility. This methodology minimizes both planned and unplanned downtime by ensuring either applications can quickly move between data centers, introducing true mobility. This could be executed to mitigate longer planned downtime or to recover from an isolated incident within the production data center, thus avoiding a longer outage or the need to failover to DR. One of the most critical steps in enabling application mobility is deeply analyzing your applications and their business requirements to better understand their use. Then, using this information, assigning an appropriate level of availability to each application or bundle. We’ll talk more about application mobility in future blog posts.
  2. Localized disasters happen. If a storm brought down power to your production data center, you would be part of the 25 percent of respondents who indicated that they experienced a disruption as a result. When these situations occur, it’s all-hands-on-deck to get back online. But now is the time to ask yourself, are you confident in your ability to failover to a DR site in the event of a disruption? Ensuring a well-designed and tested plan is in place before the disaster occurs has saved companies from millions in losses. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy tested the DR plans of those who had them while companies without them were offline. The next disaster in your area may not be a hurricane, but having a plan in place for full-site recovery is a key component of a holistic strategy to minimize disruption.
  3. As I’ve previously written about, having a cyber recovery strategy in place to reduce downtime and recover critical data in the event of a cyber-attack is essential. The drastically increasing threat landscape due to more applications, increased reliance on applications, and more connected devices has forced organizations to develop and thoroughly test their strategies. In the last few years, ransomware has been one of the most destructive and newsworthy variants of cyber-attacks, locking files and demanding ransom in return. Respondents to this year’s report noted this trend, indicating that nearly 30 percent had experienced an outage due to a ransomware attack. These attacks can be difficult to recover from and require specialized planning and technology to keep critical data isolated and ready for recovery.

These data points indicate a strong trend of both an increasing number of disruptions and causes of these disruptions. This trend, along with others, are also highlighted in “Keeping up with the Data Deluge: Exploring the Global Data Protection Index“.

A holistic, modern approach to mitigating disruption must take an application-centric view to minimize downtime, based on the criticality of each application to business stakeholders. All of the necessary considerations you should make when designing your plan to mitigate disruption are topics covered by the ProConsult Advisory Service for Business Resiliency.

If you have any comments or question, feel free to comment below.

1 https://www.emc.com/microsites/emc-global-data-protection-index/index.htm#infographic-global

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4 Key Considerations for Your Cyber Recovery Strategy https://infocus.dellemc.com/adam_miller/data-protection-ransomware-cyber-recovery-strategy/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/adam_miller/data-protection-ransomware-cyber-recovery-strategy/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:55:57 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=36608 October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. During this month, it’s a great idea to review the strategy you have in place and ensure it accounts for all types of threats. If attacked, locating the intrusion and quarantining systems is critical, but your ability to restore normal business operations is paramount to your continued success. There […]

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October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. During this month, it’s a great idea to review the strategy you have in place and ensure it accounts for all types of threats. If attacked, locating the intrusion and quarantining systems is critical, but your ability to restore normal business operations is paramount to your continued success.

There has been an exponential increase in the number of newsworthy cyber-attacks over the last few years. Some of the most common forms of attacks have the primary goal of destroying data. Some simply erase data while others encrypt it and hold it for ransom. Ransomware has become one of the primary threats to organizations. According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, ransomware was included in over 40% of malware in 2017 and is even described as “not unlikely” in this same report.

Many data protection and cyber security strategies have not evolved quickly enough to effectively recover from these types of emerging attacks. Dell EMC Consulting has helped many customers in adding a cyber recovery strategy into their data protection and cyber incident response plans to ensure they can quickly recover critical systems and applications.

When you’re developing or improving your cyber recovery strategy, keep these four considerations in mind:

1. Attacks can come from anywhere:

Recently, attacks have peppered companies from countless angles. Unpatched infrastructure firmware, out of date applications, and sabotage from insiders are just a few of the successful attack vectors that have been used over the last few years. The latter is an alarming reminder that someone in your organization could be acting against you. According to the DBIR, the threat of insiders is well documented, with 28% of attacks involving an internal actor1. Another key point made in this report points toward a growing number of attacks (11%) involving physical actions, which again, points toward insider compromise.

2. Out of sight, out of mind:

Attackers are crafty and have been able to bypass anti-malware and traditional security controls, allowing them to go undetected for months and sometimes even years. This type of attack is further enabled by the disappearance of the traditional perimeter with more connected and mobile devices. This leads to a lack of visibility across the network and creates more points of exposure to attack. Organizations are often not prepared for this and face a prolonged data recovery time as a result.

3. Align the plan with your business:

No two companies are alike, so you need a tailored strategy that supports your unique requirements. Consider the impact on your business if a specific, critical application were to be taken down in an attack. In the last year, major cyber-attacks have businesses grinding to a halt, costing some hundreds of millions in only a few days of downtime. Understanding the applications that are most critical to business operations ensures these are prioritized in your cyber recovery strategy. An application analysis is one of the most critical components in your preparations.

4. Cyber Recovery complements Disaster Recovery:

We get a lot of questions about how cyber recovery strategies differ from those of disaster recovery (DR) and always recommend having both plans ready.

  • For a DR event, you generally know what happened, when it happened and what data was lost. The primary goal of DR is to restore normal operations as soon as possible. In a Cyber Recovery event, you might not know what happened, when it started, or what exactly was lost. The goal is still to restore normal operations as soon as possible, but there are a multitude of questions that need to be answered before you know where to begin.
  • Another critical difference is that cyber recovery vault needs to be isolated from the network and physically secure. Any system that is connected to the network is potentially vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Creating an ‘air-gap’ from the primary network is an effective measure in keeping critical data safe. The vault also needs to be physically secured, and access should be restricted from users without proper clearance.

Summary

These are a few of many considerations you should take into account when developing a cyber recovery strategy. In our experience, we find that customers are the most successful when they focus on a tailored solution designed to achieve their specific data protection and cyber security requirements. To learn more about the new features of this solution, continue your reading with Beth Phelan’s ‘Last Line of Data Protection Defense Against Cyber Attacks’.

If you have any comments or question, feel free to comment below.

 

1 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 2018

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