Backups in companies (with the JTL-Wawi)

Backups in companies (with the JTL-Wawi)

Today I would like to briefly address the topic of backups in the corporate environment. There are many threats within an enterprise, including simply the failure of a disk, corruption of a database or individual files, accidental deletion, and of course the threat of ransomware. Ransomware attempts to get victims to pay a ransom by encrypting files.

I had a new client just a few days ago who became a victim of such a ransomware attack and of course the client lost not only his current data, but also his backups stored on the same computer.

Backups should never be stored on the same computer or data carrier as a matter of principle. In many cases, it may even be worthwhile to keep backups in different locations or at least in different fire zones.

Many companies today have network drives, sometimes with RAID 1. However, there are two problems here. The first problem is that RAID mirroring also mirrors file corruption. So if the system does not detect a damaged disk in time, damaged files would be mirrored. Accordingly, a RAID 1 does not protect against data loss, but against complete interruptions in operation (due to a total failure). For this simple reason, a RAID 1 never replaces additional backups.

The second reason is the vulnerability of network drives to ransomware attacks. Because a “smart” ransomware would of course immediately encrypt such network drives. Especially if they are (conveniently) already mounted in Explorer under Windows.

It would be better to transfer the backups regularly with e.g. SFTP to another storage.

The transfer could also be done in a way that only updated files are transferred – this saves traffic and time. Of course, then there is still the risk that not renamed files are uploaded (or deleted) encrypted during the next backup run.

With the JTL-Wawi database this is basically no problem, here separate daily backup files can be created.

In case of very many files, e.g. when synchronizing folders (or the internal network drive), additional e.g. weekly backups could be created OR instead of daily backups, backups on two different days per week.

Of course, besides “smart” ransomware, there is also ransamwore that tries to capture credentials at the same time. So if the backup has been automated with the command line, there is still a risk that the corresponding access data will be read.

A viable alternative would therefore be the use or creation of a small backup application, because this would prevent the “simple” reading of the access data. I would be very happy to help you with this.

Even when using supposedly secure cloud storage such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, risks remain, such as the (unauthorized) blocking of your user account. In this case, business-critical data may suddenly no longer be available for an indefinite period of time.

So what is a simple but good backup concept for a company (with JTL-Wawi)?

  • Daily backup of the JTL-Wawi database on one target
  • Daily backup of business critical data on one target
  • Backup of business critical data on two days per week on different targets
  • Automatic backup of desktops and other important folders of employees
  • Daily backup of the online store
  • Backup concept or additional archiving for e-mails
  • When using cloud storage (such as Google Drive): an automatic versioning process
  • If cloud storage is used: automatic backup of cloud storage
  • Store passwords only encrypted (e.g. with KeePass) and protected e.g. on a WebDav storage (with backups, authentication and transport encryption) (and not in the browser)

Of course, it is recommended to use strong encryption additionally for data containing personal information. For example, backups of the JTL-Wawi database should only be stored in encrypted form.

Also, the created backups should be checked regularly for their usability, because even the best backup concept is useless if the data cannot actually be restored in case of an emergency.

You need help in planning and implementing your backup concept? I would be happy to help you at reasonable hourly rates.

For very large companies, the recovery time can also play a significant role, for example if large costs are caused by business interruptions. Here it can be worthwhile to create additional redundancy by using so-called slave servers. In the event of a failure, it would then be possible to switch directly to the backup server.

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