Jul 18 2023

Backing up Data in the Cloud Ensures Smooth Cyber Recovery

State and local agencies shouldn’t assume data stored in Software as a Service solutions or elsewhere can’t be lost.

Hybrid cloud environments have evolved significantly in recent years. Many early adopters limited their use of cloud services to long-term storage for backup data. But over time, IT professionals have become more comfortable with relying on cloud service providers.

Today, state and local government agencies have become more comfortable with moving more applications to the cloud. They’re adopting Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service. The widespread migration of data and workloads to multiple cloud environments has greatly changed the business considerations of many agencies, as well as their approach to data protection.

As cloud environments become more widespread and complex, many government IT teams face challenges in understanding them. Some IT officials believe that because their data and workloads reside in the cloud, they are inherently protected from cyberthreats. However, any cloud environment has its own security requirements and backup needs. Data still must be protected, even if it resides in a highly resilient platform such as the cloud.

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The Role of Data Protection in the Cloud

Agencies can take steps to better protect their data and applications in the cloud. First, they should understand the need for protection. Data is very valuable, and it remains vulnerable even in SaaS platforms, where it can be targeted by attackers. IT teams should use security applications to protect their data and separate backup data from their production environments, even though they may reside in the cloud.

For example, many government offices have adopted Microsoft Office 365 and shut down the on-premises versions of their Microsoft applications. But they still must take steps to protect their data, even though it resides in Microsoft’s cloud. In its licensing agreements with agencies, Microsoft recommends that organizations use third-party applications to protect their data. Many providers offer their own easy-to-use, SaaS-based applications for that purpose.

Government agencies also should consider tools to improve their cyber recovery capabilities. They should find tested, trusted data protection applications that use a multilayered security approach (including tools such as multifactor authentication and time source validation) and provide immutable storage capabilities.

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IT teams also should take additional steps to protect Active Directory. This is essential because a breach of Active Directory could compromise an agency’s entire environment. Solutions that secure Active Directory and provide optimized backup and recovery can greatly enhance an organization’s data recoverability in the event of a breach.

Why Data Protection Is Important for State and Local Agencies

To help government environments with data protection, administrators must understand the benefits they can expect from adopting the right tools. The most important benefit is cyber recovery. By improving the security of their data protection solutions as well as protecting Active Directory, agencies can expect a much quicker recovery if they are hit by cyberattacks.

Ultimately, in a security environment where cyberthreats are so widespread, recovery is an essential capability. State and local governments should take steps to protect data in their hybrid cloud environments and bolster their recovery capabilities.

UP NEXT: How backup as a service boosts data protection.

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