Microsoft will be deprecating Basic Authentication for Exchange Online prior to completely removing the authentication method on October 13, 2020. Basic Authentication passes username and password with every request, which is not as secure as Modern Authentication based on OAuth 2.0. This is a token-based authorization process that eliminates the use of usernames and passwords.
As a result, in order to comply with Microsoft policy for secure authorization, you will need to re-authorize your Safe Data Storage Exchange Online backups using OAuth.
To switch to OAuth, you will need to login to your Safe Data Storage account and do the following:
These changes must be made prior to October 13, 2020 to ensure your Exchange Online backups continue to run each day. Any Exchange backup still using basic authentication after October 13, 2020 will no longer work. You can find out more on the changes to authentication in this Microsoft Developers Blog.
Although Microsoft will still support credential based authentication for SharePoint, OneDrive, Groups and Teams, we recommend that you also change these backups to OAuth at this time. This will provide greater security for your data and will eliminate any issues in the future when Microsoft eventually deprecates credential authentication for these services.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need assistance changing your backups to OAuth based authorization.
When you run an application in the cloud or store data there, you might think that it is protected; however, this is only true to a certain extent. While cloud providers will have some measures in place to safeguard your data, these may be fairly basic and not sophisticated enough to get back an individual deleted file from a particular date, for example.
To stay safe, you should therefore look at making additional backups of your cloud data. The obvious way to do this is to back up one set of cloud data to a different cloud via a cloud to cloud backup. Cloud services such as G Suite and Office 365 have backups in place, but these are generally designed to protect the service provider rather than the user.
Cloud to cloud
It is really quite a simple concept: rather than backing up to a local device such as a hard drive or tape, you are backing up from one cloud to a different cloud. This adds another layer of protection by ensuring that you are keeping a copy of the data somewhere else - an off-site backup, if you will.
Making a cloud to cloud backup helps the business by ensuring that you can easily retrieve data in the event that it is accidentally deleted or it is corrupted by a cyber attack or malicious activity. As no additional infrastructure is required, costs of this type of backup are generally low; what’s more, you can easily adjust the amount of storage you need as your business grows or to cope with seasonal variations in the amount of data you generate.
Pros and cons
Backing up to the cloud has the advantage that the data is accessible from anywhere at anytime, providing you have internet access; therefore, just as with your cloud applications, the backup is still available if you are at a different location. This is convenient for IT teams, who can access all their information from a central point with no need to visit sites to make restores.
For smaller businesses, the advantage of having C2C backup managed automatically is a big plus. If the backup is carried out automatically, there is no chance of human error leading to saves being skipped or incorrectly carried out. You can do this while still having control of the essentials, such as how often saves are carried out, whether this is to a timed schedule or triggered by events.
As with any cloud service, you need to take the security of your backup seriously. It is essential that you use encryption and protect access to your cloud backup with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
Any backup is only as good as the restore options it offers; therefore, you need to ensure you have a system with enough flexibility to recover your data, whether it is an individual file or a whole system.
When it comes to schedule data backups, there are three main types: full backup, incremental backup, and differential backup.
This is a complete copy of your organisation's data and files in a single version. The advantages of this option are that it gives you the chance to restore your entire data assets if needed, there is simple access to the most recent version of your backup, all backups are in one simple version, and it should enable business operations to be restored in full with minimal downtime/interruption.
The downsides are that complete backups require significant storage space, demand substantial bandwidth, and the process can be relatively time-consuming due to its totality.
This type of backup covers all files that have been altered/modified since the last backup, whatever type the previous one was. As an example, if you were to run a full backup on a Friday and then an incremental one on the following Tuesday, the incremental backup would be a copy of all files that had changed between the Friday and the Tuesday.
The advantages of incremental backups are that the backups themselves do not take that long and they are smaller in scale, so they will need less storage and bandwidth.
The downsides are that the recovery time may be slower and they need to work in conjunction with a full backup if a complete recovery is needed. This piecing together of the data from different backup sets can be complex and time-consuming. There is also a small chance of incomplete data recovery where one or more backup sets to fail.
This is a cumulative backup of all files that have been changed since the last completed backup. For example, if you were to run a full backup on Monday and a differential backup on Thursday, this backup would cover all files changed between Monday and Thursday. If you were to then run another differential backup on Friday, it would cover all files changed since Monday’s full backup as opposed to since Thursday’s.
The advantages of this are that it requires less storage than a full backup and only two backups - the last full and latest incremental - are required for recovery.
The disadvantages are that the backup itself takes longer than an incremental one, it requires an initial full backup to enable total recovery, two backup sets will need to be patched together, and there is a chance that if one of the two is faulty/incomplete, the recovery will fail.
Many organisations opt for a combined approach to backups, which utilises a full backup - perhaps weekly - plus either a differential or incremental daily backup. Each option has its own risks and rewards and the best option depends upon the organisation’s relationship with its data. This includes facts such as the data protection strategy, the volume of data, and the frequency with which the data/files are changed.
If they haven’t done so already, most organisations are looking at moving applications to the cloud. This has many advantages in terms of flexibility and cost. Google has become one of the big players in the cloud market thanks to its G Suite of office applications.
G Suite offers cloud access to email, storage, and a wide choice of applications for handling documents, spreadsheets and more. Of course, storing data in Google’s cloud means you can access it from other systems as and when needed. You may think that this does away with the need for a conventional backup, but to properly protect your data it’s important to have an active backup for G Suite as well.
It’s often said that there is no such thing as the cloud; there are only other people’s computers. Google is a big company and isn’t likely to disappear any time soon, but even so, you have to ask yourself how much you trust it with your data. You also have to look at how effective G Suite’s built-in facilities are. How easy would it be to get back a file that has been accidentally deleted for example?
At the end of the day the data is yours and it’s vital to your business, so it’s important to put your own backup arrangements in place to make sure you are protected and have the ability you need to get back files that have been deleted, damaged by ransomware and so on.
So, what should you be looking for in a backup solution? Just because data is in the cloud doesn’t mean that the things you need from a backup should be any different from if it was held locally. A key factor is that you should look to automate the process so that there is no possibility of backups being skipped due to human error.
You should aim for at least a daily backup; however, if you are generating large volumes of data, then saving them more often will ensure that you boost your chances of a quick recovery in the event of a problem.
A key part of any backup program is how good the recovery options are. You should make sure that it’s equally easy to get back whole systems or individual files. A good system will allow you the option of going back to different versions of the save so that you can get back to a version of a file before it was corrupted, for example.
As well as protecting your data, backups are also useful when you are migrating between systems. If you’ve only just started to use G Suite and are transferring you data across, you should start backing it up straight away. This ensures you can recover, should the migration process go awry without putting your data at risk.
Have you started to consider active backup for Office 365 in order to protect your data? More and more businesses are moving their systems to the cloud. It’s easy to understand the motivations for this - controlling costs is easier and you have the flexibility of being able to access your systems from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
However, one thing that often gets overlooked in the rush towards the cloud is the need for backups. Yes, of course, the cloud provider backs up its own systems, but this tends to be in its own interests rather than yours. So, for example, you may not be able to recover from an accidental error like deleting a file or from the actions of a rogue employee.
Reasons to backup
Data is an essential commodity for all businesses and protecting it is essential. Having an additional active backup for Office 365 means that you get added security and flexibility over and above the in-built features that Microsoft provides.
People inevitably make mistakes and it’s therefore important that you have the ability to get back files or emails that may have been accidentally deleted or overwritten. With an additional backup, you can be sure that your data is saved to a separate cloud location where it can be accessed by authorised staff if it needs to be.
Of course, you also need to guard against malicious activity, whether it’s from hackers or disgruntled employees. Again, the ability to have a separate, secure backup can be a lifesaver for the business.
A separate backup can also help when employees leave. If you deactivate their account, you will lose the ability to access any old emails from Microsoft’s system after 30 days. A separate backup solution ensures that you can keep archive data for as long as you want, meaning you can access it as needed.
Features to look for
What do you now need to look for when choosing an Office 365 backup solution? Firstly, you should ensure that your backup data is saved to a secure, private cloud. Your backup data should be encrypted so that it can’t be accessed if the data should fall into the wrong hands.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you can control the retention policy. Flexibility here is essential, as you may need to keep some data or messages for longer than others. In some industries, you may need to retain information for a fixed period for regulatory requirements, for example.
No one wants to think about having to restore from a backup, but it’s important that you do so. Make certain that you will be able to restore information directly back into Office 365. Also ensure that you have the ability to restore back to a particular point in time - this is important in recovering from a failure such as a ransomware attack.
Finally, make sure you understand the pricing structure and exactly what you’ll be paying for.
There are lots of reasons why every small business owner should prioritise the use of cloud backup solutions to ensure their data is safe and secure.
As a small business owner, you will probably have many tasks vying for your attention. While data backup to the cloud might not be high on your agenda, it is probably one of the most crucial decisions you should make at the start of your business.
Why data security matters?
Surveys have found that almost half of small businesses in the UK do not have any robustly regulated security plans in place for their data, which puts them at risk of losing it in cases of theft, fraud or natural disaster. In light of the new regulations regarding data protection, all businesses now need to comply with ensuring their data is safe and secure.
Small businesses are vulnerable at the best of times with their limited budgets and resources. Many young enterprises fold in the first year of trading, so it makes sense that small businesses should do everything within their power to prevent this from happening. If data loss does occur, it is estimated that businesses spend around three per cent of their revenue attempting to deal with it, which can be fatal for many small companies.
Thinking about cloud backup solutions for small business operations should therefore be the priority for every owner.
Many small businesses do not have the resources to have large in-house teams or even an IT department. The owner often manages most of the operations, with any staff perhaps working remotely or on the move. Many small businesses frequently use their mobile devices for storing company data, with almost one in four members of staff using at least one of their personal mobile devices to store business information.
Managing this is not easy. Staff might not have adequate or up-to-date security software in place on their mobile devices, or the devices could easily get lost, damaged or accessed by other people. For this reason, it is essential that small businesses that use mobile devices for their work backup their data in the cloud.
When you choose cloud backup solutions for small business services, having it backed up in the cloud can be a godsend if any data on a mobile device is lost, stolen or deleted. A service provider can also remotely delete the data on the device so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. In some cases, the device can even be tracked.
Using a mobile device can be advantageous for a small business owner. Where staff work remotely using such devices, having data stored and backed up in the cloud allows for synchronisation. This enables staff to access the most current version of the data.
No matter how small your business, it makes sense to use safe and secure cloud backup solutions for peace of mind if you handle any kind of data and to safeguard the survival and reputation of your business.
Keen to get into the video streaming market and take on incumbents like Netflix and Amazon, Disney launched its own high-profile solution earlier this month. However, a cyber attack which exposed personal details of users has highlighted the need for more stringent security and image backup services for popular platforms like this.
Ripe for the Picking
Known as Disney+, the service quickly gained traction with a large audience, gaining 10 million users in under a day following its arrival.
Such a grand launch was always going to be hit with some complications, if only due to the sheer volume of people who would be putting serious strain on the server infrastructure. Voices were raised about technical hiccups of this type quite quickly, but it took a little longer for a small but significant portion of subscribers to reveal that they had apparently been locked out of their accounts by malicious third parties.
Complaints that crooks were stealing log-in details, changing passwords and taking over legitimate accounts from innocent users were made public on social media. Furthermore, this issue was exacerbated because Disney+ did not have adequate customer service resources to deal with the flood of consternation.
Sold to the Highest Bidder
It seems that the attackers were able to exploit the confusion surrounding the launch of Disney+ to grab user information and then sell this to others.
There were claims that the affected customers had been targeted because they were using passwords for their new Disney+ account which had already been compromised in another context, although plenty of the users said that they had entered an entirely original password and still been hit.
Evidence from the forums frequented by hackers detailed by ZDNet in an investigation shows that the sale of private information allowing access to thousands of Disney+ accounts went live in under 24 hours following the launch.
Learning from Mistakes
Such data breaches should serve as an example to any other organisations which are looking to launch a new digital service and want to avoid the pitfalls that have been overlooked by other brands.
It is not merely a case of ensuring that customer information is properly protected but also taking steps to prevent other types of disruption, such as data loss, from impacting upon the functionality of fledgling platforms.
Image backup services can assist in the latter case, allowing for entire OS ecosystems to be securely stored in the cloud. When disaster strikes, restoring mission-critical data is a breeze.
It will be interesting to see how the hack of Disney+ was facilitated, because of course the entertainment titan will want to reassure customers that they can trust it with their private information. Even if one of its partner firms is to blame, it will still take some of the reputational damage. This should also be a lesson for businesses and individuals.
Data is increasingly the lifeblood of businesses, and the amount each business generates increases almost every day. Keeping this data safe and secure is essential and part of doing this is making sure it gets backed up properly.
In the past, this meant tapes or external discs. This was a chore and often got neglected; however, with the introduction of the cloud, life has become much easier. Safe Data Storage offers cloud backup for business that enables you to save data from all your desktop PCs, servers, virtual machines and more to your own private cloud.
Which ever solution you use, it is important to plan how your backups are going to work for you. Using the cloud means you can have a continuous backup regime whereby a file is updated in the cloud as soon as it is modified locally; nonetheless, you still need to identify your most critical systems to ensure they are protected.
These systems will be increasingly running in the cloud, so you need a solution that can cope. Safe Data Storage offers modules for popular platforms, including VMWare and Office 365, so that you can save your data wherever it originates. It also lets you backup from multiple machines, and to manage all this information in a dedicated portal. If you are struggling with a slow internet connection, there is a seeding service that enables you to start your backup with a local save. This is then transferred to the cloud.
Of course, you also need a recovery plan - a backup is useless if you can’t easily retrieve information when it is needed. You therefore need to have procedures in place to restore data; whether this is an entire server following a disc failure, or a single accidentally deleted file.
Safe and secure
Any cloud backup for business needs to be secure. If you have personal data, whether relating to your customers or your staff, you have a duty of care to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Using a cloud provider for backup means you need to be confident that your data will be held safely.
In most cases, this means encryption, both at rest in the backup cloud and while in transmission. Safe Data Storage backup uses strong 448 Blowfish encryption. The data is sent over secure SSL connections, so it can’t be intercepted in transit.
You also need to think about how long you need to keep your data. There may be compliance requirements that compel you to keep data for a specific length of time, while other data may only be short-term. A good backup solution will enable you to determine how long the data is kept in each backup and to set different
Back in March 2018, Carbonite acquired Mozy from DELL for $145m but despite the promises.....
“Carbonite is committed to supporting existing Mozy customers and partners. Therefore, Carbonite’s plan is to:
Source: Business Insider
A year later, partners and end users started to learn that the only upgrade path was to move to the Carbonite platform, re-upload all their data and to face uncertain costs after the first year’s initial term. The reason for this is because the Mozy platform is to be switched off! So, with your backup program and data retention going EOL, what do you do? You can either move to the Carbonite service or take this opportunity to review the market and bring your data back to the UK.
With the latter, you’d expect to have double the costs as you’d need to ensure that you had your 30, 60 or 90 days retention covered? and if you’re a Reseller or an MSP using Mozy, then the financial impact of such a move or migration to another service could be monumental.
Safe Data Storage are offering 90 days free backups with as much storage as you need to manage your migration to us. You can then choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually (where you get 2 months free). No obligation, no contracts, no payment information is required for the first 90 days, you can then choose to continue to use our services.
If you are worried about the first large uploads for the initial data backup, then take advantage of our free seeding service. We will send you a USB drive or NAS that will be large enough for your first backup, you then ship that to us and we will upload it directly to our UK storage for you. Once complete, the next backup will be a relatively small incremental. You can then start building your 90 days retention for free.
We include our UK “only” support throughout your free trial so that you have all of the help that you need to migrate smoothly.
There is a common misconception that if you have your business data stored on a NAS (Network Storage Device) instead of a PC then it’s safe and doesn’t need to be backed up. This is incorrect.
NAS’s are great devices for storing all of your information in one place and sharing it. Sometimes, they come with some hardware fault tolerance included due to the additional hard disks or software resilience in the device. However, they are still at risk of malicious internal or external attacks, users accidently or intentionally deleting data, device theft and acts of god such as flooding.
The reality is that you need to protect your corporate data from these risks, as the time and effort to recover the information can be costly. If you then factor in the lost business hours and the reputational damage that a system outage or data leak causes, the overall effect can be catastrophic.
This sharing or central data repository is generally the most common use of a NAS device and it is a very sensible way of managing data but it is imperative that you back it up to another off-site location. It is also important to have multiple versions or rollback points for your backups, this is caused retention. Retention policies differ depending on your business, you might only need to keep 30 days or retention or, if in the financial sector, you might have a regulatory requirement to keep up to 10 years of data.
Some businesses use a NAS to hold backups of their data as they think this is safe? This is also incorrect.
NAS devices are a good way of sharing data and collaborating but should not be used for the 'only' backups that the company relies on. If you are using your NAS for your live data AND your backups, this is probably about the worst thing that you can do as a business and is very high risk.
It’s recommended that the following guidelines are adhered to:
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a NAS, it just means that you should be careful about what you use this for. If you are going to use it for live data then you need to consider an off site backup solution and if you are going to use it for backups then you need to keep copies of this backup data off-site. We offer the ability to do both.
The recent insurgence of ransomware and crypolocker has meant that backups are now more important than ever and should be taken seriously. We have solutions that you can install directly onto your NAS* or you can install onto PC/Server that has access to it.
* Currently only QNAP and Synology
If you would like a chat about your current backup strategy, then call in on 01689 661030 or use the contact form and we will be pleased to help you.