Here at Rex Consulting, Inc. we have multiple virtual machines running a myriad of different services. With the hypervisor and a secondary server managing the backing up of said services. While many companies may see this as a perfectly fine backup policy, it can still be improved. Therefore, to take our backups to the next level, we push these to an offline source.

With the emerging threat of ransomware attacks, which capitalizes on poor backup policies. The need for continuous and offsite backups is at an all time high. To give a quick overview of what a ransomware attack is, it is where an attacker uses a worm-styled piece of malware to encrypt all documents and business critical files. The attackers then leave the company with a time limit and a cryptocurrency address for the company to give payment.

While there isn’t a set way of avoiding such a situation, an offline backup can help mitigate. A few popular methods for backups include either tape storage or HDD’s stored in a safe location. This is contrary to the ever popular cloud storage, which is fantastic for on-demand backups but horrible for long-term.

So, how does one set up this style of backup policy? With simple bash scripts, a cron job, and a free weekend. Using bash and rsync, one can get the most recently created backup, push it towards a backup server, and then duplicate the backup onto a HDD/Tape/etc. These backups must be decoupled from the company. This process, unfortunately, can not always be automated but it is well worth the extra time. For Rex, we make sure to take the most recent monthly backup and copy it onto a HDD that we then store in a secure location. This way, regardless of what happens to any of our servers, our customers can rest easy knowing that their data is safe and secure.

Ransomware and other attacks can be crippling to a company but with a well thought-out backup policy, customers and system administrators can rest easy knowing their data is safe.