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Immutable vs. Mutable Backups: Does it Really Matter?


As the fight against ransomware continues, the value of data cannot be understated. Considering what a breach could cost and how long it would take to rectify, it’s no wonder risk mitigation and response is at the forefront of every IT leader’s mind. When discussing data storage, data permanence is often discussed as a way to retain information indefinitely. But when it comes to the threat of ransomware, does the immutability of your backups play such an important role?

When it comes to backing up your data, does immutability make a difference?

Why Have Immutable Backups?

The term mutable implies an ability to change or mutate. Therefore, the benefit of mutable backups is the option to apply patches, upgrades, or scale up or down with ease. However, in the fight against ransomware, the ability to change quickly could also lead to catastrophic results. 

Unlike regular (mutable) backups, immutable backups cannot be modified or deleted by attackers after they have been written for a determined period of time. This means that in the event of a ransomware attack, immutable backups can provide businesses and organizations with reliable data recovery points which are unchanged since their creation. This is vital in mitigating the effects of a ransomware attack, as immutable backups are immune to any malicious encryption or corruption caused by malicious software.

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Benefits of Immutable Backups

By utilizing immutable backups, businesses can be confident that their data will remain available even if their systems have been compromised. As such, immutable backups are a must-have for any organization looking to protect itself from the devastating effects of ransomware. 

Furthermore, and most importantly, immutable backups can of course be used to restore systems quickly after an attack or even an internal error. Because the data contained within immutable backups remains unchanged since it was created, your organization can rest easy knowing it has solid point-in-time backups in the event of a successful attack.

Finally, immutable backups also assist with compliance and regulations. By creating immutable backups, organizations can be sure that their data is securely stored and retrievable in the event of a ransomware attack. This adds an extra layer of security to any organization's systems and helps them meet industry standards for data protection. Immutable backups are becoming increasingly important for organizations that need to prove the authenticity of their data and its immutable quality, as immutable backups provide an irrefutable record of a system's state at any given time. 

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Are Immutable Backups Enough?

Our experts are of the opinion that backups, even when managed by experts, aren’t a solid defense on their own. Even with a plan in place, you’re not immune to the risks associated with ransomware attacks. Luckily, with advancing technology, you can implement countless tools and strategies to help you create a solid defense strategy before an attack even occurs, as well as a rapid, effective response in the event of an encounter, breach, or attack. 

Opti9’s Observr, a ransomware detection and protection service, fills in the gaps. With Observr, you can rest assured that your data can be recovered quickly and easily if your company falls victim to ransomware or other cyberattacks. By leveraging the latest technologies, Observr provides businesses with a robust ransomware detection solution that seamlessly integrates with Opti9’s disaster recovery and backup services. Enhancing your IT resilience strategy, Observr offers real-time anomaly detection to uncover ransomware attacks and other threats and identifies the exact time of the attack so organizations can take appropriate action to recover their data.

To protect your data against cyberattacks, schedule a consultation with Opti9 today.

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