Data Protection for Your Network Attached Storage

For a long time, Network Attached Storage (NAS) has been a cost-effective, scalable and flexible storage option for enterprises, large and small. Today, organisations worldwide rely on NAS as their own private cloud, which can be accessed from anywhere with a network connection. Nevertheless, despite its affordability and functionality, protecting valuable data on the NAS continues to be a concern for many of these organisations.

So how can you safeguard your NAS data from corruption, compromise or loss?

To help organisations secure their NAS, storage and backup companies have come up with various solutions for NAS with varying degrees of depth, scale and granularity. But before we go into that, as a rule of thumb, organisations should be practising the 3-2-1 backup rule to ensure their data is safe if their NAS is compromised.

This is especially true in today’s era of rising cybercrime, targeted attacks, security breaches and advanced malware. There has been growing popularity in ransomware attacks that are particularly targeting NAS, for instance, as criminals are becoming well aware that it is where businesses tend to keep their digital “crown jewels”.

NAS is now used for a wide range of use cases, including corporate applications, virtualisation and huge unstructured data sets. While it was much easier to protect data over a decade ago when the average NAS data set was in the terabyte range, these days, due to the exponential growth of data and storage, it isn’t uncommon for a NAS data footprint to reach hundreds of terabytes, or even creep into the petabyte range.

Backing up NAS quickly feels like an insurmountable task, and the traditional methods may not cut it when you consider the sheer amount and variety of data as well as the resources and time it takes to regularly back up all the NAS data.

Hence, modern businesses require modern approaches to NAS backup.

First of all, NAS data protection (and most importantly, recovery) has to be quick, simple, yet flexible, able to protect both unstructured file data and file servers, at scale.

Today, there are many types of NAS systems and differing protocols and versions, running on SMB, NFS, Windows or Linux. Regardless what the underlying protocol, hardware or software may be, the NAS data protection solution has to be up for the job of keeping the data safe and recoverable when it’s needed the most.

In addition, incremental backups should be fast, and the solution should allow businesses to store their unstructured data on cheaper storage and easily tier it to the cloud. This sort of flexibility would also help to significantly reduce storage costs in the face of explosive data growth.

In terms of recovery, the solution has to be able to provide several options depending on the situation. For instance, being able to restore an entire share is crucial to prevent the complete loss of your file share or major outage. Meanwhile, the option for quick “point-in-time” rollback allows you to revert any modified files since they were last backed up, which lets you immediately return to the “last known good configuration” – this is especially helpful in the event of a malware or ransomware attack.

Speaking of ransomware, as we have previously mentioned, your NAS and backups are now being targeted. But fret not, a modern data protection solution can ensure that backup copies are not only recoverable, but also immutable, meaning they can’t be deleted, encrypted or modified by threat actors.

Last but not least, you also need file-level recovery – with the ability to easily choose specific restore points and restore individual files and folders – for your day-to-day operational restores.

These are just some of the protection features that are critical for businesses that rely on the NAS. With that said, Veeam recently released its next generation of data protection capabilities with the Veeam Availability Suite v10, with added focus on providing a modernised data protection for NAS.

The v10 delivers on all of the features that we have covered above and more to provide arguably the strongest solution for NAS protection. For further information, click here.

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