The Consequences of Failing to Backup Network and Security Devices

Most IT users will have suffered the frustration of losing work because their access device (PC, tablet, smartphone etc.) fails and has not been backed up, or indeed they may have deleted a file accidentally. This is inconvenient for the individual and those associated with the project they are working on. If they are lucky, a deleted file may have been on a file server and, if this is the case, a friendly system administrator may be able to recover it for them; more than 60% of file servers are backed up daily (although worryingly, 38% of users may have to rely on recovered files that may be a week or more old!).

File servers and user access devices are not the only devices that need backing up. Important information for the functioning of IT is stored on a wide range of other devices, especially those used for networking and security. Firewalls have complex rules programmed into them; content filtering devices have policies about what users can and cannot do with content. Load balancers are programmed to handle network traffic under pressure and decide what should be prioritised and how workloads can be distributed.

Just like servers and end-user devices, these devices can also fail and need replacing. Furthermore, system administrators make mistakes and may wrongly reconfigure a device or delete some settings and want to return it to an earlier configuration. This can only be done if the device has been previously backed-up.

In around 50% of organisations, such devices are not even backed on a weekly basis, and less than 30% do so daily. When there is a problem with one of these devices it may take hours to get them functioning again if they have to be rebuilt using out-of-date settings or, in the worst case, from scratch.

This need not be the case. The backup of such devices can be automated. Because all organisations will use devices from a range of network and security vendors rather than having a specific backup up tool for each one, a generic tool that addresses devices from a wide range of vendors via a single interface should be considered.

See the full research behind this and get a free copy of Quocirca’s report – “Conquering the sys-admin challenge”.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?