written by
Sudesh Girdhari

Resiliency helps teams adapt to evolving risks. Learn how to update and automate your path with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery.

Digital Transformation 5 min read

Recently I hosted a great conversation with Belu De Arbelazi who leads our product marketing strategy for Resiliency using VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, see the video below. Check out the themes in the article for more details.

Belu De Arbelazi helps explain modern challenges and solutions.

DR automation drives resiliency in the face of (un)expected technical challenges

VMware Cloud DR represents the advanced DR technologies within the VMware portfolio. Teams are learning the increasing complexity of systems and the demand for 24x7 business availability requires a new approach. This requires tools and processes to deal with complexity, recoveries are taking longer and companies are losing more data despite the advances in technology. As a technology leader, you need to adjust your business technology resiliency capability, which includes risk, recovery, and continued operational capability.

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VMware Cloud DR Solution Overview

Many organizations are adapting to changing ecosystems, vendors, and business partners. The risks and demands facing companies are rapidly changing. Ransomware is a growing risk for all firms. The shift to fully remote working due to COVID introduces additional resilience and security risks.
  • Teams that switch to continuous risk assessments and non-disruptive DR plan testing, avoid issues with periodic or annual updates, including software and testing plans. It may not be possible to move from a yearly exercise to a continuous exercise for the entire organization, but attempting it for select mission-critical services and applications is a solid start.
  • Automating your recovery procedures. More business processes are now run and delivered using technology systems. The complex technology and processes are beyond what teams can manage. To improve recovery time objectives, the best approach for most organizations is to automate recovery procedures as much as possible. VCDR is focused on providing automated recovery and testing. This will help mitigate the risk of key individuals not being available in your time of need.

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Video: Ransomware Recovery with VMware Cloud

Critically, it helps ensure that you have a recovery system that will not miss small but important steps or components.
  • Learn More: VCDR Security and resiliency are not the same things, but they are a perfect combination. Join us for a solutions session where we’ll focus on how VMware Carbon Black Cloud and VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery work together to drive confidence in business growth through reliable, intelligent data protection. Ransomware Protection: Unlocking the Power of Security and Resiliency [SEC1177]
  • Partnering with those who are best at doing it. Most DR leaders depend on internal resources for all stages of BC planning risk assessment, BIA creation, DR planning, and DR testing. Maintaining the skill sets to manage across all of the DR stages is challenging, so it's prudent to look for partners in the areas where you need help. Be realistic about your organization's DR skill capabilities and supplement where needed. Partners can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of risks, their impact on the business, and the best practices to manage them.
  • Start with engaging security and risk teams to develop plans to address cyberattacks. Focus on human-caused disasters DR leaders should consider the impact of cyberattacks. Don't treat ransomware, DDoS, or other cyberattacks as the exclusive domain of the security team. Engage your security team before any known attacks to prepare the right plan for when they do happen DR planning should account for any impact on your firm's technology capabilities regardless of the source of the disruption or its impact.

Use VMware Technologies To Boost Detection, Remediation, Protection, And Recovery

Write Once, Read Many (WORM) storage ensures that data can't be corrupted. Teams have used this type of storage to make data archives secure and unalterable. This works by placing a retention lock on data; data can be written to it only once and cannot be modified thereafter. A new write operation writes new data to unused storage blocks.

VCDR vendors like VMware and public cloud storage providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure offer support for immutable storage. Putting backup copies of business-critical apps on Protect your data from malware thanks to a deep history of immutable snapshots storage saves it from fraudulent changes, ensuring that you can be confident of recovering uninfected copies of data.

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Recently, my colleague Sazzala Reddy wrote a blog about VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery’s Scale-out Cloud File System (SCFS), Operational "Air-gapping" in the Fight Against Ransomware - VMware vSAN Virtual Blocks Blog

An immutable file system works hand in hand with WORM storage. Implementing an immutable file system with underlying WORM storage will make the system watertight from a ransomware protection perspective. Teams cannot implement this solution for all business application data, as the need for storage capacity will grow uncontrollably. Depending on the application and the data risk profile, save backup data with specific retention requirements on an immutable file system at a defined frequency and then save incremental backups on traditional storage. A well-thought-out design using immutable systems will boost data resiliency.

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VMware Cloud DR Ransomware Recovery Guide | VMware

It’s estimated a ransomware attack targets a business every 11 seconds[1]. On a global scale, experts predict ransomware will cause $20 billion (USD) in damages in 2021[2]

Data resiliency tools when used with VMware Carbon Black anomaly detection trigger proactive notifications. Modern data resiliency tools can examine backup copies to recognize possible ransomware actions and infections. Typical ransomware attacks include actions like encrypting or deleting data files, altering file extensions, or modifying files in ways that are inconsistent with a user's or application's normal activity. VMware Carbon Black can be configured proactive analysis by data resiliency tools, these actions will go undetected. These tools can monitor backup data for such activity and alert the IT or security operations, staff.

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Ransomware Protection & Recovery Solutions With VMware Ransomware Solutions, respond to ransomware attacks with confidence, knowing your snapshots and data are available when you need it most.

Multifactor or multiperson authentication ensures that rogue actions are blocked. Multifactor authentication is an effective, proactive way to address identity and access management issues, strengthen security, and ensure data consistency, reliability, and availability. Teams can introduce multifactor and multiperson authentication to ensure that backups are not compromised and to strengthen the control of critical tasks governing protected data. Even with stolen admin privileges, attackers will not be able to delete backups.

Ready to learn more Checkout VMworld's sessions agenda broken into three sections:

  • Breakout sessions – hear from experts on strategy, vision, and deep dives into our technology.
  • Demos – watch and learn how you can accomplish specific use cases.
  • Hands-on Labs – hop into the driver’s seat and traverse guided tours of VMware technology yourself.

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