It’s very easy for IT professionals to become insulated from world events as they strive to keep their company’s computer systems running efficiently. After all, DBAs fine-tuning the performance of their SQL Servers have enough to worry about. As they focus on performing their corporate role, issues beyond the boundaries of the data center may lose their sense of importance. It can often be difficult to see how external influences impact their ability to satisfy user and management demands.
This type of single-minded attitude regarding the systems they administer can result in high-performing databases that consistently provide the speed and accessibility required by their organization. Unfortunately, it can also lead to an approach that relegates critically important issues to the administrative back-burner. But there are times when issues occurring in the outside world intrude into the IT environment in ways that force the computing staff to take notice.
The Perils of Cyberwarfare
Nowhere is this crossover of impactful international events more evident than in the realm of cybersecurity. At one time the driving force behind the majority of cyberattacks was a lone hacker or small group of computer literate criminals. As computers became more important to a country’s or municipality’s ability to deliver services to their citizens, nation-states became more involved in developing and perpetrating attacks on them.
This issue is an underlying concern resulting from the recent tensions between the United States and Iran. In addition to the retaliatory strikes launched by Iran against U.S. military bases in Iraq, the conflict has raised concerns over an increased threat of cyberwarfare. Officials in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s computer security division warn that Iran has the capacity and history to indicate they will launch destructive attacks. The middle eastern nation was responsible for attacks that crippled the Las Vegas Sands corporation after its CEO made disparaging comments about the country in 2013.
Iran is certainly not alone in possessing cyberwarfare weapons and the willingness to use them. The FBI sent out a security alert in early 2020 indicating that two U.S. municipalities had been attacked by what the organization called unidentified nation-states. They came to this conclusion due to the sophistication of the attacks. Both instances took advantage of a security flaw in Microsoft Sharepoint servers to gain entry into the victims’ networks. Previously, this flaw was exploited by hacking groups with links to the Chinese government.
Russia is also blamed by the U.S. and UK for organized cyberattacks that specifically target network infrastructure devices such as routers, switches, and firewalls. These attacks are used to conduct espionage and steal data and would be widely used in the event of an extensive cyberwar. Compromising a country’s critical infrastructure networks can quickly bring many sectors of society to a standstill. Honing these tools can be seen as developing sophisticated weapons to be used as the first wave of an attack. It’s the kind of thing that keeps security experts up late at night.
Protecting Your Databases from a Cyberattack
There is no foolproof method of protecting computing systems from the attacks of a dedicated nation-state or organized group of cybercriminals. It’s certainly worth trying with firewalls, intensive network monitoring, antivirus programs, and a full-time security team. But the problem can be seen simply as a matter of percentages. To maintain safe systems you need to keep malicious intruders out of them 100% of the time. The opposition only needs to be successful occasionally to cause an incredible amount of damage. It’s not fair, but it is the reality of the situation.
Since you cannot guarantee that your systems will not be compromised in some way, the next best thing is to ensure the safety of the data they contain. IDERA’s SQL Safe Backup offers the level of protection your valuable data deserves. The tool can back up all of your SQL Server instances, both on-premises and in the cloud to allow you to recover in the event your systems are negatively impacted. It can form a key component of your disaster recovery plan related to your SQL Server environment.
SQL Safe Backup uses dynamic compression to save space and reduce backup time. The tool fully encrypts your backups, employing the 128-bit and 256-bit AES standards for additional protection. It provides flexible options that increase the speed of emergency restoration including point-in-time and object-level recovery. You can view the entire SQL Server backup environment from a single dashboard for real-time and historical monitoring and analysis.
While using SQL Safe Backup will not alleviate the possibility of your systems coming under fire from malicious organizations, it does offer data protection and recovery capabilities that can help you survive an attack. It’s a great tool to help safeguard your organization’s valuable data in these uncertain times.
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