In computer security, offsite data protection, or virtual vaults, is an approach to storing critical data outside of the primary server as part of a disaster recovery strategy. Typically data is stored off-site in a protective enclosure, sometimes using removable storage devices such as optical media or magnetic tape. There are different types of offsite data protection. These include storage area networks (SANs), network attached service (NAS), block-level virtualization (BPL) and appliance virtualization. They are all used to achieve the same results: protecting data from disasters by storing it off-site.
A network environment is one in which several computers are stored in various locations. One of these computers is typically secured with offsite data protection. This securing takes place when the network’s administrator creates a firewall that allows only authorized users to access the storage area. In addition to preventing unauthorized access, this method also protects against accidental deletion of files, corruption of files, and hardware failure.
An offsite data protection method involves placing a copy of files on a secure, offsite storage facility. The copy is kept in a physical, protective enclosure so that if a physical disaster should occur, the data would be safe. In other words, offsite backup storage would keep copies of vital information offsite in a separate location. One instance of this would be backing up the entire storage facility to protect an individual PC from physical failure. Another use would be protecting a network’s internal network from being compromised in the event of malicious attacks from outsiders.
NAS is an example of offsite data protection. One instance of this would be storing the entire network’s files and applications in a NAS device. However, NAS devices are usually connected to the Internet. When an individual PC is connected to the Internet, it can become vulnerable to hackers who may gain access to the file that resides on the storage facility’s server. To remedy the situation, the user would need to access the Internet and make their way through a secure VPN. Once there, they could access the files from anywhere in the world where an Internet connection is available.
Offsite data protection can also be achieved by physically separating storage areas. If an organization uses two servers to store its data, each of those servers could be susceptible to a physical attack. By physically separating the servers, any viruses or malware that could potentially gain access to the information cannot gain access to it. One physical server could be completely isolated from the other, however, this option presents a number of drawbacks.
No matter what type of offsite data protection a company chooses, it is imperative that they implement a system that is integrated with a business continuity plan. The plan will address any potential threats to servers, computers, and other storage mediums. When the system is integrated with a business continuity plan, all servers are prepared in the event of a disaster. They are then protected from external threats, while a centralized backup occurs. This process immediately provides your business with a solution to any issues that may arise during the course of day-to-day operations.