Laptop verified with checkmark on screen

In IT, Don’t Be Afraid to “Trust, but Verify”

So goes the adage, a staple of Russian wisdom brought to the west by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan (and attributed wrongly to many in the tech industry, including Bill Gates and Scott McNeely).

More than 30 years later, U.S./Russian relations continue to be a thrilling drama, but data protection should not be.

Key to preventing data loss is verifying your backups and/or snapshots. Any enterprise-grade data protection software should ensure data is recoverable by verifying backups or snapshots are:

  • Uncorrupted, complete, and bootable (including VMs)
  • Free of ransomware and virus activity
  • Encrypted
  • Immutable

Verifying backups includes identifying any threats that compromise the ability to restore data.

This means scanning for suspicious or malicious files and viruses, not only for peace of mind, but because it probably eliminates the need to scan primary storage. Verified backups also validate that the encryption level is being met, in flight and at rest –  especially important for data in a public cloud.

Validating that backups, snapshots, and files are immutable, in write-once format, prevents tampering as well as ensuring data isn’t mistakenly deleted or overwritten. Immutable files also keep backups in compliance: they cannot be altered even if write permissions allow it.

Verifying that snapshots are bootable means in the event of a system failure, recovery can be near-instant. Daily verification should include reporting on the status of storage, file shares, and backup images.

Verifying backups are not a matter of testing and practicing; it’s a technical process that requires intelligence baked into the product. Our advice? Trust your data protection, but verify it first.