Are Your Business Backups Immutable?

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featured are your business backups immutable – isite computers
19 Apr, 2023
Reading Time: 4 minutes

As South African businesses increasingly rely on digital data and processes, the need to safeguard your critical information has never been more essential. Regardless of IT complexity, understanding the significance of data protection is crucial for businesses of all sizes. 

In this post, we demystify the concept of immutable backups, a powerful and effective way to keep data safe in addition to traditional backups, and explore why it’s a critical consideration for businesses in various industries.


What is an Immutable Backup?

In simple terms, an immutable backup is a copy of your data that cannot be altered or deleted after it’s created. 

It remains unchanged, providing a reliable and secure reference point in case of data loss, corruption or cyber-attacks. Traditional backups, while important, can sometimes be accidentally or intentionally modified, deleted or overwritten, reducing their effectiveness in protecting your data.


How does it differ from typical backups?

are your business backups immutable – isite computers

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what makes immutable backups stand out from traditional backups:


  • Unchangeable data: Immutable backups employ advanced technology to ensure that, once the backup is created, it cannot be modified. This means that even if someone gains unauthorised access to your backup system, they won’t be able to tamper with the stored data. In contrast, traditional backups can be susceptible to unauthorised access, leading to potential data manipulation, deletion, or overwriting.

Example: Imagine a scenario where your on-site backup server is infected with ransomware. With an immutable backup in place, you can easily restore the file to its original state since it’s securely preserved and unaltered.


  • Versioning and retention policies: Immutable backups often include versioning, which means that each backup retains a separate, unchangeable copy of the data. This allows you to restore data from various points in time, providing a clear record of changes made to the files. Traditional backups, on the other hand, might overwrite previous versions, making it difficult to recover older file iterations.

Example: Suppose your business is audited by SARS, and you need to produce records from four years ago. With an immutable backup system in place, you could easily access the specific data version required, as each backup version is preserved independently.


  • Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) technology: Immutable backups often rely on WORM technology, which means that the data can only be written once, but read multiple times. This approach ensures that the data remains intact and unaltered after it’s been written. Traditional backups, however, may not offer this level of protection, potentially leaving your data vulnerable to tampering or loss.

Example: Consider a financial services company that must maintain accurate records of its transactions. By using an immutable backup solution with WORM technology, the company can guarantee that its transaction records remain unaltered, ensuring compliance with regulations and reducing the risk of disputes or errors.


Benefits of Immutable Backups: 


1. Rapid Recovery


One of the main advantages of immutable backups is their ability to enable swift data recovery. Since the backup cannot be altered, you can quickly restore your systems to their original state, minimising downtime and reducing the impact of data loss on your business operations.


2. Ransomware Protection


Cyber-attacks, particularly ransomware, have become increasingly common threats to businesses in South Africa and abroad. Ransomware works by encrypting your data and demanding payment to release it. Immutable backups provide an additional layer of security, as they cannot be compromised or encrypted by ransomware. This means you can restore your data from the backup without giving in to the attackers’ demands.


3. Greater Regulatory Data-Compliance


Immutable backups can help your business comply with various data protection regulations, particularly if you operate in a sensitive industry such as law or medical. The ability to preserve unaltered records of your data is often a requirement in these sectors, and immutable backups make it easier for you to adhere to these rules.


4. Simplified Audit Trail


Immutable backups provide a clear and unchangeable record of your data over time, making it easier to track changes and identify any discrepancies. This simplifies the audit process and can help you maintain a more accurate and transparent record of your business operations.



Immutable Backups in a Nutshell

Immutable vs Traditional Backups

Immutable Backup

Traditional Backup

A backup of data that cannot be altered or deleted after creation, ensuring a reliable and secure reference point in case of data loss, corruption, or cyber-attacks.

A backup of data that can be susceptible to accidental or intentional modification, deletion, or overwriting, potentially reducing its effectiveness in protecting data.

Features of Immutable Backups

Unchangeable Data

Immutable backups guarantee that data remains unaltered and secure, even if unauthorised access occurs.


Immutable backups retain separate, unchangeable copies of data, allowing for restoration from various points in time and providing a clear record of changes.

Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM)

A technology used in immutable backups that ensures data can only be written once and read multiple times, preserving its integrity and preventing tampering or loss.

Benefits of Immutable Backups for South African SMBs

1. Swift data recovery

2. Protection against ransomware and cyber-attacks

3. Compliance with data protection regulations

4. Transparent and accurate record-keeping for audits

5. Enhanced peace of mind for business owners and managers


Need Help with Immutable Backups in Your Business?

Don’t leave your business vulnerable to data loss or cyber-attacks. Secure your business with iSite Computers’ data backup services, including our cutting-edge immutable backup solutions. 

Our team of experts is committed to helping South African SMBs like yours protect their data and achieve greater peace of mind. Contact us and schedule a free consultation.

Call Isite Computers

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