Backups Are Under Assault. Here’s How Axcient Recommends Defending Them

June is Backup Awareness Month. Sad that we still need it, don’t you think?

After all, backup software has been around almost as long as there’s been data to back up, and even people who know nothing about cybersecurity have at least some familiarity with ransomware and its dangers these days.

And yet: 77% of organizations lack a defined data resilience plan and 45% of organizations that have experienced data loss in the last five years couldn’t recover everything they lost, according to a global study of businesses with 100 to 2,500 employees posted by Arcserve this week.

So maybe awareness of this backup thing isn’t as universal yet as it ought to be.

To make matters worse, threat actors figured out that backups are a victim’s last line of defense a long time ago and have been diligently targeting them ever since. As I noted in Channelholic just a few weeks ago, in fact, 93% of companies hit by ransomware in the prior year say the attacker tried to delete or modify their backups and 75% say those efforts were at least partially successful, per a recent study from Veeam.

“The ransomware bad actors continue to get more and more sophisticated,” says Rod Mathews (pictured), president and CEO of BDR vendor Axcient.

MSPs need to follow suit, and Mathews shared some thoughts this week about how to do so. The starting point, needless to say, is a BDR service offering table stakes features like fast, immutable, appliance-based protection for both endpoints and SaaS applications. To keep pace with today’s threats though, Axcient argues, MSPs also need:

A cloud-based recovery option. According to Mathews, MSPs tend to focus more on the “B” part of BDR than the “DR” part. “Backing your data up is not enough,” he says. Businesses need a failover strategy too, and for some clients some of the time, a cloud-based approach is a better choice than an appliance.

“Instead of just recovering your data to where it used to be, being able to operate the environment in the cloud is a faster way to get up and running,” he says.

It can boost revenue too. “People can package this up as different levels of service that they offer to their end customers where there’s the plain vanilla backup service, but if you want to be able to recover in the cloud and have cloud DR, that’s a premium service that they can potentially charge accordingly for,” Mathews says.

An outsourced monitoring option. MSPs without a NOC of their own need someone watching out for trouble 24/7, Mathews argues. The point was understandably top of mind for him given that one of the announcements ConnectWise made at its IT Nation Secure event this week is that its Co-Managed Backup service can now remotely monitor solutions from Axcient, along with Acronis and Veeam.

In addition to improving backup security and effectiveness, Mathews suggests, outsourcing a portion of your BDR duties to vendors like ConnectWise can free up time for more profitable work too. “It allows MSPs to offload a lot of the day-to-day stuff,” he says. “They can take 90% of the effort, send it to the NOC, and then spend their efforts instead doing things like DR recovery testing, finding new customers, driving growth, and driving business.”

A plan for weaving it all together. Clients have varying requirements, and meeting them takes more than just products. A complete BDR service must include a carefully designed, thoroughly documented, regularly tested, and periodically updated disaster recovery plan. Unfortunately, just 24% of the businesses Arcserve surveyed have such a plan in place.

“Thinking through where they want faster recovery on-prem versus just having it in the cloud and how that gets architected and deployed is one place that we spend a lot of time talking to partners about,” Mathews says.

How many MSPs offer everything Axcient recommends today? Mathews suspects relatively few, and has a sympathetic take on why.

“They don’t have the resources to do all of it,” he says.

Closing that gap is the biggest roadblock on the path to delivering state-of-the-art BDR.

Thanks for reading Channelholic! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

About this week’s Axcient news

There was more to it than just the integration with ConnectWise Co-Managed Backup. Axcient’s x360Recover product now integrates with ConnectWise RMM as well.

Introduced in 2021 and heavily based on software ConnectWise acquired along with one-time rival Continuum two years earlier, ConnectWise RMM is one of that vendor’s two RMM solutions, along with ConnectWise Automate. It’s also the first ConnectWise product to run on the company’s Asio platform, which now hosts a number of other solutions and will eventually undergird everything ConnectWise makes.

According to Mathews, in remarks that confirmed something I wrote for ChannelPro last year, Asio simplified and accelerated the integration process.

“They’ve basically transformed their API integration programs,” he says. “It’s a lot easier to integrate with these newer APIs than it was with some of the older APIs.” Indeed, the very first conversation even broaching the possibility of linking x360Recover to ConnectWise RMM, he notes, took place during the ConnectWise IT Nation Connect event last November, about seven months ago.

Elsewhere in managed services software this week

GoTo, a vendor best known for its business communications solutions, now has an endpoint security solution. Called GoTo Resolve Endpoint Protection and powered by software from Bitdefender, the system is interesting in two ways:

1. It’s the latest addition to what I think we can now safely call the GoTo Resolve family. As you read here in Channelholic a few weeks back, the original GoTo Resolve product is an RMM/PSA solution with a key role in GoTo’s evolving strategy to offer MSPs and telco agents all the tools they need to run combination managed IT/managed communications services. Adding security to the portfolio further rounds out its capabilities.

2. It’s the latest instance of an IT management vendor leveraging an alliance pact with a name-brand third party to take a shortcut into the security market. N-able, for example, introduced an MDR solution powered by SentinelOne in February while MSP360 shipped an endpoint protection solution powered by Deep Instinct last September. Syncro, meanwhile, announced a reseller agreement with Proofpoint two months ago that essentially makes Proofpoint’s email security solutions part of Syncro’s managed services toolset.

Also worth noting

In a busy week, Pax8 has added MSPCFO, Redstor, and Valimail to its lineup of marketplace partners.

In an also busy week, Cisco has announced a cloud-based network management platform, unveiled a vendor-agnostic observability and reporting platform, and become the latest major tech company to join the generative AI train caravan.

NinjaOne has added a new dashboard, enhanced support for Linux and Mac endpoints, and new scheduling options to its patch management system.

MSP360 has a new CMO. He’s named Kurt Abrahams, and pictured here:

Auvik and Delcom Group are partnering on network management for K-12 schools.

Google and Keeper Security have both empowered users to replace (vulnerable) passwords with (less vulnerable) passkeys.