It’s gotten so bad that’s it’s at the top of the national news. Recent CBS News coverage of the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency’s alerts makes it clear: K-12 schools are clearly in the cross-hairs as targets for ransomware attacks. And it doesn’t stop at K-12. The total reported count for 2020 ransomware attacks was 1,681, including colleges and universities. CBS News goes on to say that estimating the costs to the education sector is hard because many schools don’t report attacks. That’s understandable, if not the best course of action. No one wants to be the one who announces that all the school’s data is being held hostage.
Why Cloud Backups?
What happens when your data gets locked up? Teachers can’t collaborate. Students can’t access lessons and resources. And education itself comes to a screeching halt. But the actual impacts can be much worse. What if personal and financial data is compromised? And your budget? The public school system in Yazoo County, Mississippi paid a $300,000 ransom last year to help recover data that had been encrypted and stolen in a ransomware incident. Sadly, all of that money that was intended to support learning was lost with one click.
That’s where cloud backups come into play. There are lots of benefits to backing up your school’s data to the cloud. Here are just a few.
The cloud is your number one defense against ransomware because it keeps your data safe no matter what happens to your infrastructure—like a successful ransomware attack. And when you store your backups in the cloud, your cloud provider saves your data across multiple geographically dispersed redundant servers. That means that even if one or more of its data centers goes down, your data is still safe and supervised. Most providers also guarantee 99.9+ percent uptime. That means the odds are strongly in your favor that your data will be there when you need it. With cloud data protection added, your data is secured wherever it is located, including when it is at rest, in motion, and managed internally or externally by a third party.
Say your school gets hits by a natural disaster—an earthquake or fire—or even just a power outage. You may not be able to get to your primary data center (or closet). Even your offsite backups—that is, if you’ve been doing things right and replicating backups offsite—may not be accessible. The cloud is always available everywhere you can get an internet connection. So even in the worst of circumstances—like last winter’s power grid mess in Texas—you’ll know your data is safe, and once the power is back on, you can be confident your data can be restored.
Budgets Don’t Get Busted
Every school wants to spend every dollar it possibly can on helping students learn. Buying more and more storage for backups gets costly and complex, and it brings substantial added security risks. While moving your backups to the cloud obviously reduces the need for new backup storage hardware, it also cuts your power and cooling costs. Then there’s backup management time that’s required, adding another burden on already busy IT teams. Plenty of savings there. Possible most importantly, because cloud storage costs are based on usage, you only pay for the storage you need, incrementally increasing your costs only as your data grows.
Disaster Recovery Made Easy
Say the worst happens. (See paragraph one of this post). The cloud is your best platform choice for disaster recovery. Making your data available can be as simple as a single click, as in the case of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions. Even schools with very constrained budgets that may not be able to justify DRaaS can still simply download and restore their backed-up data from the cloud when they’re ready.
Cloud Backups for Your School
If you aren’t already using the cloud for your backups, we hope we’ve made the case that it’s worth another look. If you’ve got questions, our StorageCraft engineers have answers and can help you find the best way to back up your data while staying within your budget.