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Secure your Greentree system with backups

To make sure your Greentree data is secure, it’s important that you know how to properly back up your Greentree system. Taking the time to back up your system can save you a lot of disruption and extra cost in case of something like hardware failure or a ransomware attack.

Network accounts

Use a domain admin service account to run the Greentree services. The password will not change like other accounts do, so use a long and complex password.

Create a separate Greentree login for ODBC-related services.

What is a backup?

A database backup is a representative copy of the data in the live database. A backup could be either a “live” copy of the database as provided by the Greentree Instant Secure or a “point-in-time” copy of the database as taken using Greentree Total Secure or using the Online Backup process. Greentree Secure is based on Jade technology which has been integrated into the Greentree product suite.

Someone should monitor that the backup is occurring and check log files for errors – this should be a daily task.

A backup strategy is more than simply taking a backup of a database and storing it somewhere so it can be fetched and loaded when trouble strikes. It is most important that you verify all data that has been backed up.  Knowing how long it takes to backup and verify the database, to restore and verify the database, to restore and verify transaction journals and to perform recovery is also an important part of the strategy.

The backup strategy should include a regular restore so you know the backed-up copy can be used if required – at least quarterly.

What a backup is not

A backup is not a simple folder copy or archive (.zip, .rar, etc.) of the system and bin directories. Neither is a backup a bit-level file copy as performed by some disk level mirroring tools.

Rather, a valid backup is one that is performed via Greentree Secure or the Online Backup process which performs verification of the consistency and validity of the backup.

Database backup best practice Checklist

  • Schedule and take backups on a regular basis. The frequency will be dependent on risk considerations.

  • Monitor the backup process by reviewing logs and email alerts.

Do you know we offer a service which can monitor the emails that your backup sends? If you aren’t already taking advantage of this, talk to your consultant. Sometimes it is the missing emails that are not immediately noticed that could be the sign of an issue with your backup.

  • When performing backups, never overwrite the last good backup until the current backup is completed and verified.

  • Place archived journals on a different physical disk and/or machine from the current journals. A restore may require these files, consider keeping a copy of these off site as well. If you archive\delete these files after a specified period of time, you need to ensure you have a restorable backup at that point in time.

  • Store backups and associated journals securely, both offsite and onsite. Total and Instant Secure can automate this process.

  • Regularly perform a physical certification of the database by using the JADE Database utility certify feature. Investigate and address any errors or warnings. This is a service your consultant can provide.

  • Regularly test the restore and recovery process, using recent backups - remember your system is only as good as the ability to restore the correct data. On more than one occasion we have found clients religiously backing up the incorrect files to offsite storage – get your advice on what to back up from us, not the IT department.

  • After you move database files from one location to another (for example from disk-to-disk or tape-to-disk), perform the JADE Database utility verifyCheckSums feature before opening the database for recovery or for other use.

  • After you move journals from disk to disk or from tape to disk, verify them again by using the JADE Database utility Verify Journal feature.

Air gap backups – an important extra layer of protection

In the digital age, backups are a critical defense against ransomware attacks. They serve as a safety net, ensuring that valuable data remains intact even if compromised. However, not all backups are equal.

Air gap backups, physically separated from the network, provide an additional layer of protection. This isolation makes them immune to ransomware encryption, safeguarding against data loss. Investing time in creating and maintaining backups, particularly air gap versions, is a proactive measure against potential threats. It's a practical strategy for businesses and individuals alike to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks and ensure business continuity.

The Greentree software backup can be compressed into a small ZIP file, ideal for uploading to an air gap solution such as offline storage devices or dedicated backup servers. This air gap strategy ensures that critical data remains isolated from online threats like ransomware, providing an extra layer of security. By utilizing this approach, organizations can safeguard their data effectively, minimizing the risk of data loss and ensuring business continuity in the face of cyber threats.

At least one backup a month should be taken off site.

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