The One-Two Punch for Cyber Threat Offense and Defense

Data protection starts long before data ever goes missing.  It’s a multi-layer strategy requiring a proactive offense and a fast defense built on a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution.  Luckily for today’s MSPs, modern BCDR solutions leverage automation and innovation to enhance cybersecurity without adding to backup management costs.  Some features can even help with cyber insurance coverage and claims.

This article highlights the one-two punch MSPs need to deliver uninterrupted business continuity and rapid and reliable disaster recovery.  With Axcient’s x360Recover solution for BCDR, MSPs have the hands-free tools necessary to protect backups, prove disaster recovery readiness, and keep businesses moving no matter how data is compromised.

In this article, we’re showing MSPs how to…

  • Reduce backup management costs by eliminating one of the most time-consuming tasks required for disaster recovery.
  • Demonstrate the value of your solutions and services to help grow your client base and more easily meet cyber insurance requirements.
  • Take advantage of the latest in backup and disaster recovery (BDR) technology to conserve labor resources, increase productivity, and reinforce disaster recovery readiness.

The One: Your AutoVerify Offense

“The best defense is a good offense.” That doesn’t just apply to sports and war strategies – it’s also good advice for cybersecurity.  You already know how prevalent, targeted, and sophisticated cyberattacks are today, so your security posture must anticipate potential data loss incidents.

And it’s not just ransomware, phishing, and other malicious attacks that require planning.  Human error continues to be the number one cause of data loss, but hardware and system failures, and natural disasters, also put businesses at risk.  As a 100% MSP-only solutions provider, Axcient develops features specifically designed to protect MSPs and your clients ahead of these data loss incidents.  One way we’re doing that is with an automated cyber threat offense, so backups are always available for disaster recovery.

What Is AutoVerify?

AutoVerify is a built-in, always-on, automatic backup monitoring and verification feature of x360Recover.  Included in both cloud-based and appliance-based deployment options, AutoVerify eliminates the need for daily manual backup checks.  AutoVerify immediately alerts, escalates, and even self-heals when backup failures are detected to protect MSPs from the potentially devastating consequences of backup burn.

How Does AutoVerify Work?

Every day, AutoVerify continually monitors backups and automatically virtualizes the latest backup recovery point for each protected system.  Each night, AutoVerify tests endpoints on both Axcient vaults and self-hosted private vaults – depending on the system’s infrastructure.  Using intelligent adaptive backup VM testing, AutoVerify performs numerous deep volume assessments to check the following:

  • Bootability
  • Operating system health
  • Data corruption
  • File system integrity
  • Application usability

Unlike other backup tests, Axcient’s patented AutoVerify technology accounts for things like pending Windows updates.  If AutoVerify detects that updates are being applied while the test VM is booting, it allows the updates to be completed first.  This allows for greater test accuracy without any exceptions.

AutoVerify immediately enacts its automated self-healing response if a backup failure occurs using Axcient’s patented automation remediation technology.  When a small portion of a backup is compromised or corrupt, that portion of the data is automatically re-backed up during the next backup.  Custom alerting and escalation rules also properly route notifications to the assigned parties.  Then, technicians can validate the actions of the automated self-healing response, identify the root cause, and remediate the issue from occurring again.

A complete record of all test results – both positive and negative – is automatically prepared and provided within the unified x360 Portal.

Why Do MSPs Need AutoVerify?

#1: To improve backup protection.

What would you rather your business relies on for disaster recovery?  Frequent, automatic integrity tests using a variety of deep volume assessments, with custom alerting and escalation rules, patented self-healing capabilities, and comprehensive reporting – or daily, manual backup checks.  It’s time to eliminate legacy manual tasks in favor of modern automation and innovation for failsafe backups.

#2: To ensure disaster recovery.

Your ability to recover lost, encrypted, or damaged data depends on the health of your backups.  Losing crucial recovery time to backup burn, failed backups, or incomplete backups puts client relationships and SLAs at risk.  Accelerate disaster recovery with built-in backup security designed to keep businesses moving.

#3: To reduce backup costs.

By eliminating daily backup checks, you lower the overhead costs of managing backups.  Additionally, the time technicians spend on this repetitive yet critical process can now be spent adding value for your MSP and your clients.  How much could you save with modern backup protection?

“Whenever AutoVerify says that it will start, it starts.  So that’s a huge component from a time-saving point.  We’re going to stop doing the manual verification, which will save my guy 20 to 30 hours a quarter… That’s another savings.

-Phillip Long, Founder and CEO at Business Information Solutions, Inc. (BIS)

#4: To prove backup security.

With in-depth and regular backup health reporting, MSPs can quickly and easily prove the value of your BCDR services to clients.  Additionally, these reports provide the evidence often required to qualify for cyber insurance policies and fulfill claims after a cyber incident occurs.  Clients appreciate seeing proof of data protection, and insurance carriers are demanding more and more from MSPs for coverage with reasonable premiums.  Satisfy both with multi-layer protections they can see.

>> Download the x360Recover AutoVerify Data Sheet

The Two: Your Virtual Office Defense

If the best defense is a good offense, and we’ve already given you a pretty good cyber threat offense, what’s the point of a defense strategy?  While AutoVerify protects backup integrity so that you have something to recover from, Virtual Office protects your ability to perform disaster recovery.  Furthermore, with self-management capabilities and runbooks, this cloud failover feature supports disaster recovery testing for clients and insurance companies.

What is Virtual Office?

Virtual Office is a built-in, always-on cloud failover recovery feature of x360Recover included in both cloud-based and appliance-based deployments.  This self-managed cloud disaster recovery feature enables client productivity by keeping IT systems up and data accessible anywhere and anytime.  With Virtual Office, MSPs can…

  • Instantly recover production servers and workstations in the Axcient Cloud.
  • Perform regular full-office disaster recovery tests.
  • Easily configure network settings and secure access to Virtual Office instances.
  • Restore to the production server or desktop after business operations resume.
  • Meet compliance standards and industry regulations.
  • Self-remediate disaster recovery.

How Does Virtual Office Work?

When disaster strikes, Virtual Office lets MSPs immediately start virtual machines in the Axcient Cloud of one or more protected devices to replace all impacted systems temporarily.  Once the VMs are spun up, you can create a Virtual Office running within the Axcient data center using matching existing server configurations.  Axcient partners can run clients in the Virtual Office for 30 days each year at no cost.  This gives MSPs time to swap out servers if one is available, wait the often weeks-long lag time for new equipment to arrive, or bridge the gap while power is restored to client sites.

With data encryption in transit and at rest in Axcient’s off-site SSAE 16 Type II and SOC-certified data centers, clients in regulated industries maintain compliance while using Virtual Office.  Multiple remote networks can connect to the Virtual Office via VPN, Site-to-Site Open VPN, and port forwarding rules.  And VMs can access the internet via enabled outbound connections.

Virtual Office enables self-remediation using a secure, web-based application with role-based authentication and required MFA.  Even though Axcient’s support team is available 24/7/365, you have the option to initiate disaster recovery on your own.

With the runbooks included in Virtual Office, MSPs can also efficiently test and optimize disaster recovery plans and prove cybersecurity readiness to clients and cyber insurance carriers.  Runbooks let MSPs configure an automatic deployment plan for virtualized devices in Virtual Office so that disaster recovery is possible with the push of a button.  Runbooks are specific to each Virtual Office, and during configuration, you specify…

  • Which devices to virtualize,
  • In what order to virtualize the devices,
  • What resources are allocated to each device,
  • And how long to wait between device deployments.

Runbooks can be edited, cloned, and coming soon – automatically shut down after a specified period of time.  Automated Virtual Office Teardown is being added to help MSPs contain usage overages and make the most of their free 30 days of Virtual Office each year.  It’s easy to forget to stop and turn off Virtual Office tests, so this new setting automatically shuts down test instances based on when you say you’re done.

Why Do MSPs Need Virtual Office?

#1: To test disaster recovery.

Full-office disaster recovery tests ensure that backups are always recoverable.  Performing mock disaster recovery tests before the real thing provides an opportunity to update and practice disaster recovery plans, solve for vulnerabilities, identify potential improvements, and prepare disaster recovery teams to meet their responsibilities.  You can easily configure runbooks to mimic client-specific infrastructures, so you have an automated playbook ready to spin up for testing.

#2: To demonstrate disaster recovery.

Similar to the reports generated in AutoVerify, Virtual Office testing also allows you to prove your services’ value, reliability, and strength without clients having to experience an actual disaster.  You both gain peace of mind knowing that the data can always be recovered, and cyber insurance companies reward your use of modern, automated, best-in-class solutions with an affordable policy.

#3: To accelerate disaster recovery.

Self-remediation and runbooks enable MSPs to move as quickly as needed during data loss incidents.  Not only can MSPs create runbooks to automatically deploy a production Virtual Office with all desired devices and configurations – but you can do it without contacting support.  Combine these disaster recovery accelerators with the fact that you’ve already tested Virtual Office, so you know it works, and you can leverage speed as a competitive differentiator in the channel.

>> Download the x360Recover Virtual Office Data Sheet

The One-Two Punch Combo

Together, these safeguards enable business continuity and disaster recovery for your clients while generating security insights for your MSP.  With x360Recover, MSPs get more than reliability, speed, automation, and efficiency.  You get a comprehensive cyber threat offense and defense in just one solution that can be used to efficiently satisfy compliance and cyber insurance standards to expand your client base and lower overhead costs.

These aren’t just MSP benefits either.  They’re selling points to use with existing and prospective clients.  Your commitment to combating cyber threats with a multi-layer strategy trickles down to your reputation in the channel, how you’re talked about among SMBs, what clients can use your services, and how much time, money, and effort BCDR costs you each month.  Let Axcient help you maximize your impact using best-in-class features designed exclusively for MSPs.

Is Your Guard Up?

Let Axcient protect you and your clients with x360Recover’s AutoVerify and Virtual Office.  See these features in action during a 1:1 Product Demo, or Start Your FREE 14-day Trial to take them for a spin in your environment.  Regardless of what you do next, make sure your guard is up and you’re ready to fight back.

About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient

Carissa Kohn Johnson AxcientCarissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in healthcare technology and information technology, and is now the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in IT. Carissa is also an elected official in Cary NC, a town chock full of technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?

How well could you sleep with reliable cloud-based backups and recovery?

Take a deep dive into Axcient’s proprietary, automated security features to see how we’re ensuring uninterrupted business continuity — no matter what:

Axcient Solutions


Protect Everything.
Access Axcient Now!

Axcient Logo
Gartner Peer Insights Reviews