Cyber Security Disaster Recovery

What is an Air Gap Backup (and why it is important to your data)

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Have you ever heard of the Air Gap Backups? 

This blog post discusses Air Gap Backups and how you can use them to your benefit.

What is an Air Gap Backup?

Air Gap Backup is an effective data protection strategy used to take backup copies off infrastructure and keep them offline, thus, making them inaccessible to adversaries and virtually immune to Ransomware.

The idea behind the technique is to isolate and detach media containing backups for the mission-critical workloads of an infrastructure.

As we will see below, although the concept’s efficacy is proven, it does require consideration and planning to use it.

Online vs Offline Backups

In other words, accessible or inaccessible data.

Today’s attacks against companies and organisations have upped their game to become sophisticated.

That means that in most cases, once an adversary breaks into the corporate network, they will try to cause as much damage as possible, given the circumstances.

As part of that, there is a good chance that the intruders will go after the backups and the media storing them to destroy or render them unusable.

This is a dreading yet real-world scenario that happens as we speak.

Online Backups

Online backups are stored in devices that are part of the infrastructure and are hence susceptible to attacks.

Having succeeded in all the phases of the Cyber Kill Chain, an intruder could cause devastating outcomes by rendering the backup files unusable and, therefore, unavailable for restoration.

Offline Backups

Offline backups are backup files copied to media that will then get taken off the corporate network.

The theory here is that you cannot break what is not there. 

However, for this practice to work, it is required to be sure that what is transferred outside the network is restorable.

Getting the most out of the technique

Verifying the integrity and restorability of the backups is a key point for all Backup and Recovery implementations, including the Air Gap Backup.

At COMPTEC I.T, to ease this process for businesses, we test the functional readiness of backups ready to be converted to Air Gap Backups at fixed intervals as part of our Proactive Infrastructure Checks service.

That way, we raise their confidence level, having validated what is disconnected and taken off the data centre is ready to be used in case needed.


As secure and tight a system or security measure can get, they are only partially flawless.

Air Gap Backups strategy has been around for a while, but today’s threat landscape has made it more critical than ever.

When applied correctly, the Air Gap Backup strategy can make a difference and keep corporate data secure and out of the wrong hands.

If you want to learn more, you can drop us a message, and we’ll be happy to get in touch with you.