Top 5 Reasons Why AWS EBS Snapshots Are Not Enough

Many companies rely on EBS snapshots for backup and disaster recovery, but they have their limitations. Here’s why you need a better solution.

Conventional snapshots have long been a key component of backup and disaster recovery. However, these backups also represent static points in time, and cyberthreats are anything but static. That’s why you need an active system that incorporates ransomware and malware scanning and comprehensive testing.

In this post, we’ll explore the inherent limitations of relying solely on snapshots for achieving cyber resilience. We’ll also discuss how using an agentless cyber recovery solution can bolster your defenses.

#1. EBS Snapshots do not offer comprehensive coverage

Cloud resources are primarily managed by DevOps teams, who often prioritize performance and operability, with resilience often being sidelined. However, when cyber resilience isn’t front and center, they can end up deploying mission-critical workloads without adequate protection. This creates serious security holes that may result in resources being unrecoverable. Relying only on native snapshots also offers no geographical or account-based redundancy, so if your AWS account is compromised, then your snapshots may be too.

#2. There is a lack of automation at the infrastructure level

The ephemeral nature of cloud workloads means there may be hundreds or even thousands of workloads being started, paused, or stopped by DevOps teams and end users over a relatively short period. When this happens, workloads and data might go unidentified and unprotected. After all, you can’t protect what you don’t have complete visibility into. Attempting to manually enforce coverage and compliance across all IaaS virtual machines is a time consuming and error prone task as well, particularly for businesses with large cloud footprints.

#3. AWS EBS snapshots alone offer limited protection against ransomware

Relying solely on native snapshots provides virtually no protection against one of the biggest threats facing businesses today – ransomware. Ransomware and other forms of malware are active threats, so you need active protection to stop them from entering your recovery points too. Businesses should never take their recovery snapshots for granted, and it’s essential that they understand their recovery risk. However, that’s not going to happen if the snapshots aren’t actively scanned during and after backup operations.

#4. There is no facility to test your recovery points

Recoveries are your last line of defense against threats such as ransomware and other forms of data loss, so they need to be reliable. The only way to determine your recovery risk is by thoroughly testing your recovery points, rather than leaving them to chance. Cyberthreats are increasingly targeting cloud environments, which is why they also need a well-documented disaster recovery strategy. This should include regular testing that helps you orchestrate data and application recovery at scale and to the highest possible standard.

#5. There are no granular recovery processes

Native snapshots might seem like a convenient option, given that they are part of the AWS platform. However, businesses cannot afford to compromise on security or recovery point objectives. To quickly recover from incidents like cyber attacks or data loss, it’s necessary to have the flexibility for granular recovery from individual files to EBS volumes to entire instances. This keeps operational disruption to a minimum, while ensuring a fast and precise recovery.

Why a Cyber Recovery Service is better than relying only on AWS EBS snapshots.

EBS snapshots continue to play an important role in operational resilience, but they are far from immune to today’s constantly evolving cyber threats. As technology advances and cloud environments change, threat actors are always looking to stay a step ahead by learning how to evade conventional protective measures like snapshots.

Given the increasingly dynamic and complex nature of many enterprise cloud environments, it’s important to take an active approach to protecting them. This must incorporate an agentless cyber recovery system complete with active ransomware and malware scanning and recovery testing that has zero impact on performance and availability of your production workloads.

Elastio Software offers cyber resilience tools for multi-cloud environments that enhance your security posture in the face today’s ransomware threats. Download our guide to defending your cloud backups from ransomware to learn more.

Scroll to Top