Protecting a law firm's global infrastructure with Cyber-DRaaS by Databarracks
Databarracks’ case study
Magrath LLP Protects Global Infrastructure with Cyber-DRaaS
About Magrath LLP
Magrath LLP is a leading practitioner of immigration and employment law services which specialises in assisting corporations and private clients to relocate high-value individuals around the world.
Established in 1990, the firm has cemented itself as the legal brand of choice in the business immigration market and among its prestigious roster of clients. The organisation necessarily depends on a global reach toconnect with its dispersed and highly mobile customer base, which it achieves today through offices in London and Singapore.
Nick Doughty is Head of IT at the firm, who, after joining to protect against the millennium bug in 1999, went on to build a strong internal IT function that enables Magrath’s fee earners to reliably connect with their global clients.
“We have high-value clients across a number of different time zones, many of whom keep incredibly busy schedules. We need to be ready to provide time-sensitive services wherever they’re required, and our IT systems must fundamentally enable that reliable speed of response. As we continue to expand globally, we must think strategically about the partnerships and services which will support that growth.
“10 years ago, legal IT was very different: we were mostly concerned with keeping the lights on. Now, compliance and security have become critical factors and alongside protecting confidential information, one of a law firm’s biggest fears must be the threat of ransomware and the potential disruption it could cause.
“Although law firms can put in preventative measures to stop ransomware at the perimeter, there is always the possibility that some may get through. Every business is at risk of human error or insecure user behaviours.
“Historically, we were using an onsite appliance to take snapshots of our environment for DR, and off-site storage for our tape-based backups. The problem with ransomware attacks is that because the infection spreads from a production system to the replica, the only way to recover from such an attack is with backups. To recover our entire environment from backups would take too long.”
Databarracks has introduced Cyber Disaster Recovery as a Service (Cyber-DRaaS), to supplement the rapid Recovery Time Objectives delivered by its award-winning DRaaS solution with added protection from ransomware attacks.
In contrast to traditional DR, CyberDRaaS is optimised for the evolving malware landscape. Ransomware has seen a particular surge over the last few years, and Cyber-DRaaS addresses the associated risks directly through by early detection, followed by failover to the last clean version of your servers in Databarracks’ DR environment.
The service combines Databarracks’ award winning DRaaS solution with Trend Micro’s Deep Security Platform to offer fast and secure recovery from ransomware. It both extends the recovery window and offers frequent automated recovery and malware scanning.
Customers can see the last ‘clean’ snapshot they can recover to within a dedicated portal. In the event of a new malware signature being identified after the first scan, the service runs recursive checking to quickly find the most recent snapshot that has not been infected. Consequently, in addition to delivering the fastest recovery time, Cyber-DRaaS locates the most recent, clean recovery point, minimising both downtime and data loss.
“Cyber-DRaaS was a no-brainer for us. It’s always difficult to speak with any certainty about cyber threats - softwarebased security solutions can’t guarantee that anyone is 100% protected, so we have to take all of the necessary steps to prepare and protect ourselves.
“From a technical standpoint, CyberDRaaS means we have 2 different scanning engines, and because we are scanning offline, we can do so far more aggressively that we can do on our production systems.
“To recover from a ransomware attack without Cyber-DRaaS would take an uncomfortable length of time, so by using the service I know we’re protecting ourselves and our clients in the best possible way.”
The expectation around acceptable standards of disaster recovery for law firms is changing, both in terms of the rigour with which regulators like the SRA assess legal organisations, and in the raised expectations their clients have come to possess.
“In the last 4 or 5 years, the compliance, auditing and regulations that law firms are subject to has become intertwined with disaster recovery. It’s not just a nice thing to have anymore. It’s essential to protect our clients and to ensure that we operate within our regulatory obligations.
“When we take on RFPs, businesses ask us about our recovery operations. ‘When did you last test?’, ‘What are your RPOs and RTOs?’ We can answer those questions confidently.
“Good backup and disaster recovery practices are not just about the obvious matter of protecting the firm’s clients. That remains our priority, however we’ve also got to stay competitive within the changing legal landscape, where customers are starting to expect a mature disaster recovery function as standard.
“As regulations become more prescriptive and introduce tighter controls, customer expectations also begin to rise through a kind of osmosis. They expect the firms they work with to employ and attain certain certifications, standards and processes.
“Operationally, you’re only ever as strong as your weakest link, and using a supplier necessarily means broadening that risk, particularly for DR. Fortunately for us, Databarracks has been nothing but reliable.
“Their support team in particular is exceptional. I’ve called them in the past with technical issues well outside their stated remit, but they’re always happy to assist and talk me the through the resolution.
“We need to be able to operate during our clients’ business hours, wherever they are in the world, so there’s very little tolerance for downtime.
“The new solution hasn’t just enabled us to provide reassurance to our clients, it has helped reduce risk overall by improving our ability to recover from new risks.” Nick Doughty