Azure DevOps Backups and Ransomware Protection with Immutability

In this blog, we delve into the critical importance of implementing proper backup and data protection measures within Azure DevOps, drawing a clear distinction between operating without backups versus with backups. Simply illustrating a scenario where an organization falls victim to a malicious actor’s infiltration, resulting in the compromise and deletion of crucial data from their Azure DevOps instance, akin to the unfortunate incident experienced by Microsoft in 2022. The consequences are preventative, ranging from operational disruptions and intellectual property theft to compliance violations and reputational damage.

With one social engineering attack, a malicious actor gains access to your Azure Devops instance. 

Just ask Microsoft who had exactly this happen to them in 2022.

With nefarious intent, the actor downloads your critical data and proceeds to delete it from your Azure DevOps instance.

In a blink of an eye, your organization’s valuable IP is compromised, and the attacker demands a hefty ransom for their return. Without any backups, you’re left scrambling to mitigate the damage and facing the daunting prospect of paying the ransom and losing crucial data. And that is not all. Your organization faces the consequences of:

  • Data Breach
  • Operational Disruption
  • Intellectual Property Theft
  • Compliance Violation
  • Financial Loss
  • Reputational/brand damage

Without any DevOps backup:

1. A malicious actor gains access to Azure DevOps. They can do this by:

  • Phishing Attacks
  • Credential Theft
  • Social Engineering 

2. They download all data and delete it from Azure DevOps.

  • The ease of such an attack ultimately depends on the effectiveness of the organization’s security measures and the attacker’s capabilities.

3. They are in a position of power to demand a ransom and compromise code.

Now, let’s consider the concept with Azure DevOps backup and data protection from Backrightup:

1. As a customer, you set up your Azure storage to enable the WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many) state – learn more at Microsoft’s documentation.

2. Add the storage to Backrightup, and your backups run daily. This is enabled in a few simple steps.

3. If a malicious actor deletes your Azure DevOps data you have your backups to restore from. In the case where they gain access to the backups themselves, with backup immutability via Azure storage, also known as WORM, even if they access your Azure storage (where the backups are stored), they cannot delete from it as it’s write-only (non-deletable).

Bulletproof Azure DevOps

It’s a quick and easy way, not to mention proven by the world’s largest organizations. The immediate strength of Backrightup with Azure Storage WORM state and making these simple changes include:

  • Mitigating Data Breach Risks and Operational Disruption: Setting up Azure storage with WORM state and integrating it with Backrightup for daily backups ensures that even if a malicious actor deletes critical data from Azure DevOps, the backups remain intact and non-deletable.
  • Safeguarding Against Intellectual Property Theft and Compliance Violations: Prevents potential data breaches and operational disruptions but also protects against intellectual property theft and compliance violations by ensuring data integrity and regulatory compliance.
  • Minimizing Financial Loss and Reputational Damage: In a ransomware attack, retaining backups helps minimize the risk of financial loss and reputational damage associated with paying the ransom or public disclosure of the attack.

Enhancing Resilience Against Cyber Threats: Enhance the ability to maintain data integrity, regulatory compliance, and stakeholder trust.


The reality without backups, organizations are left vulnerable, scrambling to mitigate the fallout and potentially facing hefty ransom demands. Conversely, with Azure DevOps backup solutions like Backrightup, paired with Azure storage’s WORM (Write-Once, Read-Many) state, organizations can bulletproof their defenses. By seamlessly integrating daily backups and leveraging immutability features, they can effectively mitigate data breach risks, safeguard against IP theft and compliance violations, minimize financial losses, and enhance resilience against evolving cyber threats. The transformative power of embracing Azure DevOps backups underscores a pivotal decision in safeguarding your organizational assets and integrity, in a few steps.

Thankfully we are seeing more and more Azure DevOps leaders looking at ways to protect their most critical IP. For more information on how to protect Azure DevOps get in touch.


Azure Devops Backups for SOC 2 compliance

In this article we will explore why backups, and more specifically why Azure DevOps backups, are crucial to your SOC 2 compliance.

SOC stands for System and Organization Controls governed by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). SOC is a framework that helps organizations secure their systems and data. It ensures security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. SOC compliance involves following the standards set in SOC reports:

  1. SOC 1: This report focuses on the controls relevant to financial reporting. It is commonly used for service organizations that provide services that could impact their clients’ financial reporting.
  2. SOC 2: This report focuses on controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It is widely used for technology and cloud computing organizations to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding customer data and ensuring system reliability.
  3. SOC 3: Similar to SOC 2, but it’s a general-use report that provides a high-level overview of the organization’s controls and can be freely distributed.

For the purposes of this article we will be focussing on SOC 2 compliance.

What is SOC 2 compliance?

This report focuses on controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It’s widely used by tech and cloud computing firms to show commitment to customer data security and system reliability.

SOC compliance involves undergoing an audit conducted by an independent third-party auditor who evaluates the organization’s controls and issues a report detailing their findings. Achieving SOC compliance demonstrates to customers, partners, and stakeholders that the organization takes data security and privacy seriously and has implemented effective controls to mitigate risks.

What is the difference between SOC 2 Type I and Type II compliance?

The difference between SOC 2 Type I and Type II compliance lies in the duration and depth of the assessment

  1. SOC 2 Type I: This assessment evaluates the suitability and design of an organization’s controls at a specific point in time. It provides a snapshot of the organization’s control environment at the time of the assessment. SOC 2 Type I reports focus on the description of the organization’s systems and the suitability of the design of the controls in place to meet the specified criteria. However, it does not evaluate the operating effectiveness of these controls over time.
  2. SOC 2 Type II: This assessment goes beyond Type I and includes an evaluation of the operational effectiveness of the organization’s controls over a minimum period of six months. SOC 2 Type II reports not only assess the design of controls but also test whether these controls are operating effectively over an extended period. This type of assessment provides a more comprehensive understanding of how well the controls are functioning in practice and how consistent the organization is in maintaining them over time.

In summary, while SOC 2 Type I provides a snapshot of controls at a specific point in time, SOC 2 Type II offers a more thorough evaluation by assessing the effectiveness of controls over a period of time, typically 6 to 12 months. Many organizations aim for SOC 2 Type II compliance as it provides deeper insights into the ongoing reliability and effectiveness of their systems and controls.

Is Backrightup SOC 2 Type II compliant?

Yes that’s correct! Its important especially when dealing with backups that we treat your data with the utmost of importance and adhere with the Trust Services Criteria associated with SOC 2 compliance:

The Trust Services Criteria (TSC) are a set of principles and criteria developed by the (AICPA) to evaluate the effectiveness of controls within service organizations. These criteria are used as the basis for SOC 2 reports, which assess the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of systems and data.

There are five main Trust Services Criteria:

  1. Security: This criterion focuses on the protection of the system from unauthorized access, both physical and logical.
  2. Availability: This criterion assesses the accessibility of the system, ensuring that it is available for operation and use as agreed upon or required.
  3. Processing Integrity: This criterion evaluates whether system processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized.
  4. Confidentiality: This criterion ensures that information designated as confidential is protected as agreed upon or required.
  5. Privacy: This criterion addresses the collection, use, retention, disclosure, and disposal of personal information in conformity with the commitments made to the client, user, or data subject.

Each of these criteria includes specific controls that organizations must implement and maintain to achieve compliance. Our SOC 2 report provides assurance to stakeholders regarding the effectiveness of these controls and the organization’s commitment to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Why is SOC2 Compliance important for your organization?

SOC 2 compliance establishes a level playing field when it comes to assessing a potential vendor or partner to work alongside. Particularly those that handle sensitive customer data or provide services to other businesses. Here are several reasons why your company should consider pursuing SOC 2 compliance:

  1. Customer Trust: Demonstrates commitment to protecting customer data, building trust and confidence.
  2. Competitive Advantage: Attracts clients who prioritize data security and compliance, expanding your customer base.
  3. Risk Management: Identifies and mitigates risks related to data security and privacy.
  4. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Helps meet legal and regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of fines and penalties.
  5. Improved Internal Processes: Enhances security practices and operational efficiency within the organization.
  6. Vendor Management and Partnerships: Strengthens relationships with partners and attracts new business opportunities.
  7. Continuous Improvement: Encourages a culture of ongoing improvement in data security and privacy practices.

In essence, SOC 2 compliance is crucial for enhancing security, maintaining compliance, and building trust with customers and partners.

Why do Azure DevOps Backups Matter in your SOC2 Compliance?

In summary, code backups are a fundamental aspect of SOC 2 compliance because they support data integrity, availability, business continuity, and regulatory compliance. By implementing effective code and metadata backup procedures and regularly testing backup systems, your company can mitigate risks and demonstrate its commitment to protecting sensitive information and maintaining operational resilience – a key part of your SOC 2 journey.

Similar to backing up a database, creating a code backup is a method to swiftly restore your service for customers. This aligns directly with the Availability Trust Service Criteria (TSC) outlined previously.

If you cannot quickly restore your Azure DevOps backups and enable your team to continue working through their Azure DevOps work item tasks, the period of downtime you experience will become a crucial part of you complying to your SOC 2 certification.

In addition, lack of availability, cyber breaches or ransomware attacks which result in loss of code will no doubt affect the credibility your company works so hard to achieve with your customers

Therefore, maintaining code backups is essential for SOC 2 compliance and ensuring a dependable business operation.

Schedule a call below to chat more about your Azure DevOps Backups


Why Backrightup is the Preferred Enterprise Grade Azure DevOps Backup Solution

Since originating from the collaboration with the US Department of Defense through Microsoft, Backrightup has evolved to secure Azure DevOps and GitHub environments globally, serving the most compliance-driven sectors, including financial services, government, engineering, and healthcare. This DNA underscores its capability to safeguard the most sensitive and critical data against a broad spectrum of DevOps risks, ranging from inadvertent deletions to sophisticated cyber threats. Trusted by the world’s largest organizations, Backrightup stands as a testament to Microsoft for unmatched security and resilience, ensuring that Azure DevOps data remains protected under all circumstances.

Comprehensive Coverage for Work Items and Boards

Backrightup’s unlimited backup for Work Items and Boards ensures that every attachment and interlinked item is meticulously preserved. This level of detailed backup maintains the integrity of complex project workflows, guaranteeing full recovery capability with top-tier encryption for utmost security.

Unmatched Git/TFVC Repository Backup

Acknowledging the critical value of source code, Backrightup delivers robust backup solutions for Git and TFVC repositories. It secures every line of code with unique encryption keys, offering developers the assurance that they can securely revert to any version at any time.

On-Demand Backup Usage

Integration with existing pipelines for unlimited on-demand backup capabilities demonstrates Backrightup’s flexibility. This allows teams to implement backups at any developmental stage, providing immediate data protection and peace of mind.

Full Spectrum Backup and Restore

Backrightup extends its protection to every component of Azure DevOps, from Pipelines and Releases to Wikis. This comprehensive approach ensures that the entire DevOps ecosystem is covered, leaving no aspect of your operations vulnerable.

Round-the-Clock Technical Support

Global technical support and restore assistance ensure that help is readily available, minimizing potential downtime and keeping business operations running smoothly.

Data Sovereignty and Flexible Retention

Backrightup’s flexible data retention policies and compliance with data sovereignty laws offer customizable solutions to meet a variety of organizational needs, aligning with legal and regulatory standards. As an example, Backrightup work with Financial Service organizations in the US, Canada, EU, Australia and New Zealand.

Continuous Innovation

A commitment to continuous improvement ensures that Backrightup remains at the industry forefront, with regular feature updates and product strategy reviews to meet evolving customer needs. Backrightup understand that every organization is different so work with customers to customization so the solution is integrated into their data governance and compliance requirements.

Dedicated Account Support

Dedicated training and support are provided to maximize the potential of Backrightup, ensuring a smooth onboarding process and optimized data protection strategies.

Proactive Reporting and Notifications

Comprehensive reporting and real-time notifications offer robust data monitoring and governance, keeping organizations management informed about the health and security of their data.

Tier 1 Security for Regulated Organizations

Backrightup meets the highest security standards required by regulated organizations, providing custom contracts, security assessments, and onboarding to ensure compliance and data protection.

Dedicated Restore Testing

Backrightup guarantee efficacy and work with their customers on restore testing and full reporting services, offering an additional layer of assurance during a disaster in the reliability of the backup and restore processes.


Backrightup is not merely a backup tool; it’s a comprehensive solution that underpins the data protection strategy, developed from high-stakes origins and trusted by leading organizations across the most regulated industries worldwide. Its coverage, flexible backup options, and dedicated support make it the definitive choice for securing Azure DevOps environments against any threat. With Backrightup, organizations ensure the continuity, integrity, and security of their most valuable digital assets, addressing compliance demands, and solidifying its status as the preferred Azure DevOps data protection solution.

For more information, get in touch to speak with one of our Azure DevOps Experts.


Guide to GitHub Storage Limits [2023]: Tips, Tools, FAQs, Etc.

This guide provides a straightforward overview of GitHub storage limits and outlines effective ways to manage them.

GitHub offers a decent amount of storage for your Git repositories. 

However, GitHub sets file and repository size limits to make repositories easier to maintain and work with while keeping the platform running smoothly. 

GitHub’s storage limitations can be challenging when working with data and files of large sizes. 

The good news is that there are tips and tricks to help you overcome GitHub’s storage limits—starting with the best practices and recommended tools below.  

Table of Contents

3 Practical tips for working around GitHub storage limits

  • Create smaller files
  • Use Git Large File Storage 
  • Avoid pushing your file to GitHub

Tools to handle GitHub storage limits

  • Backrightup
  • Git LFS
  • BFG Repo Cleaner

Frequently asked questions

  • How do I know the amount of storage I use on GitHub?
  • How can I upload files larger than 100 MB to GitHub?
  • What are GitHub’s size limits?

Resources you will love

Overcome GitHub storage limitations

3 Practical tips for working around GitHub storage limits

Keep in mind the best practices below to handle limitations on GitHub storage and simplify managing large files. 

1. Create smaller files

Create smaller files from your big ones in GitHub to avoid taking up all the allowed storage limits. 

While this might not always be ideal, it can help you reduce your stored file sizes in GitHub. 

For example, if you use Python, import your data separately from your computing platform and save it as a specific data structure. 

Then, break down the data into smaller structures, export the smaller files separately, and delete the large file that takes up most of your GitHub storage.  

It can be a tedious solution so use it sparingly and only when necessary since it can take a lot of work. 

Creating smaller files also forces you to break down and separate data into groups when it should be a single file. It can lead to potential issues and adds more file clutter to your GitHub repositories.

2. Use Git Large File Storage 

One of the best ways to preserve your commit history and the project’s integrity is to use Git Large File Storage (LFS). 

Git LFS deals with large files by storing the files’ references in the repository but not the actual file. 

It creates a pointer file that acts as an actual file reference stored somewhere else (LFS server), working around Git’s architecture. 

GitHub can manage the pointer file within your repository. 

Plus, GitHub uses the pointer file as a map to your large file when you clone the repository down. 

Essentially, Git LFS intercepts the designated files when you commit and push in GitHub and migrates them to the LFS server. 

Once you install Git LFS on your local device, you can use three lines of code to install LFS in your repository and track the CSV files within.   

Git LFS also lets you look and view the files that are being tracked using a command line. 

After committing the file to your repository, use git-lfs-migrate to add it to the LFS and remove it from your Git history. 

The process can help you save on storage since you’re not storing the actual files within GitHub. 

However, LFS has a ceiling you can only exceed by paying the required fee. 

Discern and use common sense to determine whether using Git LFS (and potentially paying more) is the best option for you. 

3. Avoid pushing your file to GitHub

Another way to help you work around GitHub’s storage limits is to add the filename in your repository’s .gitignore file instead of sending the actual file to GitHub. 

This way, you can keep a local copy of your data and provide a URL to the data source in your project’s README. 

It’s not always a great option if you gathered and created your dataset, but it can be a good solution for data that’s already packaged on the web.

You can create a .gitignore file in your repository’s parent directory and store the file directories you want Git to ignore. 

Use a wildcard symbol (*) so you won’t need to manually add individual files and directories every time you make a new large file. 

Git will automatically ignore them so they won’t get uploaded to GitHub, saving storage space and preventing common error messages. 

Tools to handle GitHub storage limits

The following tools can help you manage your GitHub files and deal with the platform’s storage limits better. 


One of the ways to save storage space is to back up your GitHub repositories. 

This way, you can keep backups of your files and store them in other locations, freeing up space. 

Running regular backups also helps keep you from losing data in case of malicious software attacks, accidental deletions, server crashes, errors, and other issues. 

However, you want to simplify your GitHub backup process to lighten your workload and keep your workflows moving seamlessly. 

An excellent solution is to use Backrightup, our automated backup platform and service for Azure DevOps, Gitlab, Bitbucket, and GitHub. 

Our backup service automates your GitHub backup and restores, making recovering your repository and data quick and easy. 

Our solution also provides full backup storage to your preferred locations, and you won’t need to maintain your backup scripts. 


Git LFS can track the files beyond GitHub’s storage size limit.

As mentioned, Git LFS makes pointer files that reference the actual files usually stored in the LFS server. 

Git LFS lets you store files up to the following:

  • 2 GB for GitHub free
  • 2 GB for GitHub Pro
  • 4 GB for GitHub Team
  • 5 GB for GitHub Enterprise Cloud

Git LFS silently rejects new files you add to the repository if you exceed the 5GB limit. 

BFG Repo Cleaner

The BFG is an alternative to git-filter-branch that allow for easier and faster cleansing of bad data from your Git repository history, freeing up GitHub storage space. 

The BFG Repo Cleaner can help you clean up massive files and remove credentials, passwords, and other confidential data stored in GitHub. 

You can even use Scala language when necessary to customize the BFG. 

Frequently asked questions

Below are the common questions people ask about GitHub storage limits. 

1. How do I know the amount of storage I use on GitHub?

You can view your GitHub Packages usage for your personal account in the Access section of the GitHub sidebar. 

Click Billing and plans. You can see your usage for data transfer details under GitHub Packages. 

To see your storage usage for GitHub Packages and GitHub Actions, go to Storage for Actions and Packages. 

2. How can I upload files larger than 100 MB to GitHub?

GitHub places hard limits on file and repository sizes. 

It has a 100MB file limit, so you’ll need to use Git LFS. 

You can place git-lfs into your $PATH to download and install it.

3. What are GitHub’s size limits?

GitHub limits the maximum file size (or sizes) you can add to your repository to 50 MB. 

File sizes larger than 50 MB will get you a warning from Git. 

It is strongly recommended to keep your repositories small, ideally less than one to five GB, to minimize performance impact on GitHub. 

Resources you will love

Overcome GitHub storage limitations

GitHub’s storage limits might not always be ideal for you and your work, but there are strategic ways to work around these limitations. 

You can create smaller files and use reliable tools such as Backrightup to back up your GitHub repositories easily and save storage space. 
Try Backrightup now to experience our GitHub backup solution’s benefits.


How to Organize GitHub Repositories

Learn how to organize GitHub repositories to avoid the chaos of codes, data, and projects being all over the place. 

Failing to organize your GitHub repositories can cause inefficiencies in your workflows since your team members need to sort through files and folders to find anything. 

The good news is that the tips and tools below can simplify organizing your GitHub backup files and repositories, making it uber-easy to sort, locate, and access what you need. 

1. Classify your repository with topics

Adding topics makes it easier for other users to find and contribute to your project. 

Include topics in your repositories that are related to your project’s intended affinity groups, subject area, purpose, and other essential qualities.   

Topics in GitHub allow you to do the following:

  • Explore repositories in specific subject areas
  • Find projects to add or contribute to
  • Uncover new solutions to certain problems

You can find topics on a repository’s main page. 

Click a topic name to view related topics and a list of other repositories categorized with the topic. 

Classify your repository with topics

Find the most searched and used topics here.

You can add any topic to the repo if you’re a repository admin. 

Use helpful topic classifications (and whatever makes sense) based on your repository’s intended purpose, such as community, language, or subject area.  

GitHub analyzes content in public repositories and generates recommended topics that admins can reject or accept. 

GitHub won’t analyze private repository content and will not provide topic suggestions. 

Private and public repositories can have topics, but you will only see private repos that you have access to within topic search results. 

Important note: Creating a topic within a private repository means your topic names are always public.  

Add topics by going to your repository’s main page. 

Click the gear icon on the right side of About.

Go to settings

Type in the topic you want to add to your repo (under Topics) and include a space.

Type in the topic you want to add to your repo

Click Save changes when you’re done adding topics. 

Save changes when you’re done adding topics

You’re all set. 

There is no right or wrong way to organize your GitHub repository. 

However, you can take inspiration from other platforms and alternatives to GitHub that might offer similar or unique structuring and sorting ideas for repositories.  

2. Create a basic folder structure

If there are GitHub security best practices, there are also tips and tricks to structure your repositories. 

Start by implementing a basic folder structure that consists of the following:

  • A test Folder to store your integration, unit, and other tests. 
  • An src Folder for your source code (except if you use languages that use headers or if you have an application framework).
  • A .build Folder that contains all build process-related scripts, such as Docker compose and PowerShell. 
  • A .config Folder which should have the local configuration related to set up on a local machine.  
  • A tools Folder that acts as a convenience directory. It should contain scripts for automating tasks in your software projects, such as rename and build scripts. The folder typically contains .cmd and .sh files. 
  • A doc Folder containing your documentation.
  • A dep Folder that has the directory of your stored dependencies. 
  • A samples Folder that provides “Hello World” & Co code supporting the documentation. 
  • A res Folder for all your project’s static resources, such as images. 

Add other basic repo folders necessary to your project and team. 

For instance, create a designated folder for your GitHub enterprise backup

3. Make special files and folders

Create dedicated repository folders for your special files, including the following:

  • An ISSUE_TEMPLATE FILE to let project contributors instantly see the template’s contents within the issues’ body when you add an issue template to your repository. 

Templates allow you to standardize and customize the information you want to include when contributors open issues. 

Create an ISSUE_TEMPLATE/ directory within your project root to add multiple repository issue templates.  

Check this list to see multiple issues and pull request templates. 

  • A PULL_REQUEST_TEMPLATE File to instantly display the template’s content within the pull request body when adding a PULL_REQUEST_TEMPLATE file to your repository. 
  • A README File (or README.txt and answers your project’s what, why, and how. GitHub recognizes and automatically surfaces the README to the repository visitors. 
  • A CHANGELOG File describes what is happening in your repositories, such as software updates, bug fixes, and version number increases.  
  • A LICENSE File explains the legal licensing, including restrictions, rights, and regulations (among others). 
  • A SECURITY File contains your project’s security policies and a list of versions currently maintained with security updates. The file also provides instructions on how users can submit a vulnerability report. 
  • A CODEOWNERS File specifies the individuals or teams responsible for code within a repository. Code owners get automatic requests for review when users open a pull request that changes the code they own. 

Someone with owner or admin permissions who enables required reviews can also require approval (optional) from a code owner before the author merges a pull request within the repository. 

Also, consider organizing your backup files and repositories in special files and folders (when necessary). 

Reliable GitHub backup tools will leave your backups as is when you restore, but it can be good practice to classify your repositories for optimum team collaboration and efficiency.

4. Set up project boards

Using project boards, eliminate the chaos by organizing your open-source projects, including issues and pull requests within your GitHub repositories.  

Doing so makes it easier for you and your teams to visualize the work that is in progress or yet to start. 

GitHub’s project boards provide a platform to organize and visualize projects into separate columns. 

You can use Repository boards in one repository and organization boards within a GitHub organization across various repos (but private to members of the organization).

If you have tons of backup files to sort or consolidate, consider creating Kanban-style project boards when learning how to backup GitHub repository

Your choice of a project board (or project boards) depends on your project’s size and structure. 

For example, you could use boards for documentation and development at the organization level and specific repository work, such as a community management board.      

Bring order to our GitHub repositories for better efficiency

Follow the best practices to organize your GitHub repositories, whether you are starting new private or open-source projects. 

A well-organized GitHub repository allows for better team collaboration and contribution, a more elegant project structure, and seamless workflows. 

Organize your GitHub backups as well to get the same results. Use reliable backup services such as Backrightup. 

Register for a Backrightup account to see how it works and benefits your team and projects.  


How to Delete a Repository in GitHub

Learn how to delete a respository in GitHub by following the steps outlined below. (Spoiler alert: The steps are uber easy and quick to pull off.)

Users delete a GitHub repository for several reasons: to remove clutter, erase mistakes, focus on other projects, and get rid of outdated code and data. 

While deleting GitHub repositories is easy, you must know the right way to do it, otherwise, you might only remove local copies while the remote repositories continue to exist.

(Suggested Reading: Top 5 Alternatives to GitHub)

This guide covers the methods and steps to delete a GitHub repo, including walkthroughs and mini-tutorials.  

1. Delete your repository on the GitHub website 

Deleting your GitHub repository on is a straightforward process with these steps. 

Step 1: Log in to your GitHub account

Go to and sign in with your username (or email address) and password.

Log in to your GitHub account

Click Sign in when you’re done.

Step 2: Go to your repositories library

Go to your repositories library by clicking your profile image and selecting Your repositories from the drop-down list. 

 Go to your repositories library

A new page will display all your existing repositories. 

Step 3: Go to your repository settings

Navigate to the repository you want to remove by clicking on its title. 
Then, click Settings on the top toolbar.

Go to your repository settings

Step 4: Enter the Danger Zone section

You need to get inside GitHub’s Danger Zone to delete repositories. 

Scroll down and click on the Delete this repository button.

Enter the Danger Zone section

Step 5. Delete the repository

GitHub will display warnings before you proceed with deleting your repository. 

Delete the repository

Review the repository you want to delete, or better yet, learn how to backup GitHub repository, especially if you’re deleting it because you want to move to another platform. 

Also, deleting a private repository removes all the repository’s forks.  

After reading the warnings, type in the repository name in the designated field. 

Click on the I understand the consequences, delete this repository to confirm the deletion. Your repository will be deleted. 

You’ll be redirected to GitHub’s main page with a banner that shows that the repository has been successfully deleted. 

Important reminders when deleting a repository in GitHub via the web:

  • Only members with organization owner privileges or repository admin permissions can delete an organization’s repository.
  • Only organization owners can delete an organization’s repositories if the Allow members to delete or transfer for this organization is disabled. Learn more about repository roles for organizations from this GitHub documentation.
  • Deleting a public repository won’t delete forks in the repository.  
  • Go over your GitHub backup if you want copies of your repository but want to remove the original from its current location. Consider archiving your repositories before deleting them permanently. 
  • Unless the repository was part of a fork network that isn’t empty, you could restore a deleted repository within 90 days. 

A fork network has a parent repository and the repository’s forks (including the forks of the repository’s forks). 

You can’t restore a repository that was previously part of a fork network unless the other network repositories are deleted or detached from the network. Learn more about forks here

  • You can restore a successfully deleted GitHub repository that was part of a network (and is not currently empty) by contacting GitHub support.
  • It can take an hour after you delete the GitHub repository for the repository to be restored.  
  • Restoring GitHub repositories won’t restore team permissions or attachments, and Issues that get restored won’t be labeled. 

Additionally, reliable GitHub backup tools such as Backrightup allow you to easily restore deleted repositories. 

There you have it. You’ve just deleted a repository in your GitHub organization in five quick and easy steps. 

2. Delete a local GitHub repository

You want to delete a remote GitHub repository—that is, delete the copy you received by cloning the remote repository. 

Use the “rm -rf” on the .git file in your Git repository’s root to delete a local Git repository. 

It should look like this:

$ rm -rf <repo_folder>/.git

Deleting the .git file removes the GitHub repository without deleting the files located in your project folder. 

Consequently, this allows you to initialize a new Git or GitHub repository with “git init”, include a remote using “git remote add”, and begin committing new files.

$ git init

$ git remote add origin [email protected]:<user>/<repository>.git

$ git push -u origin master

Be mindful when using the git push command since you’ll be asked to give the upstream branch without the “-u” (for upstream branch). 

Like implementing GitHub security best practices, reviewing your existing repositories and backups is always a good idea before deleting anything. 

Doing so helps ensure you don’t accidentally delete repositories you shouldn’t. 

It can also keep you from losing critical files and data that might impact your GitHub compliance

There are instances where you are the organization owner or have admin permissions, but the option to delete a GitHub repository isn’t available (appears grayed out). 

Try to clear your cache and cookies since these can sometimes cause web pages to load slowly, making the delete repository option unavailable.

In-progress updates on the GitHub website can also cause errors. Come back later to see if the issue has been resolved. 

This is why it’s important to run a GitHub enterprise backup so you can restore a repository you accidentally deleted because of a glitch or error on the website.  

Your last resort is to contact GitHub support since problems with your account can cause the potential issues. 

Delete GitHub repositories quickly and easily

Removing GitHub repositories can be simple and fast when you know how to do it correctly. 

Learn from this guide’s tips to delete GitHub repository without losing critical data and eliminating clutter. 

While you’re at it, invest in robust GitHub backup service solutions such as Backrightup. 

The tool allows hassle-free, automated GitHub repository backup and restore, so you can easily recover your backups and accidentally deleted repositories.  
Register for a Backrightup account to see how the platform works and enjoy its benefits.


How to Backup Github Repository

If you want to learn how to backup GitHub repository, this guide is for you.

Have you ever had that mini-heart attack because your GitHub repository and data disappeared or corrupted?

If you have, you know how devastating it is to lose all your business-critical codes and data, pouring all your team’s hard work down the drain. 

One solution is regularly backing up your GitHub repository to help keep your data and codes secure and intact. 

Continue reading to know more about the top three main ways to run a GitHub backup.

1. GitHub Issues API

Use curl to access the GitHub issues API within your terminal with this general form of the request:

GET /repos/<OWNER>/<REPOSITORY>/issues            

Use your GitHub username as the <OWNER>  and project name as the <REPOSITORY>. 

Customize the query with parameters such as sort. It allows you to determine how to organize the state (if you only want open Issues) or data. 

Start simple by using the three required parameters: “repository,” “owner,” and “accept.” 

The “accept” parameter should be your application/vnd.github.v3+json custom media type. It ensures that the custom reactions get included in your results. 

The entire curl request should look like this:

Use curl to access the GitHub issues API

You won’t need to include your API key in the request since the Octocat Hello World repository is publicly visible. 

If you try to access a private repository using the command, the response will show:

Accessing a private repository using the command

You’ll have to follow GitHub’s instructions to generate a personal access token. Then, add it to the curl request like this:

Add to the curl request

Another way to grab a lot of data like this is to save it directly within a file. Add > <FILENAME> at the end of your cure request, so it looks something like this:

Another way to grab a lot of data

When you’re done, your curl will create a new JSON file backup for your GitHub issues.

JSON file backup for your GitHub issues

Using the GitHub Issues API doesn’t require additional software, and it’s free (unlike most backup tools). 

However, the process involves manual work that takes additional steps to automate or schedule. 

The Pull Requests and Issues can get mixed together, and configuring and managing API token access can be time-consuming and tedious.

Plus, it can take multiple calls to download Issues from various repositories. 

2. GitHub Migrations API

The GitHub API previews program allows migrations and lets developers test new APIs before officially becoming part of the GitHub API.  

The Migration API is intended to download repositories from your GitHub organization or user account to back up, review, and migrate your data to the GitHub Enterprise Server. 

Go to your GitHub account settings and the Personal Access Tokens page. 

Click Generate a personal access token and add a note to remind you why you generated the token. 

Then, tick the repo box beside “Full control of private repositories” and select Generate Token.  

You should get a ~40 character alphanumeric string that allows you to access private repositories through the GitHub API. 

Ensure you save your new token since GitHub won’t display it again. You’ll need to re-generate a new token if you can’t find your existing one. 

Next, start your migration. 

Starting migration requires a request in POST /user/migrations {“repositories”: [<LIST_OF_REPOSITORIES>]} form. 

In the first method, we mentioned the custom media type. 

However, since the Migration API is currently in the preview period, you must set the value to:


A sample curl command can look like this:

Sample curl command

Input the <REPOSITORY> name (or multiple repository names separated by commas) that you wish to backup. 

You’ll also need to provide your GitHub access token and username to begin the migration. Take note of the migration ID from the response since you’ll need this in the final step.             

Finally, download your migration. 

Use the previous step’s migration ID to retrieve the URL for downloading your migration. 

Open the migration URL in your web browser’s response to begin the download. You can also modify the curl command to download the migration to your filesystem directly.

Modify the curl command

The -L flag informs the curl to follow redirects, while the -o flag specifies where to send the output file. 

You should see the migration_archive.tar.gz within your home directory if there are no issues. 

Running a GitHub enterprise backup for free and without installing a third-party tool has its benefits, but it’s also crucial to make the process as efficient as possible. 

However, configuring and managing API taken access can be a hassle since it’s a manual process that requires additional steps for scheduling and automating.  

3. Reliable GitHub backup solution

One of the easiest and quickest ways to back up your GitHub repositories is to use a reliable GitHub backup service such as Backrightup. 

The flexible platform and service can automate your GitHub repository backups and restore. 

Use Backrightup to run your GitHub repository backups with the quick and easy steps below. 

Step 1: Sign up or log in to Backrightup

Register for a Backrightup account (or sign in if you already have an account). 

Click Get Started.

Register for a Backrightup account

Step 2: Setup and connect Backrightup

Select GitHub to back up.

Select GitHub to back up.

Install and authorize the GitHub app to get access to run your backups.

Install and authorize the GitHub app

Provide the requested information, such as your current role in your organization and why you signed up for Backrightup.

Provide the requested information

Click Save and Continue.

Backrightup’s system will start running the backups in the background. 

Within a few minutes, you should see your organizations and repository backups appearing in the Backrightup interface. 

Your organizations and repository backups appearing

That’s pretty much the whole process of backing up your GitHub repository. 

Backrightup recommends tasks you can do while waiting for the system to finish your backup.

Tasks you can do while waiting

Running GitHub repository backups with Backrightup is simple, fast, and reliable. 

It allows you and your team to focus on more pressing tasks while streamlining your backup workflows.

Keep your GitHub repository safe and secure with backups

While there are several ways to back up your GitHub repository, opt for the most seamless and hassle-free method.

Quick, easy, and robust backups help keep your GitHub repositories safe in case of data loss and breaches from human error, malware, server crashes, and other issues. 


Top 5 Alternatives to GitHub

If you’re looking for alternatives to GitHub, this guide is for you. 

GitHub is a popular, top-quality platform for DevOps teams to house open-source and software development projects. It’s also a widely-used repository hosting platform that utilizes Git to control revisions. 

However, while GitHub is one of the best software development platforms in the market, it might not offer all the features you need—from the GitHub backup process to the tool’s pricing.  

One solution is to look at GitHub alternatives. 

This guide covers the top five alternatives to GitHub to help you compare features, pricing, security, and other essential factors. 

Let’s get right to it.   

1. Bitbucket

Bitbucket homepage
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Bitbucket by Atlassian is a Git-based code hosting and collaboration tool for teams. 

The tool is specially designed for professional DevOps and IT teams to collaborate with members, plan projects, execute tasks, and test code on one platform. 

Bitbucket provides free and unlimited private repositories for small teams and best-in-class integrations with project management tools such as Trello and Jira. 

It also offers a comprehensive code review option to help you find bugs and fix them before deployment. Plus, you can insert files via the Git command line. 

Screenshot from Bitbucket
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Bitbucket’s other key features include the following:

  • Code aware search to save your team time and branch permission to get access control.
  • Pull requests to help you get higher quality code and share it across team members. 
  • Easy access to embedded Trello boards to sort multiple projects and work with team members seamlessly. 
  • Large file and rich media storage in Git Large File Storage (LFS). 
  • Flexible options for deployment and execution.
  • Multiple views, desktop client, build integration, and third-party integrations. 
  • Built-in CI/CD tool, Bitbucket pipeline to help you create automated workflows.

Security features

Bitbucket security includes:

  • The Atlassian Bugcrowd bug bounty program 
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), IP allowlisting, and Single Sign-On (SSO) available with Bitbucket premium 
  • Encryption via (Transport Layer Security) TLS 1.2+ to secure your data from unauthorized modification and disclosure
  • Incident resolution via Opsgenie through the Bitbucket and Opsgenie integration 
  • Integrations with platforms such as Bitbucket, Gitlab, and GitHub backup tools 


Bitbucket offers a free plan for up to five users, 50 build minutes per month, and 1 GB Git LFS (among other basic features). 

Paid Bitbucket plans start at $3 per user/month.  

2. GitLab 

Gitlab homepage
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GitLab is a Source Code Management (SCM) platform and one of the top GitHub alternatives. 

It helps DevOps teams collaborate seamlessly and offers 100% built-in integration favoring GitLab’s Continuous Integration (CI) tools. 

GitLab is designed to streamline the entire DevOps lifecycle and software development process. It provides a complete procedure—from project planning and source code management to monitoring, CI/CD, and security. 

Screenshot from Gitlab
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The tool’s CI/CD allows time and resource efficiency, helping developers spot issues and address them early. 

GitLab’s main features include the following:

  • Value stream management, smart card support, and IP whistling for authentication
  • Authentication and authorization with protected tags, flexible permissions, and server access
  • Risk, portfolio, backlog, team, and workflow management tools (among others)
  • Comment changes, track description, and task drag-drop with advanced time-tracking 
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) group sync filters and support, multiple integrations, and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) SSO for groups. 

Security features

GitLab offers an internal security notification dashboard through email or Slack to provide high-priority security notifications for teams. 

The platform also has a security department option for app development, security research, and an on-call engineer to help with relevant issues within the Service-Level Agreement (SLA). 


GitLab offers a free plan with essential features for individual users. 

Paid plans with advanced GitLab features start at $19 per user per month. 

3. Google Cloud Source Repositories

Google Cloud Source Repositories page
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Another GitHub alternative is the Google Cloud Source Repositories.

Cloud Source Repositories allow you to host, track, and manage big codebase changes via the Google Cloud Platform through extended Git workflows and other Google Cloud tools.

Screenshot of Google Cloud Platform
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The Google Cloud tools your Git workflows can link to include Cloud Build, Pub/Sub, App Engine, and others. 

The Cloud Source Repositories can connect to operations products, including Cloud Logging and Monitoring. 

The Google Cloud Source Repositories’ core features include:

  • Regex for quick code search
  • Unlimited private Git repositories
  • Automated sync changes to Cloud Source Repositories when pushing changes to Bitbucket or GitHub
  • Automated processes for building and testing, tracking changes, and debugging in production. Cloud Source Repositories also provides detailed audit logs 
  • Code feedback on any changes, including built-in CI integrations

Security features

Google Cloud Source Repositories provide cloud compliance features, such as:

  • HIPAA, GDPR, CCPA, and other regulations alignment 
  • ISO/IEC 27001, 27017, 27018, and 27701
  • FedRAMP certifications
  • SOC 1, 2 and 3


Google Cloud Source Repositories is free for up to five project users with an additional $1 per project-user per month. 

It also comes with a storage charge of $0.10 per GB storage per month (above 50GB) and network egress charges of $0.10 per GB egress per month (above 50GB). 

One Google Cloud project can have 1,000 repositories maximum.

4. SourceForge

SourceForge homepage
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Sourceforge is a free, open-source platform that helps IT developers create, review, share, and download open-source projects. 

The free service platform offers open-source repositories that allow you to host code with Git, Mercurial, Bazaar, and CVS, including Subversion repositories. 

Screenshot from SourceForge
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Sourceforge’s main features:

  • It offers an open-source directory that allows you to categorize your projects, generate videos, take screenshots, and share content on social media.
  • Operates as a worldwide mirror network that has unlimited bandwidth for open-source projects. 
  • It runs on Apache Allura, allowing you to host your forge and do enhancements.
  • Provides download analytics for your software projects anytime using filters such as by platform, region, location, etc. 


Sourceforge doesn’t offer as extensive security features as GitHub, so you’re not likely to implement measures as you would when following GitHub security best practices.  

However, Sourceforge covers security vulnerabilities for Sourceforge-provided services. It also scans open-source software projects uploaded to


Sourceforge is free and open source. 

5. Azure Repos

Azure Repos homepage
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Azure Repos offers a suite of version control tools for seamless code management with two version control types: 

  • Distributed version control (Git) 
  • Centralized version control (Team Foundation Version Control or TFVC)

It lets code development teams share code via Eclipse, Intellij, Command line, Visual Studio Code, and Xcode.  

Azure Repos’ core features include the following:

  • Built-in CI/CD to automate builds, tests, and deployments, helping teams build quality software efficiently.
  • Branch policies to ensure code quality
  • Azure DevOps with Azure Boards (for planning and tracking), including Azure Pipelines for building, testing, and deploying with CI, and Azure Repos. 
  • Webhooks and API integration (via REST APIs) and semantic code search
  • Free pull requests and code search, including a private Git repository (or repositories)
Screenshot from Azure Repos
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Azure Repos offer:

  • Microsoft Azure’s bug bounty program
  • Excellent security measures documentation, and tutorials to help protect your source code repositories 


Azure DevOps Services offer one free Microsoft-hosted CI/CD, one free self-hosted CI/CD for Azure Pipelines, and 2 GiB free ($2 per GiB for additional GiB) for Azure Artifacts.  

User Licenses are free for the first five users and start at $6 per additional user per month.  

Which GitHub alternative is for you?

Software development platforms are crucial in creating and deploying any project. 

While there are a lot of factors to consider before choosing the platform you want, focus on what matters most to your organization and DevOps teams. 

Like when choosing a GitHub backup service, consider core features. 

Choose tools that can give you seamless code collaboration functionalities, such as those from a reliable software collaboration platform. 

Include other factors, such as whether you need a lightweight code hosting solution, code reviews, and an intuitive repository viewer and user interface. 

It also helps to check if you need very minimal memory requirements, Jira integration, a plugin system, user management, and other features. 

Factor in the costs and anticipate potential expenses if you use the platform long-term. 

The best software development platform should be a tool that fits your organization’s unique needs and manages source code repositories efficiently. 


Top 10 Github Security Best Practices

If you don’t follow GitHub security best practices, you put your repositories, codes, and data at risk.

A recent malware attack infected over 35,000 GitHub repositories. The attack is a great reminder of why it’s more crucial than ever to strengthen your security measures against current cyber threats.

While you can implement security plans and strategies with robust GitHub backup tools, it’s always a good idea to follow tried and tested ways to fortify your protection measures. 

Follow the GitHub security tips below to level up the protection for your repositories, business-critical codes, and data.  

1. Avoid storing your credentials as code or config (including confidential data) on GitHub 

Keep sensitive data out of your repository to avoid compromising your sensitive information. 

Use tools such as git-secrets to statistically analyze your commits (through a pre-commit Git Hook). It helps ensure you don’t push sensitive data or passwords into your GitHub repository. 

The tool will reject commits that match configured regular expression patterns designed to spot sensitive information.

While it can slightly slow down pushes, it’s worth the trouble. 

You can also use git-secrets in your CI/CD pipelines to actively break builds when sensitive data is found in a config file or code. 

2. Implement tight access controls

Ensure your users follow practices and basic settings on GitHub and implement access controls to reduce unauthorized access to your repositories and data.  

Implement these basic security and access control practices for your contributors:

  • Never let users share any GitHub account details and passwords.
  • Require two-factor authentication (2FA) on all contributors’ GitHub accounts.
  • Ensure your administrators manage team access to your data. Provide only the necessary access to data your contributors need to do their work.  
  • Deploy security measures and apps on laptops, desktop computers, and other devices that have access to your source code.
  • GitHub accounts are often personal, so ensure you revoke access to your repositories and GitHub backup from users no longer in your organization.

3. Remove  sensitive files and confidential information stored in your GitHub history and files

If you have sensitive information in your GitHub repository, invalidate the previously public passwords and tokens. 

Assume that any sensitive information that was public on the internet is already compromised, so act promptly and accordingly.   

Remove the sensitive data from your GitHub repository and the changelogs that list your confidential information from the commits history.

Clearing your GitHub history when removing sensitive data from your repositories can reduce the chances of compromised information. 

Ensure you do the same for your GitHub Enterprise backup

4. Validate your GitHub apps carefully

Keep your repositories and data secure by considering these factors when choosing and installing GitHub apps:

  • Validate that the organization or author behind the app is credible and legitimate before giving access to your repositories, whether the app is for automated code review or a GitHub backup service tool. 

Apply a similar validation process when you bring in new committers. 

  • Assess why an app needs the access level it asks for and think about the potential damage it can cause if it has that level of access. 
  • Avoid giving applications more access rights or privileges than they require. 

Mitigate the risks from third-party apps by not giving access to apps with a poor security posture. 

A breach of the app’s code can give attackers access to your most sensitive assets and codes.

5. Include a file

Add a file to highlight the security-related information for your projects. 

It gives users the necessary security information while compelling maintainers to think about the best way to handle security disclosures, general security practices, and updates. 

The topics you can include in your file are:

  • Security update policy. Provide a well-defined process for sharing relevant information to your users, including the severity of a specific security vulnerability, its associated risks, and how users can move a fixed version of your code.
  • Disclosure policy. Define the process for how users can fully disclose discovered security issues responsibly. Include information on who the users can contact and how.  
  • Known security gaps and future enhancements. Inform users of the security controls your project doesn’t currently have. Doing so ensures users know the whole story and make informed decisions on how they will use your project. 
  • Security-related configuration. Offer users suggested settings to help strengthen their security posture when deploying your project. 

6. Rotate personal access tokens and SSH keys

GitHub access is usually via personal user tokens (instead of passwords when you enable 2FA) or SSH keys. 

Refresh your tokens and keys regularly to secure them and mitigate potential damages that leaked or stolen keys might bring. 

7. Utilize the appropriate GitHub offering that best fits your security needs

You might be restricted to software that only runs locally (depending on your organizational regulations and project).

The restrictions can also be on your source code’s storage location and the specific organizations that can access it.  

As such, you’ll need a fully on-premise option, such as the GitHub Enterprise plan, to fully host repositories within your organization.  

GitHub Enterprise allows you to disconnect from the internet but still have internal access to projects in your repositories while maintaining compliance with regulations. 

8. Add security testing to Post Requests (PRs)

GitHub’s event-driven Git Hook framework lets you send HTTP POST requests to your preferred service when events are fired. 

One of the most helpful for incremental code change testing is the pull_request event. 

Static code analysis tools provide support to Git Hooks, so when a PR is created, an HTTP post gets fired to prompt testing on your latest updates.

It’s an excellent point in time to make sure the code and config changes align with your security expectations.  

9. Audit codes you import into GitHub

Always perform a complete audit before importing to GitHub. 

It may be a trivial task for smaller projects, but if you don’t do it before importing, it can take your DevOps teams weeks or months to do a full audit, update, and pull in everything to an open-source repository. 

It can be more tedious and time-consuming once your codebase reaches a specific size.  

10. Prioritize security when creating new projects 

Always create your projects with security in mind. 

Avoid hacking around and taking shortcuts to get your app up and running quickly since this can make you sloppy with sensitive information—whether it is stored locally in config or hardcoded.

Consider showing how you seed random numbers or relying on a secret algorithm to authorize input, even for closed-source projects. 

You’ll likely write better and more secure code if others can see and potentially exploit your code.   

Secure your GitHub data

Protect your GitHub codes and data and make your source code accessible and recoverable. 

Robust protection measures can help secure your GitHub data and ensure your team can work seamlessly without interruptions during outages. 

Also, following best practices to secure your GitHub data helps make sure you can always access your intellectual property and assets while maintaining a good reputation and customer trust.    


GitHub Compliance: What You Need to Know

GitHub compliance can be tricky to nail. 

After all, compliance programs come with multiple requirements and complexities, depending on your target industry and the data being managed.

And so the question becomes…

How do you achieve GitHub compliance, and what are the steps to assess and execute GitHub’s security features effectively? 

Start by learning the basics of GitHub compliance and its common essential areas—which we’ll cover in this guide. 

Let’s dive right in. 

1. Data location

When incorporating GitHub into your organization, a critical compliance decision is whether to use GitHub’s Enterprise option to self-host or the platform’s hosted SaaS service. 

It’s vital to decide on the hosting options from the get-go since your data location and the types of data you store on GitHub can impact your compliance with regulatory requirements. 

For instance, many compliance programs require storing information, such as customer data, and running a GitHub backup on hosted services with specific security features.  

Others can also require using certain data storage and classification of configuration data, source code, infrastructure diagrams and documentation, and other sensitive information. 

Deciding on hosting options can help determine if specific regulatory requirements prohibit using GitHub’s hosted services.  

The factors impacting your decision include your internal support criteria, uptime and operational requirements, and other aspects. 

2. User management and access control

Compliance requirements are often particular with how services are accessed, who has access to them, and managing that access. 

The requirements can also include processes to revoke access when necessary. 

GitHub Settings can help you directly address these concerns. 

GitHub Enterprise plan subscribers can deploy Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication via SAML-compliant identity providers. 

The option allows managing your organization’s access to GitHub using the existing providers instead of re-implementing directly within GitHub. 

It eliminates another combination of username and password, which can be easily lost or compromised without proper management. 

Also, sending user management to external identity services removes a huge part of routine and necessary access review checks. 

For instance, you can delegate it to a federated identity provider instead of routing most of SOC II’s quarterly user access reviews to the managing GitHub team. 

However, without SSO, the checks can turn into time-consuming, manual tasks to review hundreds (or thousands) of users within your GitHub organization.  

If you do user management directly in GitHub, enforce two-factor authentication (2FA) at the organization level. 

You can do this through the GitHub organization settings pages to ensure that every user accessing the GitHub organization uses 2FA to log in.  

IP address restriction is another GitHub Enterprise feature that can reduce the scope of access reviews for compliance and improve security. 

The Enterprise plan lets you upload a list of IP addresses, such as a VPN egress or office address. GitHub uses these to restrict access to your GitHub organization, including your associated repositories.  

While this isn’t meant to provide sufficient control, it can significantly reduce potential attack surfaces in case your user credentials get compromised.  

Finally, while using groups for user access management isn’t required by most compliance programs, it can greatly reduce the burdens of access review and management. 

After all, without it, validating access to hundreds of code repositories when users are added as contributors instead of groups as contributors can be complex and tedious. 

GitHub supports managing users through teams (group membership), but it’s easier to enforce access via direct access as a user. 

To ensure compliance, you’ll need to validate this control during quarterly access reviews and when automating with GitHub’s APIs.

3. Role-based access controls

GitHub includes a built-in Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) system. It ensures granular access to your repositories and settings, including GitHub repository backup

Users who are added to your GitHub organization can be:

  • Owners who are administrators with full access to your organizations, settings, source code, and other users. 

For security and compliance, it’s best to keep owners to a minimum while ensuring at that least one owner is available to deal with urgent setting changes and other essential activities. 

  • Members who should be private to help prevent social engineering attacks that target specific users according to known organization associations. 

You can add members to repositories under five roles—from Read (basic read-only role) to Administrator (full access role). 

However, instead of adding members to your repository directly, you can invite them to a team that can have the same roles as the repository. 

It’s easier to maintain user access while reducing unintended over-provisioning that exposes your organization to risks and even leads to non-compliance. 

4. Auditing

Logging all access to your systems is fundamental in most compliance programs and other systems, such as when running a GitHub Enterprise backup.

An access log is critical in assessments after security incidents and disaster recovery. It can show who accessed your system, the request’s origin, and the data accessed. 

All this information is crucial to recovering any data losses or breaches after an incident and maintaining compliance.  

GitHub’s detailed audit logging with timestamps, usernames, accessed resources, and IP addresses can help your auditing, compliance, and security needs.  

5. Third-party access

Besides users, other entities can get access to GitHub. 

OAuth integrations, API integrations, webhooks, and third-party apps such as a GitHub backup service can gain various access levels to GitHub’s repository source code and settings. 

To improve security and maintain compliance, you’ll need to limit third-party access, including developing a tight scope and conducting regular audits. 

Apps and services from other providers are not owned or maintained by GitHub. You are responsible for ensuring they don’t compromise your organization and repositories’ compliance and security.   

6. Backup and restore

GitHub is generally responsible for backing up its user data and systems. 

However, a lot of compliance programs require GitHub and other third-party tool users to have a shared responsibility in the backup and recovery process. 

In simple terms, GitHub isn’t likely to permanently lose your data, but you have a compliance obligation to keep backups that can be easily restored in case of emergencies or security issues. 

Full adherence to compliance program requirements often means running backups in consistent intervals, off-site or separate hardware or system storage, and regular testing for disaster recovery. 

Many compliance programs have various acceptable procedures and timeframes, making it crucial to invest in reliable GitHub backup tools such as Backrightup.  

Over to you

Aligning your organization’s compliance requirements with how you use GitHub can be daunting and complex.

However, you can streamline and simplify the process with built-in and third-party options.

Adopting the right solutions and strategies can improve your organization’s security posture, ensuring your data is safe and compliant with regulations and customer expectations.