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GitLab Backup: The Ultimate Guide

Performing regular GitLab backups will help secure your crucial business codes.

After all, having backups can protect you against issues that cause data loss, such as accidental deletion, data corruption, rogue third-party apps, server crashes, and integration errors (among others). 

However, running your GitLab backups isn’t always easy. 

You might miss a few steps or set up your configurations incorrectly if you don’t know how to perform your GitLab backups properly. To ensure your backups push through without a hitch, continue reading this guide.

GitLab backup configuration tips

Even if it’s tedious to run your GitLab backups, you need to be religious about doing it. Otherwise, you leave your GitLab software vulnerable to cyber attacks, among other issues, which could lead to data loss.

Follow these GitLab backup configuration tips.

Create an Omnibus-GitLab configuration backup

Secure a copy of the /etc/gitlab directory to prevent potential data loss. You can do this by getting copies of these files:

  • The file that contains your application’s configuration parameters, such as /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb.
  • The file that has the database encryption keys that protect your sensitive data in the SQL database. For example, /etc/gitlab/gitlab-secrets.json.

Make a GitLab system backup.

Backup the entire system using GitLab’s command-line interface and include these instances:

  • GitLab pages content
  • Git repositories
  • Attachments
  • Container Registry images
  • Database
  • LFS objects
  • Snippets
  • Group wikis
  • CI/CD job output logs
  • CI/CD job artifacts

Create a backup system using this command: 

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

To access the backup file, go to the /var/opt/gitlab/backups directory. 

Create daily backups

Secure your GitLab configuration by running daily backups. One way of doing this is to edit the cron table for user root. 

sudo crontab -e -u root

Make a tar file with the /etc/gitlab/ contents using this command: 

15 04 * * 2-6  gitlab-ctl backup-etc && cd /etc/gitlab/config_backup && cp $(ls -t | head -n1) /secret/gitlab/backups/

Additionally, run multiple backups daily, weekly, and monthly to minimize potential data losses should any of your backups fail. 

It’s also good practice to automate your backup process and track it to ensure it’s running correctly, allowing you to catch any potential issues that might lead to data corruption or loss.   

Why backup GitLab offsite

While regularly running GitLab backup is crucial, it’s equally important to keep your backups offsite as an additional protection measure for your GitLab reserves. 

This helps you secure your repositories and important files from risks and unexpected issues, such as GitLab system outages and even data breaches due to hacking. 

If you’re still on the fence about this, consider these other reasons why you need a GitLab backup offsite

Reduced workload

Running backups using traditional software often involves manual work, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

However, offsite backups through third-party GitLab backup platforms can minimize your workload through automation. 

Automated GitLab backups save you tons of time and energy, allowing you to focus more on your critical DevOps tasks. 

Reliability

Offsite backups other than GitLab offer reliability by letting you schedule and automate regular backups of your data, files, and other items.  

Offsite backup platforms have multiple remote backup servers, allowing you to save your data in various locations. This minimizes the risk of data loss in case your current server crashes or experiences other technical issues.  

Easy backup data management

Managing your bulk data manually and by yourself can be a nightmare.

However, offsite backup platforms can help you automate this process, managing and providing the required maintenance for your backups on the backend for you. 

You can retrieve a file easily by checking your backup locations, and the provider or platform does the rest. 

Cost efficiency

Offsite backups can save you some money by letting you access unlimited storage for a monthly fee. 

This offers cost-efficiency when doing backups, especially if you need to back up a network of repositories and files from various computer systems within a large organization.  

Third-party offsite backup providers offer automated backups that meet your organization’s storage needs while saving you from paying exorbitant fees. 

Use Backrightup, an excellent solution to help you ensure seamless and secure GitLab backups offsite, reduce data loss risks, save operational costs, and speed up your backup jobs (more on this later).  

Backrightup provides a convenient solution, giving you the peace of mind of having secure and safe GitLab backups with its reliable, easy-to-run, and automated offsite backup process.

How to Backup Gitlab: 4 Easy Steps

You can run GitLab backups manually using specific commands for Omnibus and Source installation. 

However, this can take A LOT of time and energy and the manual process won’t back up your SSL certificates, system files, and configuration files. This can be a huge bummer if you want to back up everything in one go.  

You’re better off automating your GitLab backups to streamline the process and cover more ground. 

You can run your GitLab backup through automated workflows using Cron Jobs, a time-based scheduler that lets you run recurring backups according to your set intervals. 

However, an easier and faster way to set up and run your GitLab backup configuration is through Backrightup. 

Backrightup is a flexible service that automates backing up and restoring your Azure DevOps instance. 

The steps below show how to create your backups using Backrightup. 

Step 1: Setup your account

On the Backrightup website, register for an account, then log in.

Screenshot of the Backrightup registration page.
Sign up to Backrightup to start automating your backups.

The software begins backing up your GitLab configurations the minute you log in to your account. 

Step 2: View your backups

Under the Projects tab, click BackRightUp.

Screenshot showing all the current projects.
View your GitLab backup projects and repositories on Backrightup.

The left side panel of the interface shows the list of options containing your GitLab repositories and other items. Access and view your backups from there. 

The Backrightup interface showing a list of items available for backup on the left side.
Navigate to the list of files for backup.

Step 3: Turn on backups for specific items

To enable (or disable) automatic backups for your specific items, navigate to Settings, then Repository Settings.

Click the Backup switch button to YES on the items you want to backup.

Screenshot of GitLab’s repository settings.
Backrightup lets you choose the items for backup by switching on the buttons.

Step 4: Restore items

Click the Restore Items options at the top left side of the Work Items table to restore your updated items. 

A screenshot of the list of work items.
Restore items after they are backed up by clicking the restore button.

Automate your GitLab backups to streamline managing your repositories and other critical data while eliminating tedious, manual work and minimizing risks of data loss. 

With Backrightup, you can configure your GitLab backups once, and the software does the rest automatically, saving you from running time-sucking, tedious manual backups.  

Top GitLab integrations

The right GitLab integrations can boost your system’s functionality. 

It can help you address issues in your app that lead to lower code stability, heavier workloads that increase your work hours, and inefficient collaboration.  

Third-party services and tools also offer features to help you automate regular GitLab backups and streamline your code management process.  

That being said, below are some of the best GitLab integrations. 

GitLab Jira Integration

Integrating GitLab and Jira software can help you manage your application better, including the following:

  • Connect all your GitLab projects within one namespace
  • Integrate one GitLab project with all Jira instances
  • Track and unpack potential Jira issues using GitLab, allowing you to detect and link them via merge requests and commits
  • Cross-reference your GitLab projects’ activities

GitLab Jenkins Integration

Integrate Jenkins with GitLab to automate maintaining your deployed apps and code functionalities.   

For instance, you can create your projects in Jenkins, then get the results on GitLab through automated build, which helps you verify your project to detect potential issues early on. 

This also allows you to monitor and back up data seamlessly using both apps, speeding up your configuration process. 

GitLab Flowdock Integration

If you’re an organization that provides transparent workflow management services or want to collaborate with other developers through GitLab, integrate FlowDock, a ChatOps app. 

Integrating the app lets you send alerts from GitLab to Flowdock flows. You can also get notifications to keep you updated, helping you establish an organized project setup. 

GitLab Pivotal Tracker Integration

Integrating Pivotal Tracker to GitLab allows you to automate pull requests, commits, and branches to ensure proper connection to appropriate stories. 

The integration also lets you track your customer support apps and any bug issues, so you’re always up-to-date on potential project problems. 

Additionally, the Pivotal Tracker integration allows you to automate updating your story states with a special commit message syntax. This helps you keep records of all your GitLab data. 

GitLab Datadog Integration

You can CI/CD your pipeline and job information from GitLab to Datadog for troubleshooting when you integrate these apps.   

Datadog searches your GitLab projects and repositories for all types of performance issues and job failures, then troubleshoots them automatically. 

The app can also do this for your bulk data, helping you keep your repositories and projects safe from GitLab server breakdowns and other system issues. 

Additional tip: Keep track of and organize large proportions of your GitLab data while reducing manual work using Backrightup. 

Backrightup’s automated process allows you to back up all your GitLab data, such as repositories and source codes, effortlessly and seamlessly. 

How to clone GitLab repositories

Cloning your GitLab repositories can save you huge chunks of your time and effort. 

When you clone your repository, the files within the remote repository get downloaded to your computer, creating a connection. 

The connection requires your credentials, and you can use either HTTPS or SSH. The steps below show how you can clone your GitLab repositories using the two methods. 

Clone with SSH

Clone your repositories using SSH when you want to authenticate once. 

1. Open the SSH documentation and follow the instructions on authentication with GitLab. 

2. Navigate to the project’s landing page, click Clone, then copy the Clone with SSH URL. 

3. Open a terminal, then go to the directory where you want to clone your files. GitLab will automatically create a folder with the name of the repository and download the files within the folder. 

4. Run the common below:

git clone git@gitlab.com:gitlab-tests/sample-project.git

5. Navigate to the new directory to view the files. 

cd sample-project

You can also open your cloned repository directly in Visual Studio Code. 

Clone with HTTPS

You’re better off cloning your repositories with HTTPS when you want to authenticate every time you execute an operation between GitLab and your computer. 

Follow these steps:

1. Similar to cloning with SSH, navigate to your project’s landing page and copy the Clone with HTTPS URL. 

2. Next, open a terminal and go to your desired directory (where you want to clone your files). 

3. Run this command: 

git clone https://gitlab.com/gitlab-tests/sample-project.git

4. Input your username and password. If you enabled two-factor authentication (2FA), use a Personal Access Token with read_repository. The other option is to use write_repository permissions instead of your GitLab account’s password. 

Use your account’s password if you disabled 2FA. 

5. View the files by going to the new directory: 

cd sample-project

Additional tip: If you type in your password incorrectly (on Windows) more than once and get the Access denied prompt, add your namespace (group or username) to the path.

Here’s an example of what it should look like:

git clone https://namespace@gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab.git.

Run error-free GitLab backups

Configuring and running GitLab backups can be a long and complex process when you’re doing everything on your own. 

Learn the importance of running GitLab backups (on and offsite), how to configure them properly, and why automated workflows are better options. 

With the help of Backrightup, you can streamline your GitLab Backups while reducing data loss risks and exerting minimum effort. 

Backrightup does the heavy lifting for you, helping you maintain repositories and projects efficiently and ensuring your data remains safe and intact. 

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How to Backup GitLab: Easy Steps

Some users don’t know how to backup their GitLab repositories and projects.

Sadly, GitLab hasn’t provided its users an optimal solution to back up their data, putting their users at risk of losing their critical business data in the event of cyber attacks, system failures, etc.

It’s because of this that some GitLab users endeavored to create their own backup solutions, which are often faulty and cause even more problems.

This comprehensive guide covers what you need to know about GitLab backups, including several easy-to-follow steps to backup your GitLab data.

Why should you learn how to backup Gitlab BackupGitlab?

GitLab is an essential tool for developers and project managers because it allows users to maintain repositories and perform project tasks efficiently. 

Several companies using GitLab to store their applications have experienced massive data losses due to unexpected system failures.

Moreover, factors such as daily updates can often cause data loss, making it crucial to have GitLab backups to protect you from severe damages or consequences should they occur.

However, performing GitLab backups isn’t always a walk in the park since the tool doesn’t have comprehensive backup solutions. It also doesn’t provide any clear guidance on how to backup and restore your data.

The good news is there are other effective ways on how to backup GitLab data conveniently, without you doing much effort.

TL;DR: Learn how to backup Gitlab automatically

Backing up GitLab can be frustrating, especially when you have to do everything by yourself.  

You’re better off learning how to backup GitLab automatically using Backrightup. Our platform helps streamline your process by letting you run GitLab backups with minimum effort.

Set up the backup once, and the platform runs your GitLab backups automatically, doing the heavy lifting for you.

Automatic backups help maintain projects and repositories easily without taking up much of your time and energy. Your GitLab data archive is also automated, reducing the chances of anything going missing.

How to backup GitLab manually

The steps below outline how to backup GitLab manually.

You can use two commands to create GitLab backups, depending on how the application was installed. 

For Omnibus installation

If you installed Gitlab using the omnibus installation method, use this command:

$ sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

For Source installation

Use the command below if you installed GitLab via the source package. 

$ sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:backup: create RAILS_ENV=production

You can back up the following using one of the commands above:

  • Databases
  • Attachments
  • Git repositories data
  •  CI/CD job output logs
  • CI/CD job artifacts
  •  LFS objects
  •  Container Registry images
  •  GitLab Pages content

Note: The manual process will not back up your configuration files, SSL certificates, or system files. You can use the environment variable SKIP to exclude some options from the backup process. 

The list of options you can skip in the backup are:

  • db (database)
  • uploads (attachments)
  • repositories (Git repositories data)
  • builds (CI job output logs)
  • artifacts (CI job artifacts)
  • lfs (LFS objects)
  • registry (Container Registry images)
  • pages (Pages content)

If you want to skip some files while backing up others, use the following commands:

For Omnibus Package

sudo gitlab-backup create SKIP=db,uploads

For GitLab version 12.1 and earlier, use this command: 

gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

For Source Package

sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:backup:create SKIP=db,uploads RAILS_ENV=production

The backup process will start as soon as you execute these commands. It will look something like this:

Dumping database tables:

– Dumping table events… [DONE]

– Dumping table issues… [DONE]

– Dumping table keys… [DONE]

– Dumping table merge_requests… [DONE]

– Dumping table milestones… [DONE]

– Dumping table namespaces… [DONE]

– Dumping table notes… [DONE]

– Dumping table projects… [DONE]

– Dumping table protected_branches… [DONE]

– Dumping table schema_migrations… [DONE]

– Dumping table services… [DONE]

– Dumping table snippets… [DONE]

– Dumping table taggings… [DONE]

– Dumping table tags… [DONE]

– Dumping table users… [DONE]

– Dumping table users_projects… [DONE]

– Dumping table web_hooks… [DONE]

– Dumping table wikis… [DONE]

Dumping repositories:

– Dumping repository abcd… [DONE]

Creating backup archive: $TIMESTAMP_gitlab_backup.tar [DONE]

Deleting tmp directories…[DONE]

Deleting old backups… [SKIPPING]

Once the process is done, it creates an archive named “[TIMESTAMP]_gitlab_backup.tar” in the backup directory. The TIMESTAMP indicates when the backup creation date and the GitLab version used. 

The default backup directory in GitLab is “/home/git/gitlab/tmp/backups”

How to backup GitLab automatically?

Automated backups free you from the manual process, ensuring you backup everything without losing too much time and effort. 

One way to automate backups is to use Cron Jobs. These allow you to schedule your backup for regular intervals and prevent data loss.

Using Omnibus Installation

1. Edit a crontab for a root user.

sudo su-

crontab -e

2. Use the command to schedule a specific time, such as 2 AM.

0 2 * * * /opt/gitlab/bin/gitlab-backup create CRON=1

Using Source Installation

1. Edit crontab for git user.

Sudo -u git

Crontab -e

2. Use the command below: 

0 2 * * * cd/home/git/gitlab && PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/ bin bundle exec rake gitlab:backup:create RAILS_ENV=production CRON=1

A better automated backup option to use is Backrightup, a software that can maintain your repository backups and provide you with all the updates efficiently. 

The following steps show how to backup all data from GitLab:

1. Sign up for a Backrightup account on the website and log in.

2. Once logged in, your GitLab repositories and other data start backing up automatically.

3. To view your GitLab projects and backup process, go to projects and select the Backrightup option.

Screenshot displaying all current projects
Backup your GitLab projects and repositories with Backrightup.

4. A menu appears on the left side of the screen. From here, you can manage all your GitLab data.

List of available backup options on the left
Backrightup allows backup of multiple items from your GitLab database

5. You can also choose which repositories and data files you want to backup. Go to Settings > Repository Settings. Under the backup column, click the “Yes” option to enable backups.

Screenshot of GitLab’s repository settings
Backrightup allows you to choose the items for backup by switching buttons.

6. Ensure you restore your GitLab backups too. Backrightup provides options that allow you to fix the backup items. 

The Restore option is available at the top of the table displaying backup updates.

Screenshot of the work items section
You can restore items after they are backed up with the restore button.

Wrapping up the tips on how to Backup GitLab 

Gitlab provides a digital space for professionals to collaborate and manage projects. 

As such, backing up your data on GitLab is crucial because of the risks of server crashes leading to data loss. 

Follow the steps in this article to learn how to backup all data from GitLab and work with your files without any trouble.

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GitLab Backup Configuration: Ultimate Guide

Is your GitLab backup configuration set up properly? 

This bit is crucial because your GitLab server gets updated with new data every day, increasing the chances of a potential server crash due to various reasons.

Moreover, these regular updates can be pretty frustrating. Your servers create heaps of data and you might lose some of it. That’s why it’s important to configure your GitLab backups correctly because they are critical to maintain your application and keep your data intact.

GitLab Backup Configuration Best Practices

Configuring your GitLab backup is a must regardless of how tedious the process can be. Doing so helps you keep track of your repositories and saves you from any unexpected server crashes. 

Below are some of the best practices when configuring your GitLab backup.

1. Creating a Backup of Omnibus-GitLab Configuration

To prevent any data losses, secure a copy of the /etc/gitlab directory. Ensure you have a copy of these two essential files:

  •  The file containing configuration parameters of your application, I.e., /etc/gitlab/gitlab.rb.
  •  The file containing database encryption keys protects sensitive data in SQL database, I.e., /etc/gitlab/gitlab-secrets.json.

2. Creating a GitLab System Backup

You can use GitLab’s command-line interface to back up the whole system. It includes the following instances:

  • Database
  • Attachments
  • Git repositories
  • GitLab pages content
  • Snippets
  • Group wikis
  • LFS objects
  • CI/CD job artifacts
  • CI/CD job output logs
  • Container Registry images

Use this command to create a backup system:

sudo gitlab-rake gitlab:backup:create

You’ll find the backup stored in the /var/opt/gitlab/backups directory.

3. Creating Daily Backups

Another way to protect your GitLab configuration is to run daily backups. You can achieve this by editing the cron table for user root.

sudo crontab -e -u root

In the cron table, create a tar file with the contents of /etc/gitlab/ using a command such as this:

15 04 * * 2-6  gitlab-ctl backup-etc && cd /etc/gitlab/config_backup && cp $(ls -t | head -n1) /secret/gitlab/backups/

GitLab Backup Configuration Dos and Don’ts

For a seamless backup process, learn what you should (and should not) do while setting up your GitLab backup configuration.

Let’s take a look at some key points you should consider before a backup.

Dos

Run Multiple Backups

Backup daily, weekly, and monthly to ensure you don’t lose any data if one of your backups fails. Accessing and restoring files is also easier when you have more than one backup.

Keep yourself updated with the process

Keep an eye on the backup process to make sure it is running properly. You can do this by setting up automated confirmation emails that deliver once after every completed backup process. 

Don’ts

Keeping backups solely on GitLab’s server

Storing your backups on the GitLab server itself is risky. If an unexpected crash occurs, you’ll lose all (or some) of your data.

Avoid doing your GitLab backups manually

If you don’t backup your GitLab data automatically, there’s a good chance you’ll forget to run your backups. After all, it’s easy to overlook running the backups when you have truckloads of things on your list of to-dos.

Automated Workflow for GitLab Backups

While maintaining GitLab backups is essential, the whole process can also be time-consuming, making it an absolute must for companies to use an automated workflow for GitLab backups.

You can do this through cron-based backups or by using Backrightup.

Using Cron Jobs for backup

A cron job is a time-based scheduler that allows you to run recurring backups in regular intervals.

Below are several ways on how to configure GitLab backups and create automated backups using Cron Jobs to prevent any loss of essential files and older versions of your applications.

For Omnibus GitLab packages

1. First, you need to edit the crontab for a root user.  

sudo su –

crontab -e

2. Use this command to schedule a backup at a certain time, say, 2 am.

0 2 * * * /opt/gitlab/bin/gitlab-backup create CRON=1

For installations from source

1. Edit the crontab for the Git user.

sudo -u git

crontab -e

2. Use the following commands and add them to the code. This will schedule your backup for a specific time every 24 hours.

# Create a full backup of the GitLab repositories and SQL database every day at 2 am

0 2 * * * cd /home/git/gitlab && PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin bundle exec rake gitlab:backup:create RAILS_ENV=production CRON=1

Using Backrightup 

A better way to simplify and streamline your application maintenance is by running automated GitLab configuration backups through Backrightup

Here’s how you can create backups using our platform.

1. Sign up then log in to your account.

Screenshot of the Backrightup registration interface
Register to have safe and automated backups with Backrightup

2. The software starts backing up your GitLab configurations as soon as you log in.

3. Click the Backrightup option on the interface.    

Screenshot displaying all current projects
Backup your GitLab projects and repositories with Backrightup.

4. On the left side, you’ll find a list of options containing GitLab repositories and other items. You can view your backups from there.

List of items for backup available on the left
Backrightup provides insights to your files organizing them accordingly.

5. You can also go to Settings > Repository Settings and enable backups and other items by clicking the “Yes” button.

Screenshot of GitLab’s repository settings
Backrightup allows you to choose the items for backup by switching buttons.

6. Restore updated items by clicking the Restore Items option at the top of the table.  

Screenshot of the work items section
You can restore items after they are backed up with the restore button.

Automating your GitLab backups is the best way to manage repositories and other important files without manual work and with minimal data loss risks.

Set up GitLab Backup Configuration

It is crucial to set up a GitLab backup configuration as a Git user to maintain proper file permission and maintenance. 

Use the backup script below to run successful data backups. You can create this under the GitLab installation in the “/home/git/gitlab/tmp/backups” folder.

root@linoxide:/home/git/gitlab# sudo -u git -H bundle exec rake gitlab:backup:create RAILS_ENV=production

Dumping database …

Dumping PostgreSQL database gitlabhq_production … [DONE]

done

Dumping repositories …

done

Dumping uploads …

done

Creating backup archive: 1479023906_gitlab_backup.tar … done

Deleting tmp directories … done

Deleting old backups … skipping 

root@linoxide:/home/git/gitlab/tmp/backups# ll

total 68

drwxr-xr-x 2 git git 4096 Nov 13 07:58 ./

drwxr-xr-x 7 git git 4096 Nov 13 07:58 ../

-rw-r–r– 1 git git 61440 Nov 13 07:58 1479023906_gitlab_backup.tar

Backup the entire GitLab backup configuration folder to keep your data safe. 

Use this script and save it in the GitLab backup folder “/home/git/gitlab/tmp/backups/config-backups/”

#!/bin/sh

umask 0077;

cd /home/git/gitlab/

tar -czf /home/git/gitlab/tmp/backups/config-backups/config.$(date +%s).tgz config

Ready to set up your GitLab Backup configuration?

The tips in this guide are some of the easiest ways to configure GitLab backups and save your data files from potential crashes. 

Leverage Backrightup. It ensures automated, safe, and convenient backups for your GitLab workflow and repositories.

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Why You Need to Backup GitLab Offsite

Do you want to ensure your GitLab data is stored safely?

Just as backing up your data in GitLab is a good practice, keeping GitLab backups offsite is equally important since it adds an extra layer to your GitLab reserves.

If you backup GitLab offsite, you can protect your valuable files and repositories from the risks of loss should GitLab itself experience system outages, or worse, get hacked.

While most people realize the importance of multiple backups, not many know how to manage and track their offsite backups.

This guide covers why you need to run your backups offsite and how to manage your backups.

Why you need to backup GitLab offsite

Chances are, you spent thousands of dollars to develop your GitLab application. Despite the cost involved, you still pulled the trigger and invested because you see the strategic benefits of having the application.

Considering the amount you invested in your application, it’s only right for you to ensure the safety of your critical business codes. Below are hard to ignore reasons why you need to start backing up your GitLab data offsite.

Reliability

One major advantage you get from offsite backups is reliability.

Using backup sites other than GitLab is a safe and strategic choice. These sites automate your GitLab backups by scheduling regular backups for all your data, files and other work items.

With multiple remote backup servers, you can save your data at several locations. Thus, you don’t risk losing your files if your current server faces technical issues or system outages.

Third-party backup platforms assure safe backups, securely storing your data and only allowing authorized access. 

Easy Setup

Manual backups can be really annoying, especially when your managing bulk data all by yourself.

IT companies offering offsite backups automate the process, making it easier for you. They manage and provide the necessary maintenance to your backups from the back end so you won’t have to.

When you want to retrieve a file, you can check one of your backup locations and the offsite backup providers will do the rest.

Compliance

Due to internal (or external) compliance standards, you need to run regular GitLab backups.

If you’re preparing for, let’s say, a SOC 2 audit, you will need to back up your GitLab data. You might need to prove you have secure backups, and creating offsite backups can come in handy.

Offsite backups allow you and your company to remain compliant by maintaining seamless data backup processes.

Cost Optimization

Offsite backups save you from spending a hefty amount of money on backups by providing unlimited storage billed monthly.

If you work in an organization where you need to back up a network of files and repositories from multiple computer systems, getting offsite backups is essential.

They provide automated backups to meet your organizational setup’s storage needs while saving you expensive operational costs.

Minimize Workload

Running offsite backup can help reduce your workload.

Traditional backup software requires manual work to complete backups. Moreover, these can be time-consuming and require a lot of work.

Third-party GitLab backup platforms can streamline the process through automation. Because your backups are automated you spend less hours working which allows you more time to do extra devOps work.

You can minimize your workload by creating offsite backups and organize your data well.

How to Backup GitLab Automatically

The Backrightup platform is a reliable solution you can employ to run your offsite GitLab backups. We streamline your GitLab application storage through automated backup procedures.

Moreover, our platform backs up everything in your GitLab, such as repositories, work items, pipelines, wikis, etc., eliminating any potential data losses.

Backing up your GitLab files and repositories can be long and tedious, but Backrightup simplifies this process.

It has an easy-to-use interface that lets you start the backup process with a single click.

Here’s how you can backup GitLab with Backrightup.

After signing up and logging in to your Backrightup account, the software will run backups of your GitLab items automatically.

You can run daily, weekly, and monthly backups according to your preference and schedule. You can also update your files and add new data since the software provides unlimited storage options.

Screenshot of the backup procedures
You can schedule your GitLab files and repositories with Backrightup.

On the Backrightup interface, you’ll see the list of various GitLab files that are taking backups. Click on any of those to  view the backup details.

List of items for backup available on the left
Backrightup allows you to backup everything on your GitLab server.

You can enable backup for certain items or disable it for others in the Repository Settings. 

Turn on the option for each item which you want to include in the backup.

Screenshot of GitLab’s repository settings
Backrightup allows you to choose the items for backup by switching buttons.

While backing up your data is important, restoring your GitLab backups is equally significant.

Along with automated backups, Backrightup allows you to restore your data with a single click.

You will find the restore items option at the top of your Work Items table.

Screenshot of the work items section showing all updates
You can restore items after they are backed up with the restore button.

Backrightup is an advanced offsite backup solution to secure your GitLab applications.

Backrightup integrates a fully automated system, minimizing risk factors and ensuring seamless and safe GitLab backup configurations.

Backup Gitlab Offsite Easily

Now that you know the undeniable benefits of having offsite backups, start applying them to your GitLab for a compact and secure backup environment.

Offsite backups can protect your data from potential data losses should the backups you stored on GitLan get compromised.

With high-quality software such as  Backrightup, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your GitLab data is safe and secure. It is a convenient solution because of its reliable, automated, scheduled, and easy-to-implement backups.

If you need any help with your GitLab backup configuration, contact us now.

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Azure DevOps Migration Strategies

What are the best Azure DevOps migration strategies you can use for your business?

Which one is ideal for your dynamics?

If you’re confused, that’s understandable.

After all, there are several methods for Azure DevOps backups shared online with inadequate explanations about why one is better than the other.

That’s why in this guide, we’ll talk about three Azure DevOps migration strategies, how to execute them, and what makes them feasible (or not).

But first, let’s explore why Azure DevOps migration is essential for your business.

Why migrating your Azure DevOps is important

Migrating and duplicating your Azure DevOps is crucial to protect your data integrity and ensure continued business operations.

Even Microsoft recommends it since it experiences occasional outages and security issues, e.g., ransomware, account hijacking, etc.

Azure DevOps also has limited recovery and backup solutions to offer should you lose or need to duplicate your data. 

For instance, Microsoft can only recover an organization at a time (within 28 days) and not on a project level. It also disables you from restoring a project with a different file name.

When that happens, you can lose your software code and data assets wholly and forever shut down your business.

3 Azure DevOps Migration Strategies

Here are three options for migrating your Azure DevOps data:

1. Back up repositories with GIT bash script

One strategy to migrate your Azure DevOps data is to use a bash script. This enables you to obtain a full copy of your repository through a virtual machine (VM).

The steps for this process include:

  • Creating, e.g., an affordable Linux VM in Azure DevOps;
  • Generating a new SSH key pair;
  • Adding an SSH public key to Azure DevOps;
  • Writing a bash script (to imitate your original GIT repository), and
  • Executing the created bash script according to schedule.

The first step is a straightforward task and comes with everything you need: GIT and shell scripts. You can then SSH into it and write a bash script.

Although a script sounds like an old-fashioned method, it gets the work done. It essentially deletes your previous backup and creates a duplicate copy of your GIT repository.

Nevertheless, despite the simplicity this process brings, it has a few disadvantages, such as:

  • Susceptibility to errors (one mistake alters the program’s flow, bringing potential harm);
  • Sluggish implementation speed;
  • Unsuitability for enormous, sophisticated tasks, and
  • Minimal availability of data structures as compared with other programming languages.

2. Keeping data in the Azure Blob storage

Azure Blob is Microsoft’s scalable cloud object storage solution, optimized for keeping massive volumes of unstructured data for quick shared access, backup, restoration, archiving, etc.

The platform keeps the blobs in virtual containers, which act as directories, then links them to the storage account.

When generating the address for people to access a file in Azure Blob, the platform includes it in the storage account plus the blob’s location and formats the link as .net.

Azure Blob storage is one of Microsoft’s storage options and sounds like an ideal solution for enterprises. However, it can have some security issues tied to its mother company.

Early this year, a vpnMentor research team headed by Noam Rotem discovered a cache of sensitive source code in a misconfigured Azure Blob account left exposed and accessible.

The 63gb-dataset seemed to have come from a set of company pitches to Microsoft Dynamics. It included nearly 4,000 separate files, proprietary software source code for products released later, hardcoded passwords, etc.

Rotem’s team contacted Microsoft for months to notify them of the misconfiguration, but the company seems to have confused the data exposure for the uncovering of its software flaw.

In this sense, Microsoft didn’t acknowledge their responsibility for the misconfigured Azure Blob account and disclosed data, leaving no solid evidence on the responsible party or file owners.

Azure Blob is supposedly privately accessible and automatically encrypted by Storage Service Encryption (SSE) with AES-256, one of the most robust block ciphers available — so the misconfiguration may have occurred on Microsoft’s end, as suspected by Rotem’s team.

Nevertheless, researchers said the Azure Blob account owner could have prevented the disclosure through various security practices.

They also noted that Microsoft gives comprehensive instructions and recommended security actions for Azure Blob storage accounts. 

Another disadvantage of this strategy is that Azure Blob does not have innovative solutions for backing up block blobs.

Although a Microsoft senior consultant recommended some incremental backup methods as alternatives, these can be tedious to perform.

3. Use Backrightup

The third Azure DevOps migration strategy is using automated comprehensive backup solutions such as Backrightup.

Backrightup is a one-click, automated backup solution specifically for Azure DevOps and highly business-critical data and software code.

Using Backrightup is extremely convenient because it autonomously backs up your Azure DevOps repositories, pipelines, wikis, work items, releases, etc. d-a-i-l-y.

Once you sign up, authorize, and integrate Azure DevOps and this platform, Backrightup instantly starts pulling out and duplicating all your data within minutes.

Every day, Backrightup provides updates on your dashboard about every entity it has backed up. You’ll find information e.g., item name, ID number, date and time it was last updated, etc.

Backrightup’s Work Items page
It’s easy to backup your Azure DevOps with Backrightup.

Backrightup lets you do several supposedly heavy-duty data migration and backup activities in a single to a few clicks — whether for individual files or organizations.

For instance, to restore any updated items, you can tick them from the list and click the “Restore Items” button above the table.

You can even determine which data types Backrightup should automatically copy. Switch off the corresponding “Yes” buttons for the items under any specific entity settings, like this:

Backrightup’s repository settings page
You can specify which data type to backup.

Besides Backrightup’s default storage, it also lets you add your own Azure storing location. You can do so by clicking “Storage Settings” and clicking the corresponding button above the table.

Backrightup’s Storage Settings page
Add your own storing location.

Bonus tip: if you wish to back up your data manually — that is, not waiting for tomorrow’s updates from Backrightup — click “Run Backups” at the top of your dashboard.

A dialog box will appear with options of the entities on which your request will be applied. Then hit “Start Backup(s)” to begin backing up your selected projects.

A pop-up that says “Start Manual Backup”
You can run your backups manually.

With automated solutions such as Backrightup, you don’t need to maintain backup scripts. Plus, you get highly secure, customized backups to your chosen storage locations in just a few minutes.

Set up your Azure DevOps migration strategies now

With these three migration strategies introduced, you can now make informed decisions about the best option for you and begin planning and implementing its setup.

Of the three, I highly recommend the third option, using Backrightup, since it’s the most secure, cost-efficient, and effortless one. Additionally, it takes care of the administrative burden of data backups and frees up your IT team to focus on their primary duties.

So, don’t delay your Azure DevOps migration. If you wish to learn more about using Backrightup for your company, reach out to us anytime. We’ll be glad to help you out.

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The Importance of Azure DevOps Backups

The importance of Azure DevOps backups for companies should not be downplayed.

It can spell the difference between your company operating smoothly, raking in sales and subscriptions like clockwork and you spending/losing thousands of dollars fixing your codes and the damages caused by your compromised Azure DevOps accounts.

If you don’t back up regularly, you can fall prey to data loss or thousands worth of damages that could end in the complete shutdown of your business.

Prevent that from happening by learning how Azure DevOps backups benefit you and knowing effective strategies for implementation.

Benefits of Azure DevOps backups

Here’s how your company can benefit from backing up your Azure DevOps:

1. You can quickly recover your code and data.

Recovering volumes of code and data stored in your Azure DevOps repositories can take weeks, a month, or even longer. 

Plus, you won’t be sure if you can retrieve all or, at the least, your most essential, valuable, confidential code, data, and other files.

For example, if you accidentally delete a project on Azure DevOps, you can retrieve it within 28 days — but this applies to organizations, not individual items.

It’s burdensome not to have backup because, depending on the damage or loss, you’ll need to check your hard drives, trace where and how data got lost, negotiate with the perpetrator, etc.

Keeping backups simplifies your code and data recovery and re-access, making it quick, complete, and painless for all your concerned departments, especially IT. 

2. You minimize downtime.

When you encounter breaches and unexpected events without previously backing up, you can experience downtimes for three days, two weeks, or even months, depending on the extent of the loss.

For example, when an aggrieved IT consultant hacked and deleted over 1,200 Microsoft Office 365 accounts of his previous employer in California, the organization experienced a two-day operational shutdown and dealt with related issues for three months.

By backing up your Azure DevOps data and code assets, you won’t need to keep your devices hostage, stop your operations for a long time, and ruin your productivity.

Your IT department can immediately retrieve your data and provide substitute devices if necessary, and your employees can focus on working sooner.

3. You protect your customer relationships and company reputation.

With the swift data and functional recovery, you can also get back to serving your clients faster, satisfy and impress them, and preserve your reputation.

You won’t frustrate and lose your customers and strain your relationships with them because you proved your dependability and information security management prowess.

4. You remain compliant with industry standards and regulations.

Backing up your Azure DevOps data is a requirement for various laws and standards across the globe, such as System and Organization Control (SOC) 2, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, etc.

Complying with these laws through Azure DevOps backups protects your business from incurring penalties, increases your data protection, and better ensures a wide clientele.

5. Users can quickly access files and data.

Azure DevOps backups allow you to access files fast — even anywhere and anytime, especially if you’re using global-ready cloud storage.

This gives you more data control, considering geographically varying data privacy provisions and time zones. 

You can also share files with your teams, customers, and clients on the fly, even remotely, securing everyone’s productivity. On your IT department’s end, they can focus on their primary duties and projects instead of handling time-consuming support requests.

6. You reduce losses and safeguard your business health. 

Because of less downtime, customer loss, actual data disappearance, and even fewer to no penalties for violating regulations, you minimize devastating your bottomline and business lifespan.

You also safeguard your business from potential permanent shutdowns and financial losses resulting from paying hackers’ ransoms, data recovery methods, and more.

7. You experience relief and peace of mind.

Ultimately, securing your Azure DevOps backups gives you peace of mind because you know you can still run your operations in cases of technical failure and unexpected data losses.

With your code backups taken care of, you can focus on your daily business activities and executing Azure DevOps security best practices.

Tips for conducting Azure DevOps backups

Consider the tips below to make your backup process quicker and more efficient.

1. Use Backrightup, a one-click, automated DevOps backup software.

Using automation tools is among the most practical, cost-efficient, and secure solutions for your Azure DevOps backups. One such tool is Backrightup.

The platform instantly (and daily) backs up your Azure DevOps Repositories, Releases, wikis, Pipelines, Work Items, and more.

When it does, it shows you relevant updates for every project, such as data type and ID number, date and time it last updated, and more, depending on the items:

 Table showing repository backup details enclosed in a violet rectangle
Backrightup displays relevant details of backed up items and projects.

It also gives you a choice to back up data manually anytime if you can’t wait for the next automated backup schedule:

Violet rectangles and numbers illustrating the steps for manual backups
Click “Run Backup(s),” choose items, and hit “Start backup(s)” to back up manually.

You can even select which repositories to back up automatically:

Violet rectangle surrounding backup options, with a violet arrow pointing toward it
Toggle on and off the repositories you want to be automatically backed up.

Backrightup gives you uber-secure, customized Azure DevOps data backups in your chosen electronic storage locations — without needing to keep backup scripts or worrying about losing them to sudden Microsoft API updates and security threats.

2. Use the 3-2-1 backup strategy.

The 3-2-1 data backup strategy is another best practice that lets you establish more than one layer of Azure DevOps data backups. 

Essentially, the principle here is to create three copies of your data assets in a minimum of two storage locations, one of which must be remote.

FAQs on the importance of Azure DevOps backups

Below are common questions about Azure DevOps backups.

How much can you lose from failing to back up your Azure DevOps data?

Depending on the incident, your industry, company size, etc., you can lose $18,000 to $200 million for missing records. 

What is the best backup product for Azure?

Backrightup is by far the best backup product for Azure. It automatically backs up individual items and organizations, repositories, and more, improving your data protection and recovery efforts.

Does Microsoft recommend backing up Azure DevOps?

Microsoft recognizes the importance of Azure DevOps backups and strongly recommends it because it experiences occasional outages resulting in data loss and has storage and recovery limitations hampering your operational productivity and business health.

Realize the importance of Azure DevOps backups.

Don’t wait until your business hits rock bottom due to data losses before you truly realize the urgency of Azure DevOps backups.

Remember prevention is better than cure.

The sooner you start working on your backups, the faster you can guarantee the safety of your codes (and business).

If you need help with backing up your Azure DevOps data assets, don’t hesitate to call us at Backrightup and we’ll be more than willing to assist you.

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Azure DevOps Backups for Compliance

Are you running your Azure DevOps backups diligently to comply with industry standards and regulations?

Are you even aware of the regulations that impact your Azure DevOps?

I hope you answered with a “yes,” because otherwise, you might find yourself suddenly slapped with monstrous fees or penalties by governing bodies, which could potentially ruin your business.

To give you a better grasp of the regulatory provisions that impact your DevOps backups, continue reading this Azure compliance guide and learn several relevant industry standards.

SOC 2

System and Organization Control (SOC) 2 is a kind of audit that evaluates your company’s fulfillment of the Trust Service Criteria (TSC) for client data safety.

These criteria include security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

The data backup requirement falls under the second TSC, availability. It requires that your systems are always functional and ready to provide data, products, and services according to operating agreements with your customers and clients.

During your audit, SOC 2 assessors will review how backups of particular database components and applications run every day.

After all, Azure DevOps code and data backups support your operational and software recovery should service failures occur.

Meeting SOC requirements are also often mandatory for security and license compliance and following other laws, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, etc.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) works to protect the collected data of all citizens of the European Union (EU), even for companies based outside the region.

GDPR applies to companies storing and handling private user information, including software vendors offering data backup, encryption tools, and mechanisms protecting networks and operating systems, e.g., firewalls and antiviruses.

Data backups are among the salient points in the GDPR. The regulation mandates the data processing controller (entity storing confidential data) to install robust data encryption methods and boost recovery capabilities. This benefits your company should breaches and technical failures happen.

This implies that data protection and backup procedures must always be active, quick, and that you should permit the encryption of the backed-up content.

To meet this requirement, you need a reliable backup tool and configure it based on your data retention approaches.

HIPAA

Also called Protected Health Information (PHI), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US federal regulation that protects patients’ confidential medical data and restricts access to it.

The HIPAA legislation stipulates two criteria: the Data Backup Plan and Retention Period. Both include various physical, administrative, and technical safeguards regarding the information type to be stored, data transfer and storage, duration of data retention.

HIPAA also requires you to execute a full backup schedule of all your healthcare infrastructures and electronic systems with patient details and electronic protected health information (ePHI).

You and your healthcare company client should regularly back up information (daily at the least) and maintain archives weekly, monthly, and yearly. All data must also be in a secure data center location on physical media.

PCI-DSS

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is an international guideline intended to help protect the whole payment card ecosystem.

At its minimum, PCI-DSS mandates primary account numbers (PAN) to be presented as unreadable wherever you store it, including backup media, portable digital media, and electronic logs.

You should also transmit your cardholder data in secure structures, such as backup servers, processors, corporate offices, third parties handling or storing PAN, and outsourced systems management.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

This law institutes rules to safeguard the public from deceptive and inaccurate practices by business entities, heighten the transparency in corporate financial reporting, and mandate a formal check-and-balance system in every organization.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) applies to the following industries:

  • All publicly-traded companies in the US
  • All fully owned subsidiaries and foreign companies publicly traded and doing business in the US
  • Accounting firms that audit other companies required to be SOX-compliant
  • Private organizations planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) (before going public)

For your Azure DevOps data, you need to maintain SOX-compliant off-site backups of all financial records you have stored.

Other regulations

Azure DevOps backups help you comply with several other regulations, such as:

  • Corporations Act 2001 Section 912A, which mandates Australian Financial Service License holders to back up their electronic information assets and set up stable risk management systems
  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which requires the super companies it regulates to be SOC compliant
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), stating that companies should prepare ahead all electronic documents relevant to lawsuits involving them

Backrightup: A Handy Solution for Your Azure DevOps Backups

Regulatory security and license compliance for your Azure DevOps code and data backups can be rigorous and overwhelming. 

To simplify the task, automate your Azure DevOps backups by using Backrightup.

With a single click, Backrightup automatically, securely, and daily backs up your Azure DevOps Repositories, Work Items, Releases, wikis, Pipelines, and much more.

Every time your automated Azure DevOps data backups run and finish, you get updates and relevant details on your Backrightup dashboard, e.g., data type, date and time updated, etc.

Table showing backup details enclosed in a green rectangle with an arrow pointing to it
Backrightup presents the details of its instant backup activities for your projects.

Back up your Azure DevOps data right now by clicking Run Backups (on top, almost center of your dashboard), choosing which items to back up, and hitting Start Backup(s).

Green rectangles and numbers showing the steps for manual backups
Manually back up specific entities as desired with these steps.

With our Backrightup software tool, you can get highly secure and personalized Azure DevOps backups to your desired storage location — in a few clicks and within a few minutes and without needing to maintain your backup scripts.

You also won’t have to worry about suddenly losing your code and data backups from constant Microsoft API updates, breaches, and other security risks.

FAQs

Check out these FAQs to further improve your data protection and regulatory compliance.

1. Besides compliance, what Azure DevOps security best practices can I adopt for data protection?

Some Azure DevOps security best practices managers can implement strategic planning, robust infrastructure, and continuous design, testing, integration, monitoring, and protection.

Managers should also develop and enhance their team’s skills through Azure DevOps security certification courses. They can even create an internal Azure compliance guide for employees.

2. What can I learn from Azure DevOps security certification courses?

An Azure DevOps security certification course will generally teach you DevOps security practices, how to anticipate attacks, preventive tactics, data and system security maintenance, etc.

3. What can happen if I don’t comply and back up my Azure DevOps?

If you don’t back up your data and code, you can risk incurring penalties and completely or partially losing items, projects, and organizations to cybersecurity breaches, with some limited recovery options.

Consequently, you can suffer operational downtimes, financial losses, reputational damage, and more.

All set to pursue Azure DevOps Backups for compliance?

With this Azure compliance guide and list of industry standards, you can revisit your IT programs and conditions to check any compliance gaps and areas for improvement.

Aid your data protection and security and license compliance with Azure DevOps security best practices, resilient software tools, such as Backrightup, and others.

If you’re set to pursue all these, reach out to us at Backrightup, and we’ll be most glad to assist you with your Azure DevOps backups.

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Azure DevOps Repos Modern Security Threats

If hackers were to attack your Azure DevOps repos now, are you confident they won’t succeed at infiltrating and decrypting or stealing your business-critical code and data?

As you’ll see below there are a plethora of threats that could affect your Azure Devops data Do you have Azure DevOps backups to ensure your data is secure and help you continue operating when that happens?

When operating on your Azure DevOps repositories, you can’t afford to be lazy about securing them because the tactics of cybercriminals are evolving fast.

One essential way to combat these threats is to have  a firm grasp of the modern security threats surrounding your Azure DevOps repos and the elementary defenses you can establish.

What are Azure DevOps repos?

Azure DevOps repos are the modern day source control system. Whilst previously companies used tools like Team Foundation Server, Azure Devops repos bring this functionality to the cloud, allowing  you to control your content versions, organize your project code and control the deployment of this code to various downstream environments. 

It also helps you coordinate with your team regarding code updates and lets you track your solutions, code, builds, pushes, pull requests, commits, and branching project information.

Modern security threats to Azure DevOps repos

Below are some of today’s sophisticated security threats that put your Azure DevOps repository at serious risk:

Ransomware

Ransomware is still one of the most prevalent and destructive cybersecurity attacks against corporations and other vulnerable industries worldwide.

According to the US Department of Justice, since January 2016, more than 4,000 ransomware onslaughts occurred every day, soaring by 300% from approximately 1,000 daily hits in 2015. One report also revealed there were 61 million ransomware detections in 2019.

Ransom demands also skyrocketed. In 2019 alone, average payments rose by 104% from nearly $41,200 to almost $84,120. In 2020, some demands even reached over $40 million.

These ransomware attacks take a toll on industries because of their hefty fees and the hackers’ advanced extortion and data theft tactics and targets.

From individual computers and networks, hackers now assault BitBucket and GitHub code repositories by encrypting them.

A GitHub search shows that more than 392 GitHub repositories so far received ransom demands.

The hackers’ new scheme involves breaking into their accounts and exploiting the file processing code to render the stored data inaccessible.

This is devastating since codes posted in these private developer repositories are valuable and serve as intellectual property. Account-holders are bound to pay to retrieve them.

If the encrypted code affects large-scale projects or is the foundation for a company’s products and services (typically SaaS), businesses can lose massive heaps of money — or shut down.

Reports reveal that one of these hacked repositories charged a decryption fee of 0.1 Bitcoin (equivalent to $590) sent to their Bitcoin address.

Account hijacking

A series of bugs linked together can give cybercriminals smooth access to private Microsoft accounts if they can trick unknowing users into clicking malicious links.

A bug hunter in 2018 found that he can link an unconfigured Microsoft subdomain to his Azure instance and manipulate any piece of data received.

The Microsoft Sway and Store apps can also be fooled into deploying authentical login tokens to controlled unconfigured domains once users enter through Microsoft’s Live login system.

This means hackers can hijack any Microsoft Office account, which includes Azure DevOps, business accounts, and the data, emails, and files therein.

This scenario can happen to developer repositories too. In 2019, A Canonical-owned account on Github had its login credentials breached and used to create issues and others.

Internal malicious players

Security threats are not only external but can also be inside jobs.

In 2021, a previous IT consultant purposefully erased more than 1,200 Microsoft Office accounts of the company he retaliated against for his two-year jail time.

The result was a two-day total operational shutdown for the business, with costs as high as $560,000, and issue remediations for three months.

How to guard your Azure DevOps repos from security threats

Whether the threat is external or internal, fortifying your Azure DevOps repositories is an absolute must for your company. Here are two ways to protect your Azure DevOps repos:

Backup your Azure DevOps repos regularly

Protect your Azure DevOps repository by constantly backing them up. One way to make secure copies of that rich content is through third-party software tools such as Backrightup.

Backrightup is an automated tool for one-click Azure DevOps backups, especially those with business-critical code and content.

Upon linking Backrightup with Azure DevOps, it automatically extracts and creates copies of everything in your Azure DevOps Repos, including wikis, Work Items, Pipelines, Releases, and more — every day.

That means you don’t need to do this burdensome, time-consuming task yourself. 

On the Backrightup dashboard, you’ll find the projects the tool copied from your Azure DevOps:

Backrightup’s dashboard with the projects copied
Backup your Azure DevOps quickly and easily with Backrightup.

You’ll even see updates on Backrightup’s activities of duplicating which items and when. 

Depending on the project or repository, the tool shows you relevant details such as last updated, backup started/ended, ID number, version, etc.

Repositories page
View the details of your repositories, such as when the backup started, ended, etc.

Plus, with a single click of the Restore button or link, you can retrieve selected items from the updates table.

If you wish Backrightup instantly copied some and not all of your files, you can adjust the choices on Repository Settings.

Repository settings with various configurations
 It’s easy to set up your repository settings in Backrightup.

Or, if you can’t wait for the next day’s automatic updates and want Backrightup to duplicate specific items right now, do so by clicking Run Backups at the top of the dashboard:

A pop-up that shows “Start Manual Backup(s).”
Backrightup allows you to start your backups manually.

With Backrightup, you get personalized, safe code backups in a few minutes, even without maintaining backup scripts.

What’s more, you don’t need to fear suddenly losing your backups or experiencing constant Azure DevOps API updates that can alter your codes, items, organizations, etc.
Bolster your cybersecurity policies and programs.
Fortify your company’s cybersecurity to protect your Azure DevOps repos against cybercriminals.

Establish rigid policies and procedures about information security, e.g., stating the authorization level required to access your codes, and others.

Include disciplinary measures and remedies should your staff and executives violate these security policies. 

Next, implement risk management planning and adoption of robust cybersecurity tools and frameworks. This should include sufficient training for employees and executives on all levels.

Finally, set up and maintain all your security mechanisms and architecture — whether on the Internet, internal IT landscape, physical infrastructure, cloud, company and employee-used devices, and others — including, most importantly, your source control management system.
Safeguard your Azure DevOps repositories now.
Backing up and protecting your Azure DevOps now — not later — should be one of your company’s top priorities.

After all, if your Azure DevOps data is compromised through criminal activities, Azure DevOps API updates, etc., your company could easily incur thousands of dollars worth of cost on repairs and to get everything up and running.

Azure DevOps backups and security are worth every bit of your time and investment. If you’re eager to kickstart your backups, contact us through our chat widget or email us now at support@backrightup.com.

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The Ultimate Guide to Azure DevOps Backups

Stay on top of your Microsoft Azure DevOps backups… Ignore this warning at your own risk.

Here’s the thing: Hundreds of thousands of companies using Azure DevOps depend on Microsoft to keep their data safe and secure. Considering how huge and established the Microsoft brand is, I don’t blame them.

However, if there’s anything we’ve learned from the news, it’s that Microsoft isn’t immune to cyberattacks.

In fact, with all their security measures in place, they were still hacked, compromised, and even experienced data loss.

So here’s a question for you: Considering the amount of headache and the thousands of dollars’ worth of damages you’ll suffer if your accounts are compromised, can you really afford to slack off with your Azure DevOps backups?

The answer should be an obvious “no.”

That’s why we’ve put together this Azure DevOps guide to help you with your backups and give your company an extra yet absolutely necessary layer of protection.

Table of Contents: Azure DevOps Backups

  • Modern security threats
    • Ransomware
    • Hijacked account
    • Malicious employees
  • Backing up Azure DevOps for Compliance
  • Why Azure DevOps backups really matter
    • Risks of accidental deletion and long recovery times
    • Azure DevOps outages and Microsoft’s breach experiences
    • Microsoft-recommended practice
  • How to backup Azure DevOps

Modern security threats

One of the reasons backing up Azure DevOps is so critical is the advanced security threats it’s at risk to today: ransomware, hijacked accounts, and malicious employees, to name a few.

Ransomware

Ransomware is among the most prevalent and devastating cyberattacks because of the massive amount of losses it inflicts upon businesses — whether they be financial, information, and the like.

The US Department of Justice reports that over 4,000 ransomware attacks have happened daily since January 2016 — a 300% spike from the estimated 1,000 everyday onslaughts in 2015.

In 2021, these ransomware assaults are also likely to strike businesses every 11 seconds, and its recovery will hit more than $20 billion.

Profits from ransomware more than doubled even in the last quarter of 2019 despite hackers monetizing only around 2% of their attacks.

Frequent ransomware victims include small businesses, manufacturing companies, the professional services sector, academic institutions, hospitals, and healthcare organizations.

However, web developers and technology companies aren’t exempt. 

In 2019, a hacker wiped hundreds of Git source code repositories of developers in exchange for a 0.1 Bitcoin payment (equivalent to around $590).

Evidence indicates that this hacker scoured the whole Internet for Git config files, pulled out login credentials (especially the weak ones), and exploited them to access and ransom Git hosting services accounts.

Hijacked account

Another security risk to Azure DevOps is getting accounts hijacked. 

For instance, using deceptive phishing emails and malicious links, a hacker may gain seamless access to a private Microsoft account when the deceived user clicks the links.

In 2018, a bug hunter discovered that an improperly configured Microsoft subdomain enabled him to link it to his Azure instance and control it and any data it receives.

The Microsoft Store and Sway apps can also be tricked into releasing verified login tokens to manipulated unconfigured domains after the user signs in on Microsoft’s Live login system.

This means any Microsoft Office account — including Azure DevOps, enterprise and corporate accounts, plus files, data, and emails — can be accessed by hackers.

The same scenario can happen for Github, too. A Canonical-owned account on Github in 2019 got its credentials compromised and exploited to make repositories, issues, etc.

With these breaches to unprotected accounts, domains, and other access points, tech companies can quickly lose their financial and data assets and burn their businesses to the ground.

Malicious employees

External malicious players are not the only security threat to Azure DevOps accounts, but even internal ones, such as employees with ill intent.

For example, in 2021, a former IT consultant deleted over 1,200 Microsoft Office accounts of the company he once worked in to avenge his being fired. This act earned him a two-year imprisonment.

It resulted in a two-day complete shutdown of the company’s operations, expenses reaching $560,000, and three-month resolutions of the issues.

Azure DevOps Backups for Compliance

The backups aren’t just meant to protect you from security threats; they’re also crucial for industry standards and regulatory compliance.

For example, if you’re preparing for an audit for System and Organization Control 2 (SOC2) or ISO27K (Information Management Standards), you’ll need to back up your cloud data assets.

In particular, SOC2 is an extensive reporting structure that applies to SaaS or technology service companies storing client data in the cloud.

SOC2 outlines five guiding Trust Service Criteria (TSC) to guarantee customer data safety. SOC2 then lets companies adopt processes and practices based on these guidelines and appropriate to their goals and operations.

These TSC principles include security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

SOC compliance is further crucial for other industry regulations, such as:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Publicly traded companies under it must be SOC compliant;
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). Companies should be ready to present electronic documents when lawsuits occur;
  • Corporations Act 2001 Section 912A. Australian Financial Service License holders must back up their electronic data and install robust risk management systems;
  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Regulated super companies must be SOC compliant.

SOC compliance captures clients’ trust and makes technology service providers stand out among their competitors.

So, why are Azure DevOps and cloud data backups critical for SOC2 compliance?

Code backups enable rapid rehabilitation of services to clients and the fulfillment of the Availability TSC.

Here’s a real-life scenario. Remember the Canonical-Github account breach in 2019 mentioned earlier? 

Despite the cyber onslaught, Canonical recovered the attacked repositories to their original conditions after a short downtime because they kept code backups.

An unfortunate contrast happened to Code Spaces, a well-known software collaboration and code-hosting platform that offers project management services and source code repositories with Git, Subversion, etc.

Code Spaces underwent a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) and got its Amazon Web Services (AWS) account compromised in 2014.

Although the company admitted this happened often, the attacker gained access to its Amazon EC2 control panel login details.

The cybercriminal messaged Code Spaces on the panel and demanded a ransom in return for halting the DDoS attack. 

Discovering that the attacker did not have its private encryption keys to access the machines, Code Spaces attempted changing its credentials to regain its control panel.

“However, the intruder had prepared for this and had already created a number of backup logins to the panel, and upon seeing us make the attempted recovery of the account, he proceeded to randomly delete artifacts from the panel,” the Code Spaces statement said on its homepage.

“In summary, most of our data, backups, machine configurations and off-site backups were either partially or completely deleted,” Code Spaces added.

Because Code Spaces missed preparing a solid data backup and recovery plan, this one devastating vulnerability shut down its hosting company within only 12 hours from the attack.

Why Azure DevOps backups really matter

Frequent Azure DevOps backups are critical for even more reasons: primarily to reduce the threat of losing data and productivity because of equipment failure and other unforeseen events.

Risks of accidental deletion and long recovery times

For one, your Azure DevOps data are at risk of accidental deletion by employees or the dreaded force push to a master repository on Github.

The force push to a master repo command can ruin the other commits pushed already to a shared repository and overwrite the remote storage’s commit history with the local history.

On Azure DevOps, if users, e.g., delete a project they think no one’s using, they can recover deleted organizations for 28 days at most. After that period, the wiped files permanently disappear.

On the other hand, developers using Github for source control can restore deleted repositories within 90 days.

While the possible recovery sounds like good news, the durations account for potential month-long downtimes wrecking tech companies’ performance and operations.

However, a deeper problem arises for deleted Azure DevOps data repositories: Microsoft lacks per-item backup. It can only retrieve entire organizations at one moment instead of individual items. 

This can take Microsoft five days at most to respond, so you’re at risk of also wasting five days’ worth of operational productivity and risk permanently losing project files during the period where you lose the files and then the recovery point by Microsoft.

For example, some developers received assurance from Microsoft that they can retrieve their projects if they deleted (or accidentally erased) them.

When they did and tried to get the project files back, they discovered (to their shock and dismay) that it wasn’t doable because they can only restore an organization.

What’s more, they couldn’t restore the organization to another name in attempts of regaining the project. Since this, too, wasn’t possible, they, unfortunately, lost the project data.

Azure DevOps outages and Microsoft’s breach experiences

Azure DevOps also experiences several outages. In October 2018 alone, the platform underwent those live site incidents on four separate days. 

This certainly impacts tech companies’ daily activities and poses possibly critical repercussions to their business health.

Plus, as a provider, Microsoft has experienced breaches. 

One incident was in 2019 when it opened up about some compromised accounts by users of its web-based mailing services @hotmail.com and @msn.com.

Using the credentials of a customer support agent’s compromised account, hackers had possibly accessed the user’s email address, subject lines, folder names, and account names of other email addresses the agent has corresponded with.

Another incident was in March 2021, when hackers manipulated newfound vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange email servers to inject ransomware to potentially tens of thousands of at-risk email servers.

Microsoft-recommended practice

It’s no surprise then that Microsoft itself recommends rigorous Azure DevOps backups.

Although the company aims to keep its services always operable, they can undergo “occasional disruptions and outages.”

Microsoft continues, “In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored.”

The company also encourages its clients to do all they can to protect their Azure DevOps data, even with tools beyond what they natively offer.

“We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services using Third-Party Apps and Services,” Microsoft adds.

How to backup Azure DevOps

As mentioned, even Microsoft urges tech service providers to back up their data, repositories, codes, and content frequently with third-party apps and services.

Backrightup is one such platform.

It is an automated, one-click tool specifically for Azure DevOps backups, particularly if you’re keeping business-critical code.

True to its name, our software backs everything up in your Azure DevOps Repos, plus your Pipelines, Work Items, Releases, wikis, and many more.

Fully back up your Azure DevOps repositories and other content with Backrightup.

Backing up all these is tedious, which is why we do the hard work for you. And if you want to restore them, you can do so with a single click (see next image).

Another thing worth mentioning is Backrightup automatically stores each of your Azure DevOps data, repositories, codes, etc., within every single project d-a-i-l-y.

It extracts and makes copies of all these from the platform once you sign up, authorize, and connect the two tools.

On the side panel of our Backrightup dashboard, you’ll see the different backups our software made, plus updates on its latest activity. 

Here’s an example of the most recent backup done for Work Items: 

Backrightup shows comprehensive details for each item’s newest backup activities.

Backrightup’s report comes complete with details, such as the item’s ID number, project name, title, type, version control, and the date and time of its latest update

The “Restore Items” button also hangs above the table if you’d like to recover any listed items by ticking the corresponding checkbox.

Backrightup even gives you a choice to back up only selected repositories. Head to your settings by toggling on and off the Yes and No options.

Choose which items you want to be backed up instantly by switching buttons accordingly.

Another nifty feature is letting you add your own Azure storage location, besides our default storing collections.

Add your own Azure storage on top of the default storage location.

Additionally, back up different Azure DevOps projects and see them on your Backrightup dashboard at the top beside your account photo.

See the projects connected and backed up by the Backrightup solution.

With these project data backups, you can restore deleted projects and individual items, unlike Microsoft’s organization-only recovery system.

Finally, while Backrightup automates your Azure DevOps backups daily, you can opt to back up any one of the entities manually if you, say, need it right now and can’t wait for the next day. 

Run manual backups for entities you’d like to back up right away.

Using our Backrightup software, you obtain highly customized and secure data backups to your preferred storage location within minutes — all without preserving your backup scripts.

Moreover, with the constantly updating Microsoft API, you won’t have to suffer from fears of your backups’ sudden disappearance and alterations.

Use Backrightup for reliable and convenient Azure DevOps Backups 

Don’t put your company at risk.

Why rely on Microsoft to protect your data when they’ve succumbed to cyberattacks in the past, and they push their Azure DevOps users to work with third-party apps and services for backups?

With Backrightup, breathe a sigh of relief and have peace of mind knowing your data is backed up daily, and you can quickly restore lost data from ransomware, accidental deletion, cloud compromise, and other security risks.

If you need help with your Microsoft Azure DevOps backups, contact us now through our helpful chat widget on the homepage or email us at support@backrightup.com.