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.
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:
It also gives you a choice to back up data manually anytime if you can’t wait for the next automated backup schedule:
You can even select which repositories to back up automatically:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Azure DevOps backups help you comply with several other regulations, such as:
Corporations Act 2001 Section 912A, which mandates Australian Financial Service Licenseholders 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 is still one of the most prevalent and destructive cybersecurity attacks against corporations and other vulnerable industries worldwide.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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 email@example.com.
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
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Licenseholders 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
Another nifty feature is letting you add your own Azure storage location, besides our default storing collections.
Additionally, back up different Azure DevOps projects and see them on your Backrightup dashboard at the top beside your account photo.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.