Microsoft SQL Server Backup made easy with BluVault

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Microsoft SQL Server protection is always an important concern since it is a widely used database management system and is usually used to store critical business data.  Due to this, it is often a favorite target for attackers.  Even apart from the external threats, incidences such as data corruption, disk corruption or other unforeseen accidents could also result in data losses from SQL Server.

Though SQL Server is designed to be a secure database platform and has several built-in security features such as encryption, businesses continue to suffer from SQL database attacks. These could be in form of SQL injection attacks, brute-forcing SQL credentials, and other attacks launched to manipulate data retrieval.

According to a recent report, in 2020, 68% of all web-app attacks were via SQL Injection (SQLi).

Common SQL server security mechanisms

IT pros and Database Administrators have been using multiple tools to mitigate SQL server security risks and protect their organizations from threats. Here is a good list of things to keep in mind:

  • Simplified SQL database components to lower the attack surface area. With a minimal set of database components and features needed to perform any task, administration and maintenance are not only simplified, but one also lowers the chances of possible exploits of by malicious entities.
  • Monitoring and running regular server security audits to identify any possible data breaches. These audits could include thorough analysis of login history, to identify patterns of repeated failed logins to the server or frequent access/changes/deletions to restricted database objects.
  • Setting up strong password policies and enforcing strict periodic password changes for all database administrator accounts to mitigate brute-force attack risks.
  • Applying the principle of least privilege to ensure database administrators are given only the bare necessary permissions and system rights based to perform their tasks.
  • Backups of SQL database – ideally encrypted, and stored in a location other than the office network, can work as an effective tool to counter SQL database corruption and data loss/thefts that may render database files inaccessible.

Backups of SQL database – ideally encrypted, and stored in a location other than the office network, can work as an effective tool to counter SQL database corruption and data loss/thefts.

Backup SQL Servers with BluVault

Parablu’s BluVault, a modern data backup solution, enables automated backup of SQL databases that run on your Windows Server system, to your choice of storage target.  With BluVault’s centralized management, encryption, and backup policies, backing up Microsoft SQL Server is not just easy but secure too.

How to start backing up Microsoft SQL Server Database with BluVault

To get started, once the backup storage is configured in the Parablu portal, the following steps need to be completed:

  • Download the Parablu Server Agent and configure it on the Windows Server system
  • Setup a Backup Policy and remotely apply it to the user(s) who own the necessary Windows Servers
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Download and configure the Parablu Server Agent

To download the Parablu Server Agent and configure it on the Windows Server system, follow the steps below:

1. Login to the Parablu portal using a browser from the Windows Server on which the agent is to be installed.

2. On the Parablu Portal page, click the Settings icon, and from the dropdown menu, select Download Agent

3. Click on the Windows option to download the agent

4. Once the agent is downloaded, double click the downloaded Parablu_EPA.exe file

5. The agent gets installed and appears in the System Tray

6. Using the login prompt, log in to the agent using credentials provided by your Parablu Administrator or the implementation partner

7. Click the Login button. A Connecting to the Parablu Cloud window will be displayed

8. Once the agent registers successfully, click the Launch Client button to launch the agent

Setup and apply the backup policy

Note: It is very important that you configure all SQL databases being backed up by Parablu, to the Simple Recovery Model. In order to do this, follow the steps below in the MS SQL Administration UI on your Windows Server.

Right-click on the database and choose the Properties options. From the DatabaseProperties window, choose the simple recovery model.

Simple recovery model

1. Login to the Parablu portal as an admin

2. Click the Policy Management icon to view and manage Policy settings. Click on the Backup Policies option.

3. Click on the Create New Policy button. The Backup Policy page will be displayed.

4. Provide a policy name (for example – SQLPolicy) and navigate through the tabs to add details to the policy.

5. Under the Backup Information section, select Schedule from the drop-down list

6. Under the Device Information section, click on the Red ‘X’ button in the Default Folders field to delete any existing folders.

7. Type ALL in the Default Folders to backup field and click Add

Note: If your databases are under system.root\Program Files, then please remember to remove {win\system.root\Program Files} from the default Excluded Folders list.

8. Select the Backup SQL Database check box, to enable SQL Database backup from Windows Server

Backup SQL Database

9. Under the Filters section, click Create New Filter to create a new filter

    i. Provide a name for the new file filter you’re about to create (for example – SQL)

    ii. In the Filters text box type in mdf and ldf separated by a comma.

      These are the file extensions that the SQL database backup will be backing up.

    iii. Click the Save button to save the filter

Filter File Types

10. In the main policy page, under Filter Type select Inclusion and on the drop-down list select SQL Filter

Filter type Inclusion

11. Click the Save button to save the policy

12. Go to the Policy Mapping tab and set the created policy for identified users

13. Once done the backup will get initiated to the specified storage target with the specified elements in the policy.

There are several other features build-in to BluVault and each of them can be leveraged using a handful of simple steps like we’ve described above.

For more details or if you wish to explore more, get in touch with our experts and ask for a callback.

Write to us at info@parablu.com to learn more.

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