Immutable backups - x360Recover

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at December 13th, 2023

So - what IS an "immutable" backup?

Immutable backups, by definition, cannot be altered in any way once they are completed. 

An immutable backup should be unchangeable, so you are able to deploy it to production servers immediately, in the case of ransomware attacks or other data loss.

The key difference between a mutable and immutable backup is that data saved by an immutable backup can't be tampered with or modified. Conversely, mutable backups can be easily encrypted, changed, or deleted—common tactics used by cybercriminals trying to force a ransom payment.

Why are immutable backups important?

While no defense can prevent every attack every time, immutable backups are powerful protection against accidental and malicious data modification, encryption, corruption, and deletion. Immutable backups also provide strong protection against malware, ransomware, viruses, and other attacks or data mishaps.

Immutable backup storage in x360Recover

x360Recover stores backup recovery points natively in a ZFS filesystem snapshot.  Each recovery point contains a block-level disk image of each volume on the protected system. These can be instantly mounted for file recovery, virtual disk export, or direct virtualization of the protected system.  ZFS snapshots are natively immutable and cannot be altered once created.

While mounted for recovery operations, the snapshot is cloned and mounted as a separate volume.  Cloned snapshots are read/write, allowing for changes to occur on the filesystem to support virtualization, but the underlying recovery point snapshot is still immutable and unchangeable.  Deleting the snapshot clone and recreating it will revoke any changes made and restore the original contents of the recovery point.

Immutable recovery features in x360Recover

  • Recovery point data is natively frozen within a ZFS snapshot and remains immutable at the filesystem level.
  • Backups are stored externally from the protected system via proprietary transport protocols, and are not directly accessible for read/write access by the protected system.
  • Backup data is replicated off-site to provide redundancy in the case of a local disaster or malicious destruction of backup data.
  • x360Recover backups are protected by Safety Archive, providing an air gap layer that prevents accidental or malicious deletion of data. See Air Gap Protected for x360Recover for details on Air Gap.


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