Ease of planning and collaboration, boost in productivity are the main reasons why organizations choose Atlassian Jira as their agile work management tool. The numbers speak for themselves: over 65K companies globally have already adopted Jira for its flexibility (it supports any type of project) and extensibility (you can work with a great number of apps and integrations). However, what about security? What will you do if, one day, you aren’t able to access your Jira data? What consequences may it have for your organization?
If you still think that your Jira environment doesn’t need backup, then better jump to reading this blog post, where specialist from GitProtect.io, the DevOps and Jira Backup Software Vendor, has covered all the most important arguments for Agile Team Leaders, CTO’s, Project Managers and Security Leaders to enable Jira Backup. But first, let’s level up Jira’s value and look at the benefits it brings to the company in detail.
What benefits does Jira bring to the company?
Jira was launched as a bug and issue tracker in 2002, though with time it managed to empower other teams of the company and became an irreplaceable tool for an organization. Let’s look at how teams can benefit from Jira in various cases:
- Requirement and Test Case Management. Jira is a powerful tool that permits teams to manage tests either manually or automatically.
- Project management. Jira Software permits you to set up any type of project, and manage it easily from the beginning to the end.
- Agile Teams. For teams using agile approaches, Jira Software offers scrum and kanban boards.
- Product Management. The tool facilitates the creation of thorough roadmaps, tracks team progress, maps and accounts for dependencies, and shares plans and advancements.
- Software Development. Jira helps to deliver better software faster as it has excellent integration with Atlassian tools.
- Task Management. Jira makes it simple to create tasks with information, deadlines, and reminders.
- DevOps. With the focus on best practices, Atlassian Open DevOps permits teams to deliver better products.
- Bug Tracking. The robust Jira Workflow engine ensures that as soon as the bugs are discovered, they are automatically allocated and prioritized.
What can go wrong with Jira data?
Every CTO, DevOps Leader, Product Manager, Agile Team Leader or Security Leader should ask themselves “What can go wrong with my Jira data?” before starting to heavily rely on a tool. It’s important to weigh all the risks connected to the data loss. Possible critical vulnerabilities, human errors, outages, and software and hardware failures are all the reasons that can lead to data loss and consequent financial expenditures. Check out the ultimate review of Atlassian Outages And Vulnerabilities of 2022 in a Nutshell and let’s go through the main reasons to back up your Jira environment.
Reason # 1 Human errors – most common reasons for data loss
Accidental deletion, internal security threats, configuration changes, and miscommunication between teams – all of the mentioned relate to human mistakes. They can be intentional or accidental, and can happen everywhere – in your organization or in… Atlassian.
Just recall April 2022, when about 775 Jira customers weren’t able to access their data for 2 weeks. If we look at the core of the downtime, we will see a lack of communication between teams and using the wrong API, which is a perfect example of unintentional human mistake.
Reason # 2 Outages – no one is insured for them
Atlassian, as any other SaaS provider, may experience outages, and we have already mentioned the most massive one in April 2022. At that time, it took two long weeks, a number of steps and efforts for Atlassian engineers to restore all the sites. The restoration process needed manual intervention, and couldn’t be fully automated.
A lot of companies (especially those that suffered!) have drawn a lesson that backup of their Jira data should be a basis of their Jira Security Strategy. As no one is sure that an outage like that can happen again.
Reason # 3 Ransomware – the disease of the modern era
Ransomware is definitely one of the most expensive threats any business can face. Almost every 11 seconds, somewhere in the world a bad actor finds a new victim and leaves him with just a small notification, demanding a ransom in exchange for a decryption key to decrypt the victim’s data. But are you sure that a threat actor will seriously provide you with a decryption key? What if that key fails to work and you lose your Jira data forever? The attacker may even modify or erase your data.
Thus, you will have double a financial loss. First, the ransom you pay (don’t forget that you may pay a ransom and fail to get your data back!). Second, you will still experience business downtime, and nobody knows how much time your company will need to restore all its operations to their usual state. On the other hand, if you have a ransomware-proof Jira Backup in place, you will be able to continue your business and IT processes right after running the backup copy from any point in time.
Reason # 4 Legal and Security compliance – the best way to stand out
ISO 27001 and SOC 2 are the most sought-after security assessments that companies want to pass. What do security audits give the company? They prove that the organization builds its security according to the principles of availability, security, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. In its turn, it proves that the company positions itself as a reliable service and trustworthy company. What is one of the main requirements to pass SOC 2 and ISO 27001 Audits? Backup, for sure, as it guarantees any time data accessibility and availability.
Reason # 5 Shared responsibility Model – importance of knowing your obligations
Atlassian delivers its service according to the Shared Responsibility Model. This model distinguishes the obligations of each party, the provider and the customer. Atlassian, as a SaaS provider, is responsible for dealing with the incidents concerning its entire system, infrastructure accessibility, security, and availability. While the customer is responsible for his own Jira data.
So, if we speak about an Atlassian outage, it’s the provider’s responsibility to handle it. But, if we speak about your Jira account outage, a ransomware attack, or a human mistake that leads to data loss consequences, it’s the responsibility of the customer to deal with it. Thus, it’s important for you to build your backup strategy efficiently, so that if there is an event of failure, you can restore your Jira system fast from any point in time.
Reason # 6 Hardware and software errors – better get ready
Failures of the hardware or software may also hinder, delay, or even interrupt your development process. Machines can malfunction, and it’s not a secret; something can simply break down. And software, what about it? To operate constantly, it requires frequent upgrades.
However, updates themselves occasionally result in failures. For instance, if a flaw in the latest version goes unreported, the entire system might crash. Thus, isn’t it better to get ready for a crisis and make a backup of your Jira data before any event of failure has taken place?
Reason # 7 Natural disaster – keep copies in a few places
All the data that you keep in the cloud actually rests in some Atlassian Data Centers – the US, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, or Australia. However, it’s hard to predict what can happen to those regions any minute. Floods, fires, hurracanes, and earthquakes are all the disasters which every SaaS provider has to be prepared for. And, of course, Atlassian is ready.
However, will you experience any downtime if the Data Center where your Jira Cloud account is kept has some incident? Definitely, yes – Atlassian of course has redundant infrastructure but some interruptions might occur. To eliminate it or significantly reduce such downtime, it’s better to have backup. Moreover, it’s worth keeping a few backups in different locations (one should definitely be offsite!) with replication between storages enabled. It will permit you to maintain business continuity in any event of failure by restoring your backup from another storage location.
How to build Jira backup Strategy effectively
We have enumerated 7 arguments why Jira backup is important. We have covered all the risks that endanger not only your Jira data but also the continuity of your organization, which, regrettably, results in monetary loss. Is it possible to fend against the hazards listed above?
Of course, yes! All you need to do is evaluate your RTO and RPO, and build a reliable backup and Disaster Recovery strategy that include your DevOps tools data. You can set up your own backup by assigning certain team members to write backup scripts,execute those backups, and keep track of the effectiveness of those backups. Your DevSecOps team will need to pay close attention and put in a lot of effort and time since making manual backups is a rather time-consuming task.
Or you can go the other way. You can have automatic backups for Jira data turning to backup tools, like GitProtect.io. In this case, all your team will need to do is to monitor the backup performance.
So, your Jira backup should include Jira Software, Jira Work Management, Jira Service Management, and all the related data (projects, issues, boards, etc.), permit to meet the 3-2-1 backup rule, replicate your Jira backups between different storages, guarantee unlimited retention, provide immutable storage and ransomware-proof backup technologies, and have Disaster Recovery Technology that permits it to react fast to different disaster scenarios. You can read more about what your backup plan should include in Jira Backup Best Practices.