The past year tested the ability of enterprises to protect their business data like no other. For businesses around the world, the need for a sound data backup strategy in the wake of COVID-19 (and thereafter) has never been more apparent. Hence, on International Backup Day, 31st March, it is imperative that businesses take a pledge to take utmost care to protect their valuable data.
According to the Veeam Data Protection Report 2021, the majority (77%) of Indian organizations have an availability gap – as a result of the increasing pressure modernization is having on ageing legacy systems. Against the backdrop of the pandemic and ensuing economic uncertainty, which 34% of Indian CXOs cite as the biggest threat to their organization’s DX in the next 12 months, inadequate data protection (40%) and the challenges to business continuity posed by the pandemic are hindering organizations’ initiatives to transform.
Likewise, in Druva’s Value of Data report, IT leaders in India have reported an increase in data outages (40%) in the last one year, indicating backing up data for enterprises has become pertinent.
BACKUP TRENDS IN THE NEW NORMAL
While we can churn out many more such data on data loss and the pains it is causing to businesses, in the last one year, we have observed a number of newer trends in the data backup and recovery space especially as the pandemic affected business, digital transformation, and data protection strategy – in ways never seen before.
Multi-Cloud Backup: Today’s businesses are increasingly relying on cloud backup owing to its increased flexibility and cost-effectiveness. In 2020, many CIO/CISOs realized the benefits of keeping business data in multiple clouds. Apart from high availability, multi-cloud backups also ensure data redundancy, which helps eliminate a single point of failure and minimize business disruptions.
Ransomware Protection: With the phenomenal rise in remote workforces, cyber crime including ransomware attacks continued to grow. A study by Sophos found that 51% of companies were hit by ransomware this year, and 25% of them could only get their data back by paying the ransom. Unfortunately, even with a comprehensive backup solution in place, there’s no guarantee for successful ransomware recovery as cyber criminals are now targeting backup data as well. To prevent data backups from being compromised, companies are storing backups and their copies in the cloud using the write-once-read-many (WORM) model to prevent data from being encrypted, deleted or altered. Once suspicious activity is detected, CISOs identify a ransomware infection in its initial stages and employ the critical resources to contain it.
DraaS on the rise: In recent months the demand for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions, especially among enterprises has gone up. According to a Technavio report, the DRaaS market is expected to grow by almost $28 billion by 2024. The technology allows businesses to partner with a third-party service provider and use its cloud-computing infrastructure to ensure comprehensive data protection and recovery in case of a disaster and is known to minimize IT downtime and failure, keeping your budget under control.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
In the ever-changing business scenario, IT managers should look for backup solutions that proactively respond to existing data protection trends by continuously expanding their functionality.
Educating and training employees on data backup is also an essential part of your business. As a recent blog expert said, “When your workforce went remote, part of your company went home with them. So the data backup knowledge which should be accessible to everyone – from C-suite to every other person in the organization – and should be a continuous process.”
As more businesses undergo digital transformations, and putting data online, it is evident that they will face virtual threats that they earlier never anticipated. Hence companies should not let that happen during a crisis and plan in advance.
“Businesses need to have a plan when the inevitable happens. Data has grown into a key element for every digital business, so the solutions must grow with it. Legacy tools are an outdated answer to yesterday’s challenges and having the right tech allows digital transformation by ensuring the availability and integrity of your critical data,” explains Anthony Spiteri, Senior Global Technologist, Product Strategy, Veeam.
Experts also opine, losing your data is a nightmare as such. But losing your hard-earned reputation can be even disastrous. That’s hard to recover from, especially during a tough economic crisis like the one presented to us by COVID-19. With clients threatening to cancel contracts and budgets shrinking by the minute, it’s more important than ever to back up your organization’s data and make sure you don’t suffer the consequence of its loss.
As Milind Borate, Co-founder and CDO, Druva says, “While relying on preventative measures is no longer sufficient, the biggest learning has been that a robust approach to data resiliency should include detection, remediation, and recovery.”
He adds that the growing uncertainty around data safety calls for an urgent revisit of the existing frameworks and leverage the latest technologies to meet this moment. Now is the good time to have a solid contingency plan ready. After all, a little planning will never hurt anybody and goes a long way in data protection.”
Ryan Allphin, chief product officer at Zix, cautions, “While, in many ways, the cloud is a safer environment than on-premise, attacks do still happen and so we all have risk. It is critical to maintain a third party backup of business critical data so you can move your business forward in the event of an attack.”
Preventing data loss should always be a top priority and backing up critical information has never been more important, especially when remote work has become the norm. Having a sound plan B (in this case backup) can prevent firms from dealing with additional hassles in these already uncertain times.