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Need to Double-Down on Security Awareness Programs: Veeam CISO

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Disaster recovery and data protection have always been challenging for the enterprise, but the pandemic has made them even more complex. Many organizations were unprepared even before COVID-19, but the issue got further aggravated since last year, as employees were forced to work from home almost overnight with little or no security policy in place or a viable data backup and recovery plan. Even though in many parts of the world, lockdowns have been lifted or relaxed, many companies are still operating largely with remote employees and continue to grapple with data protection, backups and disaster recovery (DR).

At its seventh annual flagship event, VeeamOn 2021 that took place online, Gil Vega, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Veeam Software speaks to CXOToday on the enterprise challenges around data protection in a highly diverse and operational landscape. He also highlights the importance of data protection solutions for cloud and virtual environment and Veeam’s new data protection solution for the enterprise. Excerpt.

What is the biggest cyber security issue keeping CISOs up at night at the moment? And what should be the top priority for CIO/CISOs in 2021?

CISOs are worried about a myriad of issues as the cyber threat landscape has never been more dynamic and dangerous. What I hear quite a bit lately from our customer’s CISOs is the very real threat of Ransomware attacks and ensuring that they’re prepared to face those challenges. I’m afraid this problem will only get worse over time. Focusing on the fundamentals of data protection and immutable backups, training your workforce and moving to zero-trust architecture are the keys to successfully preventing or recovering from these sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Even though Cloud is now an imperative and not a matter of choice anymore, what kind of security challenges do you see it brings to the enterprise?

It is important to remember that while you can outsource your workloads to CSPs, you can’t outsource your risk or your reputation. It’s critically important to ensure that CSP customers fully understand the security controls offered in the cloud and they should be prepared to augment them when it’s necessary. Incident response is quite a bit different in the cloud, for example, so understanding roles and responsibilities is of paramount importance.

As companies prepare for return-to-work, how can they improve their employees’ digital hygiene especially when it comes to security and data protection?

As we’re ready to return to the office I would argue that the “Covid-19 Tech Transformation” has only better prepared us for tomorrow’s threats. In most companies during the pandemic work-from-home period, employees became more aware of their individual responsibilities to keep their companies safe. It’s only reminded those of us who manage security programs to double-down on our awareness programs to make sure that employees are behaving responsibly when working from home.

How is Veeam’s latest version (v11) supporting data protection and backup?

Veeam Backup and Replication v11 is released in Q1’21 with an additional 200 new and powerful backup, cloud, DR, security and automation enhancements.  It is the industry’s most advanced data protection solution for Cloud, virtual, SaaS, Kubernetes and physical workloads has already been downloaded by more than 130,000 users. Veeam’s Continuous Data Protection (CDP) provides resiliency for critical workloads, minimizes data loss while allowing companies to recover to the latest state or point in time. CDP is integrated with many other Veeam technologies to allow seamless configuration with Veeam Backup & Replication, monitored and analyzed with Veeam ONE, and then even orchestrate disaster recovery.

What is Veeam’s growth and expansion plans for 2021-22?

Even during the pandemic year of 2020, Veeam experienced incredible growth. According to IDC Semi-Annual Software Tracker, Veeam reported another quarter of double-digit growth with annual recurring revenue (ARR) increase of 25% year-over-year (YoY) for Q1’21 in its thirteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

Part of this success comes from the release of 17 new products over the course of the last 12 months that cover the ecosystem of cloud, virtual, physical, SaaS and application-specific environments, including Veeam Backup & Replication v11. Veeam Backup & Replication v11 is now the most widely deployed enterprise backup software globally, leagues ahead of its competitors. In addition to this, Veeam also released Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v5 at the end of 2020. With 222% growth, this is the most deployed Microsoft Office 365 solution in the industry and Veeam’s fastest-growing product. Our product roadmap for 2021 will further expand our offerings with the top cloud providers — AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google — and Kubernetes, as we remain agile and integrate new technologies. Our goal is to continue supporting our 400,000 customers and become the world’s largest data protection software company.

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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at sohini.bagchi@trivone.com