backup data

Happy World Backup Data (source – Shutterstock)

Backup your data or face the consequences

The 3-2-1 backup rule pretty much sums up how organizations should back up their data. Three copies of data on two different forms and one copy off-site for disaster recovery. While most companies have been practicing this, backup and recovery is still a big problem for them.

As the world increasingly moves online, the amount of data being produced, collected, and stored digitally has increased tremendously. While offline backup is the ultimate safety net, business requirements today need organizations to be able to have access to their backup data as fast as they can. Hence, many organizations have opted for cloud data backup.

The reality is though, no matter where data is stored, be it on the cloud or a hard drive, data loss is inevitable. Hence, it is important to back up information on an ongoing basis that includes multiple layers as well.

According to Acronis’s annual Cyber Protection Week Global Report 2022, 80% of organizations ran as many as 10 solutions simultaneously for data protection and cybersecurity. Yet more than half of them suffered downtime because of data loss. More solutions do not translate into more protection.

On this World Backup Day, Tech Wire Asia speaks to several tech vendors on how organizations can not only improve their backup capabilities but also how they can speed up the recovery process. For them, a backup is no longer a simple copy of data but a guarantor for operations for any situation.

When backup data is no longer enough

For Candid Wuest, Acronis V.P. of Cyber Protection Research, as the entire world is increasingly at risk from different types of attacks, accelerating to universal all-in-one solutions is the only way to achieve truly complete cyber protection. And that’s precisely the problem Acronis has set out to solve. Attackers don’t discriminate when it comes to means or targets, so strong and reliable security is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

Meanwhile, Chua Hock Leng, VP of ASEAN and Greater China, Pure Storage pointed out that with organizations of all sizes storing increasing volumes of sensitive customer data, there is no place for an ‘it won’t happen to me’ mindset. Chua believes leaders need to be thinking of the worst-case scenario and prepare for rapid recovery after an attack.

“Unfortunately, while backup systems have provided an insurance policy against an attack in the past, hackers are now trying to breach these too. Once an attacker is inside an organization’s systems, they will attempt to find credentials to immobilize backups. This will make it more difficult, time-consuming, and potentially expensive to restore.

Organizations need a two-pronged strategy: advanced, immutable ‘snapshots’ of their data and an ability to not just backup fast but to restore fast and at scale. Immutable snapshots are protected because they can’t be eradicated, modified, or encrypted – even if an attacker gains access to sensitive data. They are also relatively easy to restore, but depending upon how much data needs to be restored, snapshots might not be a viable option,” commented Chua.

Moreover, Chua said with a multi-faceted cybersecurity strategy reinforced with snapshots and a rapid restore solution, the restoration phase after a ransomware attack can be reduced from several weeks to just a few hours. This will minimize the impact on users, customers and potential reputational damage suffered from being offline for a prolonged period of time.

Cloud adoption causing backup issues?

With multi-cloud adoption delivering big benefits to enterprises globally, Deepak Mohan, Executive Vice President, Products at Veritas Technologies commented that the shift to multi-cloud environments is also creating new data management challenges, such as unexpected costs, operational complexity, and increased vulnerability to ransomware threats.

“Bad actors are successfully making their ransomware attacks even more impactful by targeting cloud services and data, and as the volume of enterprise cloud data continues to grow exponentially, we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future,” he said

For Mohan, World Backup Day 2022 is a powerful reminder that there has never been a more critical time for all organizations to prioritize robust data protection practices.

“Leaders must work with their IT teams to take the necessary steps NOW to implement the right tools and protocols that can autonomously self-provision, self-optimize, and self-heal data management services to keep their critical data safe and available no matter where it is – from edge to core to cloud,” added Mohan.

At the same time, Veeam, which is known globally for its backup and recovery capabilities, highlighted that, ransomware is one of the most pertinent, and when it strikes, it’s more often than people think.

According to Dave Russell, VP for Enterprise Strategy at Veeam, the Veeam Data Protection Report 2022 found that when organizations across APJ have to recover, they only recover 65% of their data on average. For him, losing one-third (35%) of their data is simply not good enough.

Russell explained that backup and recovery solutions are essential foundations of any organization’s Modern Data Protection strategy. Organizations need to ensure their data protection capabilities keep pace with the demands of their business, to close the gap between how much data they can afford to lose after an outage versus how frequently data is backed up.

“The good news is that we’re seeing CXOs acknowledge the urgent need for Modern Data Protection. And investing in such technologies goes beyond providing peace of mind, ensuring business continuity, and maintaining customer confidence,” mentioned Russell.

At the end of the day, backup matters. And as Russell puts it, “on this April Fool’s eve, don’t be foolish and back up your data!”