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Veritas study shows Kubernetes adoption needs stronger data protection

For most developers, Kubernetes has been a gift for them in managing and running containers applications. In fact, research has shown that 90% of organizations are expecting to deploy the technology in the next two to three years with more than half of them already relying on it today.

However, there have been some concerns about the deployment of Kubernetes for some organizations. A recent study by Veritas Technologies showed that only 35% of organizations that have deployed Kubernetes so far have tools in place to protect against data-loss incidents such as ransomware.

According to the study, which gathered the opinions of 1,100 senior IT decision-makers from Singapore and around the world, 43% of organizations who had deployed Kubernetes had already experienced a ransomware attack on their containerized environments. A staggering 96% of respondents also said that ransomware attacks on Kubernetes environments continue to be an issue for their organization.

For Andy Ng, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia South and Pacific Region at Veritas, as organizations diversify their IT applications in response to accelerated digital transformation, the need to quickly innovate at scale while maintaining a strong IT security posture is paramount.

“Kubernetes has emerged as a convenient solution, as it is easy for enterprises to deploy, and quickly improves affordability, flexibility, and scalability. However, the data protection strategies in Kubernetes environments have not evolved in parallel with deployment. With close to two-thirds of their mission-critical Kubernetes environments completely unprotected from data loss, Kubernetes has become the Achilles heel in the organization’s ransomware defense strategy.”

The study also showed that 44% of the organizations are missing the opportunity to deliver rapid protection to these at-risk data sets by failing to extend their existing data protection from their traditional workloads out across their containerized environments. This keeps data protection at silo as the rest of the organizations complicate their protection environments with stand-alone products for some, or all, of their Kubernetes protection.

While there is an integrated approach, 32% of respondents said that they know little or nothing about solutions that could protect data across traditional, virtual, and Kubernetes environments. Most organizations using siloed data protection were troubled by more complex or lengthy data to restore process after a data-loss incident and increased time required to manage multiple solutions.

Meanwhile the most compelling reasons amongst respondents for adopting a single solution to protect data against data loss and ransomware attacks were a simplified restore process and a single place to manage protection data.

Interestingly, the research showed that organizations expect to be able to achieve better protection of their Kubernetes environments over time.  While only 15% of organizations believe that ransomware will not be an issue here five years on, this aligns with an increased focus on the roll-out of protection solutions for containerized data.

98% of organizations expect to have data protection in place for their mission-critical Kubernetes environments in five years. 59% of organizations expect that future investment in their protection infrastructures will leave them very well prepared for ransomware attacks on these environments in the future as well.

For Ng though, the reality that the rise of a hybrid working world has created the demand for multi-cloud flexibility, with an increased deployment of Kubernetes.

“As organizations seek to realize the full benefits of Kubernetes, cybercriminals are also relentlessly targeting Kubernetes as a potential breach point. It is imperative for organizations to strengthen their cyber resiliency before more and more ransomware variants emerge over that time to target Kubernetes and take advantage of this Achilles heel,” commented Ng.