By David Marshall
Today is “World Backup Day,” an annual event celebrated every year on March 31st, to remind individuals and businesses around the world of the importance of backing up their digital data. In today’s digital age, data loss can happen due to various reasons such as hardware failure, cyberattacks, accidental deletion, natural disasters, and theft. It can be a devastating experience to lose important files, documents, photos, and videos that we have accumulated over time. That’s why World Backup Day encourages people to take a proactive approach to protect their digital assets by creating backups regularly.The concept of World Backup Day was initiated in 2011 by a group of concerned individuals who wanted to raise awareness about the importance of data backup. Since then, it has become a global phenomenon and a day when people from all walks of life come together to share their experiences, insights, and best practices related to data backup.The theme of World Backup Day 2023 is “Protect Your Digital Legacy.” This theme underscores the idea that our digital data is an important part of our personal and professional lives and it deserves to be safeguarded. We live in a world where we generate and consume an enormous amount of data every day. From emails to social media posts, from online shopping to online banking, from work-related documents to family photos, we rely heavily on our digital devices to store and manage our data. Therefore, it is imperative that we have a backup plan in place to protect our digital legacy.So, how can you celebrate World Backup Day 2023? Here are some tips:
Don’t take my word for it. Hear from some of the leading industry experts in the backup and disaster recovery industry for more commentary and expertise:
Jack Bailey, VP, Channel and Sales Enablement, 11:11 Systems“With 76% of organizations experiencing at least one ransomware attack in 2021 and only 69% of impacted organizations able to get their data back (Source), World Backup Day is a critical opportunity for organizations of all sizes to assess their cyber resilience. At a minimum, an organization should ensure their data protection strategy follows the 3-2-1-1-0 rule.The 3-2-1-1-0 strategy recommends having 3 copies of data, on 2 media types, with one copy being offsite to remove single points of failure. With 97% of ransomware attacks attempting to impact backup data (Source), one copy should be air gapped to remove threats. Finally, these backups should have 0 errors, meaning the backup has been validated and verified.Failing to plan is planning to fail. This World Backup Day, ensure your organization has a strategy to protect and recover.”
Ken Barth, CEO of Catalogic Software “World Backup Day is a great time to reflect on the growing role that backup solutions play in today’s world of cyber-attacks and ransomware. Backup solutions continue to enable quick and verified recoveries, with support for immutable copies of data to recover from. However, being reactive and relying on your backups is no longer enough! If ransomware has already infected your systems and encrypted data that you then back up, or if the ransomware is able to detect the backup copies and encrypt or delete them, you will be in for an extended recovery period or have to pay the ransom. The good news is that with the addition of pre-backup monitoring and alerting, your backup team can get early and direct indications that a ransomware attack is happening and take proactive and limit the damage. One approach is to have an add-on module, like DPX GuardMode, that monitors key systems and files and alerts your backup and storage teams of suspicious activity on their systems. Then by pinpointing any compromised files enables, only affected or compromised files can be surgically replaced from a verified good backup, minimizing downtime and reducing the risk of lost revenue and customer trust. Give some love and support to your backup admins today and every day!”
Thomas LaRock, Head Geek™, SolarWinds
“Data is the most critical resource for any modern enterprise or software company. It is key to building innovative applications, providing better services, and improving business outcomes. Given its value, companies must be sure to take steps to protect and secure that information. In today’s increasingly hybrid and multi cloud IT environments, this is more important than ever.I encourage organizations to use World Backup Day to ensure they are following best backup practices, including encrypting or password-protecting their database backup files, storing immutable copies of backups offsite, and testing restore and recovery processes. Without employing these best practices, it can become impossible to recover data.Today is also an opportunity for organizations to assess how and where they are storing their data while ensuring they run the most modern performance monitoring and optimization solutions to protect data long past World Backup Day.”
Kevin Cole, global director, technical product marketing, Zerto, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company “World Backup Day is a timely reminder to be proactive about protecting your data and applications from disasters, ransomware, and other disruptions. It’s easier than ever to implement scalable software solutions to ensure you have multiple copies of your data, stored in multiple locations, and in multiple formats. Securing your data is just the start: once you have a data protection strategy in place, it’s critical to consider recovery of that data should any disruption, outage, or cyber-attack occur. Especially with ransomware, speed of recovery is the key: how quickly can you resume operations and do so without losing data nor paying the ransom? Rapid recovery with no downtime and no data loss helps businesses of all sizes achieve true resilience and bounce back no matter what comes along.”
Simon Taylor, Founder and CEO, HYCU“We are constantly reminded that backup is not just a one-day occurrence. It is a necessity each and every day. Whether your company is faced with inadvertent data deletion or you are faced with a ransomware attack and your backup is your one sole source of safety, backup and recovery as part of your overall data protection strategy is as important today as ever before. If the constant and ever-present ransomware attack, now every two seconds, isn’t enough to remind us why we need to celebrate World Backup Day, nothing will. And, it’s not just the insidious nature that ransomware has become, it’s the growing success these attacks have across a number of IT environments. With more than 17,000 SaaS applications in use in North America alone, and 52% of successful ransomware attacks coming through SaaS, any way you can protect yourself with the right backup and recovery solution speaks for itself. It’s why we introduced R-Cloud and it’s why we use today to remind us to backup! Use World Backup Day to protect yourself and find out what data you may have unprotected in your own environment, if nothing else.”
Rick Vanover, Senior Director of Product Strategy at Veeam
“Backup is only important when a company needs to recover data. This lesson gets learned again and again as the risk of not being able to recover data puts everything at risk. I’d challenge that organizations are generally now digitally transformed and the risk of not being able to recover data puts the entire organization in jeopardy with downtime, costs, loss of business reputation and more. This scenario would be incredibly unfortunate as one can’t recover what hasn’t been backed up. Organizations should prioritize data protection strategies to be complete in what they protect but also reliable in the ability to drive recovery when it is needed most. Multi-modal behavior will be a trend moving forward – a ransomware threat that started with a phishing email, leveraged by a remote access implementation that was not fully secured, and then exploited a known (or unknown) vulnerability as part of an organization’s technology stack. Another trend with ransomware still exists on the people side of the equation with businesses that still don’t have a solid plan in place to address a ransomware response when it happens – because it will happen. A third trend with ransomware is actually encouraging – more ultra-resilient media types than ever. In the end, what we want data backup to do is get a business out of a problem. Ransomware will put a data backup strategy to the test and having a copy on an ultra-resilient media is the best way to get out of that problem. Ultra-resilient media types include technologies that are air-gapped, offline, immutable or require 4-eyes recovery (2 humans). There are more ultra-resilient media options than ever and advise businesses to implement the 3-2-1 Rule and refresh it with the 2 non-production copies to *both* be ultra-resilient media types.”
++ Dave Russell, VP of Enterprise Strategy at Veeam
“Unfortunately, we have all lost data, in our personal and professional lives. We’ve researched the causes for unplanned server outages from the last three years, and all of the things that we’ve worried about for decades, such as networking issues and accidental deletion, all remain, and now cybersecurity events have become the most common, and the most impactful cause of an outage. If there are no backups to recover from, a company risks loss of revenue and loss of brand and reputation. Our global industry data shows that backup is vital for recovering from a ransomware event, as on average, 39% of data is encrypted or destroyed. No organization, of any size, vertical, or geography has 2 out of 5 files, servers or applications that they can afford to completely lose. Ransomware and cyberthreats are evolving. Unfortunately, as an industry, we are losing ground. Veeam’s unbiased, independent industry-wide research surveyed 4,200 organizations across the world, running a variety of backup solutions, with 85% reporting that they were hit by a ransomware attack. Only 15% indicated that they were not successfully attacked, which is down from 24% the previous year. Not only are more of us getting attacked, but we’re also getting attacked more frequently.”
Mark Chuang, Head of Product Marketing for Cloud Storage and Data at VMware
“Backups are critical. Period. But in today’s business and IT landscape, they are not enough to protect organizations from the latest cybersecurity threats. Ransomware attacks have increased in both frequency and sophistication in recent years. This is why modern ransomware protection must evolve to include both preventative security and state-of-the-art recovery measures. Many organizations who have not yet been attacked and had their data encrypted don’t realize what it takes to have an effective recovery strategy in place. Some of the common mistakes include assuming that traditional file scanning can test and cleanse their VMs, relying on their existing backup and disaster recovery solution to be sufficient, and not deploying an integrated ransomware recovery solution designed for the task.When crafting a ransomware recovery strategy, a purpose-built solution for ransomware recovery is critical to ensure today’s systems can effectively respond and recover from attacks as quickly as possible, while minimizing data loss. VMware’s approach combines the strength of its innovative portfolio across DR, storage, networking, security, and public cloud to deliver a ransomware recovery as-a-service solution. This makes confident recovery from ransomware invasions possible, with guided automation workflows, embedded behavior analysis to detect modern ransomware, and isolated, cloud-based recovery environments with network integrations to prevent re-infection during the recovery process. With a ransomware attack happening every 11 seconds, World Backup Day is a great time to reassess your ransomware recovery strategy.”
Ben McLaughlin, Vice President of Lyve Cloud at Seagate Technology“Amid an evolving malware landscape, data backup continues to be the best line of defense against cybercriminals. A rise in ransomware as a service and extortion tactics means that organizations need to be more vigilant than ever and ensure their data is backed up and protected. Organizations should consider solutions like immutable storage, which cannot be edited or deleted, and decentralized storage, which lowers the risk of a cyberattack because data is distributed, helping them stay ahead of emerging threats.
Efficient data backup drives innovation. Companies most adept at managing their multicloud storage are 5.3x more likely than their peers to beat revenue goals by 10%. As generative AI applications like chatbots become more pervasive, companies will train them on their troves of internal data, unlocking even more value from previously untapped information. To make the most of chatbots and AI innovation, organizations should develop comprehensive data classification strategies and adopt technology that seamlessly moves data where it can provide the most value.
Data classification is essential to remain compliant as data regulations increase in complexity. Various data categories (PII, healthcare, financial, etc.) are regulated differently based on their industry and location and require unique data storage solutions. As part of their backup strategy, organizations need a unified data classification system to ensure that data is stored securely and in compliance with regulations, to help avoid regulatory fines and long-term reputation damage.
SaaS enterprise data risk. Many enterprises have transitioned their critical workloads to the cloud. The result is that large sections of corporate datasets are now created by SaaS applications. Many SaaS vendors do not include backups as part of their service. Organizations should recognize the existence and importance of enterprise data created by their SaaS workloads and implement appropriate data backup and protection measures.”
++Lisa Erickson, head of data protection product management at Veritas
“In a recent Veritas survey of 2,000 US consumers, 78% said they’re concerned that the governments and businesses that have their personal information will be victims of ransomware or other attacks targeting sensitive data. Adding to their stress, nearly half (48%) also said they don’t trust these governments and businesses to adequately back up their digital information so it can be recovered after an attack. Consumer concern is high, and the threat landscape continues to evolve with faster and more complex threats targeting on-premises and multi-cloud environments. It’s more important than ever for organizations to make secure data backup from edge to core to cloud a top priority.
Start the backup process with comprehensive data classification and implement deduplication. IT departments can’t afford to save their data indiscriminately as they face tight budgets and scrutiny over cloud spend ROI — 94% of organizations globally already overspend on cloud. Organizations should implement comprehensive classification systems to understand the kinds of data they have and therefore where and how it should be stored and for how long. Implementing identification, categorization and retention policies will help organizations organize their data and ensure that the critical and sensitive data is retained appropriately. Also, they can reduce their attack surfaces by establishing policies, technologies and auditing that reduces their data footprint through methodologies like deduplication.
Double down on backup at the edge. Organizations often don’t apply the same level of protection to the edge as they do in the data center, often due to skills and staffing shortages. Each edge device needs to be protected and backed up and the resulting edge data needs to be assessed, categorized and protected accordingly.
Your data isn’t inherently safer in the cloud. As part of their standard service, most CSPs only provide an uptime guarantee of their service, not comprehensive cloud data protection with guarantees. In fact, many include a shared responsibility model in their terms and conditions that a customer’s data is their responsibility to protect. The same rules apply to your cloud data that apply to all your other data: you must assess, categorize, protect and recover it. Never just assume someone else is doing that for you. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ensure that the enterprise data protection capabilities you expect and use today can be extended to hybrid cloud and cloud native.
Automation is key to secure and cost-effective backup and recovery. Enterprises are dealing with an unprecedented quantity and variety of workloads and data that they need to manage. AI-based methodologies and technologies that automate provisioning, lifecycle optimization and smart usage of resources like storage are necessary to keep up with these challenges, and they free up IT staff to focus on more strategic and transformational activity.”
Andrew Kahl, CEO of BackBox“Data backups get a lot of attention, but sadly, sometimes the operational work that keeps networks secure — network and security device backups, upgrades, and configuration grooming — goes undone. Backing up the network infrastructure, including firewalls and other network devices, protects against cyberattack damages and outages caused by a configuration error, improving resiliency and decreasing the mean time to resolution.”
Aron Brand, CTO of CTERA “As we mark World Backup Day, it’s time to recognize that traditional backup and restore solutions are no longer effective in today’s world of ransomware attacks. These solutions often rely on scheduled backups, which can leave data vulnerable to attack between backups. Moreover, restoring data from backups can be time-consuming and disruptive to business operations. To combat this, modern IT should standardize on solutions that offer continuous backup and near-instant rollback capabilities. This approach ensures that data is always protected, with changes automatically backed up in real-time, reducing the risk of data loss. And if an attack does occur, organizations can quickly and easily roll back to a known good state, minimizing the impact on business operations.”
Tyler Moffitt, Sr. Security Analyst at OpenText Cybersecurity“SMBs need to take backup seriously to avoid data loss and to protect against cyber threats. Developing a backup strategy, testing your backups, keeping backups offsite, encrypting your backups, and implementing a backup monitoring system are all critical steps to take on World Backup Day and beyond.Develop a backup strategy: Start by assessing what data needs to be backed up and how frequently. Consider the type of data, its importance, and the impact of losing it. Then, decide on the backup location and method, such as cloud-based, physical backup, or a combination of both. I recommend the latter, but I can understand if budgets are in the way. That is also a primary reason why SMBs are targeted. Test your backups: It’s essential to test your backups regularly to ensure they’re working correctly. Test backup data to make sure it can be recovered and is usable. Without these dry-run rehearsals, your backups could be useless or result in your team running around with their hair on fire during a time of crisis when you need to be calm and collected. Keep backups offsite: If you store your backups onsite, they could be vulnerable to theft, fire, or natural disasters. Therefore, keeping backups offsite as well in a secure location is recommended. Cloud-based backup solutions offer this option to supplement any onsite solution.Encrypt your backups: It’s important to encrypt your backups to prevent unauthorized access to the data. Encryption ensures that even if someone gains access to the backup data, they won’t be able to read it or use it for leverage on a leak site in data exfiltration cases, which are all too common.Implement a backup monitoring system: A backup monitoring system helps you keep track of your backups and ensures they’re running correctly. It alerts you if there are any issues, such as failed backups or insufficient storage space. Having snapshots and a running history of versions of files is crucial as well. In case any of the most recent versions were to become compromised, you can have copies that you know will restore correctly.”
Stephen Manley, CTO, Druva
“Backup isn’t security… but security is part of your life now. You need to learn how to secure your backups, how you can help security, and how to recover from a ransomware attack. You need to look past the traditional workloads. Your company’s data is moving to SaaS applications and the cloud. If you’re not protecting the data where it is, you’re leaving the business exposed. We used to say, it’s not about backup, it’s about recovery. Now it’s not about data, but applications. How will you protect and recover your business applications?We have self-driving cars. It’s time for self-driving backups. You need a solution that takes care of managing your backups, so you can spend your time working with the business.”
Mark Stockley, cyber evangelist at Malwarebytes “With many organizations still failing to defend against ransomware, organizations should ask themselves three questions on World Backup Day – Are we backing up the right things, are our backups beyond the reach of an attacker, and have we tested our backups to ensure they can do what we need? Organizations today must adapt or die. While the old rules of cybersecurity are still table steaks, organizations need to look beyond basic best practices if they want to survive. Backup is a perfect example. An organization’s last line of defense against ransomware is their backup solution, and attackers know it. Ransomware gangs treat backups as a priority target because destroying them can make restoration and recovery impossible.”
Carl D’Halluin, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Datadobi“Failing to backup your data can have catastrophic consequences, as a single hardware failure, cyber-attack, or natural disaster can wipe out all your valuable information, leaving you with no way to recover it. This means that years of hard work can all be lost in an instant, with no chance of retrieval. Even the cost of losing just a portion of your important data can be immeasurable, with potential financial, legal, and reputational implications that can last for years. Identifying the vital data that requires protection should be the first step in the process. But even if you know and can ‘describe’ what data must be protected, finding it has always been another matter – and you cannot backup what you cannot find. To effectively address this enormous and complicated undertaking, users should look for a data management solution that is agnostic to specific vendors and can manage a variety of unstructured data types, such as file and object data, regardless of whether they are stored on-premises, remotely, or in the cloud. The solution should be capable of evaluating and interpreting various data characteristics such as data size, format, creation date, type, level of complexity, access frequency, and other specific factors that are relevant to your organization. Subsequently, the solution should allow the user to organize the data into a structure that is most suitable for the organization’s particular needs and empower the user to take action based on the analyzed data. In this case, backup the necessary data to the appropriate environment(s). And, if necessary, the solution should enable the user to identify data that should be organized into a ‘golden copy’ and move that to a confidential, often air-gapped environment.To sum it up… Don’t let the nightmare of data loss become your reality – always backup your data.”
Don Boxley, CEO and Co-Founder, DH2i“World Backup Day is an annual event that is intended to raise awareness of the importance of data backup and protection. It serves as a reminder for individuals and organizations to take proactive measures to safeguard critical data against unexpected incidents that can result in data loss, such as hardware or software failure, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and human error. And, while the exact cost can vary depending on factors such as the size of the organization, the type and amount of data lost, the cause of the loss, and the duration of the downtime, according to various studies, it can cost organizations upwards of billions of dollars each year.That’s why, for systems architects and IT executives alike, zero is the ultimate hero. And to achieve it, they are taking a multi-pronged approach to data protection. To achieve zero downtime, zero security holes, and zero wasted resources, they are also layering-on smart high availability (HA) clustering and software-defined perimeter (SDP) technology that enables them to securely connect and failover enterprise applications — from anywhere, to anywhere, anytime.On World Backup day and all year long, it is critical to remember that businesses that invest in data protection are better equipped to navigate unexpected data loss events, maintain regulatory compliance, and protect their critical assets and reputation. Bottom-line, investing in data protection is not just smart, it’s essential for business success.”
++Steven Santamaria, CEO, Folio Photonics “The world’s most valuable resource is data, and it is of utmost importance to properly store, protect, and preserve this resource. The safekeeping of data is essential because it represents the foundation upon which many modern businesses are built, and its loss can have far-reaching consequences for organizations and individuals alike. As such, ensuring the safety and longevity of data should be a top priority for any entity that relies on this precious resource.On World Backup Day, we are reminded of this, and the criticality of backup as one of the key safety nets against data loss, whether it’s due to technology failures, cyber-attacks, or human error. Today, I would offer that the most effective data protection strategy should also incorporate a data storage platform that can be securely archived in an off-site location, with the added benefit of being taken off-line and air-gapped for even greater security. This means that the storage platform is physically separated from the main network and disconnected from the internet, making it highly resistant to cyber-attacks and other forms of data breaches. In essence, a well-designed data protection strategy should prioritize both physical and digital security to safeguard critical data and ensure business continuity.”
Jason Lohrey, CEO Arcitecta
“As we recognize World Backup Day on March 31st, the focus is on preventing data loss. However, it’s important to understand that the way we have done backup for the past twenty years is broken – especially at scale. As the amount of data continues to increase – both in the number of files and the amount of data generated – backup systems that scan file systems are no longer feasible, particularly as we enter the realms of billions of files and petabytes or more of data. Exponential data growth is driving the need for systems that can prevent data loss without the mechanisms and limitations of traditional backup. A glaring limitation example is that all interim data changes that occur between backups, snapshots or clones will not be captured and cannot be restored in the event of a system failure, user error, cyberattack or other data loss event. For far too long, business leaders have had to accept a level of data loss, as defined by recovery point objectives (RPO), and some downtime, as defined by recovery time objectives (RTO.) New business resilience technologies are now enabling rapid data recovery that approaches the ideal of an RPO and RTO of zero – even at very large scale. Going forward, business leaders can mitigate risk to their organizations by changing their focus from successful backups to rapid, near instantaneous successful data recoveries.”
Brian Spanswick, Chief Information Security Officer and Head of IT, Cohesity“For organizations and businesses, frequent data backups are critical but it is only the first step in the process. The next step is to have frequent scheduled backups that store the data required to efficiently continue business operations in the event of a disruption and to store the backed up data in an immutable file so it can only be accessed by those with specific roles and privileges. Lastly, organizations should be able to recover from these back-ups quickly to minimize the business impact of disruptions.”
Yev Pusin, Backup Stewart and Senior Director of Marketing, Backblaze“Why are backups important? Backups are insurance for your data. You have auto insurance, why not insure your data? And cloud-based data backups are even better than the other forms of insurance because you can use them for many purposes beyond protecting data. It becomes a tool to access your data. We’ve seen the shift in how people need access to their data anywhere and at any time–whether it’s from the phone in their pocket or a laptop in a Parisian coffee shop. Being tethered to home or office-based hardware for backups is no longer sufficient, especially with the world getting smaller and digital nomads on the rise. Every year, Backblaze works with Harris Poll to gauge the state of backups in the U.S. and in our last survey we asked those who own a computer about their backup habits. World Backup Day must be working in raising awareness: 57% of computer owning respondents who back up say they use a “cloud-based” system for their primary backup. If your data is backed up and fully accessible globally, it frees you to work from anywhere with the peace of mind that your data is accessible and safe.”
Tony Liau, VP at Object First
“As we celebrate World Backup Day, it’s critical to acknowledge the pivotal role of backup and recovery in shielding organizations from the disastrous impacts of data loss. However, with the increasing frequency and sophistication of ransomware attacks, simply backing up data is no longer adequate. Organizations must ensure that their backups are immutable to prevent malicious encryption, which can cripple operations and result in significant financial losses. As we navigate the ever-evolving threat landscape, it’s crucial for organizations to proactively safeguard their data and ransomware-proof their environment by implementing proper data protection strategies that include immutable storage. Let’s take action today to safeguard our valuable data, maintain business continuity, and protect against ransomware attacks.”
Jon Toor, CMO of Cloudian“On this day, I’d like to take a moment to look at how far we’ve come in advancing data protection technology. I’ll highlight three advances that deliver significant benefits to users: security, simplicity and sovereignty. In security, our backup infrastructure is now better than ever. We can backup to targets that are themselves impregnable, and offering military-grade security, protection from ransomware, and tamper-proof designs that defend against all rogue actors. In the past, your backup target was among the most tempting of malware targets. Not anymore. For simplicity, we now have direct-to-object workflows that reduce the number of steps required to securely store and protect your data. Simpler is better, and the new workflows make the process easier, safer… and less expensive! Data sovereignty is an increasing concern as organizations and governments adopt cloud infrastructure for data protection. The good news is that either a private cloud or a locally-managed cloud can now deliver all the benefits of cloud while sacrificing nothing in data sovereignty. Today’s S3-compatible infrastructure provides cloud-like scale and simplicity, and can be deployed at the location that meets your needs. With these advances, data protection is now simpler and more secure than ever, and is lower cost, too. Cloud technology – both the public cloud and the private cloud – changed the game by offering a new and better way to think about backup targets. Both users and vendors should be thankful for this on Backup Day.”
Ravi Pendekanti, senior vice president of HDD Product Management and Marketing at Western Digital
“If it���s important or irreplaceable, back it up, now. Having a practical 3-2-1 backup strategy in place is an essential insurance against an unpredictable loss, offering peace of mind in knowing that data is safe and protected. With the highest capacity 22TB CMR HDDs now shipping and a full range of HDDs, SSDs, portable drives, and external storage solutions, Western Digital has the solutions to store and backup data at any scale – from enterprises to SMBs to consumers.”++
Joe Morgan, VP of Cloud, Virtuozzo “Backups are boring, like insurance is boring. Getting your car serviced is boring. Doing your tax return is boring. They’re the most boring things in the world, until you have a problem because you didn’t do the boring thing. Then they get exciting in a really bad way. Deal with the boring backup stuff now – right now – so you don’t have to deal with a bad day tomorrow.”
Nagarajan Chandrasekaran, VP, Product Management and Marketing, BDRSuite, Vembu Technologies“Data loss can have catastrophic consequences for any organization. World Backup Day serves as a timely reminder to individuals and businesses to take proactive measures to protect their critical data. Investing in a robust backup strategy not only mitigates the risk of data loss due to cyberattacks or natural disasters, but it also ensures business continuity and maintains customer trust. So, don’t wait until it’s too late. Backup your data today, because tomorrow it may be too late. Happy World Backup Day!”
Colm Keegan, Senior Consultant, Product Marketing at Dell Technologies“1. Shift some cyber security perimeter spending to cyber resiliency capabilities. Not a matter of if you will experience a cyberattack, just a matter of when. From the Dell GDPI 2022 research, 48% reported experiencing a cyberattack that prevented access to data in the last 12 months.
2. Fight cloud inflation with storage efficiency technologies that can help you meet your ESG goals. As data grows across multicloud environments, IT costs go up. Look for solutions that deliver increased data reduction capabilities on-premises and in the public cloud, to reduce rack space footprint, reduce power and cooling costs and drive down cloud costs.
3. Remember, you can’t protect what you can’t see. 72% of organizations reported in the GDPI research that they are unable to locate and protect dynamic data resulting from DevOps and cloud development activities. With developers rapidly adopting containers to deploy workloads across on-premises and public cloud environments, consider solutions that can discover any workload type wherever it’s deployed so that you can automatically protect and secure data in real-time.”
++Joe Noonan, Product Executive, Backup and Disaster Recovery at Kaseya
“World Backup Day is a perfect time for organizations to reflect on their business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
While we have returned to “pre-pandemic life,” Covid’s after-effects are still being felt. A recent study shows that there are now three times more remote jobs compared to 2020. The workplace moved online during the pandemic and people have continued with remote work three years later. This has had a profound impact on how organizations protect and store their data. In a hybrid workplace, a company’s data is stored in a variety of different places, creating a greater risk of attacks from cybercriminals. Cyberattacks have grown in sophistication since organizations have moved to a more remote workplace and the recovery process can take longer as well with new cyber insurance requirements.
In addition to remote work, the emergence of ChatGPT also brings about new risks. Threat actors are now using the new technology to increase the speed and variation of attacks by altering code and creating different variations of social engineering attacks. Machine learning technologies are growing in complexities, which means more ways for threat actors to use the emerging tech for hostile intent.
With the world and its technology continuing to change by the minute, it has never been more important for organizations to have an up-to-date backup and disaster recovery plan – and more specifically, one that can defend their data no matter where it lives. Then taking the time to build and test the plan – or working with a qualified managed service provider to do so – is the key to eliminating data loss, downtime.”
Steve Watt, SVP, Chief Information Officer at Hyland
“The key in most cases [data protection, backups and disaster recovery] is having a program that includes a 360-degree view of all the systems you need to protect, a properly prioritized continuity recovery plan, and an effective testing and audit strategy. It’s also important to develop a strategic risk program and make smart decisions on the type of recovery scenarios you’re most likely to face.Getting a copy of your data is often the easy part, but building an effective program to address all the other aspects of data continuity is where a lot of the work happens. Regarding precautions, I would advise in relation to test plans to always be wary of simulated recovery scenarios. It’s important to do full failover and recovery whenever possible so that you truly can understand the nuances you may face in a real situation. Ensure your business units understand the dependencies that exist on those cloud systems and how they interact with processes and on-premises infrastructure in the case of hybrid [cloud storage]. It’s also important that you have an accurate inventory and understanding of any secondary systems that functional groups use in their processes. Many times in testing, we have run into situations where you think all the right apps are being protected – only to find out a SaaS tool has been integrated into a process but not well documented. That is why it is so important to test your plans and recovery and make the business a large part of that effort to ensure something small doesn’t become an issue.”
Jerod Johnson, senior technology evangelist, CData Software
“Data loss and theft can have serious consequences for businesses, including financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities. Thankfully, there are several relatively easy steps organizations can take to defend against data loss and theft. Organizations can conduct a risk assessment to identify their critical data, where it is located, and potential vulnerabilities. They can also implement technical and organizational measures such as encryption, access controls, permissioning, and anti-virus software. All these measures are in vain, however, if employees are careless with their data. That’s why it’s vital for everyone across the organization to participate in regular, formalized security training to understand and uphold best practices when handling data.In case of a security breach, enterprises need a data backup plan in place and regularly test backup and recovery procedures. Monitoring and alert systems can help detect and respond to unauthorized access or unusual activity. Finally, data teams must stay informed of the latest data security threats and trends and adapt their security measures accordingly to help businesses protect against any major data loss and theft.”
++Ed Chyzowski, Principal Product Manager, Security at Syntax
“An important part of any organization defending themselves from cyber criminals is staying up to date on the latest vulnerabilities and knowledge to apply safeguards to those vulnerabilities. Many companies’ IT departments are stretched thin and as a result may not have the staffing bandwidth or cybersecurity experience to correctly apply and monitor those safeguards into their systems. It is critical that any organization realizes there are always potential bad actors either externally or internally which may compromise the organization’s ability to safeguard their operations and retain their customers’ trust as a responsible partner or vendor.Recent advancements in machine learning and AI have enhanced the threat protection landscape, which allows enterprise level protection used by our SOC to protect our ERP customers with the best in breed solutions. Having these tools and experience in place can prevent fraudulent activity from ever entering our customers’ systems. Unfortunately, we do know some bad actors will get some wins, so being able to recover sensitive data and remain operational in the event of a breach is a key element in cybersecurity and our customers remediation plans. Cybersecurity is a partnership between our customers and Syntax – where we can provide the expertise and experience to safeguard many of these attacks in conjunction with our customers’ requirements. End users in most cases are the best security once trained properly, and in conjunction with the vulnerability remediation and Extended Detection and Response systems we have in place, companies will feel secure in today’s digital era.”
David Endres, Head of Commercial Management Server at IONOS“This method uses the internet and servers in external data centres, which means company data isn‘t stored on own or local data carriers such as hard disks or other storage media, but transferred securely via an encrypted network connection to remote data storage. Unlike a local, external hard drive, the cloud is available everywhere via the internet which makes it easier to restore data even if you are not in the same place as the backup.It also allows data from all kinds of devices to be backed up in one place. From PCs and workstations to data from smartphones or complete cloud infrastructures such as virtual machines or SQL servers, all company data can be completely integrated into one cloud backup and centrally controlled if necessary.
A true backup in the cloud can also save not only files, but complete system states in different versions. In this way, users can, for example, restore a server to a previously backed-up system state at any time after a security incident or operational disruption. This means that an operating state can be restored securely and stably without delay. Other advantages include storage capacity, for example, as it can be easily adapted to the growing needs of a company. And unlike traditional backups, the data at cloud providers is embedded in a highly available infrastructure that protects the data from both cyber attacks and from physical disasters.Protecting your data from loss and theft is a necessity for every company. A cloud backup offers a multitude of advantages over conventional backup methods and is a central security component in the age of cloud and ransomware.”
Adam Rusho, Field CTO, Clumio
“Today, cost optimization in AWS is a top priority for most companies, especially when it concerns backup and data protection. Several factors that can contribute to rising AWS backup bills include the incorrect perception that all data is critical enough to need a backup, using the same backup strategy for all data, little visibility into backups and copies, lack of granularity in existing backup solutions, and having to create additional vaulted copies. To avoid such pitfalls, companies must take the time to discover and expunge unnecessary copies and backups and fine-tune backup strategies by gaining an understanding of underlying data. It also means that companies shouldn’t be compelled to protect everything. For large data lakes and warehouses, it can be tempting to simply protect the entire repository. With modern applications becoming powered by vast data lakes and data warehouses, the exponential data growth can increase the surface area at risk for breaches, ransomware, and accidental deletions. This is a path to ballooning costs. Instead, use a data discovery tool that allows you to explore component folders and objects, and intelligently assign policies. Companies must also back up data in immutable, air gapped cloud vaults in order to grant security for irreplaceable data.Backing up data is a component for the safety of an organization’s critical information because over time, the goal of all organizations is to ensure data resilience. While proper backup practices and emergency preparedness are key to business continuity, data resiliency is an ongoing, 24/7 activity. Data resilience is about ensuring that any data that is truly deemed critical is protected from operational deletes, ransomware, cyberattacks, and the like — all the time — to build more resilient applications and data lakes.”
Ryan Farris, VP of Products, Qumulo
“Businesses today cannot afford downtime or data loss and data production isn’t slowing down, which can make it difficult for IT and security teams to ensure data security. Organizations require a complete security strategy that considers both internal and external weaknesses rather than only focusing on external threats. In order to mitigate data loss, enterprises should take proactive steps to create a backup and disaster recovery plan.In the event that your primary data center becomes compromised, a best practice is to have a secure secondary cloud site with data that can replicate over. By doing this, you can protect your data and information from data loss, cyberattacks, theft, and environmental disasters, and gain the assurance that, in the case of a data disaster, your company can quickly recover and carry on business as usual.When working with large amounts of data, it is paramount that organizations are able to leverage the cloud to quickly stand-up secondary or tertiary disaster recovery sites without the high capital costs of on-premises deployments. Ensuring data protection, integrity, and rapid recovery are the core elements of a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy.”
++Jon Check, Executive Director of Cyber Protection Solutions at Raytheon Technologies
“A solid backup plan is an important part of your ransomware recovery strategy. Ensuring that your backups are performed frequently can help speed up your recovery time. It is also helpful to store backups offsite or at a secure network location where they cannot be targeted by malicious actors in the event of an attack.”
Michael Cade, Field CTO of Cloud Native at Kasten by Veeam
“As with all platforms, the protection of data is critical to business. The key area of focus for me though is making people aware and to understand the importance of data backup when it comes to cloud and cloud native. As many businesses are in process of moving their workloads into the public cloud and consuming as a service, it’s important to note that this doesn’t remove the requirement for data management. The cloud providers are going to keep the infrastructure available and resilient, but the data is on you as a company. Now when we get further up the stack to Kubernetes and cloud native adoption, this is just another platform. So, all those data services (regardless of where they reside), if the data is important then backup is needed. Ransomware is inevitable. In fact, that risk is only growing according to research. From a data services perspective, there is one particular area that are being targeted by those cyber criminals – gain access to a database exfiltrate customer data, sell that data and then encrypt. Imagine that happening to your business, which is not an if, but when. We are seeing more adoption of PaaS-based database services in the cloud as well as an increase of data services being deployed within Kubernetes. It is imperative that we secure and protect these workloads because an impact isn’t always a light touch when these bad actors strike. Having up front visibility of attacks and having an immutable copy of your data as the last line of defense is going to get you back up and running as a business versus closing the doors to your business. In the Kubernetes space in, attacks around crypto mining is a trend potentially as the first wave where the attacker gains access to the cluster, plants their own mining application alongside workloads, and then leverages CPU cycles to mine cryptocurrency. These attacks are becoming more and more advanced. This may have been the extent of the attack before but now we are seeing exfiltration, encryption and deletion of data alongside the mining. This not only brings the disaster failure scenario to recover data but with a skills shortage around cloud native technologies, you need to make sure you have an easy button for recovering that data and moving swiftly without complexity and constraints.”
Ada Scott, VP of Product Marketing, EaseUS Software“Despite the critical importance of data backup, only about 21% of individuals actually back up their data daily and weekly. This leaves the vast majority of people at risk of losing precious photos, documents, and other digital information. For businesses, a lack of proper backup can lead to loss of essential business data, productivity losses, and damage to an organization’s reputation. With data backup solutions becoming more affordable, accessible, and easier to use, there is no justification for not implementing a rigorous backup system. In today’s data-driven world, data backup must become a standard practice for all.”
Michael Covington, VP of Portfolio Strategy, Jamf“Backup is a two-way street. Backing up your laptop or phone is obvious. But does anyone backup their cloud service? What if Dropbox was compromised or went out of business? Or what if your personal account was hacked and someone deleted or changed all your data? Need to have a comprehensive plan that doesn’t just look at personal device failure, but any of the risks in the infrastructure that houses your data.
Automate. Automate. Automate. Don’t rely on yourself or a team to remember to actively press the button. Use services like iCloud or automated backup tools like ArcBackup.
Encrypt your backups. Make sure you also backup the key. Losing the encryption key or password could be a problem.
Have a plan that accounts for device theft/loss. Don’t put your passwords or critical files necessary to unlock backups in harms way.
Organize/compartmentalize your data for easy retrieval. If a data drive is lost with all of your photos, don’t incur the expense of pulling everything you’ve ever logged out of cold storage so you can retrieve a single directory. Make it easy to find data.
Consider your lifestyle and the related risks that you encounter. If you travel often, don’t rely on on-premises backup tools like a NAS or data-center based file servers; embrace cloud. If you do utilize on-premises solutions, have a backup-of-the-backup that resides off-site in case of fire, vandalism or theft.
Consider your budget. There are very inexpensive solutions that may take exceptionally long times to backup or retrieve data. And there are very expensive solutions that may be overkill for what you’re using. The reality is that you’ll likely take advantage of the service at some point in your lifetime; make smart decisions that are aligned with the value of your data and the need for multiple snapshots over time.
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