IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

Is your organization taking a holistic approach to data protection?

Mark Jow shares some points that organizations should consider when analysing whether data protection processes and strategies are sufficient to meet the differing requirements of disaster recovery and data security.

In today’s digital economy, simply capturing and storing data is no longer enough. In order to succeed, organizations need to re-think how they analyse and interact with the data they collect. This includes how to understand, protect, and when to leverage the data effectively as new regulations come into play, such as GDPR and CCPA.

Despite the recognition from most organizations that data is at the very core of almost every business function, data protection often still fails to garner the attention it deserves with senior business decision makers. With this in mind, below are some useful points to consider when analysing the levels of data protection readiness in your organization.

Disaster recovery doesn’t always mean data protection

Businesses are well aware that they have to be prepared for data loss scenarios, and thus develop recovery plans. However, loss prevention and recovery do not always equate to protection. What is absent for many companies is a holistic and all-encompassing approach to data protection. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what data protection does, and does not represent, and subsequently close the gaps between the two.

Yes, data protection means ensuring data is safe and secure, but it also means making sure that the same data is always available, should disaster strike.

Shifting sands in the data protection space

At present, there are three significant challenges that organizations are struggling with when it comes to data protection:

  • Cyber crime has gone nuclear as threats are becoming more elaborate, more organized and more effective. It seems that almost every week there is a new record-breaking headline around personal data breaches.
  • Data is rarely now found in one place. Organizations and individuals have multiple environments where they store data, making the challenge of protecting this data a significant one. And with many organizations looking to modernise infrastructure and leverage the cloud further, this is only going to become a more complex issue in the years to come.
  • Data volume is growing exponentially. The amount of data produced doubles every two years, with an anticipated 50-fold growth from 2010 to 2020. A temporary solution would be to only protect live, primary data, but more businesses than ever are now also getting insights from data in secondary storage. So, not only is there more data overall, the data in secondary storage is also becoming more business-critical, and needs to be protected too.

Fortunately, there are practical steps that organizations can take to overcome these challenges. Data protection should be a part of a business’ cyber security strategy, as it is as much related to cyber security as it is to storage. In addition to this, data risk and loss can come from various sources, including internal, external, malware, system failure, human error, fire and flood. Essentially, businesses need to have a management and recovery plan that can be used in each of these scenarios.
However, it will always be hard to protect what you cannot see, and today, data seldom lives within the IT walls of an organization; existing in the cloud, running on dispersed applications, and through third party networks. Unfortunately, many businesses assume these third-party vendors are responsible for the data they are entrusted with, and many believe that migrating data to the cloud will automatically provide advanced security. This is not the case.

Companies should not forget that they are responsible for the data they own regardless of where it resides, and it’s important for organizations to understand this, particularly with GDPR and other similar regulatory requirements now in place. Now, more than ever, organizations need to know where all their data is stored, and how much of it is relevant in order to drive bottom-line value across the business.

Organizations must ensure access to its data, all of the time. By utilising a unified, ‘single pane of glass’ data protection and management platform, companies can see all of their data, all of the time, regardless of where it resides. Given the role data will continue to play for organizations of all sizes in the future, protecting it must be at the top of the agenda for any 21st century, future-facing CIO.

The author

Mark Jow is VP, EMEA Technical Services at Commvault.



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