Lucas Salter: Is your data protected? Three steps that could save enterprises $1 million a year

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Businesses need to build on the progress that they've already made with respect to traditional threats and partner with a vendor who can help them. Photo / Getty Images
Businesses need to build on the progress that they've already made with respect to traditional threats and partner with a vendor who can help them. Photo / Getty Images

There's no doubting that today's IT community is stretched.

Most IT professionals are so busy dealing with everyday challenges and managing fires that there's hardly ever time to recognise progress. However organisations are making progress protecting their data from traditional risks.

According to the EMC Global Data Protection Index 2016 research released by EMC today, organisations have reduced the frequency of the top four traditional causes of data loss.

This marks real progress in the efforts to ensure data is available no matter what happens.

But it's not all roses.

At the same time that businesses are improving their defenses against traditional risks, new data protection challenges are emerging and are taking their toll on unprepared organisations. Compared to the EMC Global Data Protection Index 2014, 13 per cent more organisations have experienced data loss or disruption in the 12 preceding months, costing them an average of $914,000.

What are the three biggest emerging challenges businesses need to come to grips with today to keep their data safe?

1) Protect against destructive hacking attacks

The study revealed that 36 per cent of businesses surveyed have lost data as the result of an external or internal security breach. When protecting against accidental data loss, the key is creating protection copies. But, when hackers deliberately try to take down a business, they can attack those protection copies too.

EMC's Data Domain and Data Protection Suite provide advanced hardening and data protection features for these rapidly changing threats. For even more protection, businesses can leverage advanced data protection solutions and separate copies of their data from the network. EMC's Isolated Recovery Solutions isolate the data so that it can be restored even from the most extensive attack.

2) Protect data in the cloud

The study also revealed that less than 50 per cent of all organisations are currently protecting cloud data against corruption and less than 50 per cent are protecting it against deletion.

Why? Because many businesses believe that their cloud provider protects their data for them. But, its just as important to plan your data protection strategy in cloud IT environments as it ever was for on-prem IT environments.

If an employee accidentally deletes files or introduces a virus, that's generally not covered by a cloud provider. SaaS backup, like EMC Spanning, enables businesses to take scheduled backups of their in-app data to ensure that they always have a fallback version of their files if one is required. 90 per cent of businesses are also using the cloud as a target for their data protection.

Tools like EMC Data Domain Cloud Tier provide the most efficient long-term cloud-based retention by securely and natively tiering deduplicated data to the cloud.

3) Protect data stored in flash environments

Seventy three per cent of businesses admitted that they were not very confident that their current data protection solutions will be able to keep pace with the faster performance and new capabilities of flash storage.

With 2016 being the "Year of All Flash", where, for most primary storage, businesses are going to find that it's more cost effective for them to choose an all-flash array over traditional disk-based storage, this can pose a problem for unprepared organisations.

For businesses with particularly demanding workloads on flash arrays, EMC ProtectPoint copies data directly from primary to Data Domain with no traditional backup infrastructure, cutting backup times by 10x and restore times by 20 times.

Overall, less than one fifth (18 per cent) said they were confident that their data protection solutions will meet their future business challenges. With emerging challenges already contributing to a $914,000 price tag for data loss or disruption incidents to affected enterprises globally in the past 12 months organisations need to act now to ensure that their data protection strategy is fit for the future.

Businesses need to build on the progress that they've already made with respect to traditional threats and partner with a vendor who can help them extend that progress to new challenges in order to ensure that they have data protection everywhere.

Is your data still protected?

- NZ Herald

Lucas Salter is general manager of data protection solutions EMC ANZ

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