Data Protection: The sixth love language

Heart shaped balloons are displayed in the flower district on Valentine’s Day on February 14 last year in New York City. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, today’s columnist, Nick Turner of Druva says security teams should spread some love on their data protection operations.  (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

We have five different love languages: From “physical touch” and “quality time,” to “acts of service,” there’s a range of ways people express how they feel. However, in the cyber world, this isn’t entirely the case. There are actually six love languages, an extra one that’s only found within our interconnected global communications network: data protection.

As we saw all too frequently in 2020 during the pandemic, without the proper love, attention or care, businesses can find their data vulnerable to a variety of threats. With cybercriminals getting bolder and more aggressive by the day and the data landscape becoming more complex, this sixth love language has never been more important. Showing appreciation to company data comes in many shapes and sizes, whether it’s conducting regular back-ups and check-ins or by taking the time to make sure the business has the correct data protection solutions in place. These simple steps are vital for business continuity and corporate reputation. 

Therefore, as we celebrate the relationships, friendships, and partnerships we have in our lives this Valentine’s Day, we should also take the time to show appreciation to our backup systems and data protection solutions that don’t always receive the love and attention they so rightfully deserve.

  • Quality Time: Schedule regular check-ins with company data.

The first way to show company data some love is to make sure it’s safe and secure. Invest time to ensure the right tools and technologies are in place to protect it. According to our recent survey, 73 percent of IT leaders said they are more concerned than ever about protecting data from ransomware. With the sudden transition to digital work, it’s hardly a surprise. As more businesses run their applications in the cloud, data has shifted out of the data center. This has resulted in small data sprawl, something backup architectures built for the data centre cannot keep pace with. As requirements for business application shift to a hybrid model, and increasingly in the cloud, data protection must adapt to evolve with workloads.  

Once a data protection solution gets identified and deployed, it’s easy to become complacent. Remember, the company’s safety net won’t work if there’s a hole at the bottom of the net. It’s important to check in on data regularly to spot any errors.

  • Physical Touch: Maximise on all solutions.

Complacency doesn’t just happen with relationships. It also happens with data. We often hear businesses say that they feel secure because they put their data in the cloud. But, relying on these applications, which often rely on third-party applications, often fail to follow the basics of separated, regular and automated backups, putting company data in serious jeopardy. Microsoft 365 has a significant data protection gap that IT professionals contend with every day.

While platforms such as Microsoft 365 offer a number of tools to protect against ransomware, they ignore the foundational rules of storing backups on a separate platform, long-term retention capabilities and lack the sophistication necessary to handle a cyberattack.

Let’s take one example: While working remotely, an employee accidentally deleted some files, and they get moved to the recycle bin. However, to restore them, the employee will have to manually revert one file at a time. What’s more, if the business was to fall victim to a ransomware attack, while Microsoft 365 can be good at stopping the penetration, once in, it’s pretty difficult to stop. Files and stored backups are often rendered unusable.

  • Receiving Gifts: Simplify to optimize.  

As data usage grows exponentially, so too has data sprawl. This has made the data landscape more complicated, harder to navigate and opens the door to even more data silos. In fact, our recent survey found that 57 percent of IT decision makers believe that remote workers will expose their firm to the risk of a data breach – making the concerns of the ever-growing and increasingly complex data environment a significant obstacle for IT leaders. To survive, businesses should consider a solution that’s simplified and easy to scale.

While backing up data with regular, current duplicates ensures protection against a possible disaster, businesses should also consider technologies to help streamline processes, such as setting up automated backups to maximize energy and efficiency. Typical backup software sends full backups and full-file incremental backups to an appliance that then duplicates them. Meanwhile, a well-written source deduplication system will send only the new, unique blocks each time a backup runs. Such efficiencies make the difference between automated backups measured in seconds, versus minutes and hours.

With intelligent, user-based and file-level recovery capabilities, companies can recover from data loss – whether intentional or unintentional – in just a few clicks. This approach helps businesses survive any disaster and emerge even stronger. For Valentine’s Day this year, why not save IT professionals from heartache by gifting them the power of cloud-based backup and data protection. The staff will thank you, and it will ensure that the business stays cyber resilient and prepared for whatever comes next.

Nick Turner, vice president, EMEA, Druva

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