Mark Jow, EMEA VP Technical Services at Commvault, offers some best practice advice for the secure management of data so that every element of the channel can pass on the benefits of this strategy to end users.
In order for organisations to succeed, they need to rethink how they analyse and interact with the data they collect – it’s no longer enough to simply capture and store data in today’s digital economy. This includes everything from how to understand and protect data, as well as the best ways to leverage the data effectively as new regulations come into play.
However, despite many organisations acknowledging the fact that data lies at the very core of almost every business function, data protection often fails to garnet the attention it deserves, especially with senior business decision makers. Taking all of this into account, below are some useful points to consider when it comes to analysing the levels of data protection readiness in your organisation.
Disaster recovery isn’t the same as data protection
All organisations know that they need to be prepared for data loss scenarios – it’s been drilled into them enough times. Because of this, they know about the need for disaster recovery plans. However, data loss prevention and data loss recovery are not the same as data protection. What is usually missing for many businesses is a holistic, all-encompassing approach to data protection.
It’s important that companies have a clear understanding of what data protection does and does not represent, and consequently close the gaps between the two. We all know that data protection means ensuring data is safe and secure, but it also means making sure that the same data is always available, should a disaster strike.
Data protection is continually evolving
There are three significant challenges that organisations still struggle with when it comes to data protection: cybercrime, data locations and data volume.
- Cybercrime and threats have become much more elaborate, organised and unfortunately, effective. These days, it seems that almost every week there is a new record-breaking headline around personal data breaches
- Data is now rarely found in one place. Both organisations and individuals have multiple environments and locations where they store data, making the challenge of protecting this data a significant one. Additionally, with many organisations looking to modernise infrastructure and leverage the cloud further, this is only going to become a continually 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 organisations can take to overcome these challenges. Data protection should be a part of a business’ cybersecurity strategy, as it is as much related to cybersecurity 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 organisation; 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 organisations to understand this, particularly with GDPR and other similar regulatory requirements now in place. Now more than ever, organisations 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.
Organisations need to grant access to its data, all of the time. This is essential due to the rise of cybercrime over the last decade. Utilising a unified, ‘single pane of glass’ data protection and management platform can mean that companies see all of their data, all of the time, regardless of where it resides. Given the role data will continue to play for organisations of all sizes in the future, protecting it must be at the top of the agenda for any 21st century, future-facing CIO.