Though disaster recovery and backup solutions have always been critical components for any business, the pandemic put a spotlight on the many threats to data today.
Cybercrime is rampant, with ransomware, account takeover attacks, and phishing schemes all proliferating over the past 18 months. And while hardware failures may not make the news the way cybercrime does, they are a frequent occurrence that can cause significant data loss across an organization along with deletions through user error or malicious intent.
To add to the problem, data now lives in more places than ever before. Businesses accelerated their move to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic, so backup solutions must protect the data center, endpoints, cloud and software as a service (SaaS) solutions.
Moreover, there is often zero tolerance for downtime in an always-on world. Businesses are expected to be up and running immediately after a system failure.
The challenges ahead
Unfortunately, many organizations’ current backup solutions, as well as their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategies, make it tough to face these issues head on.
Backup is often manual and unreliable, with administrators often wasting 10 hours or more per week babysitting the process and fixing errors that arise. Additionally, tests to ensure that disaster recovery (or even just local recoveries) will work well have become more important as the amount of data continues to grow. But since these tests are often time-consuming, they typically get completed infrequently, in inadequate ways, or not at all.
Because of the growth of data in many places, organizations often have multiple solutions that involve various workflows—all of which need monitoring on an ongoing basis. The need to switch between different solutions eats into technician time and increases the likelihood of errors.
A unified approach to backup
The only way that IT technicians can stay ahead of the curve and protect their data from the growing number of threats is through a unified BCDR approach that combines security, automation and the ability to back up anything, anywhere.
Because cybercriminals continue to evolve their strategies, solutions must incorporate cutting-edge security features that protect against today’s most pressing threats. Tools that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect ransomware and as well as anomalies in backup behaviors can help technicians stop malicious actors before they infect an entire network or gain access to critical data.
In addition to ransomware protection, features like dark web monitoring provide another layer of protection from pervasive threats like credential compromise.
Automation is another key component, as IT professionals saw a significant increase in their workloads due to the pandemic—and the need only increases as many organizations have adapted to support a hybrid workforce. By using backup solutions that proactively remediate common production issues before they impact a successful backup, IT professionals can spend less time on repetitive, manual tasks and more time moving their organizations forward.
And because data sprawl will continue to grow, solutions must have the flexibility to safeguard information where it lives. Part of the ability to protect data anywhere also includes the ability to monitor this same data from one unified dashboard, as moving between multiple systems wastes time and increases room for error.
How to budget for this approach
Though spending in many organizations has begun to normalize, IT budgets will likely continue to be stretched as demands increase. Since many organizations may be wary of large capital expenditures due to the impact of the pandemic, IT professionals should advocate for a subscription-based plan that allows data protection to be an operating expense instead of a capital expense.
Though backup may not be the most visible part of the IT process, the risks to data are clear—no CEO or CFO can ignore the media coverage of large cyberattacks impacting organizations around the globe. A unified BCDR solution not only provides the data protection needed, but also cuts costs and can easily scale as the organizations’ data expands. With a unified approach, IT professionals can better protect their data from anything the future holds.