For the tenth anniversary of World Backup Day, Data Centre Review spoke to five industry experts about why backing up data is so crucial.
Today’s world revolves around data. IDC has predicted that the Global Datasphere will grow to 175 Zettabytes by 2025, with 49% of the world’s stored data residing in public cloud environments.
Over the past year, data storage – especially on the cloud – has been imperative to allow employees to continue working remotely. And without the right infrastructure in place, such as backup, any disasters such as cyber-attacks can leave organisations severely impacted.
Backup and disaster recovery go hand-in-hand
“Since 2011, World Backup Day has acted as a poignant reminder for people to prepare for the unexpected by backing up their important files,” says Gil Levonai, CMO and SVP Product at Zerto.
“Data loss can happen in a variety of ways and while losing family photographs or important receipts can be extremely irritating, for businesses, the financial, reputational and legal damage associated with data loss can be catastrophic.”
He continues, “Now, as businesses focus on providing an ‘always-on’ service to their customers, and the constant increase of cyber threats, organisations are thinking about how they can protect their data continuously, with every change, update or new piece of data protected and available in real-time.
“Continuous data protection (CDP) is enabling this change, saving data in intervals of seconds – rather than days or months – and giving IT teams the granularity to quickly rewind operations to just seconds before disruption occurred.
“Completely flexible, CDP enables an IT team to quickly recover anything, from a single file or virtual machine right up to an entire site. As more organisations join the CDP backup revolution, data loss may one day become as harmless as an April Fool’s joke. Until then, it remains a real and present danger.”
Steve Cochran, chief technology officer at ConnectWise agrees, highlighting that cyber-attacks such as ransomware or natural disasters can cause serious problems for organisations.
The risks associated with data loss are severe,“This is why it is absolutely essential to ensure organisations of all sizes, including SMBs, have a backup and disaster recovery (DR) plan in place.
“This way organisations can resume normal business operations as quickly as possible while minimising the impact or damage associated with such an event. Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’ The same can be said for not having a backup and DR plan at the ready.
“Backup is a basic defence against malware like ransomware. Having backups and a DR strategy in place to be up and running instantly means you’re better prepared to tackle challenges head-on and minimise any impact to your end customers. No matter what bad guys do to a computer or system, if you have a backup you are ultimately safe.”
2020 was a record-setting year for cybercrime. A report from SonicWall highlighted a 62% spike in global ransomware attacks, a 28% increase in cryptojacking detections and a 74% increase in previously undetected malware variants.
Reflecting on this, Andy Collins, head of security at Node4 reveals that,“many of these were the result of social engineering attacks, highlighting how crucial the human element is to cybersecurity and how simple decision making can be manipulated to expose vulnerabilities in an otherwise secure corporate network.
“With lean security teams under more pressure than ever, many organisations will benefit from working with a managed service provider that can provide technical support and advice on a backup and recovery plan that matches the specific risks facing their business.
“This includes carefully mapping out the operational impact to avoid performance degradation for systems and applications, identifying the most effective local or off-site backup location for each data tier and considering factors such as capacity and bandwidth availability to ensure recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) can be met.
“This can be hard for internal teams – who are already under immense stress – to allocate sufficient time and resources to, but its importance cannot be overstated. Working closely with the right partner can pay dividends in the long run.”
Don’t use tape – Use cloud!
“One benefit of modern cloud backup solutions is that they are suitable for businesses of any size, enabling data backup from any server or device, anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud backup solutions are easy to manage, and their providers offer reliable, hands-on customer support,” explains Terry Storrar, managing director at Leaseweb UK.
Tom Cotton, agile workspace technical director at Six Degrees adds, “If your organisation is transitioning workloads to public cloud, you may well have concerns around losing control of your data.
“These aren’t unfounded – SaaS providers take backups to ensure the integrity of their services, but they will not take responsibility for data loss that results from accidental deletion, malware or operational errors.
Cotton concludes with this advice, “This year’s World Backup Day is an opportunity for organisations to consider how they protect data stored in public cloud environments. I recommend partnering with a trusted data protection provider to hand control of your mission-critical data back to your organisation.”