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World Backup Day Tips: 4 Keys for Data Management & Protection

World Backup Day Tips

World Backup Day Tips

Solutions Review’s Expert Insights Series is a collection of contributed articles written by industry experts in enterprise software categories. In this feature, Veritas Technologies‘ Lisa Erickson offers some World Backup Day tips for successful data management and data protection.

Data is expected to grow exponentially to 51 zettabytes by 2025 and, as a result, the safe keeping of that data is more critical and complicated than ever. World Backup Day is a reminder for all organizations and government entities globally to prioritize their data protection and ensure they have robust backup and recovery capabilities.

With constant news of ransomware attacks and the rise of well-publicized data compliance and governance rules like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), enterprise data security and privacy are increasingly top of mind for consumers. More than ever, customers expect companies to adequately protect and back up their data as a normal course of business. In fact, a recent Veritas survey of 2,000 US consumers found that 78 percent said they’re concerned that the businesses and governments that have their personal information will become victims of ransomware or other attacks targeting their sensitive data. Adding to their stress, nearly half (48 percent) revealed they don’t trust these entities to adequately back up their digital information so it can be recovered after an attack.

With consumer concern high, the threat landscape continually evolving with faster and more complex threats targeting on-premises and multi-cloud environments and business at risk, organizations should consider the following steps to properly safeguard their data from edge to core to cloud.

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World Backup Day Tips

Data Classification & Deduplication

The backup process starts with comprehensive data classification and deduplication. Organizations can’t afford to save their data indiscriminately and IT departments face tight budgets and scrutiny over cloud spend ROI. In fact, 94 percent of organizations globally already overspend on cloud and some of this stored data doesn’t provide value: as much as a third of enterprise data can be considered redundant, obsolete and trivial (ROT) and another 52 percent is dark data with unknown value.

To reduce cloud spending and data storage and management costs, organizations should implement comprehensive classification systems to better understand the kinds of data they have, where and how it should be stored and for how long. Implementing identification, categorization and retention policies will help organizations organize their data. This ensures that critical and sensitive data is appropriately retained and protected, and that ROT data is deleted. Deduplication—eliminating duplicate copies of data—also helps organizations limit their attack surface by establishing policies, technologies and auditing that reduces the data footprint.

Don’t Forget to Back Up the Edge

The number of edge devices is growing at a rapid pace and so is the data that they generate. By 2030, it’s estimated that there will be almost 6.5 billion edge IoT devices globally, up from roughly 2 billion in 2020. This creates a challenge when it comes to data backup and protection. Organizations often don’t apply the same level of protection to the edge as they do in the data center, primarily due to skills and staffing shortages.

While edge devices deliver benefits like efficiency, minimized latency and real-time data outputs, they also expand a company’s threat surface and continuously generate more data to be managed and stored. Each edge device needs to be protected and backed up and the resulting edge data needs to be assessed, categorized and protected accordingly.

Data isn’t Inherently Safer in the Cloud

As part of their standard service, most cloud service providers (CSPs) only provide an uptime guarantee of their servers, not comprehensive cloud data protection. In fact, many include a shared responsibility model in their terms and conditions indicating that a customer’s data is their responsibility to protect.

Working across multiple cloud environments can create a tendency toward an “in the cloud, out of mind” mindset when it comes to data protection, but companies should never assume someone else is safeguarding their data. The same rules apply to a company’s cloud data that apply to all its other data: the onus is on the company to assess, categorize, protect and recover it. Companies should also evaluate if their enterprise data protection capabilities it expects and uses on-premises can also be extended to their hybrid cloud and cloud-native environments today and in the future.

Automation, Automation, Automation

Automation is key to secure and cost-effective backup and recovery. As mentioned above, organizations today must manage and protect an unprecedented volume and variety of workloads and data. Hybrid and multi-cloud environments are increasingly common, meaning organizations have data scattered across on-premises and multiple private and public clouds, making it difficult to protect and to gain insights from it. Manual processes don’t cut it any longer. AI-based methodologies and technologies that automate provisioning, lifecycle optimization, and smart usage of resources like storage are necessary to keep up with these challenges. Automation tools and fully autonomous data management also have the benefit of freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic and transformational activity.

Final Thoughts

World Backup Day is a great moment for organizations to take stock of their data management and protection techniques, but it’s only one day. The threat to data is constant and will continue to evolve. Companies need to make this a priority year-round to stay ahead of bad actors, satisfy consumer concerns and remain compliant with data regulations. By implementing robust data protection and management practices like those outlined here, companies can feel confident in the face of any threat that could affect their data.

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