World Backup Day is held every year on the 31st March to alert people to the importance of backing up their documents and photos to protect their memories. Whilst the comical slogan warns people “Don't be an April Fool,” the message behind the day is a lot more serious.
It is equally important for businesses to adhere to this day, as losing data in the world of work can be costly and potentially catastrophic. In light of the recent ransomware epidemic, including attacks on the NHS, it is more important than ever to ensure your data is safe in case an attack comes your way.
As Jason Howells, EMEA Director, MSP Solutions Business at Barracuda Networks explains, “With ransomware now running rampant, initiatives like World Backup Day are a great way to highlight the importance of backing up. Although worrying, ransomware is at least helping to expose IT weaknesses and the extent to which small businesses manage their data in a cavalier manner.” As a result of these cyber attacks, such as ransomware, backup has become a hot IT topic.
Howells added: “The single most effective defence against ransomware is an ability to recover an organisation’s data from another data source. Without backups in place, the majority of businesses simply wind up paying the ransom to recover their data. It’s not like these backup and disaster recovery technologies haven’t been around for a long time, it’s just that it has been hard to get businesses to focus on data protection until now. Thankfully, business owners are starting to see that having a disaster recovery service in place could make the difference between a minor nuisance and a total catastrophe.”
Whilst ransomware is a specific type of cyber attack that can cause outages in data centres, there are other triggers that can lead to this. Peter Godden, VP EMEA at Zerto, explained that simple human error, common power failure or more catastrophic natural disasters cause significant outages. “Talking in terms of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ it happens is the first step towards building a more flexible and resilient IT infrastructure to withstand these types of disruptions that can negatively impact business performance."
IT and business leaders need to consider not only the importance of having a plan B in place to keep businesses moving forward no matter what happens, but also what technologies are available for business continuity. An Emerson and Ponemon Institute study last year found that the average total cost per minute of an unplanned outage increased from $5,617 in 2010 to $8,851 in 2016. “Enterprises are already acutely aware of the reliance on data and critical applications,” Godden added. “Losing a few hours of data can cause tremendous harm to revenues and brand reputation.”
It is critical that businesses use all available technology to assist with backup. Often a tedious and repetitive job, backups are not the most efficient use of time, especially when steps can be take to minimise the labour required. “A backup management tool with a strong focus on automation means application data is never forgotten. Automation makes it possible to replicate any host at any time, removing the need to backup the entire host. Saving time, but ensuring protection from a catastrophic failure," said Marianne Calder, VP EMEA at Puppet. This ensures that time is saved by not having to manually manage the data, and ensures it is secure and protected from threats and unknown risks.
In addition, the implication of GDPR in May 2018 will mean that, amongst other things, customers will have the right to erasure. This will place more responsibilities on companies to archive, store and crucially, retrieve call data quickly, following a customer request. Fortunately, companies such as Aeriandi offer cloud-based call recording archive solutions. “These offer a host of advantages, ranging from compliance guarantees to data security and centralisation of records for easy accessibility and retrieval.
Organisations that fail to take securing this data seriously are not only risking the safety of their customers’ most sensitive information, but also gambling with their own business reputation,” explains Matthew Bryars, CEO and co-founder of Aeriandi. This allows for the efficiency, flexibility, and most importantly security that will be required as of May 2018.
Geoff Barrall, COO at Nexsan said: “Breakthroughs in disk technologies and pricing have led to very dense arrays that are power, cost and performance efficient. Backup has been revolutionised and organisations need to ensure they are safeguarding their most valuable commodity – not just now but for the long term. Secure archive platforms are complementary and create a complete recovery strategy.”
Speed is a strong requirement for backup too, as Barrall cites, “Being able to recover critical data within minutes is crucial.” The sooner businesses are able to recover data, the less impact the issue has on business continuity. This also promotes trust from customers and can help minimise reputational damage.
Data will always be an important topic for discussion, as data breaches, leaks and hacks continue to appear in the news. Companies must continue to backup their data and do all they can to protect customers, as well as their own reputation.
Originally posted on Defence.Digital