In a recent Solutions Review Expert Insights interview with Arcserve Vice President, Sales Engineering, North America, Shawn Massey shared his perspectives on the data risks that organizations everywhere face today and the five steps they should take to ensure data resilience.
The conversation shed light on two major concerns: the growing sophistication of cyber threats and the failure of organizations to prioritize data resilience.
Let’s look at these two issues and the five steps you should take to ensure your data is safeguarded, and your organization can recover from any disaster.
1. Know Your Data
Your data is precious. Without access to it, your operations likely come to a screeching halt. That’s why it’s vital that you understand the value of all your data, where it is stored, and where and how it is backed up. Failure to do so can leave your organization vulnerable to ransomware, data loss, and the inability to recover.
Massey says to start with an inventory and classification of your data. That includes on-premises, off-premises, remote locations, and the cloud. Then use data tiering, as we describe In this post, to help you cost-effectively store and manage the flood of data being generated. That includes data generated by SaaS applications—the lifeblood of many businesses today. With visibility into its sensitivity and importance, you can prioritize data protection efforts based on your data’s value and risks.
2. Protect Against Sophisticated Cyber Threats
Cybercriminals keep getting craftier as they seek new ways to find vulnerabilities and penetrate your defenses. The 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 74 percent of all breaches involve the human element—errors, stolen credentials, and clicking on suspicious links, for example. And the same report found that 24 percent of breaches were ransomware.
In the interview, Massey points out that bad actors now leverage advanced techniques targeting specific organizations rather than casting a wide net. He notes that ransomware attacks, in particular, have become more targeted, focusing on sectors that include manufacturing, education, government, and healthcare, adding that when attackers infiltrate networks, they try to time their attacks for maximum impact. That translates into grave risks for organizations that haven’t kept their data protections up to date.
Massey recommends that you implement a comprehensive approach to data resilience. That includes conducting regular risk assessments that identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, putting proper mitigations in place, adding or updating firewalls, and implementing identity access management (IAM) controls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), and other security technologies.
3. Train Your Team
With such a large percentage of breaches involving humans, it’s common sense that you enlist your team’s help with data protection. Educate your people regarding cybersecurity best practices, how to recognize and respond to potential threats, and the importance of using strong passwords. Regular training sessions, awareness campaigns, and ongoing testing can go a long way toward ensuring your organization is protected from ransomware, phishing, and other attack vectors.
4. Implement Continuous Monitoring and Response
Constant monitoring and a proactive response to emerging threats help stop attacks before they become disasters. Massey says that organizations should implement robust monitoring tools and technologies that provide real-time visibility into their IT infrastructure, network traffic, and user activity.
This gives you the ability to detect suspicious activities early on and respond quickly to contain and mitigate potential breaches. Regular security audits and vulnerability assessments can also help you identify and address weaknesses in your organization’s security posture.
5. Invest In Effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions
But you need more than a disaster recovery plan. You also need a robust backup and recovery solution that ensures your data is always available and can be rapidly recovered if you suffer a ransomware attack, system failure, or other data loss. Solutions like Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) deliver all-in-one data protection for on- and off-premises workloads, with your data safeguarded by Sophos Intercept X Advanced cybersecurity.
The software uniquely combines deep-learning server protection, immutable storage, and scalable onsite and offsite business continuity for a multilayered approach that delivers complete IT resiliency for virtual, physical, and cloud infrastructures.
And Arcserve UDP protects SaaS workloads like Microsoft 365 and a broad range of platforms, from Windows to Amazon EC2, Oracle Database to VMware.
It All Adds Up to Data Resilience
While all five steps Massey lists are crucial to ensuring your data is protected and available, number five may matter most. Because if your defenses are breached—and you can’t recover your data—you may not even have a business.
Watch the full Solutions Review interview with Shawn Massey here.
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