Enterprise data protection is a hot topic right now thanks to several high-profile breaches, including a ransomware attack against Apple supplier Quanta Computer. Although the attack is a big deal, this incident probably wouldn’t have garnered as much news time if it weren’t for the unreleased MacBook schematics that were allegedly stolen and possibly published online.
Ransomware attacks have become more frequent over the past few years, and because many of these attacks target large enterprises with the ability and incentive to pay, the stakes are getting higher and the ransom demands are getting more expensive.
Data Protection in the Spotlight
Between increased cyber threats, rising consumer demand for data privacy, and more state and federal governments enacting strict data protection regulations, many enterprises have found that their current data protection strategy is in need of an update.
Over the past several years, enterprise IT has become very convoluted. As you begin to review and update your organization’s data protection technology, processes, and policies, you may find that the old approach to data security doesn’t mesh with today’s complex infrastructures.
How to Simplify and Modernize Data Protection
To bring your data protection efforts in line with current best practices, we’ve identified five key capabilities that provide the highest level of protection against today’s biggest sources of security breaches and subsequent data loss:
Out-of-date software and unpatched vulnerabilities are two of the most common entry points for ransomware and other malicious applications. If your organization doesn’t have the resources to appoint a dedicated team to manage patching and updates, chances are good you’ve missed a few.
Automating patch management and implementing automatic updates can take some of the pressure off of your already-spread-thin IT team and help reduce some of these easily exploited weak points.
Another critical safety net that can be automated for peace of mind is the backup process. Ensuring frequent, complete backups are done regularly and stored securely away from the network protects data from corruption and makes it available if needed for recovery efforts.
2. Reduced Complexity
Many enterprise IT infrastructures today are labyrinths of legacy tools, different types of workloads, disparate storage solutions, and multiple interfaces to manage them all. This high level of complexity makes it challenging to monitor performance and security, making it easier for cybercriminals to slip in undetected.
You can minimize some of this complexity by consolidating backups into one cloud backup solution and implementing a centralized management interface that improves visibility into all of the different systems at work.
3. Unified Solutions
In addition to streamlining backups and infrastructure management, you can also reduce complexity and improve data security by replacing multiple tools with a single unified solution.
Your data protection and cybersecurity tools are good candidates for unification, as are cloud backup and disaster recovery. These turnkey, all-in-one solutions provide simplicity, visibility, and a high level of data protection and cybersecurity, which is hard to achieve by combining discrete tools and components.
4. Data Protection as a Service
Today’s enterprises have dozens of “as a service” options to help with productivity, collaboration, customer management, and even IT infrastructure. Data protection as a service (DPaaS) is one of these cloud/web-based subscription offerings, and it provides data protection in three different ways:
- Backup as a service (BaaS): BaaS initiates frequent backups to the cloud, so your business-critical data is recoverable after a disaster or security event.
- Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS): DRaaS protects your company’s data and its applications and infrastructure. Essentially, DRaaS gets IT functions back up and running after a crisis.
- Storage as a service (STaaS): Not to be confused with BaaS, STaaS is a centralized file storage solution that provides a cost-effective, easily accessible alternative to local storage.
5. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
Machine learning and artificial intelligence aren’t new, but they are being used in new and innovative ways. Enterprises are increasingly adopting these technologies as part of a comprehensive cybersecurity and data protection strategy.
These programs are far more efficient than humans at scanning and analyzing data for patterns. AI and machine learning are invaluable at detecting both known and new threats through biometric authentication and behavioral analytics and finding and fixing vulnerabilities before a breach occurs.
What’s Next for Enterprise Data Protection?
Enterprise IT teams have had a lot thrown at them over the past year and a half. Though “trial by fire” sounds a bit melodramatic, 2020 was a wake-up call for many organizations as multiple events exposed severe security vulnerabilities and gaps in business continuity and data protection strategies.
As things slowly begin to return to normal, enterprise IT requires hypervigilance when securing business-critical data, systems, and applications against the cyber threats that aren’t likely to abate any time soon.
Download Your Guide to a Ransomware-Free Future to learn how to proactively mitigate the risk of ransomware and create a future-ready plan for data protection.
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