By Ivan Pittaluga, CTO, Arcserve
In today’s hyper-connected digital economy, protecting your data from damage, destruction, or a cyberattack is more critical than ever. The very survival of your business may depend on it. But managing and protecting your business data isn’t easy. You need to be aware of ever-evolving privacy regulations and security threats that could come at you from anywhere in the world. With that in mind, four trends are shaping how companies approach data protection and management as we move through 2022.
1. Attack Surfaces Continue to Increase as Hybrid Workplaces Evolve
To get a sense of your potential vulnerabilities, consider that your attack surface includes every possible way an attacker can get into your company’s devices and networks. Once inside, they can lock up or exfiltrate your data. That’s why it’s essential to keep your attack surface to a minimum. But the challenge is that your attack surface is probably growing as more people work remotely and others choose a hybrid where they spend time both in the office and at home. And everyone is using multiple devices.
That creates more entry points for cybercriminals to carry out cyberattacks. Even worse, the attack surface constantly changes because of its many disparate fragments and not a single surface. Add to that the increasing complexity that comes with controlling endpoints, as retrieving company equipment can be more complicated when employees leave organizations today.
The bottom line? Breaches are an inevitability. So, everyone needs to do a better job of recognizing breaches so they can extricate themselves as quickly as possible. With more exposed attack surfaces, your security and recovery strategies need to be more thorough, providing protection not just for your on-premises data, but also your data in the cloud, at the edge, and everywhere in between.
2. Data Management Is More Complex Due to Data Sovereignty Requirements
As companies go global and become more interconnected, the rules around data privacy have become more complicated. A company in Germany may use a US-based company like Amazon or Google to store and send data. Where does that German company’s data legally reside, and by what rules is it governed?
The answers to these questions are not straightforward. Global IT, legal, and HR experts continue to passionately discuss how to interpret our constantly evolving data processing reality. That’s why 86 percent of IT decision-makers say their organizations have been impacted by changing compliance requirements surrounding data privacy, according to a global survey conducted by Dimensional Research.
Companies no longer have a single data lake that IT can focus on protecting at their corporate headquarters. These days, much of their data, probably like yours, resides in the cloud. That translates to a globally distributed data infrastructure. And a global footprint demands tracking data sovereignty issues in different jurisdictions. Expert help in meeting these requirements is usually necessary, and cloud providers need to work more closely with their customers to manage sovereignty and comply with varying rules.
Now, the onus is on both businesses and cloud providers to address compliance and data sovereignty issues by understanding the petabytes of data that are being stored and the regulations surrounding every aspect of that data. That demands getting smart about your data content and putting sound policies in place around that content.
3. Data Protection Is Part of the Global Supply Chain Issue
Supply-chain issues are causing significant disruptions to the global economy, with everything from cars and refrigerators to semiconductors and toys in short supply. These issues don’t look like they will go away any time soon. And a survey of CFOs compiled by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Atlanta confirms that expectation, with a majority saying they don’t expect these issues to be fixed until the second half of this year or later.
Logistics issues and digital risks are everywhere. Cyberattacks are on the rise—like the one that struck Colonial Pipeline last year, bringing down the largest fuel pipeline in the United States and temporarily causing fuel shortages along the East Coast while costing the company a substantial ransom. That means the supply chain must remain one of your top priorities. You need to have data protections in place that ensure your company’s supply chain keeps moving with data available 24/7 and instantly recoverable.
4. Data Protection Officers are a Strategic Advantage
The data protection officer (DPO) is an enterprise security leadership role that, under certain conditions, is required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And according to recent GDPR stats, the demand for DPOs has risen by more than 700 percent over the last five years. DPOs are responsible for providing expert knowledge of data protection laws and practices while overseeing their company’s data protection strategy and ensuring compliance with GDPR requirements.
The role of the DPO is continuing to grow in importance as responsibilities extend beyond traditional IT to encompass a holistic view of data, security, and education. The DPO can even open new opportunities across your organization, with our hybrid workplace, where the DPO is a strategic enabler for business success, being just one example.
Data protection isn’t going to get any easier. As your company stores more data across on-premises, cloud, hybrid, and third-party systems—and as data regulations multiply—you need to stay on top of the ever-evolving data landscape or face potentially harrowing consequences.
Learn more about Arcserve data protection solutions.
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