Government

How an Effective Data Protection Strategy Helps Government Entities Keep Constituents’ Data Private

January 4th, 2023

By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Arcserve

At every level, governments regularly collect personally identifiable information (PII), ranging from social security numbers to healthcare data. These data collection processes are critical to these entities’ ability to deliver the services their citizens expect. But that data is more at risk than ever, as Sophos’ State of Ransomware in Government 2022 report notes that 58 percent of state and local governments were hit by ransomware in 2021, and threats are increasing in volume, complexity, and impact.

Government agencies are also subject to a wide range of data privacy and security regulations. These agencies must put data protection and management solutions and more robust cybersecurity measures in place to mitigate these threats and meet their compliance obligations.  But hackers see local and national governments as ripe, easy targets that generate the headlines they crave because the damage can be widespread. The City of Gloucester, England, is one example. A recent cyberattack caused the city to delay benefits payments, planning applications, and home sales as it struggled to remove malware and rebuild its servers. The cost of recovery is projected to exceed $1.2 million.

But governments can’t just lock down all their data because it must be available and accessible for the delivery of services. With that in mind, here are three ways governments can achieve the highest level of data protection—including comprehensive backup and disaster recovery (DR)—without locking away their data or draining budget dollars intended for public services.

1. Invest In Immutability

The odds that hackers will hit a government entity are high. The SonicWall 2022 Cyber Threat Report midyear update reported that there were 2.8 billion malware attacks in the first half of 2022. Attacks on governments were second only to education, with 19.3 percent of SonicWall’s government customers targeted.

It’s a given that some attacks will be successful. That means public agencies need to be able to recover from any data disaster quickly. That’s where immutable snapshots enter the picture. Immutable snapshots make it possible for these agencies to capture and back up their data cost-effectively in near-real-time. By taking a snapshot every 90 seconds, an immutable snapshot solution ensures that an agency can recover its data from a very recent point in time if it suffers a successful ransomware attack.

Immutable backups are stored in a write-once-read-many-times format that can’t be deleted or altered by hackers—or even by admins. There isn’t any way to “read” or reverse the immutability, so governments can be confident their data is always secure and accessible.

2. Choose Ease of Use

Ease of use should be near the top of the list for any government agency looking for a modern data protection and management solution. Government IT teams are already pushed to their limit as their work with tight budgets and constant change. An easy-to-use solution should eliminate complexities caused by data silos by combining file storage, backups, and archival data in a single platform. Choosing a single solution also removes the need to manage multiple vendors.

An easy-to-use storage solution should also cut costs and increase productivity. That starts by eliminating the need for constant monitoring. A “set it and forget it” solution frees IT teams from storage management tasks—time better spent on strategic initiatives—cutting costs while supporting innovation.

3. Make Scalability a Priority

The public sector is generating data at an incredible rate. IDC’s Global DataSphere, which measures new data created, captured, replicated, and consumed each year, projects that the amount of data generated will double from 2022 to 2026. That means many government storage systems will reach capacity—and potentially fail to keep up with demand.

Making sure that doesn’t happen requires a scalable solution that can grow as the agency’s needs grow without forklift upgrades and massive storage centers. What’s needed is a data management system that offers terabytes of storage and can seamlessly scale up to petabytes. Storage solutions like Arcserve OneXafe let you add multiple drives as needed at a reasonable cost. And expanding your global storage pool is easy, with no need for configuration and no application downtime.

Get Expert Guidance

It’s clear that government entities must do more to protect public data. To get expert help in choosing and deploying the right data protection for your specific needs, talk to an Arcserve technology partner. To learn more about Arcserve products, check out our free on-demand demos.

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