The 31st of March is the World Backup Day. It reminds all of us the importance of backing up our critical data, such as classified documents for our business or treasured photos of our family, so that we can restore it quickly and seamlessly in the event of data loss.
Below experts provide responses on the current state of the backup industry and the importance of the effective backup solution for the business.
<p>The global shift in working patterns has intensified the risk of data breaches and ransomware for financial institutions. According to Veritas research, 63% of companies in the banking and finance sector admit to a transformation gap appearing, where their security measures lag behind their IT complexity. Although 57% of financial services companies saw their IT budgets increase during the pandemic, the figures indicate that spending has primarily been on accelerating the deployment of digital and cloud initiatives, rather than on protecting them.</p> <p> </p> <p>The truth is, a successful ransomware attack is almost inevitable for most financial organisations – the average FSI will have already been the victim of 3.6 attacks – so, it’s imperative that they do everything they can to close these gaps.</p> <p> </p> <p>This World Backup Day, Veritas is encouraging the finance sector to pause and take stock. For some, everything will have changed since the last World Backup Day: data is in new places, devices are in new places, and the threats have certainly evolved. FSIs should take the opportunity of World Backup Day to understand where their risk is and identify how to expand their protection strategies across their entire data estate, from edge to core to cloud. Taking the time to locate the transformation gap in their data strategies is the first step on the road to taking back control. Then, between now and World Backup Day in 2022, look to reduce that gap by modernising data protection.</p>
<p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Backing up is a key part of robust cybersecurity planning, but especially in today’s world with a 25% uptick in ransomware attacks from 2019 to 2020. And while ransomware victims paid nearly $30 million to get their data back, backup data is the quickest and cheapest way to mitigate the damage and recover from this kind of attack. </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Backing up data is especially critical in healthcare, finance and government organisations. From 2016-2020, about 91.8 million data records were stolen in ransomware attacks where the healthcare organisations either lost the data permanently or ended up paying attackers ransom to regain access to their data. With data backups, organisations can retrieve their crucial data and keep their critical health IT operations running.”</p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">A strong backup and disaster recovery plan is a smart insurance policy that organisations need to protect themselves from data loss and its repercussions on their business. World Backup Day is a great reminder to align our priorities and get ahead of attackers with pre-emptive measures for a resilient IT infrastructure that can recover quickly from unforeseen outages.</p>
<p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">World Backup Day should serve as a reminder to all businesses to ensure they have adequate data recovery and protection strategies in place.</p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Data loss can happen for a multitude of reasons. We’ve witnessed businesses left with servers under four feet of water after a hurricane, networks taken down by ransomware, entire data centers burning down and corporate laptops stolen at airport security, to name just a few examples. The implications for businesses of these unforeseen events happening without having a data recovery plan in place can be wide-ranging and devastating: from losing critically important files, to the heavy cost of replacing machines, or the large amount of manual time and effort spent recovering data.</p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">Critically, businesses need to understand the difference between ‘storage’ and ‘backup’. Storage is simply a gateway to access information from anywhere, whereas backups are automatic, offsite, immutable, granular, take you to a point-in-time and provide flexible restore options. Organisations can avoid disasters by understanding where their data is located and then ensuring they have the right backup product in place – meaning whatever data loss occurs at an organisation, they can take full advantage of their backup product to keep themselves running undisrupted.</p>
<p>Word Backup Day was created to shine a light on the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of making regular backups. However, with data becoming vital to businesses, the board must pay special attention on this awareness day. The reality is that most security leaders struggle to explain to their fellow C-suite executives and board of directors how at risk their organisations actually are because they can’t translate threats and vulnerabilities into the real picture they need to provide – a financial and business view into cyber risk. With attacks on the rise, it is now time for CISOs to speak business – quantify risk in monetary terms, identify the specific threats the company is facing and then use this intelligence to prioritise operations. Only by taking this risk-based approach will businesses be able to stem the tide and protect the data that has become so important to how they operate.</p>
<p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">It’s common for organisations to dismiss data back-ups as a simple tick box exercise, often underestimating how crucial these programmes are. The risks associated with not having a proper back-up strategy are wide-ranging and vast – from reputational to financial damage. Companies that fail to comprehensively back-up data are also easy targets for ransomware attacks where cybercriminals may know that they are holding hostage the only version of the data that exists.</p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">To prevent this, businesses must be willing to continuously learn about the different options available when choosing a back-up strategy. It needs to be one that will work for them in these times of complex cloud and data privacy regulations. A well thought out back-up strategy will make use of incremental back-up, place careful consideration on how long each type of data needs to be kept, and will conduct regular tests and disaster ‘fire drills’.</p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\"> </p> <p style=\"font-weight: 400;\">World Backup Day is a great opportunity to remind ourselves of these important considerations and also to dispel some of the common misconceptions that exist around backups. These include believing that data is completely safe when being stored with a third-party cloud provider, that an appropriate approach is to simply back up everything, and also, that it’s not necessary to regularly test backup systems to ensure they would successfully restore in a real, live emergency.</p>