As businesses increasingly rely on data, the need for efficient and effective backup strategies becomes more critical. With the shift towards cloud-based storage, traditional backup methods may no longer suffice. In this interaction, we explore the evolution of data management and the future of backup strategies in the digital era.
In today’s data-driven world, the importance of backing up crucial data cannot be overstated. With the cloud bringing a technological shift to IT landscapes, traditional backup strategies are becoming obsolete. In this Q&A article, Minu Sirsalewala, Executive Editor, Special Projects, Dataquest interacted with Balaji Rao, Area Vice President, India & SAARC, Commvault, who shed light on the changing data management landscape, the biggest security threats faced by customers, the need to go beyond traditional security tools, and leveraging best data backup and recovery practices to advance business ROI/resilience. Rao also shared insights on the future of data backup strategies and how they will evolve by 2028. Here’s exploring the best practices for rethinking old-fashioned backup strategies for the cloud age.
To combat the rising risks, multi-layered data protection or a tiered recovery strategy is a hallmark of modern backups. According to a Commvault-IDC survey, 71% of organizations cited data backup/data recovery as their number one priority for cloud investments for the next two years.
Can you discuss some of the biggest data management challenges that businesses face in today’s digital landscape?
In India, 2022 has been a hotbed of ransomware incidents, including encrypting data, stealing data, extracting data, and leaking data—bringing data protection and compliance issues to the forefront. There are several data protection and compliance issues that need to be addressed, not only to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII) but also to safeguard sensitive business data, such as trade secrets and intellectual property. According to a Commvault-IDC research study, over 49% of Indian businesses said that malicious attacks had harmed their backup and data recovery. As the threat landscape changes, attacks will only get more aggressive in terms of complexity and scope.
Moreover, there is a lack of skilled talent available in the market which contributes to other major concerns associated with data management. Despite technological advancements and enhanced security, there is still a void in the industry where demand exceeds talent. A poorly implemented data management policy is another key challenge for businesses, increasing the risk of data loss, unauthorized access, and data silos, as well as noncompliance with regulations.
How do you see traditional backup strategies evolving with the growing adoption of cloud technologies?
In the past few years, cloud assets have been identified as one of the biggest targets for cyber-attacks, challenging the data protection status quo. Cyber threats have become more intelligent and impactful, forcing businesses to ramp up defence strategies and protect their valuable business data. Additionally, as IT operations grow more complex, organisations rely on SaaS backup strategies for day-to-day operations and to protect their mission-critical data.
To combat the rising risks, multi-layered data protection or a tiered recovery strategy is a hallmark of modern backups. According to a Commvault-IDC survey, 71% of organizations cited data backup/data recovery as their number one priority for cloud investments for the next two years. CIOs now prioritize a modern data protection strategy that elevates the value of backup from being an ‘insurance’ to an engine that supports a zero data loss strategy.
What role do you see Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning playing in the future of data backup and recovery?
As businesses continue to generate more data, the need to revamp data management services including the implementation of effective data backup and recovery strategies has become central. Comprehensive data backup continues to evolve, and AI and ML have become potent tools in this field, revolutionizing the way organizations approach data backup and recovery. In 2023, we will witness an increase in the adoption of AI/ML technologies such as self-monitoring and management of IT assets and automation along with orchestration of IT activities across on-premises and the cloud. AI will play an increasingly important role both for malicious purposes and to build more proactive and pre-emptive strategies. To enable a competitive advantage to all our customers, our data protection capabilities are fuelled by AI/ML at their core. Our self-driving backup uses AI and ML to automate backup and recovery operations and management, including setup, monitoring, deep visibility real-time insights, and service level agreement (SLA) tracking.
we move ahead in 2023, security should be a non-negotiable priority for mid-market businesses and new-age security capabilities like cyber deception must be leveraged to further solidify their privacy landscape without worrying about compliance, cybersecurity, and insider threats.
How can mid-market businesses ensure that they have adequate data protection and disaster recovery measures in place?
Currently, mid-market leaders are grappling with a critical challenge of implementing an effective security strategy for their organisation. While investing in cloud boosts a company’s growth, the lack of cyber defences can make them soft targets to the evolving threat landscape. To escape data protection violations and ransomware attacks, leaders need to reassess their data infrastructure with a five-point focus approach of scalability, flexibility, agility, security, and cost. In addition to this, leaders must also employ effective cyber hygiene practices to their advantage. Growing businesses have an opportunity to focus on their security posture and gain advantage in a competitive business landscape. As we move ahead in 2023, security should be a non-negotiable priority for mid-market businesses and new-age security capabilities like cyber deception must be leveraged to further solidify their privacy landscape without worrying about compliance, cybersecurity, and insider threats.
Can you discuss any upcoming trends or technologies in the data backup and recovery space that businesses should be aware of?
One of the most prominent trends in data backup and recovery is the adoption of cloud-based SaaS solutions assisting enterprises in efficiency, and scalability while avoiding the expense of building and maintaining tailor-made data protection solutions. By 2023, over 28% of Indian enterprises will have multiple private and/or public cloud environments and migrate workloads and data among them, according to the Commvault-IDC study.
With data breaches becoming a norm in the dynamic business landscape, the question now lies in how organizations respond to a particular incident and how quickly they recover from it. Thus, protection and data recoverability will be essential components of the enterprise security toolbox of organizations. Moreover, businesses are now investing in automated solutions for real-time backups and updates, recording each change or transaction in the data as it occurs. The market for data backup and recovery software has seen tremendous growth in recent years and we anticipate it will continue to grow as technological advancements make these solutions more modular in the future.
How important is it for businesses to regularly review and update their data backup and recovery strategies, and what best practices do you recommend for doing so?
Data is the new oil, as it can be used to derive insights and thrive in a rapidly shifting marketplace. In this scenario, with no data recovery and backup strategy in place, the consequences of ransomware or any malware attack can leave sensitive data exposed, leading to a costly, lengthy recovery. Companies must re-evaluate their data backup and recovery strategies every two years. In order to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat landscape, organizations cannot continue to rely on the same strategy that they have been using for the last five years. As the market environment changes, companies need to alter their strategies to comply with the new market conditions. They should rethink our data backup and recovery framework while continuing to strengthen security. Cyber resilient data recovery ensures a safe copy of the data in the cloud or data centre, where nobody can touch it. This enables a strong pipeline to restore crucial data in 3 hours, non-crucial data in 10 hours, and all data in 3 days. This provides a faster approach than the 15-20 days downtime typically experienced during a ransomware attack. There are many CIOs who are working on a new cyber backup and recovery strategies, and the board is also now committing to this new blueprint. A resilient framework will thus become a fundamental cornerstone of businesses in 2023, as organizations embrace the mantra of expecting the unexpected.
Area Vice President, India & SAARC, Commvault
By Minu Sirsalewala