Is 2015 the year of a data dystopia?

“Two thousand fifteen! You mean we're in the future?” – Marty McFly

With news of the 2015 Oscar winners still ringing in our ears, there is something about this time of year that makes watching a good film particularly satisfying.

But even amidst so many great new releases, there is nothing like sitting down and watching a true classic with the family. Back to the Future Part II, starring a fresh faced Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd as the eminent Doc Brown, has to be up there amongst the best.

Not least because it offers a refreshingly positive take on the future, without the dystopic themes and imagery of other futuristic classics such as Robocop, Terminator, or Mad Max.

That’s not to say that dystopia is without merit, it is a major motif in both literature and film, indeed, what self-respecting sci-fi fan doesn’t love a good alien-controlled, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic storyline? But sometimes it’s good to get away from doom and gloom!

So after gleefully living in a world of flying cars, hoverboards, and self-lacing shoes for 108 minutes, you could be forgiven to arriving back into the reality of 2015 with a bump. The recent news headlines about cyber attacks and data breaches can’t help but feel a bit too dystopic for comfort.

The start of the year has prompted the question: Could our data be headed towards a dystopian future?

Over the last two years alone, it’s become increasingly evident that the world runs on data. Indeed the publicity of the Sony and iCloud hacks and Government data breaches have had such a wide reaching effect that data privacy and security has become a genuine concern.

This concern is not limited to those with technical knowledge, but is spread across all types of users, for all consumers, in both a personal and commercial capability, on both PC’s and mobile devices. Not only are consumers becoming more aware of the value of their data, but they are also becoming more demanding of security.

Consumers are not the only ones asking these questions either. Increasingly, it is enterprise IT teams and business leaders who are also asking the tough questions. These include:

  • What’s the best way to encrypt in-flight or at-rest data?
  • Will policy-based automation help match storage costs to service levels?
  • Can I free up existing datacentre space by migrating legacy data to the cloud?
  • What can I do to store, classify, and search data for audits or legal holds?
  • Do disaster recovery plans align with recovery objectives of applications?

Back to the future of 2015, the conversation is so much more than just backup and recovery: it’s about data. Your data. As customers become increasingly knowledgeable and cyber-attacks continue to fill the newsreels, it is down to service providers to prove they have the knowledge for the job.

Regardless of whether data resides on premise, in the cloud, or on mobile devices, no organisation should rest easy.

Brian Mitchell, Senior Product Marketing Manager at CommVault.