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A date with data: Finding your perfect match

data
(Image credit: Shutterstock / carlos castilla)

Gary Chapman’s 1992 book that explores the five different languages of love is trending online as millennials look for ways to sustain connections and show love from afar in today’s socially distant era. In Gary’s book, he identifies the different love languages as: acts of service, gift-giving, quality time, words of affirmation, and physical touch. Whilst we might not agree on which is the best way to show someone you love them, in the IT world I think we can agree that there is one love language missing from the list that should rank No.1: data protection.

The love language we choose to align with may change based on who we’re interacting with, but data protection is a language that we should all be fluent in. This is especially important because cyber criminals are getting stronger by the day and are ready to pull on our heart strings if data is left unprotected. Targeting vulnerable and relied upon systems from companies such as the World Health Organization, hackers can quickly spot businesses that have become too trusting (or even worse, too relaxed) with their data and who are vulnerable to cyber heartbreak.

While Valentine’s Day may be over, businesses should show their customers, employees and their business some love by swiping right on a date with data. The right match will minimize the risk of downtime in case of a malicious attack and strengthen cyber resiliency.

Building the foundation for a successful data relationship

There is no one single secret ingredient that leads to a long and prosperous relationship. But, it goes without saying that investing in quality time goes a long way. The same can be said for your approach to data protection. Keeping your data secure requires time and resources, and will never be as simple as flicking on a switch. If it was that simple, we’d all get it right all of the time.

According to our recent survey, 73 percent of IT leaders feel more concerned than ever about protecting their data from ransomware. Ransomware is increasingly on the rise, and these attacks are expected to cost $6 trillion in damages this year according to Cybersecurity Ventures. The frequency of these attacks have made it clear that we are facing an entirely new threat landscape that is more sophisticated and destructive.

And it is hardly surprising - with more of us working digitally, data has shifted out of the data center. Consequently, it has never been more important for businesses to get data protection right by finding a trusted partner that can adapt and evolve with your changing needs. The good news is that according to our survey, 79 percent of IT leaders see data management and protection as a competitive advantage.

Therefore, make sure you invest the time in finding a data protection solution that is the right match for you. It is important that you find a team who can monitor your data 24/7, in case you forget - or don’t have time - to check yourself. 

Cloud nine

Many of us can be blind to a bad relationship when we’re on cloud nine. And, one of the biggest risks businesses face when it comes to security is to assume their data is safe because it’s ‘in the cloud’. Let’s take Microsoft 365 as an example. It’s the most widely adopted tool amongst businesses, but it’s also one that comes with security gaps that you might not have been aware of.

Microsoft 365 provides a number of solutions that protect against ransomware. However, what it doesn’t do is follow the basic requirements for regular, automated and consistent backups. Backups should be stored on a separate platform and follow the 3-2-1 rule of backup and recovery. This can be done by creating at least three copies of your data, using two different backup media, and storing one copy in a remote location.

Restoring individual files from your recycling bin is not a backup strategy. It is time to put your guard up and make sure you have a robust backup strategy in place.

A match made in heaven

As you look to use data to inform future decision making, make sure your third party partner is a match made in heaven. Take time to consider what it is that you want today, and where your company is headed. The ideal partner can not only meet today’s needs, but help your business prepare for whatever comes next. Maybe it is a perfect suite of business productivity software, or is it a robust backup solution? Regardless, it is important they can provide:

  • The ability to recover your files, at ease: A good data backup and recovery solution will enable you to quickly and easily restore any lost, damaged or corrupt files. It doesn’t matter when it was last accessed, who by, or where from. End users and administrators will both have the ability to do so.
  • Automated support to spot a malware attack: A good solution will alert you to any anomalies in your data. This means that if a malware attack starts to target any of your files, you’ll be able to fight back before it is too late.
  • An up-to-date view of the latest regulatory requirements: This can be a complex challenge. For example, some data will need to be deleted within three years, whilst other data you have stored away can be kept for up to seven years. It is important you have the governance capabilities to manage each type of data and the regulatory requirements that are associated with it. Microsoft 365 will not do this.

Don’t settle for less, and take time to find a partner that can give you all three. Remember, the perfect partner isn’t just about finding what’s easiest. Find yourself a vendor that can make data protection seamless. After all, you’ll be happier if you know that you have a robust plan in place that means your data is protected, secure and ready to utilize.

Nick Turner, VP EMEA, Druva