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Covid-enforced IT changes could affect businesses for years to come

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rabbit_Photo)

To keep the cogs turning throughout the pandemic, many businesses rushed ahead with their digital transformation projects, leaving behind gaps in their cybersecurity posture.

According to a new report from data protection firm Veritas, these gaps will “haunt” them for at least another two years, unless they spend significant additional funds. 

Based on a poll of 2,050 IT executives from 19 countries, the report asserts that, in order to reduce vulnerability lag and protect the new technologies introduced during the pandemic, the average organization will have to spend an additional $2.5 million and bring in at least 22 new IT professionals.

Of all the different technologies introduced during the pandemic, cloud environments seem to be most at risk, the report further states. In the UK, 80 percent of the respondents either introduced new cloud capabilities or expanded on existing ones. Furthermore, 53 percent have identified gaps in their protection strategies.

Many IT pros don’t even know which cloud solutions were introduced at their companies, the report further found. Almost half confirmed they cannot accurately state the number of cloud services currently in use, and many also aren’t sure about the data they should be protecting.

A significant portion of the data (39 percent) in an average organization is classified as “dark”, which means it exists in a dormant or unused state. Meanwhile, half of business data is considered ROT - redundant, obsolete or trivial.

“The foundation of a strong data protection strategy lies in a thorough understanding of the value and location of the data that needs to be protected,” said Ian Wood, Head of Technology UK&I, at Veritas. 

“The rapid shift to remote working has meant more and more workforces rely on cloud-based collaboration platforms such as Microsoft 365. But before cloud data sets can be properly protected from threats like ransomware, IT teams need to know exactly what data has been sent to which cloud services. Today, almost half don’t even know how many cloud services their companies are using, let alone what they are, or whether they’re backed up and can be recovered at scale in the event of attack. It’s little wonder that they say they need time and resources to get back on track.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.