Key Considerations for Your Data Protection Strategy
Data is often a company’s most important asset. As data continues to grow – both in volume and value – businesses are turning to the cloud for their storage and management needs.
With ransomware growing at a rate of 15 percent annually, it’s important to establish the right plan to protect your organization. The thing is, everyone has their own assumptions about what data protection really is. Most people think it’s just about backup, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. A modern data protection strategy encompasses so much more. The following are three key considerations for your data protection strategy.
1. Leverage the cloud to secure your on-site data
Cloud adoption is on the rise. Gartner predicts that by 2019, 30 percent of midsize organizations will leverage public cloud Infrastructure as-a-service for backup – up from 5% today. Now is a great time to consider how cloud can be an integral piece of your data protection strategy. Think of backup as a great gateway to the cloud – it’s easy to do when you have the right strategy. So ask yourself what your goal is.
- Is it to ensure you have a secondary backup site to further protect your data?
- Are you in search of a combined pack of data backup and recovery solutions?
- Do you expect new compliance-related regulations that will require more backup and quick access if a disruptive event occurs?
- Are you looking to shift IT expenses from CapEx to OpEx?
One significant benefit of data protection in the cloud is the ease of expandability. From an admin perspective, it is extremely easy to scale, expand, and manage storage in the cloud.
Consider the cost too: The capital expense of disaster recovery in the data center is quite large. The costs for a second data center for offsite replication and recovery from tape for archive can also quickly add up, leading many organizations to at least evaluate cloud as a secondary site.
2. Develop a strategy to protect data already in the cloud
Next, consider how you will protect your production data that is already living in the cloud. Let’s say your organization has Office 365 email in the cloud. For compliance purposes, you may need to perform backups on-site to query old or archived emails – but how do you backup from Office 365 to on-prem? Furthermore, when production data is in the cloud, how will you protect it? How do you get that data out, or move it around? These are questions many organizations still struggle to answer.
There are options such as sending backups to another cloud vendor, or sending backups onsite. And while public cloud providers claim they can do this, you still don’t have control over your data. For instance, you may have to rely on hardware redundancies and this may not be sufficient. Naturally, you want the same level of control you’d have in your own data center.
The key is to know you have options. It’s simply a matter of determining the best fit for your organization. As you assemble a data protection strategy, start by asking: What compliance does your application require? Does it make sense to have backup on-premises from the cloud for email? Are you comfortable having your production and backup in the same cloud? Or do you need to spread it across multiple vendors?
3. Make Endpoint Data Protection a Priority
How well is your organization’s proprietary data protected? If an employee’s device were to get lost or stolen, would you be able to find out – quickly – what data was there? How do you protect it when it leaves your end user’s hands? This is an essential consideration for organizations with a remote or mobile workforce.
Many technology teams have no data protection at the endpoint at all. They might be using a combination of tactics that protect against things like viruses, but aren’t protecting their data if a device is stolen or lost. To meet this need, some of today’s leading security software solutions are integrating multiple solutions to form a single endpoint solution. Some are even backing data up to the cloud on a nightly basis.
The bottom line? Don’t assume one vendor will fit the bill for all of your endpoint data protection needs. Most likely, it will take a combination of solutions to create a robust endpoint data protection plan. So remember, there’s more to a data protection than just backup and recovery. A comprehensive approach to data protection can result in reduced administration overhead without the need for comprehensive training, auto discovery, plug and play, and robust policy templates to automate configuration. It also enables technology advancements from converged and hyperconverged infrastructure to have more scale-out infrastructures.
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