Most of us aren’t thinking about what happens to our organization when disaster strikes. In fact, many organizations were not prepared to shift to a remote workforce when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Disaster can strike at any moment in the form of cyberattacks, hurricanes, fires, and more. Having recoverable copies of your data is critical to ensuring operations can continue. IT professionals need to ask themselves, ‘Is my organization prepared for the worst?’
The need for a strong IT security posture is unquestionable, but often times data protection is not top of mind for InfoSec teams. Here are four reasons why having a comprehensive data protection strategy is a foundational element in support of a comprehensive IT security strategy:
- Cyberattacks – It’s no secret that cyberattacks are evolving and occurring daily across the U.S. and the world. It is no longer a matter of “if” you’ll become a victim, but “when” you’ll become a victim. Having protected copies of data is essential to getting your operations back online when you experience a cyberattack. In today’s world, data protection requirements have to be evolved to ensure consistent, immutable copies of data are in multiple locations and readily available if a restore is needed. As backups have seemed to become the last and only resort to recovering from cyber and ransomware attacks, organizations need to rethink the importance of having a comprehensive data protection strategy in place.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity – A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) features information on how to keep your organization operational during a disaster. A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) contains information on how to recover from these unplanned incidents (such as natural disaster, ransomware attack, etc.). Both plans should include information on your data backups and how to restore them when an incident occurs. Over the last 18 months, Business Continuity plans have merged with work from home initiatives, and will most likely stay that way due to IT and Security teams having to rapidly adapt to large numbers of endpoints that used to be in a corporate office now at the homes of employees or even places like coffee shops. Contemplating Security and Data Protection in the same vein has become a necessary reality.
- Compliance regulations – Almost every organization has compliance regulations they have to adhere to and most involve protecting sensitive data. Your organization may be required to retain information for an extended period of time (such as several years, especially in regulated environments). Additionally, protecting the data of your employees and clients is paramount to maintaining a high level of trust. A good data protection strategy can retain and protect your sensitive data as required. In addition, many data protection providers have released the ability to content index backup data to allow IT and Security teams to identify where sensitive data is located without impacting production infrastructure. An added benefit to this strategy is when a a ransomware attack or any other incident occurs, organizations can first focus on any sensitive data that may have exfiltrated their environment and immediately begin damage control and remediation.
- Hardware failures – What happens when the hardware that houses your data fails? If you have a good data backup, this is a question you won’t have to ask or spend time stressing over. No matter where your data lives (in the cloud, on prem, or both), hardware failures can occur. Data retention and replication of your backup can ensure your organization can quickly restore when hardware goes offline.
It is important to note that it’s not enough just to back up your data to “check the box.” Data backups should be tested and reviewed periodically. Your IT team and key stakeholders should determine what data is backed up and how often it’s backed up. For example, it is unlikely you would need to back up your email every hour, but rather every 24 hours. Conversely, you may need to back up your customer data more frequently. These are just a few things to consider as you build your backup strategy into your overall security strategy.
For more information on how to improve your data protection strategy, contact us today.