Artificial Intelligence. Big Data Analytics. Internet of Things. Chances are your company has invested a lot of resources in recent years transforming to a data-centric organization. You’re not alone: in a survey of global IT leaders, 77% told Frost & Sullivan that investments in data analytics are critical to their business’s digital transformation success over the next 5 years; and 47% said investments in Big Data and Analytics are more important than other technologies. Overall, less than 1% of businesses reported not having some sort of digital transformation strategy; and less than 20% report being behind their industry peers in implementing a digital transformation.
But how are you protecting the growing data pools that fuel your business? Have you collaborated with your Chief Security Information Officer or Compliance officer on a data protection plan that extends across your critical applications? Or are you relying on your cloud service provider or storage solution to provide the protection you need?
The truth is, your data-centric business requires a sustainable, consistent, and complete data availability and protection approach—one that automates and streamlines data protection to enable dependable business recovery and protection processes, especially in critical down times, ensuring that your databases are both protected and compliant. An intelligent data management solution integrates storage with robust data management and backup & recovery platforms that enable you to ensure that your data is secure and protected, no matter where it is housed. Best-in-breed solutions facilitate management tasks, with intuitive portals that help your team see what data is protected, where it resides, and how much infrastructure it requires.
“MY DATA IS STORED IN MY ON-PREMISES DATA CENTER, SO IT’S SECURE”
One of the biggest misconceptions about data protection is that if it remains on the business premises, the data will be safe. In fact, 77% of businesses responding to the 2019 Frost & Sullivan Global Cloud User Survey cite improved security as a reason to keep data on the business’s premises instead of moving to the public cloud.
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Unfortunately, constantly evolving cyber threats target all kinds of business and consumer data, regardless of where it resides or what security measures have been deployed—any Internet-connected infrastructure is vulnerable. Cyber criminals continue to devise new means to breach corporate data. Fileless threats, one of the newest varieties of cyber threats, rose by more than 800% in 2018.3 On their own, even the most advanced premises-based systems weren’t designed to handle the rapid updates needed to respond to the latest threats. Software-based security added later but not integrated with your storage system won’t provide the consistent, integrated benefits you require for ongoing success: application and hardware awareness, and the ability to adjust accordingly. Legacy systems typically don’t incorporate machine learning and analytics, which help the system to recognize potential threats and stop access before it occurs.
The Data Availability Solution Payoff
No system, layer, physical security device, or process can stop every intrusion; but you can mitigate the effects of a breach or natural disaster on your business. Using an intelligent storage management platform mitigates security risks by ensuring that clean copies of data are always available to any application that needs it. Modern data availability platforms give businesses the ability to parse old copies of data, find last “clean” copy not infected with malware or ransomware, and restore the environment using the clean copy—without having to pay the “ransom” for data to be returned. This enables fast recovery, particularly from ransomware attacks.
“MY PROVIDER IS PROTECTING MY PUBLIC CLOUD DATA”
Many business leaders assume that, if their data is in a cloud or hosted environment, the provider’s replication practices will cover their data. But is that true across all your data or all your enterprise applications? In reality, most providers have “shared responsibility clauses” in their cloud subscription contracts.
In general, providers take responsibility for security and backup of the infrastructure itself. Specific platforms, applications, workloads or services that subscribers load onto their instances are not the responsibility of the provider. Businesses are responsible for their own data and server-side encryption; network traffic security (encryption of data, data integrity); operating system, network and firewall configurations; platforms, applications, and identity and access management; as well as the backup and security of their customers’ data.
The Data Availability Solution Payoff
At their core, today’s data availability solutions must be able to replicate and restore data to mitigate risk in the event of a loss of data, regardless of where the data is stored. The best data availability platforms automate and orchestrate the replication of data and the ability to recall it—even at a very granular level and regardless of location, whether that the data is stored in a remote office, data center, or the cloud. Also critical is the ability to manage this process consistently—from replication through any necessary recovery—with minimal business disruption, if any at all.
INTEGRATED DATA AVAILABILITY: THE RIGHT APPROACH FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Data is of growing importance in today’s competitive enterprise. Among businesses surveyed regarding their perceptions about big data and analytics, 81% stated that solving big data and privacy issues were a key strategic focus; while 71% cited overall data governance as a prime focus.
As a result, new ways to store and manage critical business data are needed more than ever. “Set it and forget it” procedures are no longer adequate to protect these key corporate assets. And yet, constant, manual processes to ensure appropriate backup, security and compliance practices are too inconsistent, labor intensive and time-consuming for most companies. Instead, businesses require scalable, systemic, and universal, methods to handle data management.
To support today’s IT environments, data availability and management need to be simpler and more consistent, offering both higher availability and effectiveness as a result. Integrated data availability services provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution encompassing storage, backup and replication, disaster recovery, data archiving, and availability. Look for providers that offer software designed to manage your entire hybrid storage environment, from remote office to data center. A comprehensive solution should provide all aspects of data management, from load balancing and scaling to security and compliance. The solution you choose should also integrate all functions into a single, intelligent platform that is both application- and hardware-aware, and can adjust accordingly.
Additionally, your chosen provider should validate and optimize the solution across servers, networking and storage, regardless of location, to ensure a high-performance storage environment that can reduce your business’s costs. Using such a solution, your business will be able to enhance its data capabilities; improving data availability as well as disaster recovery, while streamlining management and driving new data insights not available with legacy systems. You’ll also be able to free your IT staff for greater innovation, while realizing significant ROI on your data availability investment. This approach also provides sustainable support for the business, as well as recognition of the value of employees, reducing turnover.