The U.S. Department of Justice recently sent out new guidance to federal prosecutors, instructing them to give ransomware investigations the same priority as terrorist activity.

This directive comes in the wake of several cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure sectors, including Colonial Pipeline, meat producer JBS, Ireland’s health system, and a Florida water treatment system.

1. A Solid Data Protection Strategy Is Critical in Today’s Business Environment

Although not every ransomware attack will have the same impact as shutting down a major fuel supplier, even on a smaller scale, cybersecurity and data protection are essential to an effective risk mitigation strategy.

Businesses of all sizes are in a constant battle to protect their sensitive data from a wide variety of threats — some malicious, some circumstantial:

Ransomware

As illustrated above, ransomware is a pervasive and devastating threat for today’s businesses — many CISOs and CIOs consider ransomware to be their biggest cybersecurity concern.

Remote/Hybrid Work Environments

The 2020 mass exodus of workers from secured offices to quickly cobbled-together home workspaces rapidly expanded many organizations’ attack surfaces and opened the floodgates for phishing scams. Now that the economy is opening back up, hackers are launching new phishing campaigns to target workers returning to the office. 

Internal Threats (Malicious and Accidental)

In 2019, Verizon found that 57% of database breaches involved internal threats. Although “internal threat” might conjure up images of disgruntled employees going out in a blaze of glory, in reality, internally sourced data breaches can be the result of accidentally sharing confidential information, poor password hygiene, privilege creep, or an overwhelmed IT team.

2. Data Protection as a Service

To combat rising rates of ransomware, create a more secure perimeter for workplaces in transition, and ensure compliance with the growing number of privacy laws and regulations, many organizations are turning to data protection as a service (DpaaS)

DPaaS is a cloud-hosted, subscription-based service that provides data protection, network security, and disaster recovery capabilities. DPaaS comprises three services that together create a reliable, full-coverage data protection strategy:

Backup as a Service (BaaS)

BaaS is the most effective way to ensure your mission-critical data can be restored after a disruption or disaster. With frequent backup copies stored securely in the cloud, your data is separated from the network and any localized threats.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS is essential to get your organization’s IT infrastructure back online quickly after a natural disaster, cyberattack, or technology failure. For maximum protection, DRaaS should be incorporated into a comprehensive business continuity plan. 

Storage as a Service (STaaS)

STaaS should not be used as a replacement for a secure backup solution, but it does provide a centralized repository for files that need to be accessible and editable from any device and location without the overhead of on-site storage.

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3. Top 10 Benefits of Data Protection as a Service

1. Automated Backups = Peace of Mind

IT teams are typically stretched thin. DPaaS solutions let you schedule automated backups so there is one less thing to worry about falling through the cracks. 

2. Cost Savings

DPaaS provides a variety of ways to cut costs. Some are direct savings, including reducing infrastructure, personnel, power and cooling, and software licensing. Other savings are less tangible, such as marketing costs to replace lost customers after a data breach.

3. Extra Protection for SaaS Solutions

Many SaaS providers utilize a shared responsibility model when it comes to data protection. This essentially means the cloud services provider will secure the infrastructure and services they provide, but you are in charge of protecting your data and ensuring you have backups and disaster recovery in place.

4. Increased Security for Remote Workers

DPaaS eliminates some of the risk introduced by a large remote workforce by ensuring company files and business applications are backed up frequently, so your data is secure and recoverable.

5. Orchestrated Recovery

DPaaS solutions streamline recovery efforts by orchestrating the process and minimizing the need for IT intervention. 

6. Immutable Storage

Immutable copies of your data can’t be changed or deleted by anyone, even your IT team. This is an essential part of DPaaS, but it must be done properly for immutable storage to be completely effective.

7. Redundancy

The cloud provides an exceptional level of redundancy. DPaaS is geo-independent, so your data is protected from localized threats and can be moved as needed to circumvent online threats and system failures.

8. Accessibility

Today’s widely distributed workforce relies on data being accessible from any place at any time. DPaaS offers secure but easy accessibility and recovery no matter where your authorized staff is located.

9. Governance and Compliance

DPaaS meets data retention, storage, and governance standards required for compliance in highly regulated industries for organizations grappling with HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and other regulatory requirements.

10. Protection for Company Reputation/Brand Value

Even a small data breach or cyberattack can quickly destroy trust in your company. DPaaS provides a data protection safety net so your users can feel confident that you take their privacy seriously and their data is secure.

4. DPaaS Is Different From Traditional Data Protection

All data protection is not created equal. In today’s unpredictable business environment, DPaaS offers several key differentiators over traditional solutions that make it a better fit for the times:

  • Faster data transfer
  • Faster backups
  • Instant restoration
  • Protection for data at the application and the database layers
  • Increased resiliency

The need for flexible, scalable data protection solutions is only going to increase as technology continues to evolve and generate a staggering amount of data. Download “What's Next? Data Protection in a Post-2020 World” to ensure your data protection strategy is future-ready.

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