Data is the lifeblood of today’s businesses, so protecting your organization’s data from cyberthreats, natural disaster, system failure, and other unplanned outages is mission-critical.

Enterprises store a broad spectrum of data, including personally identifiable information, financial and health records, intellectual property, legal documents, and IT security information. Loss or theft of any of this sensitive data could result in hefty legal fines and noncompliance penalties—it could even bring business operations to a screeching halt.

As the global economy struggles to right itself, enterprises are faced with extreme uncertainty and increased cyberthreats. IT professionals must take proactive measures to ensure their data protection strategy will stand up to the new challenges. What worked a year ago may not be sufficient today. 

If you’re still relying on a years-old data protection plan, here are five good reasons why it’s time to rethink your strategy:

Cyberthreats Are Always Evolving

Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to infiltrate company networks. The global pandemic has created an excellent diversion, and bad actors are taking full advantage. For example, the coronavirus has spawned several pandemic-themed attacks, including ransomware disguised as an official COVID-19 tracing tool that targeted Android users in Canada. 

These days, ransomware operators aren’t content to simply encrypt your data and hold it for ransom. Some new strains actually expose the data to the public, which inflicts even more damage on the affected company.

Your cyberthreat detection solution may not be aware of these newer strains of ransomware and other recently deployed malware, so it may be time to shop around for a new solution.

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Remote Employees Have Increased the Attack Surface

Around the world, millions of employees have moved out of the secure confines of an office to set up shop at kitchen tables and in spare bedrooms. These remote workplaces were thrown together quickly with minimal security infrastructure, and cybercriminals rejoiced.

VPN and RDP have always been popular targets, but the sudden surge in employees accessing company networks remotely opened up millions of new potential access points. 

Add to the mix less secure home internet connections, bring your own device (BYOD) devices being used both for work and personal computing, and employees who are distracted by fear of a deadly virus and by children/spouses/household responsibilities, and you’ve got a recipe for some serious security breaches.

It’s Been a While Since Your Last Upgrade

Outdated data protection technology is a huge liability. Older solutions lack many of the data loss prevention capabilities of newer platforms, which can result in slow recovery after an outage, inadequate storage, infrequent backups, and missed patches—all of which leave the company network vulnerable to permanent and devastating data loss.

Getting buy-in for an upgrade to your data protection solution can be tough. Often, the decision makers don’t fully understand the importance of keeping the technology up to date, considering new features more of a “nice-to-have” than an investment in your company’s reputation and bottom line.

To get the C-suite onboard with an upgrade, hit them with some real numbers. Schedule a meeting and come prepared with recent statistics showing how much downtime costs businesses on average, as well as the impact it has on customer confidence. Then plug in your company’s actual numbers to demonstrate what that scenario looks like for your organization.

You’re Missing Out on Cost Savings

If you haven’t reviewed your data protection strategy lately, you may be spending way more than you need to for not enough efficiency and protection. Here are some areas in which you may be overspending:

RTOs and RPOs

Recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) are critical factors to consider in your data protection plan. But not every application requires near-zero recovery capabilities. Review your RTOs and RPOs, make pragmatic decisions about how mission-critical each application is, and adjust accordingly.

On-Site Storage

I’m not saying there’s no good reason to keep paying (and paying and paying) for on-site data storage, but unless there are stringent regulations that prohibit your organization from using cloud-based storage, you are probably wasting money.

Cloud storage is secure, easy to access, and—most importantly—scalable. As your data storage needs grow, you simply pay for what you use. There is no hardware to buy, store, and maintain, and if disaster strikes the office, your data is safely stored away from the action.

Your Data Protection Technology May Not Be Up to the Challenge

Data protection technology evolves rapidly to keep pace with today’s data-driven business environments and ever-changing security landscape. For maximum peace of mind, your data protection strategy should include a comprehensive solution that provides cybersecurity and prevents data loss. There are a lot of tools out there that do one or the other, but without protection for both, your organization’s sensitive data is still at risk.

Streamlining data protection into a simplified solution also mitigates the risk of having disparate backup solutions across the IT environment. When you rely on multiple solutions for data protection, each system may have its own backup that has to be maintained and tested, which further complicates recovery efforts after an unplanned outage. 

In today’s uncertain business environment, enterprise data protection cannot be an afterthought. Proactively and regularly reviewing your data protection strategy can uncover areas that are in need of updating and optimizing to provide the highest level of defense against catastrophic data loss and expensive legal and regulatory consequences.

Download The 2020 Data Attack Surface Report to learn how data growth contributes to both innovation and cybercrime and why data protection is more important today than ever before.

Download The 2020 Data Attack Surface Report