Data is as valuable as currency today, and every business needs to protect it.
Hardware and software failures, data corruption, ransomware attacks, or simple accidental deletion can result in lost data, damaged reputations, and missed revenue.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it even more risks to data protection.
In the first half of 2021, Accenture found a 125 per cent rise in the global volume of cyber intrusion activity compared with the same period in 2020. This activity included targeted ransomware, extortion operations, and supply chain intrusions.
The increase in cyberthreats has spurred businesses to take precautions to keep their digital assets secure. It is now commonly acknowledged that the best data protection practices focus both on prevention and recovery.
As we enter the post-pandemic era, more challenges lie ahead – which make it critical that businesses find a backup solution that provides comprehensive countermeasures.
The challenges to come in the new normal
Skyrocketing data growth
The amount of data businesses create continues to grow. Global data consumption is forecast to reach 79 zettabytes in 2021 and over 180 zettabytes, or 180 trillion GB, by 2025. The installed base of storage capacities is also expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 per cent from 2020 to 2025.
As data grows, so does the cost to store it. Add the expense of scalability and backup measures for future business expansion, and the cost of storing and protecting data may grow faster than many IT budgets can keep up with.
Remote and hybrid working models
Whether out of necessity or choice, many businesses are adopting remote and hybrid work models. This may unknowingly put data security at risk, because IT administrators have less oversight and limited control over employees working remotely.
Cybercriminals can also exploit weak home networking security and unsecured endpoint devices using VPNs for remote connectivity and intranet access.
And if data is deleted accidentally or employees fall victim to phishing campaigns, IT support may not be as prompt.
With workloads and hardware scattered across various devices, platforms and locations, IT teams may also find it difficult to manage infrastructures and back up data.
These challenges may not only lead to higher administration costs, but also open the door to formidable cyber-threats to a company’s digital assets.
Compliance with legal requirements
As time spent online and data consumption surge during the pandemic, there is increased onus on businesses to handle all this new data responsibly.
Even before the pandemic, data privacy and security were increasingly in the public eye as concerns about how organisations used consumer data increased with each shocking story of a significant data breaches.
In response, governments have started to implement compliance regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to hold companies accountable and protect personal data. Businesses may be at risk of major fines if they fail to comply as a result of data breaches, unlawful storage of, or unauthorised sharing of data.
Organisations must be transparent about the customer data they store, why it is stored, and how it is secured. To remain compliant, they need a comprehensive data protection solution that addresses safe data storage, backup, and recovery.
Overcoming challenges and embracing the new normal
A solid data backup and recovery plan is integral to making sure digital assets remain intact, enabling businesses to get back to normal service as seamlessly as possible in the event of disruptions or disaster.
An ideal backup and recovery solution has addresses the challenges of the new normal and is future-proof.
1. Centralised management for easy deployment
A centralised backup solution can greatly reduce IT efforts. The best backup solutions offer intuitive backup management for all endpoints, including servers, virtual machines, and SaaS applications.
With one simple console, IT teams can deploy and monitor backup tasks, and be alerted to timely notifications and detailed reports.
Backups are less effective without fast and easy restoration options. Leading solutions offer near-instantaneous restoration to minimise costly service downtime. With an easy-to-use centralised backup solution, individual employees can be trusted to restore their data using flexible recovery options without burdening IT admins.
2. Maximise storage efficiency with future-proof technology
Data loss can happen at any time and in a multitude of ways. Keeping consistent backups of all devices and platforms is critical.
Rapidly increasing data volumes can cause backup procedures to have a significant affect on data and storage consumption, resulting in longer backup wait times, higher bandwidth usage, and increased costs.
Advanced backup solutions overcome these challenges through incremental backup technology, which only saves a copy of changed or newly added files since the last backup. Data deduplication eliminates identical data blocks across backed up workloads.
The best backup solutions offer incremental backup and data deduplication, while also giving attention to storage device deployment. Businesses need a flexible, scalable solution that meets their growing backup requirements without requiring the replacement of existing IT infrastructure.
3. Integrated solutions for cost-effectiveness
Managing business data can be time-consuming and expensive. Upfront costs, ongoing capacity upgrades, routine maintenance, integration with separate vendors, periodic firmware and software updates, repairs, and recurring license fees are just some of the costs. These expenses can pile up quickly and result in an exorbitant total cost of ownership.
Having a backup service that integrates hardware and software can reduce these costs. Some providers offer built-in backup applications that provide full data protection, including backup of physical and virtual environments, and save off-site copies to the cloud.
By consolidating acquisition, deployment, and technical support with one vendor, IT administrators can put a comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place without paying additional license or maintenance fees.
4. Create a backup for your backups
Having one copy of your primary data is not enough to protect against cybercriminals, or to remain compliant with increasingly demanding regulations.
A good backup plan should always include a secondary backup. An ideal plan will comply with the golden 3-2-1 backup rule by creating three copies of your data on two different media, with one copy stored off-site for disaster recovery.
For example, you might store video project production data on a PC, and create multiple backups of that data which are stored on the PC and also in the cloud or on an external hard drive for an extra layer of protection.
Choosing a one-stop backup solution for today’s data protection needs
Finding a solution that meets today’s challenges and threats can be overwhelming, but it is imperative that businesses act. Now is the time for businesses to up their backup game.
Look for an effective, long-term backup and recovery solution that addresses modern data challenges – such as Synology NAS, a license-free solution that provides centralised data protection and storage efficiency.
Users of the Synology NAS include Polish lender Idea Bank, which was challenged by the legal requirement to keep backups of all operations, including emails and Microsoft SharePoint data. With data scattered over different sources, performing backup and recovery tasks took a lot of time and effort. Business continuity was also at risk as a result of hardware failures and hard drive corruption, resulting in costly data loss and downtime for repairs.
After investing in four Synology NAS, the bank leveraged Synology’s Active Backup for Business to back up its physical and virtual Windows deployments onto two 12-bay rackmount SAS units.
A further two 12-bay Synology RackStation units and Active Backup for Microsoft 365 were used to back up a total of 2,506 Microsoft 365 accounts and 1,239 Microsoft SharePoint sites. New users were also automatically detected and backed up, reducing the time spent on manual configuration.
The bare-metal and SaaS backups saved Idea Bank time by restoring applications ed to their original configurations and because computers were ready for use immediately after restoration.
"Synology Active Backup for Microsoft 365 has streamlined our operations. It has dramatically boosted the efficiency of our admins backing up email, SharePoint, and other data,” said Przemysław Grzegorczyk, Microsoft Systems Administrator at Idea Bank.
The bank adheres to the 3-2-1 backup rule by using Snapshot Replication to regularly back up up the data on two of the Synology NAS devices up to one another. This provides redundancy in the event that the primary backup destination is unavailable.
Idea Bank used Synology NAS to create an effective backup plan.
“Because it is license-free, we also do not have to worry about renewing subscriptions or buying additional support for the next few years," Mr. Grzegorczyk added.
By deploying an affordable and consolidated solution, Idea Bank was able to simplify and centrally manage backup and recovery tasks, protecting all its digital assets and addressing its data protection challenges.