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Greater demand for modern data protection, disaster recovery as COVID-19 sees increase in attacks
Tue, 4th May 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Data-driven organisations must evaluate evolving requirements for backup and disaster recovery to combat emerging workload challenges, according to a new report.

The IDC State of Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Readiness: 2021 white paper, sponsored by cloud data management and protection firm Zerto, revealed that 94.7% of respondents saw an impact to their work-from-home data protection as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, which took place in Q1 2021 during the COVID-19 outbreak, involved 506 senior IT and business leaders from medium-to-large scale organisations.

The survey found that 90.8% of respondents point to modernising data protection, including backup and disaster recovery (DR), as a top IT priority that is crucial to their organisations overall digital transformation.

Additionally, it found many organisations are modernising their infrastructure as 80% of new applications will be deployed in the cloud or at the edge, where most cloud applications will either be SaaS or cloud-native containerised applications, thus potentially creating a data management gap.

Not only do these factors further contribute to data becoming siloed and requiring separate data protection, DR, and other solutions, but they also add infrastructure costs and staffing inefficiencies.

More specifically, the report identifies the top three IT priorities for organisations as they modernise backup and disaster recovery: cloud-first deployments, IT transformation, and implementing cloud-based DR.

Consequences of Data Disruptions
As organisations modernise and move to the cloud, the research found that threats to data are increasing rapidly, and the consequences are becoming more serious.

The survey revealed that 95.1% of organisations have suffered a ransomware or malware attack in the past 12 months with more than 80% indicating at least one attack resulting in data corruption, 43% experiencing unrecoverable data within the past 12 months, and more than one third (36.6%) having suffered more than 25 attacks during that time.

These threats have become so common that the likelihood of being a victim has become a matter of when, not if, according to Zerto.

As these threats increase, the consequences become more costly. Nearly one third (31.1%) of respondents reported a direct loss of revenue, and 35% suffered from instances of unrecoverable data. The indirect cost in terms of people may have been even more costly with 45.4% reporting a loss of employee productivity and nearly half (49%) incurring employee overtime to combat the attack and get businesses back online.

Coupled with other IDC research showing that the cost of downtime ranges from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour (varying by industry and organisational size), organisations are faced with greater revenue and employee implications.

One key point uncovered by the research is the cause of data loss when organisations experienced unrecoverable data. The number one reason was that data was lost in the gap between backups. This can be attributed to the length of time between backups being too long and an over reliance on snapshots, replicas, and standard backup schemes with recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) in hours versus seconds.

Move to the Future
The study found that many organisations are now going to invest in their backup and DR plans as more than half (52.1%) plan to invest in both backup and DR improvements.

As the report highlights, one of the key technologies now emerging to help IT organisations improve data protection, reduce data loss, and recover data more quickly is continuous data protection (CDP). CDP can reduce service levels both RPO and RTO from hours to minutes or even seconds.

In fact, CDP is becoming a key means of driving toward near-zero RPO and near-zero RTO. Moreover, the highly granular nature of CDP recoveries can assist organisations in recovering to a point just prior to a cyberattack to assure recovery with the least amount of data loss possible.

"These survey results indicate that modernising data protection, including backup and DR, are high priorities for many IT organisations," says Phil Goodwin, research director, IDC.

"CDP is a technology that is gaining traction in the industry. This technology, which is a part of modern backup solutions, can significantly lessen the potential for data loss regardless of cause, while reducing the time to recovery and simplifying recovery CDP is the solution the industry requires," he explains.

Caroline Seymour, vice president of product marketing, Zerto, adds, "We are experiencing unprecedented times, requiring organisations to focus resources on providing always-on data protection, especially as they deal with an increase of downtime due to various planned and unplanned disruptions.

"This research from IDC shows why CDP is important for organisations as they look to modernise their backup and disaster recovery to overcome the hurdles they face and ensure they are always protected and can focus on accelerating digital initiatives," she says.