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Keys to fortifying data resilience (Part 1)

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 6 min read
Keys to fortifying data resilience (Part 1)
Implementing strong data backup and recovery measures is crucial for organisations to maintain operational continuity and reduce the risks linked with data loss. Photo: Shutterstock
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In today’s data-driven landscape and with the increasing risk of cyber attacks, robust data backup is essential for organisations to safeguard their operations. A February report by cybersecurity firm Group-IB shows that ransomware attacks in Asia Pacific (Apac) increased 39% y-o-y.

Robust data backup and recovery measures ensure data resilience, in which data is always available and accessible despite unexpected business disruptions. This enables organisations to minimise downtime, maintain operations continuity and safeguard against potential financial and reputational damages associated with data breaches or loss.

DigitalEdge finds best practices for modern data backup and recovery from IT leaders.

Justin Chiah, vice president and general manager of data services and storage for Asia Pacific, HPE:

Modernising data backup and recovery is now do-or-die for Apac organisations, especially with surging AI adoption driving exponential data growth. To build a robust, effective backup and recovery system, enterprises need a streamlined approach that consolidates backup and recovery operations in a unified management platform, which helps eliminate complexities and provide consistent protection to data, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Backup and recovery solutions should include built-in data security and ransomware protection via encrypted and immutable backups. Encryption ensures backup data is unreadable to attackers, while data immutability prevents backup data from being modified or deleted by threat actors. Enterprise customers increasingly demand air-gapped and immutable cyber-resilient vaults because this approach optimises the accuracy of recovery points and the speed of application and business recovery.

See also: Checkmate chaos with master data management

Enterprises can also leverage AI-powered solutions to supercharge backup and recovery. AI can automate data backups to ensure frequent and safe backups while making data recovery faster and more accurate. AI and machine learning can also improve the robustness of an organisation’s response to data loss incidents by helping to detect anomalies and identify potential security risks, such as identifying the point of infiltration of ransomware encryption.

Kalyan Madala, Apac software pre-sales engineering leader, IBM:

Today, business leaders face many potential threats to their organisation’s data. Incidents of enterprise data loss can be attributed to hardware failure, user error, or sabotage by a malicious insider. Meanwhile, ransomware, data exfiltration and other destructive attacks continue proliferating, increasing the risk of data loss to businesses. All these threats can result in a much bigger impact, such as business disruption and damage to an organisation’s brand reputation and customer relationships.

See also: Why delivering on the AI promise hinges on data and trust

Enterprises need to tap into an integrated data and cyber resiliency platform that provides multiple layers of data resilience, such as data protection, immutability and isolation. A key consideration is the speed of recovering data when and if a data loss occurs while keeping the business running smoothly without disruption.

By enabling early detection of threats like ransomware, disasters, sabotage, accidental deletion and other sources of disruption and rapid recovery across a hybrid cloud storage infrastructure, businesses can move beyond data protection to real data resilience.

Han Chon, managing director for Asean, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea, Nutanix:

As organisations mature in their digitalisation journeys, many operate in a hybrid multi-cloud world, managing data across cloud, data centre and edge environments. The rising enterprise adoption of AI, which has led to exponential data growth, further exacerbates this complexity.

With these challenges, Apac organisations need a unifying approach to managing data across diverse IT environments. A unified hybrid multi-cloud platform also helps streamline backup and recovery operations regardless of the underlying infrastructure. Such a platform can also seamlessly scale to accommodate growing data volumes without compromising performance or efficiency, which is key to supporting AI adoption.

Besides, Apac organisations must take a comprehensive, security-focused approach to backup and data recovery, implementing robust encryption, access controls and anomaly detection mechanisms to safeguard data integrity and availability.

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks, organisations must prioritise rapid recovery from data losses or breaches and maximise availability. They also need to ensure guidelines are set around data storage and retention and compliance with local data privacy and protection regulations.

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Nathan Hall, vice president for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), Pure Storage:

Apac organisations struggle to align their backup and recovery processes with new regulatory standards that mandate swift restoration of services in critical industries. For instance, the Monetary Authority of Singapore requires banks to restore critical systems and services within four hours following an outage. This isn’t easy to achieve with legacy data storage solutions, which were never designed with fast recovery.

Pure Storage recommends a two-pronged approach to data protection: Regularly creating immutable copies of data and adopting robust infrastructure to restore backups at speed and scale rapidly. A good practice is transitioning from traditional tape or disk-based backups — optimised for backup but not recovery and, therefore, have lengthy restoration times — to flash-based data storage solutions.

Advanced flash-based storage solutions have failure rates two to five times less often than disk-based solutions, can deliver recovery speeds of hundreds of terabytes per hour and can restore ransomware-immune backups in a matter of minutes or hours at any scale. This allows organisations to resume business operations immediately during an outage.

There are other factors also to consider following an incident. For instance, storage arrays are often locked down for investigation by cyber insurance or law enforcement agencies after a cyberattack. Ransomware recovery service-level agreements from a vendor and storage-as-a-service subscriptions can guarantee a new storage environment that facilitates recovery even if the original storage is unavailable for any reason.

Beni Sia, general manager and senior vice president for APJ, Veeam:

Apac organisations today grapple with many backup and recovery challenges stemming from the dynamic nature of data management and technology.

The foremost challenge is the rapid expansion of data volumes due to digital transformation, leading to longer backup times, higher storage costs and complexities in data management.

Another significant hurdle is the complexity of IT environments (including hybrid cloud setups and diverse applications), which makes it difficult to implement a unified backup strategy and increases the chance of human error when restoring them. Data security concerns are also paramount, necessitating protection against cyber threats and ensuring data integrity during backup and recovery.

These emphasise the importance of adopting cloud backup solutions and managed backup services. Cloud backups offer scalability, cost-effectiveness and agility, aligning with the changing data management needs of organisations in Apac. Additionally, transitioning to managed backup services can significantly enhance reliability and recovery capabilities, particularly for cloud-native workloads like Microsoft 365 and Salesforce. Finally, automating the data restoration process has become increasingly valuable in reducing the complexity of disaster recovery and the chances of human error.

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