Written by Sarah Doherty, Product Marketing Manager at iland, an 11:11 Systems Company
During 2021, IT teams had to adjust to excessive amounts of change while protecting critical operations from unprecedented threats driven by Covid, natural disasters, supply chain interruptions, and human resource shortages. Escalating ransomware, growing data sprawl, and hybrid working were some of the obstacles faced in 2021. During 2022, these developments will continue to make a significant impact on data protection and data management.
It is more important than ever to protect business data from damage, loss, or attack in today’s hyperconnected digital economy. It is not far from the truth to say the success of every organisation now depends on non-stop, consistent access to its critical systems and data.
Of course, managing and protecting any organisation’s data is no easy task. It is critical to constantly monitor the changing data landscape and be alert to the availability of new tools and challenges. Continuously-changing privacy regulations and security threats can appear from anywhere around the globe, which adds another layer of complexity when managing and protecting data.
What can we expect in 2022? There will continue to be numerous challenges that are top of mind for many organisations, and these will surely influence the way organisations approach data management and protection in the year ahead.
Global supply chain issues will create data protection concerns.
Supply chain issues are creating significant disruptions in the global economy, with everything from food and cars to PC processors and toys in short supply, and it is likely that these issues will continue well into 2022. Logistics issues and higher levels of digital risks, such as cyberattacks, will cause further disruptions to the global supply chain in the coming year. In 2021, the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack took down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. and temporarily caused fuel shortages up and down the East Coast. The company paid the hackers nearly $5 million in ransom just a day after discovering malware on its systems. This is just one reason that the supply chain will remain a top priority for organisations in 2022. This indicates that any organisation will need to be well prepared with data protection solutions to keep the supply chain working and meet the demands of all customers. The bottom line is that organisations will need to ensure that cyberattacks do not further compromise their supply chains and that all data remains available 24/7 with instant recovery.
The attack area of any organisation will continue to expand as ways of working continue to evolve. An attack area includes all the possible ways an attacker can get into any company’s devices and networks and seize or eliminate data. So, it’s essential to keep your attack surface to a minimum. The problem is that your attack surface is continually growing as more people work remotely on multiple devices and create more entry points for cybercriminals to execute cyberattacks. Over the past several years, the attack area has grown and changed. The perimeter has dissolved and networks are now highly distributed. In addition, it has become more difficult to control endpoints as employees leave organisations and retrieving their equipment becomes harder. The bottom line is that breaches will inevitably continue to happen. And in the coming year, organisations will have to be better at recognising breaches so mitigation can occur as quickly as possible. Security and recovery strategies must be a focus, particularly as the attack surface expands. Those strategies must cover not only on-premises data but data in the cloud, at the edge, and everywhere in between.
More investment in Disaster Recovery Climate change and social disruptions have created a greater need for disaster recovery to become a major IT focus. DR planning is no longer a matter of considering the rare “once in 100 years storm” or “once in a lifetime disaster”. All types of disasters have become increasingly common threats to business operations. Organisations will increase DR spend in 2022 and look for more flexible deployment options for protection, such as replicating on-premises workloads to the cloud, or use of failover clustering across cloud availability areas and regions.
Organisations will continue to adapt from the reactive “if” or “when” to the reality of “how often” data-related incidents can and will occur. For years, vendors have continually stated, “It’s not if you’ll be breached, it’s when.” In recent years, organisations are increasingly experiencing multiple incidents in a single year, and the types of incidents are becoming more complex. This is a direct result of the booming data universe, accelerated by the global pandemic and the ever-changing regulations surrounding sensitive data. In 2022, organisations may plan for three to four significant events and will need to plan to minimise the costs and business impacts. More breach management will be brought in-house and organisations will manage data risk much more actively.
The challenge of data protection is sure to become even more pressing in 2022 and beyond. 85% of organisations are forecast to embrace a cloud-first approach by 2025,and as organisations store more data across on-premises, cloud, hybrid, and third-party systems — and as data regulations become more prevalent — they must stay on top of the changing data landscape or risk failure.