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Let's Celebrate World Backup Day - March 31, 2021

world backup day 

There's a "DAY" for almost anything these days, but here's one that should be on everyone's calendar - World Backup day, March 31, 2021.  Whether its personal or business, here's a great reminder for you to celebrate awareness around having a backup and recovery strategy.

What is World Backup Day?

World Backup Day started in 2011 and is a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups.  This independent initiative to raise awareness about backups and data preservation started out — like most good things on the internet - on reddit by a couple of concerned users.

It's a time of year to remind folks to make sure they've validated that their backup strategy is up to speed and effective.  It should come as no surprise that World Backup Day was chosen to be the day before April 1st (April Fools) in order to drive the message home.  Don't be an April fool, backup your data!

Hopefully this day will make everyone think twice about their situation, and educate themselves on the various options available to them so that they can get things backed up. 

A backup is only as good as your ability to recover the data.  As part of your backup strategy, make sure to have a recovery plan.  Be prepared to recover an entire system, a folder or collection of folders, and a single file.  World Backup Day should bring about awareness and create a reminder for all of us to backup things up.  No matter how secure or safe you feel about your data, know that it's important to backup your files.

Don't take my word for it.  Hear from some of the experts in the backup and disaster recovery industry for more commentary:

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Rick Vanover, Senior Director, Product Strategy, Veeam

“World Backup Day is important to Veeam, but more important for the data you care about. There are a lot of threats to your data and I have nothing but evidence in the form of case studies at our website that bad things happen to good technologies. What could possibly go wrong you may ask? Ransomware, natural disaster, accidental deletion, automation gone awry (watch this space) or hardware failure are all potential routes to a data loss situation.
 
But what do you and your stakeholders expect? They expect the data they care about to be online and functioning as expected. They expect to recover if needed. They expect to have a disaster recovery plan if needed. They expect portability to get out of any problem.
 
World Backup Day is the reminder that backup is one of the most important steps to build on a complete strategy for the data you care about. Backup, replication, storage snapshots and continuous data protection across the span of the data center and cloud. This is the way.”

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David Vella, CEO at Altaro Software

"As the song goes, 'You don't know what you've got until you lose it'. Backup solutions are about more than protecting our data - they teach us to cherish what we have while it's still there. With the global pandemic having shifted most companies to work from home, IT professionals have often shared with us the challenges and nightmares they faced during this period, and how grateful they were to have a rock-solid backup solution in place. This World Backup Day, we like to remind all organizations to evaluate where they are in terms of backup & DR strategy - and if they're not where they should be, to take action accordingly."

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Sascha Giese - Head Geek, SolarWinds

“World Backup Day is a timely reminder for both enterprises and IT professionals on the importance of data backup. The loss of any data can be disastrous to a business not only from a financial point of view but also to their reputation. This is why backing up data is so critical. From both a business and personal point of view, we are well placed to take advantage of the cloud technologies that make data backup a very simple process. But we still need to treat data backup as a top priority. Despite having the cloud platforms in place to enable quick recovery, IT professionals should still be taking matters into their own hands and ensuring in today’s data heavy environment, everything is backed up.

This year, more than ever, I encourage IT professionals everywhere to do two things. First, take the ‘3, 2, 1’ approach—create three working backups, stored in two different places, with one always being stored offsite. Second, test! Treat and plan for a data loss in the same way you would for a fire drill. Make sure you regularly test for any disasters that cause data loss and try to find ways you can improve disaster recovery. If you take these small steps, any data loss can be rectified very quickly with minimum downtime.���

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Sathya Sankaran, COO of Catalogic Software

"Strangely, the World Backup Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the entire world operating for a year under their corporate backup and disaster plans. The pandemic accelerated the use of public clouds for enterprise data backup and the adoption of cloud native business applications using Kubernetes and cloud databases. This market acceleration led us to launch our new CloudCasa.io backup as a service for Kubernetes and cloud databases as we transform our business to be cloud first.

Given clouds are highly available and reliable, developers and DevOps teams may believe they don’t need data backups. But let our reflection on a year of the world operating in “backup mode” be a strong reminder of the disruption natural disasters, human error and security breaches can have on your business.  It should never be a question of whether you need data backups - it’s always when you will need them."

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David Ngo CTO, Metallic

"In my opinion, the biggest change in backup since the first World Backup Day in 2011 is organizations’ tolerance for long recovery times. Ten years ago, organizations could tolerate recovery times measured in days or even weeks. Today these times have come down to just a few hours or even minutes.

Recovery time expectations have shifted due to the fact that organizations’ operations depend more than ever on data. In addition, recovery time expectations have changed because the nature of the threats that companies face have evolved. Previously, primary recovery concerns were from hardware failures and natural disasters. Now companies do not just have to prepare themselves to recover their data from these types of events, but also recover it after a ransomware attack, a hack by a malicious insider, or another type of security breach.

These considerations are driving customers to leverage cloud services to make their backups more resilient. In addition, they are using new architectures which can help them both minimize recovery times and better control their backup costs.
 
Companies are increasingly adopting Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solutions because these solutions help them accelerate digital transformation and be laser focused on their core business.

BaaS solutions support adoption of a cloud-first philosophy that speeds that digital transformation by providing better scalability and agility than traditional solutions, while at the same time easing the data protection workload placed on overburdened IT staff.

Security has also become a key business priority for companies and BaaS solutions are very resilient when it comes to ransomware, malicious insiders, and other security breaches.

With BaaS companies have an air-gapped, secure backup solution that also offers them the flexibility, ease of deployment, and ease of management they need to fearlessly implement new technologies and choose the right deployment environment -- be it on-premises, hybrid, or cloud – for all their workloads."

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Penny Gralewski, Solutions Marketing Principal, Commvault

"During the pandemic our customers shared with us their top backup priorities, which indicate what they see as the biggest threats to their data.

In two surveys of Commvault cloud customers in May 2020 and October 2020, their top answers on their top three data protection priorities were the same -- disaster recovery preparedness, preventing ransomware attacks and faster digital transformation. However, while the percentages ranking disaster recovery preparedness and faster digital transformation changed by less than 10% over the May to October period, those who saw preventing ransomware attacks as a priority increased 22%, from 61% in May to 83% in October.

Their thoughts echo the headlines we see each day – particularly the ones showing an uptick in ransomware attacks. However, if a company has a data protection strategy in place that allows them to easily test the reliability of their backups, share readiness reports with their executives, and automate data recovery in case of disaster, they can better ready themselves to quickly address an attack or other incident.
 
As companies accelerate their move to the cloud, many are rushing to implement a backup strategy that may not be address their company’s needs. For example, many companies chose to store backups in warm or hot cloud storage, which can be expensive. 
 
As they consider what is the best data backup storage strategy for their organization, it’s important for companies to consider the business needs driving their move to backup data to the cloud, including how often this data will need to be accessed and how long it will need to be retained. For example, cold or very cold archive storage are low-cost options for files that don’t need to be regularly used, but still need to be stored securely for a long period of time.

Companies often see immediate cost savings when they work with a data protection provider that offers a range of cloud storage options, automatically moves backups to a lower tier of storage after a specified time period and has the flexibility to support a variety of workloads – from applications and email to DBaaS and containers."

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Simon Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO at HYCU, Inc.

"In the multi-cloud, pandemic-aware world in which we live, no longer is 'backup' a second class citizen. It may not have gotten the love it deserves in the past. I even doubt you could find anyone over the past decade that would honestly say they loved backup. But, now, more than ever, backup and just as important recovery are critical services for any company serious about managing, migrating and protecting data across on-premises and public cloud environments. So if you do one thing this World Backup Day, make sure you backup your critical workloads, files, data and VMs. And if you’re not using HYCU, make your life easier and switch over today!"

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Gil Levonai - CMO and SVP of Product, Zerto

"Since 2011, World Backup Day has acted as a poignant reminder for people to prepare for the unexpected by backing up their important files. Data loss can happen in a variety of ways, and while losing family photographs or important receipts can be extremely irritating, for businesses the financial, reputational, and legal damage associated with data loss can be catastrophic. Though World Backup Day strikes a slightly humorous tone – falling the day before April Fool’s Day – the consequences of data loss are anything but. The 10 year anniversary of World Backup Day comes at a fundamental turning point for backup technology. Data has grown exponentially over the last decade, creating zero tolerance for data loss, and yet backup technology has evolved very little. Traditional backup relies on periodic snapshots often on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, which places a massive burden on production environments and often forces IT teams to run these at night to avoid disruption. This has left them struggling to meet or exceed the two primary metrics associated with backup: recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).

Now, as businesses focus on providing an ‘always-on’ service to their customers and the constant increase of cyber threats, organizations are thinking about how they can protect their data continuously with every change, update, or new piece of data protected and available in real time. Continuous data protection (CDP) is enabling this change, saving data in intervals of seconds – rather than days or months – and giving IT teams the granularity to quickly rewind operations to just seconds before disruption occurred. Completely flexible, CDP enables an IT team to quickly recover anything from a single file or virtual machine right up to an entire site. As more organizations join the CDP backup revolution, data loss may one day become as harmless as an April Fool’s joke. Until then, it remains a real and present danger.”

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Michael Cade, Senior Technologist at Kasten by Veeam

"Has there been a more pivotal year to global businesses than 2020? As employees went fully remote, it was yet another reminder to have a solid, globally-implemented backup and disaster recovery plan in place to re-evaluate current solutions and workflows to see if they are going to meet business needs for the next year. The explosive growth of cloud-native storage options, plus growing threats of ransomware, to a more distributed workforce is critical for unifying priorities between storage operators and developers.

Accommodating modernization efforts will be critical, and being aware of how your organization can transition to infrastructure to accommodate both business and IT transformation. Adopting cloud-native, containers, and microservices creates its own challenges, so ensuring solutions employ a native backup solution lower risk and enable faster recovery time, while providing other key benefits that help your team execute backups more efficiently. Developers and operators also need a better understanding of their available storage; this means making sure storage is correctly configured for snapshots, which in turn is going to help streamline the data management and protection strategy within the business.

Likewise, proactively addressing security risks with the growing threat of malware targeting both production and backup files and documents, organizations must address risks to data with a focus on being resilient against ransomware and other threats."

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Mark Chuang, Head of Product Marketing, DRaaS at VMware

"This year’s World Backup Day is particularly important because the last 12 months of pandemic-accelerated digital transformation have created more business-critical IT data and services, making the concept of protecting them a business imperative. This is especially true for disaster recovery (DR), given the increase in recent ransomware attacks and catastrophic climate events. The problem, though, isn’t a lack of understanding or acknowledgement that disaster recovery (a critical part of any comprehensive business resiliency plan) is important -- organizations know it provides value! Consider how business resiliency has jumped to the top of CIOs’ priority lists. The true challenge is that most DR plans are unnecessarily complex, expensive, and unreliable. At VMware, we love solving these tough challenges. Today, we’re helping organizations to be DR Ready in as little as 5 days, achieve 60% lower TCO with fast recovery, and be confident that their DR plan will work when disaster strikes. DR can be easy-to-use, cost-effective, and reliable. World Backup Day is a great time for businesses to reflect on their resilience strategy and perhaps to take a new approach for DR." 

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Nagarajan Chandrasekaran, Vice President, Product Marketing and Management, Vembu Technologies

"Every year, World Backup Day reminds us of the importance of backing up business-critical data. Since work from home became the new normal for most businesses, now data has become more vulnerable.

This pandemic has taught us a new lesson, and I believe that now more than ever, every business must understand the value of data backup. To fight the current pandemic and increasing ransomware attacks, every business, regardless of their budget constraints, should have access to the sophisticated backup solution.

Vembu's all-in-one backup and DR solution, Vembu BDR Suite ensures the high availability of small and large scale IT infrastructures with virtual(VMware, Hyper-V), physical(Windows, Linux, Mac), cloud workloads(AWS, Azure), and SaaS applications(Microsoft 365, Google Workspace) at an affordable price." 

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Doug Matthews, Vice President of Enterprise Data Protection and Analytics at Veritas

"With the rapid growth of a remote workforce and the threat of natural disasters increasingly putting corporate data at risk, this year is proof positive that every company must have a robust data protection and recovery plan in place. Now more than ever, businesses must have a full view of their data to quickly protect, recover, and get back to business.

This World Backup Day, organizations must take the time to ensure their data protection strategies encompass every environment, workload, cloud, and deployment model. It’s critical for organizations to bolster data protection and discovery strategies to include all of the platforms where business is being done.

No company is immune to ransomware threats or natural disasters, but those understanding where data lives and how to protect it will always come out ahead."

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Adrian Moir, Technology Strategist, Principal Engineer at Quest Software

"The shift to remote work is empowering organizations to take backup and recovery more seriously – especially as many face new challenges navigating the move to the cloud and data proliferation. While best practices for backup and recovery haven’t changed, they have been impacted by the evolving way data is collected and changing nature of that data, requiring targeted backup technologies to adapt to ensure compliance with existing practices.

Organizations need to focus on the data itself when it comes to what the future of work will be. Whether a company’s workforce is at home or in an office space, employees are now working from anywhere, meaning organizations can no longer ensure data is always secured behind enterprise-grade equipment in a corporate environment. However, this doesn’t mean companies should look to create hard environments. These ultimately lead employees to find security workarounds, causing dark data and shadow IT growth.

Just as we’re shifting mindsets on where employees work, companies need to rethink where their data is coming from and where it ends up. This year, World Backup Day serves as a time to reflect on how teams are being enabled to work with data. In today’s remote world, it’s important that easy and efficient solutions are in place to ensure data can be tracked and properly protected, to keep the business running. On top of this, companies must continue to plan and test against that plan. Ensure that backup and recovery strategies put in place are actually effective and if they are not, plan again."

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Matt Waxman, Vice President, Product Management, Cohesity

"As we reflect on the past year, the world has been turned upside down, so talking about RPOs and RTOs just doesn’t seem appropriate. We are living in an age where ransomware has almost become a household term. Sophisticated ransomware attacks are increasingly targeting backup data in addition to what resides in production, to knee-cap organizations and their last lines of defense. Tackling ransomware is multi-faceted, but without a doubt having a comprehensive data protection strategy with a foundation built around immutability is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have.

Previously immutability was set on the storage medium, but now available at a file system level, it is far more potent and cloud-friendly. While many backup vendors now claim to feature a level of immutability, it can take many forms. In essence, immutability is where your data is fixed, unchangeable and unable to be deleted. Once you have saved an immutable backup it cannot be altered or written to; this is particularly important for countering malware or ransomware. An immutable backup is largely impervious to new ransomware infections, but an archive of immutable backups gives even more assurances of a successful recovery, be that a full backup or snapshots. With Cohesity, our file system, SpanFS, is immutable, meaning backups are written in an immutable state, and thus dramatically reducing the chances that you will be in a position where paying a ransom is the only way you can recover data after an attack.

All companies, big and small, need to be on their guard and put defenses in place to reduce the chances of becoming the next victim. When combined with the cloud, an immutable file system is an incredibly powerful way of overcoming ransomware attacks. For too long backup has been a chore, or worse, an afterthought. However, in 2021, it is clear that sticking with your existing backup vendor's protection without thoroughly assessing its immutability credentials is akin to doing nothing, which can no longer be an option."

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Sam Roguine, backup, DR, and ransomware prevention evangelist at Arcserve

"World Backup Day is an important reminder for all of us in the data protection industry to pay closer attention to businesses’ changing data protection needs. In the past year, much of the data that companies have generated has been distributed across a remote workforce - spanning cities, states, and even countries that all may have different data protection regulations in place. With this in mind, it’s important to regularly reexamine where and how this data is stored to ensure the protocols in place align with local guidelines.

Before employees return to in-person work, it’s also important to make sure distributed data is properly backed up and accessible to avoid loss or downtime when transitioning from home to office. IT teams should check for any security gaps and misconfigurations in their hybrid working model, but remote employees also have a role in this process - it’s essential for them to backup any work completed remotely to the central system. Considering that many companies have turned to the cloud for more flexibility during this time, they’ll also need to examine the migrations that took place and fix any issues before returning to the office."

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Mike Potter, CEO and co-founder of Rewind

"In an ideal world, every day would be World Backup Day as businesses of all sizes become more dependent on SaaS applications each year. Companies are entrusting critical data into the cloud but most still don’t fully understand the associated risks and assume that their business data is completely protected.
 
While SaaS platforms actively back up their own cloud infrastructure in bulk, they do not make account-level information available to individual users. Many are just one wrong click, failed integration, or cyberattack away from losing data they rely on daily to drive their business.
 
In fact, our recent survey found that 40 percent of SaaS users have lost app data. Proactive data backups of mainstream cloud applications like BigCommerce, GitHub, QuickBooks Online, Shopify, etc. could save hours of (often fruitless) time trying to rebuild lost or corrupted data.
 
Comprehensive, immediately accessible, and easily restored backups is now an absolute necessity."

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Vinay Mathur, Chief Strategy Officer at Next Pathway
 
"Oftentimes today the first foray for enterprise companies to move to the cloud is to consider the use of public cloud for back-up and disaster recovery. The need to have a scalable, agile and cost-efficient approach for back-up and high availability for sensitive enterprise data is important. The legacy approach of relying on-premise servers for back-up and redundancy isn’t cutting it, as it doesn’t scale and is highly cost prohibitive.
 
A good example of this we see in the market today is around disaster recovery strategies for large on-premise Hadoop clusters. Especially for large companies, legacy Hadoop clusters store massive amounts of data (often at petabyte-scale), and an on-premise back-up and disaster recovery method would come with an enormous price tag. Instead, companies are looking to the hyperscale cloud providers to solve this challenge. And while doing so, enterprise companies, some of whom have been reticent to consider a move to the public cloud, start to dabble into unfamiliar territory with massive upside for their IT operations."

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Aron Brand, CTO, CTERA

"Cloud backup enables tapping into cloud economies of scale, as well as being located off premises, thus protecting against catastrophic site failures such as fire or flood. In the last 10 years we have seen a rapid decrease in the use of on-premises backup solutions. Instead, companies are increasingly opting for hybrid backup solutions that combine a local backup vault with a cloud vault. The local vault is used for day to day recoveries, while the cloud vault is used for long term and for recovery from rare, yet catastrophic, whole-site failures.
 
The next key development in backup technology and adoption will see modern hybrid backup solutions take the dual vault approach to the next level, by implementing cloud stubs. In case of a recovery, those files which need to be fetched from the cloud are replaced by cloud stubs, which are then retrieved from the cloud upon access, in parallel to the restore operation, allowing users to access their most important files instantly, even before the restore operation has completed."

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Rotem Iram, Founder and CEO, At-Bay
 
"Backups have become important to companies that are exposed to digital risk, and to the insurance companies that protect them. An effective backup approach significantly lowers recovery costs, shortens downtime, and provides an alternative to engaging with criminals in the case of ransomware attacks. All of these factors lower risk and can contribute to lower insurance premiums.
 
Unfortunately, many companies are failing to put an adequate plan in place. While the vast majority of companies claim to have backups and restoration processes, our data show otherwise:

  • Smaller companies (under $10M revenue) are twice as likely to lack proper backups than larger organizations ($10-100M), and four times more likely to lack proper backups than enterprises ($100M and above).
  • Public administration orgs are 7 times more likely not to have backups compared to private organizations, and small public orgs (under $10M in budget) are as much as 15 times more likely not to have backups.
  • In the private sector, "offline" / traditional businesses (such as warehouse, logistics, transportation, utilities, agriculture) trail in implementing backups by 2-3x compared to professional services and technology businesses.

These shortfalls are going to cost companies a lot of money. Regardless of size, every company needs to have a strategy in place that ensures backups are segregated from the network, saves copies for 30-90 days (once there is a breach, your most recent backups may include malware), and backs up all important systems and data, even those in secondary locations or legacy systems."

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Paul Speciale, chief product officer, Scality
 
"As data becomes increasingly valuable, backup and data protection at large will remain key topics. Storage and backup infrastructure must continually be revisited as business needs evolve.  
 
Over the last several years, we’ve seen the growth of hybrid cloud backup and business continuance strategies. Traditionally, enterprise IT has solved business continuance requirements through redundant infrastructures, in two physical enterprise data centers that are geographically separated. This commonly depended on the use of data replication strategies to maintain redundant data copies across these sites. The real shift in the last 24-36 months is that enterprises are now truly embracing hybrid cloud as the mechanism to enable this redundancy, by using a public cloud provider such as AWS or Azure as the secondary site, with hybrid cloud data replication as the means to maintain data synchronicity between the data center and the public cloud.   
 
On-premises backups will certainly remain since data is now being created everywhere, from the corporate data center, to the cloud and now the emerging edge tier, but a major new trend in the world of IT infrastructure and application development will be a shift to the “cloud native” model. This will create a demand for an entirely new set of data protection applications that are container and Kubernetes aware, so as to provide cloud-native backup solutions for these environments." 

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Ben Gitenstein, VP of Product Management, Qumulo
 
"Many IT leaders are stuck in a mindset where they are focused on the data about their business. However, data is their business, making it existentially important to protect.
 
Unstructured file data is especially vital to protect because it can be irreplaceable – think security camera footage, medical imagery and historic archives. Yet it’s inherently difficult to back up, since the sheer amount of individual files (the millions of petabytes of data that our servers handle every day) makes it time-consuming to identify which files are modified or need protecting. Traditionally, this was a lengthy undertaking with dreaded “tree-walks,” the tedious process of inspecting every file to collect a record. But it doesn’t have to be that way. To ensure consistent, repeatable backup and recovery across all of these different locations, you need to eliminate the complexity of ongoing orchestration and find a solution that makes the backup process radically simple.
 
Every company also needs to ensure its data backup solution can scale up as the data grows. The amount of file data in your system could be outpacing your IT team’s ability to back up and protect it, meaning you need to invest in a system that can back up and secure your data in real time.
 
Finally, your data needs protection from all angles of the business. As more enterprises adopt a hybrid cloud approach, they don’t have everything in one data center, and users are accessing file data apps and services from anywhere. Your technology shouldn’t be siloed, and neither should your security. In other words, your data protection provider requires modern interoperability with the leading cloud providers and data services. This reinforces the need for solutions that offer native protection against component failure and environment failure."

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Ajay Sabhlok, CIO & CDO at Rubrik

"Ransomware attacks have become increasingly frequent over the past year and it’s no longer a question of if an organization is going to become a victim of ransomware, but when. When businesses suffer an attack, CIOs are faced with two options: those whose data have been compromised are forced to pay a ransom, and those that have properly backed up their data must determine how long it will take to recover their safeguarded data. If they can’t recover quickly enough, it might be financially necessary to pay a ransom and avoid suffering downtime, which could have long lasting reputational effects.

As we approach World Backup Day in 2021, CIOs should focus on prioritizing backup and recovery solutions that natively store all data in an immutable format, enabling them to recover quickly to avoid poor economics of ransomware recovery. It’s clear that legacy solutions don’t meet the needs of businesses today, as companies that have prepared for an attack can still be left struggling to decide whether they should quickly pay a ransom or spend more time and money recovering from an attack and subsequent downtime."


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Published Wednesday, March 31, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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